By: Cara Koscinski MOT, OTR/L
Author of: The Pocket Occupational Therapist (www.pocketot.com)
7) Meet with your child’s teacher prior to the first day of school. A trip to his classroom with a camera is an excellent preparation activity. Allow them to take pictures of the classroom, desk, cubby/locker and make a school and classroom scrapbook. We had a child who was extremely fearful of the fire alarm/drill in the classroom. We permitted him to take pictures of the fire alarm and used the Sound-Eaze and/or School -Eaze CDs to listen to the sounds of fire alarms. Giving him the heads-up of what sounds to expect was a good tool to decrease his anxiety of the unknown. Some schools have summer camps. If the school permits it, allow your child to sit in on a camp day/class to get used to the noises and bustle of the classroom. The more preparation you can give your child, the more likely he or she will be to make a successful transition into the classroom.
8) Encourage your child that they should try their best and that they do not have to be perfect! Mistakes are the best way to show that your child is trying. Review errors with them and encourage problem solving. Many of my clients believe that their child is trying their best, but often get too busy with life’s events to take time to reward for the good qualities and times when children succeed. We fill out repeated questionnaires asking what our child’s weaknesses are that we often forget about their strengths.
These are just some of the tips that should better help prepare your family for the new school year. Be sure to review posts one and two of the series for the complete list of tips. Good luck and welcome back to all students!
By- Cara Koscinki MOT, OTR/L
Author of The Pocket Occupational Therapist- a handbook for caregivers of children with special needs. Questions and answers most frequently asked to OTs with easy to understand answers and fun activities you can do with your child. Order anywhere books are sold. Cara is also the mother to two children on the autism spectrum. Visit her website at www.pocketot.com