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You can start by preparing your child for the end of the holidays and the beginning of a new year, by taking them for "back to school" shopping.
By taking your child with to buy the supplies needed for the new school year, it involves them from the start and they can choose backpacks and some of the supplies that they like, and would like to have.
At home, let your child put his new supplies into a special box, while you check them off on a list. Doing this will excite your child and he will look forward to the day, that he can start using the new school stationary.
Two weeks before school starts, make a calendar with your child, let them draw pictures or put stickers to decorate the calendar, and start counting down the days to the start of school. On the calendar, also include the activities that will be done at home, once school starts. This is to show your child, that life at home will still be the same and stable, school is just being added into the routine.
Teachers are usually back at school a few days before the students actually start. For a special needs child, a change in their daily routine can be very traumatic. Let the school know that you would like to bring your child in before he officially starts school, so that he knows where he will be dropped off and picked up. Where his new classroom is, where the office and the bathrooms are. This will help will your child feel more comfortable, in control and confident when he goes back to school, and not so intimidated by the unknown.
Also, let your child know, that his teacher will explain to him where to go, and what to do in the first couple of weeks when they are back to school. It is standard practice in special needs schools for the teacher to have a sign on the door, with a picture to let any child know where the class is at present. This is very helpful for any student who has been out of the class, at a therapy or who may have come in late due to a doctors appointment. Explain to your child, that his teacher will spend a couple of weeks making sure that all the students know where extra mural activities are held, and teaching them how to find there way there.
Every family has there own way of marking the end of the school holidays, and the beginning of a new school year.
Families with special needs children may have many additional and recurring tasks and preparations, but it is good to remember, and mark the progress your child has made from the previous year.
Transitions will become easier every year, and new "back to school "milestones will be acknowledged and celebrated by the whole family, building better memories and improving the quality of life you enjoy with your child.
Browse at bookstores, public libraries and online retailers for books to read to your child about the first day back at school. These books are available for preschoolers, as well as for teens.
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