Parents: preparing for the return to school.
With schools preparing for their reopening it is important to begin to get your child ready for the return to school. It has been a very unsettled period for many people since the pandemic began and the transition back to school could be challenging. Returning to school may be something that you are already working on and we have outlined some ways to help. You can download this as an ebook or click on individual resources on our website.
Contact your school
Many schools will already have contacted parents or some may not have received all of the information on reopening yet.
If you are unsure of the process or have not heard from your school it may be a good idea to contact them for more information.
When possible, take note of opening times, timetables, drop-off/pick-up procedures.It is a good idea to follow school routines as much as possible in the build-up to the return.
Inform the school of any major changes in your child’s situation, wellbeing, behaviour or needs.
Prepare your child
If appropriate for your child’s level of understanding, use photos, worksheets or social stories to practice scenarios and situations that will occur.
We have some templates available on Autism-Toolkit.ie to reintroduce the idea of school and prepare children for restarting.
Be sure to remain positive & upbeat about the return.
A short amount of time each day can go a long way towards helping ease the return to school but make sure to talk about it or work on it at a time when your child is calm, rested and ready to focus.
Remind your child of
Re-familiarise your child with the school and people there.
Pictures & videos are very good for this.
Remind the child of:
- their school building & classroom
- where they sit
- their teacher, friends, SNA, etc.
- their toys, activities and favourite sports or games
- school clothes, school bag, lunch box and other items
Resources referred to in this section and other useful resources:
- Social Story – Back to School
- School Rules Example
- Using the School Bus
- Other Resources
- Why routines are important
- A reminder of the rules at various different levels of restriction