Think back to when you were a kid on the cusp of a new school year. It was an exciting and stressful time for both you and your parents. Now that you’re a parent of a teen on the autism spectrum, going back to school may seem even more stressful and daunting than when you were a kid. However, there’s really no need to fear the return of school. By following some simple tips, you can help your teen go back to school feeling confident and at ease.

Getting prepared

Teens on the autism spectrum tend to struggle in social and academic settings in general, which creates even more stress when it comes to getting back to a school schedule. Getting your teen fully prepared for the new school year helps increase their chance of having a successful year.

back to school

Image source- Flickr user: shinealight

By following these tips, you can help your teen on the autism spectrum have a great start to their year:

  1. Seeing the school and meeting teachers before the first day of school. Teens with autism feel more comfortable when they are familiar with their surroundings. By introducing teachers to your teen, you’re also preparing them for what to expect throughout the school year.
  2. Start readjusting their schedule. A couple of weeks before school starts, wake them up around the time they’d be getting up for school and setting a bed time appropriate for a school schedule.
  3. Don’t stress out if things aren’t going the way you want them to go. Everything can’t go perfectly that first day. Your teen might not wake up for their alarm and may throw a fit going out the door. Don’t stress. You’ll get through those first few days and everything will be fine.
  4. Give your full attention when you’re with your teen. Heading back to school is probably scary for them. When they’re getting ready in the morning, turn your phone off. Put all of your attention on your teen who may be struggling to get ready for school.
  5. Go over dos and don’ts of proper school behavior. Your teen on the autism spectrum may be used to the wild and free social behavior of summer. Getting back to school behavior may be confusing, so talk it over with them.
  6. Take care of yourself. Go to bed at an early time so you’re prepared to help your teen in the morning. Take a few minutes to yourself every morning for a cup of coffee and  some relaxation exercises.

Additional help

If your teen with autism struggles in academic and social settings even if you take the necessary precautions when going back to school, it might be time to get some extra help.
Seven Stars is a residential program for teens ages 13-18 with neurodevelopmental issues like autism, learning disorders or executive functioning deficits (ADHD/ADD). By combining residential treatment and wilderness adventure, Seven Stars has a truly unique program specifically designed to help struggling teens find success.
For more information about Seven Stars, please call 844-601-1167.