VODcast: Back to School

All families struggle a bit when it is time to go back to school. When autism is mixed into the equation, the transition can be particularly challenging. Click to watch the Seesmic video discussion or read the helpful tips below.

Autism VODcast: Back to School Quick tips for smoothing out the transition from the lazy days of summer to the hectic days of school. Do what you can to make the transition an adventure rather than an epic battle.

PLAN AHEAD. Don’t wait until the first day of school to introduce the morning routine and week night routine. Start early by setting bedtime and wake-up time the same as school days. Practice that daily battle against the clock – cramming bath, laundry, gathering supplies, meals, homework, and other essentials into a short period of time on week nights.

HOMEWORK ISSUES. Change your mindset about homework – making it a learning adventure instead of a drudge. Begin now, before school starts. Turn off the television for a few hours after supper. Gather everyone around the dinner table for studies. Even mom and dad can read the newspaper, read a book, write e-mails or letters, and other “homework.” Read together as a family every night, whether it is a specific assignment or not.

We welcome your ideas for dealing with the transition from summer to school. We also welcome your questions about specific problems you encounter. Just click for a Seesmic video reply or send us an e-mail at talk@FAQautism.com

2 Responses to “VODcast: Back to School”

  1. Mary Fletcher Jones 1 September 2008 at 11:13 pm Permalink

    These were really great tips. I am going to try the homework tip this year. to help him get ready for school (I think he was more ready than I was, he really loves school), we packed his backpack with all the new school supplies. I showed him the ruler and his calculator which are new tools this year. We also found out the names of his teacher, where his class would be, and his classmates names in advance, and we talked about that. We looked at the school lunch menu which they post online. All that helped. I also drew a picture schedule. Picture schedules and calendars are important for us because I am divorced and share custody so he goes back and forth quite a bit.

    Tomorrow is his first day and I found a mini cookie cake at the grocery store with a school bus on it (in icing — very cute). We have been celebrating big events by making or eating a special cake together. So that will be his surprise snack when he comes home.

    Also, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate that you post content in video audio and written content. Sometimes I process one type of info better than the other — depending on the day or time of day — so I like having a choice and also like both reading and watching the video.

  2. cathy 2 September 2008 at 9:39 am Permalink

    Sounds like your son is getting a great start on the new school year! Thanks for sharing your ideas. I had a call from a mom who followed some of these steps to help her sweet daughter transition into the school year, so everyone was anticipating a smooth start. But, the bottom fell out the first hour of school and things went downhill all week long. So we are looking at Plan B. Although she is walking on the edge of frustration, she still advocates taking steps like you did for your son before school started. She said, “Every little bit helps, and, anyway, it is fun!”

    I’m glad you like the video. My sweet son, Dwight, helps me with the technical side of FAQautism.com, and my sweet son, Thomas, who works for Seesmic, encouraged me to start adding a video segment. He said people like putting a face to people when talking about issues that effect our lives every day. Some of my friends with autism can’t wait until I have time to post a video – they think I’m talking directly to them!

    p.s. Feel free to send more strategies – successful or unsuccessful. It is great to have everyone pitch in ideas.

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