School is two weeks away! Let’s get Back-to-school Ready! Whether you see it or not, it’s likely that your child’s emotional barometer is on the rise! It’s time to begin gearing down – yes, gearing down – for the start of the school year. Here are some simple strategies you can implement right away.
- Quiet your schedule. I caution parents to try to “squeeze in” any last attempts to get to Wonderland or the CNE in the last week or two before school. On the contrary, this is the perfect time to spend some laid back time at home. I’m not suggesting that you don’t plan any outings, but do be aware that your child will likely be “feeling” the upcoming school year. Do yourself and your child a favour, and factor this into your planning. Don’t do too much, watch for signs of overwhelm and keep your cool in the event of a meltdown.
- Get your child’s sleep habits under control. Gradually shifting bedtime will ease the transition to early rising. Similarly, if your child sleeps in, wake him a little earlier each day, so the early-morning routine isn’t overly jarring at the start of the September.
- Have some low-key chats about school. When our kids are nervous about things, it’s tempting to avoid discussion. This is not the best approach. I suggest that you spend some time talking about potential concerns. Express empathy and let your child know that jitters are normal and shared by all kids. If it causes upset, at least you’ll have time to smooth the waters.
- Plan a playdate or two with kids your child knows from school. This will help your child feel a bit more grounded and connected before school begins.
- If possible, tour the school, and/or meet your child’s teacher. This has the potential to ease a great deal of “pre-worrying!”
- Shop with your child for back to school goodies. As much as possible, allow your child to choose his/her supplies.
- Plan a quiet family celebration to review summer memories. Talk about your favourite experiences, look at your photos, and emphasize your child’s accomplishments. Perhaps consider making this a family tradition!
- Keep YOUR cool! Our kids are notorious for picking up on our anxiety. The more relaxed you are, the better you’ll fare. Take care of yourself during the transition to the school year. Remember, if you’re depleted, you won’t have the resources to support your child.
Six Reasons why you should pursue parent coaching:
“Parent Training is an essential component of a comprehensive intervention program for children with ASD.” Michigan State Autism Research Lab Newsletter, Winter 2013.
It’s no secret that I’m an avid supporter of parent training for families affected by ASD. Research now indicates that parent training is very powerful indeed! I’m the parent of a teen (now 18, diagnosed at 5) and can’t imagine where I’d be if I hadn’t engaged in parent training myself. Here are 6 good reasons why you should contact me to discuss parent training.
- As your ASD child’s parent, in order to enjoy quality of life (and you can) you must feel competent. Learning to parent proactively can shift your life – and your child’s future, no matter how challenging life may be now. Even better – it’s never too late!
- Relying solely on therapy for your child will not impact your skills, your ability to cope at home or your ability to further your child’s development. The support you will receive during parent coaching will bolster your ability to manage and make positive changes.
- You love your child more than anyone! Don’t you want to be able to connect emotionally and get to the “root” of the challenges? (and you can!)
- Your child must learn to be happy living with limits that YOU set. Contrary to popular belief, kids with ASD are more than capable of living happily within reasonable and firm limits. We all need boundaries! No matter your circumstances, positive change is possible.
- I am the only ICF Certified Professional Coach that specializes in ASD and RDI in Canada. I have the experience and track record to help you achieve your family’s goals.
- You can work with me from a distance! Yes, thanks to technology, we don’t need to live in the same city or even the same country!
Contact me today, and mention my September promotion! – firstname.lastname@example.org, or 705-875-4605. If you have questions or thoughts on what you’ve read in this issue of “To the Spectrum and Beyond!” please email me!
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