Back to School Transition Tips

*Photo Credit -
*Photo Credit –

By:  Cara Koscinski MOT, OTR/L

Author of:   The Pocket Occupational Therapist (


When I see back to school commercials, the anxiety of preparing for school begins. I know that the transition from shorts to pants, from casual dress to uniform, from free-time to structured learning is approaching quickly. It seems as though I just transitioned the kids into summer activities and they were finally comfortable with the routine. School and end of summer arrive whether we (and our children) are ready or not. Life is full of transitions; some are easy while others are not.

Never fear! In this blog post series I will share some tried and true suggestions for your family. Anxiety comes from not knowing what is coming ahead. Giving your child control of anything possible is a good way to build confidence and decrease worry.

1) Lay out pants, dress shirts, or school uniforms at least three weeks before school. Habits can take at least 21 days to be broken. Allow your child to shop with you and make choices if possible about school attire. Often times, uniform material is much more stiff and “pinchy feeling” than lighter summer clothing. Make a schedule and encourage your child to wear school clothing for a brief time each day and gradually work up the time. Be sure to offer a reward for a job well done! Having another child such as a sibling or friend complete this activity with your child can be especially fun.

Stay tuned for tips 2 through 8.



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