When you consider all of the things a child with ASD has to deal with on a daily basis – communication challenges, sensory processing sensitivities, an inability to express their own emotions and understand the emotions of others, difficulty with transitions, poor impulse control, and self-regulation issues – it’s hardly surprising that autism and school anxiety are linked. It also becomes difficult for parents to comprehend and work according to the needs and requirements of their child. Thus, it is all the more important to consider the parameters involved so as to make your child on the spectrum well-prepared for school. Read below to know how to make your child with autism ready for school:
When To Start?
It’s a good idea to start thinking about school alternatives for your autistic child at least two years before he or she is scheduled to attend school. This allows you and your child ample time to enroll and prepare for the start of school. As your child’s first day of school approaches, you may assist him or her settle in by becoming familiar with the school, practicing school routines, and becoming organized.
How To Support A Child With Autism In The Classroom?
Teaching autistic children can be challenging and exhausting at times, but it can also be quite rewarding. The key is to identify each student’s unique obstacles and devise strategies to assist them in overcoming them. Here are five basic strategies you may use in the classroom to assist reduce the impact of autism and school anxiety:
Educate Yourself: Teachers should take the effort to learn more about autism. It will be easier for them to brainstorm strategies to help the pupils in their classroom manage if they have a better understanding of the problems that a child on the spectrum encounters. Working with autistic children will be much easier if you schedule a meeting with the parents/caregivers of ASD students to discuss the specific challenges a child faces, what has/hasn’t worked in the past, specific goals that have been set for the child, and any other important pieces of information that can help set the child up for success at school. Remember that no two people with autism are alike, so the more information you have regarding a child’s diagnosis, the better.
Educate Your Students: Socialization is one of the most difficult obstacles for children with autism, and the inability to interact with and comprehend the needs of others can exacerbate autism and school anxiety. Taking the time to educate pupils about autism can help them develop empathy, which will lead to a more inclusive classroom.
Use Visual Schedules: Giving a child a visual picture of her day ahead of time can help reduce anxiety while also empowering her to look at the visual calendar and move from one activity to the next without urging, reducing the chances of her being caught off guard and reacting badly.
Make Transitions Easier: Moving from one activity to another can be especially difficult for children with developmental delays like autism. They may get visibly irritated and overwhelmed, exhibit despair and rage, and some may have a full-fledged meltdown, especially if they are asked to move from an enjoyable activity to something less appealing. These reactions are typically difficult to regulate, and they can eventually lead to low self-esteem and social anxiety. Transitions for children on the autistic spectrum can be made easier by providing warnings, setting a timer, and teaching soothing methods.
Schedule Sensory Breaks: Sensory breaks, also known as ‘brain breaks,’ are designed to give a child the sensory input she needs to stay alert, focused, and in control of her emotions. While these breaks are especially important for children with ADD, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and autism, regular movement breaks can benefit all children. Teachers may notice improved attention and focus, increased retention of material being taught, improved emotional regulation, reduced behavioral problems, improved gross motor skills, increased motivation, increased inclusion and cooperation, and other benefits from giving their brains a break and allowing them to engage in a few minutes of physical activity to get their wiggles out.
Where To Seek Autism Treatment In Delhi?
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