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Ask Alli: Preparing Your Child for School

August 17, 2023-WKYC

Cleveland, OH – School is right around the corner, and for some kids, it can be very overwhelming, especially for neurodiverse children.

Someone who is neurodiverse often struggles with change and routine. They like to know what to expect next and don’t like when things are unpredictable. With the new school year upon us, they might not know who their new teacher is, if they’ll have any friends in their class, or if the teacher will understand their needs. No need to panic states Alli. There are a lot of things parents can do to help them prepare. The first strategy parents can do is to provide them with social stories. The social stories can show them pictures of who they will interact with or places they’ll be in along with how their schedule will be throughout the day. Another strategy they can implement is visiting the school before all the other kids get there. They can also ask if the teacher can meet them there so their child can have one on one time with their new teacher. This will also allow your child to take a tour of the school and show them places such as their locker, lunchroom, and restrooms. If time allows Alli also suggests sitting down with your child’s teacher to talk to them about how they learn best and what support they’ll need throughout the day.

Parents aren’t the only ones who can be prepared. Alli suggests that teachers prepare as well. “Read your student’s records and find out how they were successful in the past”, states Alli. She also suggests spending time getting to know your student(s). Find out how they process communication and feedback and what kind of sensory and behavioral needs they have. One tip Alli mentions is starting the year with a preference assessment to figure out what really makes that kid motivated. For instance, some kids like to be the teacher’s helper while some kids want time with technology. She also leaves us with a reminder that it’s not as meaningful to give rewards without knowing what motivates that child.

The team at Frazier Behavioral Health doesn’t want your child to just get by, they want to see them excel! Their licensed intervention specialists are available to work with your school to help your child do just that.

To request a consult or connect with the experts at FBH, give them a call at 216-446-2944.

You’ll find them at 5885 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 310, Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

To watch the full segment on WKYC’s website please click here.