Autism Awareness: Tips for the end of the school year

4 July 2018

Dear friend,

We are rapidly heading towards the end of the school year.  The 6 weeks holidays stretch ahead of us. For many this is a time of excitement and anticipation but it is worth remembering that for some children this period can be a nightmare.

At the end of the school year most parents are relaxing bed times and allowing children to play out longer, to enjoy the summer weather. Not us! If anything we are tightening control at home to provide more stability...

From the first group (reception in UK) the big lad knew the routine. When he went into class on the morning he would check the visual timetable and tell the teacher if she had got something wrong. He knew exactly what happened on each day.

If you ask our big lad; What did you do at school today? He usually recites the days timetable.

There is a degree of safety in the routine of the school day, in the normality and regularity of it.

But at the end of the year there is another vibe, everything feels different.

There are changes in routine and schedule. There are new experiences, you are expected to do things with other people, classes, teachers, mum helpers etc and the social expectations are huge!

It is summer, it is warm, you are wearing new clothes so you feel different too.

The stress starts to build...

Then the class has a meet and greet with a new teacher s/he seems nice but different, the class room is different. Where will you sit, who with, will you know where things are, how do the chairs feel, how does his/her voice sound, does he get cross easily?

Too much change!


Ways to make the transition easier:

  • Be positive! 
  • Let them know it is natural to feel apprehensive
  • Stick to routines at home 
  • Make a visual timetable and mark on key events during the last weeks of school 
  • Talk! What are they most worried about? Ask; If you could tell the teacher 1 thing what would it be?
  • Speak to school management: Arrange for your child to meet with the new teacher 1-1 
  • Visit the New classroom: Do this before or after school when it is quiet. Let your Child become familiar with the surroundings and meet the teacher
  • Sit in on a lesson: Try and pick a time when they are doing something you know your child likes. 
Supporting very nervous children
  • Parents meet with the new teacher (or old & new teachers together); put a transition plan in place and get the schedule for the first day of school

Let the countdown begin. Bring it on end of term, we are ready, I hope you are too!

Have a great summer!

Post revised June 2018

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