Back-to-School: Autism in the Classroom

As we say goodbye to the final days of summer vacation, autistic children and their parents and guardians can face heightened anxiety. While this time of year can feel overwhelming, there are tips and strategies that can help facilitate a smooth transition from summer into fall.

Everyone’s situation is unique, but these are tried and tested strategies to help set families up for success.

Before the Bell Rings: Make a Plan

Part of the planning process should include prepping your child for the experiences the new school year will bring. Knowing what to expect can help ease the stress around meeting a new teacher and transitioning to a new classroom or school.

The first day of school is here, and you’ve done everything you can to prepare. Now what?

What’s next? Do Your Homework for Next Year

Look at the big picture. No two students with autism are the same and the support provided by the school should be specific to each student’s unique needs.

School is meant to be a safe place where children can learn and grow into unique individuals on a path to reaching their full potential. While heading back to school can be challenging, your support, planning and patience will be an integral part of your child’s success. Don’t be afraid to advocate for your child’s needs and remember — while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, with the right support and services, students with autism and their families can make it through the back-to-school season and thrive during the school year.

Lindsay Naeder joined Autism Speaks in 2012. Lindsay leads the organization’s national Autism Response Team (ART) and Outreach teams to deliver Autism Speaks mission priorities through Information and referral and educational community programs and events.

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