It is already the middle of 2018 and some AEIOU parents will be now be preparing and planning for their child’s transition to school.
The staff at AEIOU are continually working hard to prepare each child for this pivotal moment. Within the classroom and playground children are working hard on prep readiness skills, including self-help, social, play, classroom attending and motor skills.
As a parent, there are many things that can be done beyond the learning environment to assist in making the transition to school a happy and successful experience.
Getting to know your school
Becoming familiar with the new learning environment should reduce any worry additional worry your child may have regarding the transition and allow for them to follow new routines more easily. Some steps you could take include:
- Drive or walk past the school and label with excitement E.g. “Look there’s your new school”.
- Contact the school and organise times to go and play on the playground.
- Pack a school lunch and practice sitting and eating it in the designated area for Preps.
- Attend scheduled transition days and organised pre prep activities.
Begin implementing routines that will be continued when the school year begins.
- Establish a morning routine which provides enough time for your child to get ready and not be rushed.
- Practice getting ready for school i.e. putting on your school uniform
- Encourage independence within daily activities i.e mealtimes, dressing, toileting and hygiene. The expectation will vary for each child, if you are uncertain of what expectations to place on your child please consult with their therapists.
- Consider the use of visual schedules to encourage your child to be independent with their daily/weekly routines.
It is important to get to know the people who will become a part of your support team at school.
- Introduce yourself to the Principle, Teacher, and Head of Special Education Services.
- Investigate the current resources the school has to support your child’s needs.
- Attend events organised by the school such as parent association meetings, fetes and open days.
To learn more about helping your child have a successful transition to school, please come along to our parent workshop on Transitioning to School being held at your centre shortly. Parent workshops are free and open to all current families as well as those who are on the waitlist. Find out more at: http://aeiou.org.au/workshops.
About the author: Sally Chamberlain is AEIOU’s Teacher Educator and is passionate about promoting independence in children with Autism. She has been an integral member in the AEIOU team since 2012, primarily at the Nathan centre. Sally holds a Bachelor of Education at the Queensland University of Technology.