Hello everyone it is Dr. Ali, Autism Parenting Strategist. I’m super duper excited because it’s the end of September, hooray, we made it! We made it past the first month of school. So for those having a really really good start, let me know down below in the comments what’s been good so far. For those of you who are still navigating it and are still getting through the changes, let me know if that’s you too!
This is Zachary’s (my son on the autism spectrum) second year of junior high school. Say what?? I can’t believe that’s actually true. Junior High has been an entirely different ball game, and last year was definitely a learning curve for us both. But I’m hoping that this school year will be even better now that we’re kind of in the swing of things and since I’ve perfected some of my strategies for making sure we have School WINS each year. Today I just wanted to share those tips and strategies out with you too so that you and your kids on the spectrum can have school WINs all year long.
Tip Number 1: Create a partnership with the school.
Try and create a partnership with the school. As a person that works with the schools and who has a child in school, I even had to have a conversation with someone from Zachary’s school at the beginning of last year regarding him not getting all of his services during the first month, which you know he should have. So even though a part of me was upset and I wanted to go off, it is very important to establish that we are a team and we are in a partnership. In the end we all want what’s best for Zachary, and this is the language that I need you to start learning on how to use with the schools. Once they understand it’s teamwork, once they understand that you are in it together, once they understand that you’re trying to work with them, they being to try to work with you – and together you get to create something that’s going to work effectively for your child. So even though at the beginning of the conversation I wanted to go, “where is his blah blah blah??” You know, going off because I’m still parent first. I still wanted to make sure that she knew that she was being heard and I wanted her to understand that we are all on the same team. And, I think those wordings tend to bring the edge off a little. Remember it’s teamwork, collaboration. You want to know you guys all are working together as a team, not be constantly fighting.
Tip Number 2: Remember that you have choices.
You have choices, parents have choices. Your choice is whether you wanna keep your child in that school, your choice if you wanna move her to a different classroom or different school, homeschooling, for my homeschooling parents. You have the right to be open to what choices work best for your child. Not to say thats your immediate action, but just always understand that you have choices. So I think that when we know we have choices, we don’t feel like we are stuck in this place. That we’re placed here and we have no control over it, and when parents begin to feel like we don’t have control, then we lose control! If we feel like it’s just your decision and you’re not thinking about what we’re saying and not incorporating us, we begin to feel powerless. And as educators, as parents, we don’t want anyone to lose power in the scene. We understand the school’s power and their choices , but the school also has to understand our power in the choices that we have as parents.
Tip Number 3: Keep your power.
Take back your power in the situation. Keep your power. Remember that your power comes from within you and that no one has the right take away that power. So live in your power, be in your power and feel confidently strong in your power. Autism moms are some of the most powerful women I know, and I know that lies within you as well. Don’t feel that you’re powerless or have no control over what goes on at the school – you DO!
I hope these tips help you and your au-mazing child have many, many, many school WINS this year! Let me know down below in the comments if any of these resonated with you, and feel free to share any tips that you normally use to win when it comes to school. As always be au-mazing in your thoughts, your words, and your actions.