School can be a challenging place for any child, but students with autism face a unique set of challenges. If these challenges are not addressed properly, students can begin to have a negative association with school, which can lead to school refusal or acting out.
To foster a positive relationship school relationship for your child there are a few things to take into consideration:
Talk with your child’s teachers. Communication is key for creating a positive relationship between your child and their school. Set a time to meet with new teachers to tell them about your child’s strengths and where they may need help. It is also beneficial to meet with principals, assistant teachers, and specials teachers so that everyone is on the same page. This is also helpful to keep expectations the same throughout the school day for your child which can aid in relieving school anxiety. Your child knows that they have a team of people who know them and want to help them.
Create a Plan: Students with autism often benefit from having a schedule and a plan. At the beginning of the school year, or anytime their schedule changes, talk with your child about what their day will look like. This can include a written schedule, a visual calendar, or social stories. If they are entering a new environment, schedule a time where you can walk through the school to help them feel more comfortable navigating throughout the day.
Practice: Once you have a schedule for your child, help them practice it, as repetition may help them feel more prepared. You can practice the logistics of getting ready for school or practice a plan for what they can do if they feel overwhelmed or they need help. Giving your child school approved tools like a weighted blanket or headphones for times when they feel overstimulated can allow them to feel confident in knowing that they have a way to calm themselves down and take a break.
Positive Reinforcement: If your child has experienced struggles at school, it takes time to create new patterns for a more positive experience. Be patient with your child and yourself. When your student exhibits positive behavior, make sure you acknowledge and reward that behavior. Maybe they ask a teacher for help to take a break when the lunchroom gets too loud, or they are able to adapt when the school day gets changed. Whatever it may be, make sure you’re letting your child know how proud you are of their work.
Seven Stars Can Help
Depending on the needs of your child, each student will have an individual academic plan. This is self-paced, packet-based, which includes an online assessment of comprehension determined through their academic assessment, during their stay in Residential Treatment. We understand that each child is on varying levels in terms of learning styles, which is why Seven Stars tailors to individual needs.
For those students who need more individual attention, a homeroom-environment classroom will be available with paraprofessional classroom aids to facilitate and assist with the packet work and online access. Further assistance is provided offsite by credentialed teachers through Dorius Academy. Through functional observation, we will teach your child to learn through styles that work best for them. For more information please call (844) 601-1167.