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17 helpful tips to transition your child with autism back to school (Autism Speaks)


This is a post by Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty, mother to two sons on the autism spectrum and an Autism Family Partner at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Summer vacation is ending all too fast, and before we know it those bright yellow school busses will be darting through our neighborhoods and a new school year will commence. Moving to a different classroom, grade, or school can be stressful for any child; for those on the autism spectrum, handling anxiety about the unknown can be exceedingly difficult.  These fears can be reduced by taking small steps to familiarize your child to his or her new situation prior to the beginning of the school year. I’ve used many of these strategies over the years with both of my autistic boys, who are on different ends of the autism spectrum. Of course all children are unique, so some may work better than others.  I’ve actually revisited several that haven’t worked in the past and found them to be helpful as the boys grew older.

Below are some tried and true tips that have helped my kids make a smooth transition in September, and have helped them to start a new school year successfully.

1. Talk to your child frequently about what to expect in the upcoming year. It’s the simplest tip, and perhaps the most important one to help reduce your child’s anxiety.


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