Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christine's back to school tips

My boys go back to school next Wednesday - yipee!

Being a Mum of one kid on the Autism spectrum and another who has Aspy tendencies I thought I would share with the blogosphere some tips for getting ready for a new school year.

  1. If possible find out who your child's teacher and aide will be.  Its brilliant if you can introduce your child to this teacher and/or aide before the end of the school year or at least have a photo which you can show them during the holidays.  This helps ease some of the anxiety and may prevent a meltdown on the first day.
  2. If you can buy school shoes early and get them to wear them a little each day.  This is helpful for those kids who have sensory issues relating to their feet.  School shoes feel very different to the sandals they have spent the summer wearing.
  3. If the school allows this get shoes with velcro.  It is best to avoid anything that may add stress to the already busy morning routine.  By buying shoes with velcro you may avoid a daily meltdown/battle, tackle laces later in the year
    Dishwasher proof labels from That's Mine

  4. Label everything! I find "That's Mine" the best for dishwasher proof labels. I usually purchase 2 of each type of food container, that way my son won't have a meltdown due to having the wrong lunch box etc.  I don't know of a child who has not lost or forgotten their box at least once.
    Morning Routine Canvas Art by Billymac

  5. Create a visual schedule for every kid in the house to follow in the mornings. This applies to kids with and without a disability in the household as they all need some prompting in the morning.  I think I need to make one for me too.
  6. If your kid takes medication during school hours organise them for the school. Have a special  water bottle or cup and ask the school to have a special routine or reward for them.  IDEA: Give the office lady some Star Wars stickers and the kid gets one when he has his medication at the right time.
  7. Map out the school and have a pick up spot in the afternoons. Stick with this spot for the year, I usually have it outside one of the kids class rooms. I also let the teachers know that I pick the kids up each day and for them to approach me if they have any questions/comments. That way I don't have to come to them and they don't feel that they need to find something to tell me.
  8. Always write your child's name with a permanent marker directly onto their hat, not on the label. These labels are easily removed by not so nice parents who don't want to buy a new hat for their kid who has lost their hat. Ditto for Jumpers.  Buying two hats is always handy.
  9. Go for a walk around the school or do a School Drive By.  If its possible walk your child around the school grounds a couple of times before school starts, that way they can become familiar with the smells, sights and layout before the first day of  school. Remember to talk about and look at the buildings, gardens etc, some kids get a real kick out of simply driving past their school.
  10. Create a social story.  Many kids have already attended a transition to school program and some school even have a special book they give to new kids.  If this hasn't taken place I would strongly suggest that you create a social story about school or even about their first day.  Add photos of their bag, lunch box, themselves in their uniform, how they will get to school, what the front of the school will look like etc.
  11. Serve lunch in a lunch box.  This is a fun activity to do the week before school goes back or starts.  You pack their food in their lunch boxes using their containers.  This gets them use to the idea and gives them week to work out how to open the containers.
  12. Create a calendar countdown.  Get the kids to to cross off each day until the start of school.  You can add a picture of child in school uniform on the day of going back to school.
Oh and remember C Percy Designs custom makes beanies in all school colours, all beanies are made using quality Australian wool and are machine washable.  Contact me at to request your custom made beanie before the winter rush.  

Mr J wearing his C Percy Designs School Beanie
with pom pom and ear flaps!

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