Back To School
Change is always hard. As the school year approaches, it is very common for children with autism to experience anxiety about the new year. Whether it is separation anxiety from being home for much of the past year or just general social anxiety, it can be challenging. However, there are ways to make going back to school less scary. Here are five tips for managing school anxiety.
Keep An Eye On Your Own Anxiety
First off, make sure to be self-aware regarding your own anxiety. It can be contagious. Staying strong, calm, and collected for your child even when you have your own worries is highly important. Essentially, you set the tone for how they will handle change.
Listen And Validate
If your child is worried about being separated from you all day, it is important not to brush off their fears. Allow them to voice their concerns and let them know you understand their feelings. With that said, it is important not to feed into their anxieties too far. Letting them know you are proud of them for going to school even when they’re nervous is important. Positivity and reassurement go a long way.
Predictable, comfortable routines make all the difference. Establishing these early on is important. When a child has a routine, it takes a degree of uncertainty out of their day. Essentially, the less uncertainty, the better. This can include bedtimes, waking times, and homework.
Use Separation Items
A separation item is something from home the child can hold onto for comfort. Regarding school, this often has to be something small and not too distracting. A small toy, rock, or another knick-knack can all work. Basically, this lets your child bring a tiny piece of home with them into their new environment.
Finally, being prepared for abrupt changes will be important. Unfortunately, the future is unpredictable. If your child has to temporarily go back to remote learning, plan ahead of time how you will handle it. What will you say to comfort them? What will at-home learning be like this year, if it’s needed? Being flexible and having a plan in place is vital for the year ahead.
Consistent & Compassionate Care
We’re here to help your children blossom and integrate them back into society in a fun, healthy, and effective way. We believe no one should be overlooked, so our compassion, care, and ABA Therapy services give them the attention they deserve. Contact us today to learn more!