Now today I wanted to share with you some of my best tips for ensuring a successful school year for your child on the autism spectrum. Zachary just went back a couple of weeks ago and we’ve already set ourselves up to SUCCEED. Now you now I’m a communication expert, and guess what? When it comes to school, which is a whole OTHER level of frustrating for us as autism parents, communication really is KEY. You’ve got to have good relationships and open communication with your child’s school in order for them to get the services, care, and education they need. So my three super juicy tips for an au-mazing school year for your child on the spectrum are all centered around, you guessed it, communication!
Tip Number 1:
Communication Log. This is extremely important. You definitely have to have a way of communicating back and forth with the teacher. Whether you’re using an email system, whether you’re using an actual paperback system, whichever way that you choose, there has to be a communication log. I don’t want you to start school and just look into the notebook and check to see what’s happening. These are au-mazing tips – you’re not going to be a regular parent, you’re going to be an AU-MAZING parent. That means we’re taking everything that we normally would do to the next level. In this communication log we’re telling:
- all the things our child knows well
- what does he like and what doesn’t he like
- behavioral patterns
- things that you know upset your child
- things that you know will help your child when they have a breakdown
- manners of which you should talk to your child.
Tip Number 2:
You have to go meet the teacher! Meet the teacher, meet the therapist, go all the way down to the gym teacher. Meet everyone that is involved with helping your child throughout the year. Why is it important? It’s important so they can see a face, so they can see that this child has a parent that’s actively involved. Take time out of your school day and create a time to meet, every parent of a child with a parent of autism should. There’s always a meet the teacher event, and if your school doesn’t have one or you can make it, reschedule or schedule it for another time. Definitely by the third week of school you should meet the people involved with your child. The only way you can create a system and strategy, the only way you can work on an IEP, the individualized educational plan, together is by visually meeting each other. By putting the education log into something physical and practical, now you get to express to them “this is what I want, these are the expectations.” You get to tell them what your expectations are, and they get to tell you their expectations so you get to be on the same level.
Tip Number 3:
Now here’s the thing that ties everything together: the support. Ask them, “how can I support you?” The question that always helps everyone feel involved in supporting each other is asking, “what can I do at home to support this process? What can I do to support YOU in this process?” Let them know we’re on the same team, let them know we want to work together. We are a cohesive team all looking forward to the child having a successful year. You have to know clearly what a successful year looks like to you. If you don’t know, they won’t know. Ask for support, plan, and execute expectations.
Now I’m not done just yet! I have an exclusive BONUS tip, one that I use every year to really ignite Zachary and I’s success for the school year. CLICK HERE to watch the video where I dive into it all!