Want to avoid transition troubles? Starting a new school year can be a time of great relief for many of us. After all those “lazy days of summer” it can feel really good to get back into the nice predictable routine that a new school year offers.
Unfortunately, starting a new school year can be a huge stress producing, anxiety creating time for lots of our students. The reason is TRANSITION. Even when we think that returning to school will “be the same as last year,” it isn’t, from the perspective of so many children with autism and Asperger’s.
Transition troubles can occur any time there is significant change in a student’s routines. Going back to school certainly creates potentially troublesome change, even if there has only been a short break.
Fortunately, there are a few things we can do to help those students transition into a new school year with success.
First, we can try Engineering the Classroom with Visual Strategies to create environments that will help our students with autism and Asperger’s adjust quickly and easily to their new school year.
Second, we can focus on Solving Behavior Problems in Autism (and Asperger’s and for the whole class) by using some simple visual strategies to give information and help students manage their behavior in acceptable ways.
Teachers: Just spending a little time preparing the right visual tools for your classrooms will really help you get through those first challenging days in the new year.
Parents: The same principles apply to creating visual tools to establish new routines at home for the upcoming year.
SLPs: Helping teachers and parents identify what will help them quickly adjust during that potentially challenging transition time at the beginning of the school year will be one of the best “gifts” you can share with them.
Using visual strategies is a critically important step to get this school year off to a great start by avoiding those transition troubles.