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Preparing your child with autism for middle school is essential to ensure success and a smooth transition. Here are a few tips you can do this summer.
It seemed like yesterday we were walking our kids to their kindergarten class, and now they’re on their way to middle school.
The older your baby gets, the more you want time to slow down! However, as emotional as we may be, we’re also proud of them for their development and growth.
Middle school is typically a rough spot for children, especially those with autism. Transitioning to a faster pace environment with new teachers, new specialists, and scheduling can be overwhelming.
Not to mention the influx of students, multiple class periods, and the chance of using a locker. To ensure your child is ready for middle school, it’s essential to prepare them before the transition occurs.
Talking about it, using visuals, and touring the school are just a few ways to ease into the new school year, and the first step in improving learning in children with autism.
Take this summer vacation as an opportunity to prepare your child with autism for middle school. Keep reading for a few tips on how to do so.
Talk About Middle School Often
All children have different attitudes towards school. Some children love school, while others would rather stay home or visit museums.
Either way, our job as parents or caregivers is to make academics exciting—even if we weren’t excited about school as kids.
Begin talking about the transition to middle school on the last day of elementary school. This can help ease their anxiety and gives them the entire summer break to prepare. Your child can understand what to expect since you gave them extra time.
Use Visual Support To Help Ease Transition
Make middle school sound fun, but also be realistic. Tell them about the multiple classes, student influx, extracurricular activities, etc.
Making a social story and showing visuals about gym classes, lockers, cafeterias, and teachers is a great way to make them feel more comfortable going to a new school.
Review these visual supports twice daily to ensure your child knows what to expect.
Go on a Tour Around the School
Another way to prepare your child with autism for middle school is touring the school. Some schools will open their doors to the community so incoming students can tour the school and meet teachers.
Check if your child’s school has summer camps or programs that allow new students to make friends and acclimate to the school before the year begins.
This will also be a great way to keep a daily routine and socialize with peers.
Provide Emotional Support
We’ve been through middle school and remember some of the good times but also the horrors that lurked. It is important to prepare your child (and yourself) for the next steps in their academic and personal lives.
Talk to your child about their emotions, concerns, and interest, and reassure them that you’re here for them. Being a supportive figure in their life can help smooth over the next three years.
Print This Positive Parenting Guidebook – The 5 Pillars Of Positive Parenting
Listen… parenting with connection and positivity has been seen as permissive and lazy parenting BUT this is totally not the case.
I am a mom of 3 beautiful children and I’ve spent HOURS, DAYS, MONTHS, and YEARS researching this topic and seriously, it is my favorite way to parent.
Way better than what I grew up with – which was A LOT of yelling, spanking and frankly, neglect.
This little guidebook is a golden nugget that you can have for free – and print it out! Put it on the fridge, refer to it often. It’s really a great tool for kids of all ages.
Download Your Free Printout
- Download the guidebook. You’ll get the printable, plus join hundreds parents who receive my weekly parenting tips and ideas! (Sometimes I’ll promote a parenting program, but only the best ones that are in the positive parenting community, I promise.)
- Print. Print out the guidebook!
- Place it where you can see it. There is a lot of great information in this guidebook, even though it’s small. It’s power packed full of great stuff so put it where you can refer to it often.