The new school year is just around the corner. If your young person is attending public school or a private one, here are a few suggestions to ease the difficulties and nervousness associated with those first days of classes.
1. Coach him/her to greet each teacher by name when entering the classroom; more challenging for secondary students due to class changes, but achievable nonetheless.
2. Take a tour of the campus with him/her; school personnel will be happy to oblige you...go over the class schedule while there.
3. Arrange a time to meet each teacher/aide during the first grading period; share helpful insights if needed.
4. Get to know the campus administrators so they will know your child by face and name.
5. Inspect the girl/boy for cleanliness before she/he leaves the house--teeth MUST be brushed. Kids on the spectrum tend to be unaware of current modes of dress, so make sure clothing is up to date...this will eliminate some social problems.
6. It is my humble, albeit accurate, opinion that every student with autism attending school should be assigned to a counselor or other support staff to monitor
progress and provide trouble shooting when--not if--an issue raises its ugly head. That staff member can also teach those necessary social skills.
7. If your child is not part of the special ed program he should be, to ensure the best possible opportunity to succeed. A personal relationship with a diagnostician can prove to be invaluable. A workable BIP (Behavior Intervention Plan) addressing social adroitness, at least, should be in place.
8. A better than even chance exists that little or no training in autism has been provided to staff...lobbying administrators, all the way to the top, may be necessary.
School districts desire and are required to try to teach every child who walks through the door of the classroom...sometimes they do need some encouragement or gentle prodding.
The year will present challenges and opportunities for achievement...This little blog will attempt to discuss them from an educator's insider viewpoint.
Two first grade boys are walking home after school. One boy is obviously feeling dejected. The other one says "It's like my grandaddy says, 'Some days you're the dog, some days you're the fire hydrant.'"