Asperger’s And Amazing: Helping Your Toddler With Asperger’s Adjust To School
Toddlers are usually excited about their first day of school, but for the little wonders with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), it can get a bit challenging.
With tons of sensory stimuli to process and new people around, a toddler with AS may feel overwhelmed and exhibit signs of anxiety. So how can parents help their little one adjust to school?
Take a Tour of the School Before the Year Begins
Toddlers with AS feel anxious when they enter new situations, so it’s a wise idea to plan a school tour to get your toddler acquainted with their new place to go.
You can point out the bathrooms, locker rooms, classrooms and even meet the teacher and principal to make your toddler feel more comfortable. You can even take back a copy of their daily schedule and begin talking about it.
Help them Create a Social Circle
Toddlers with AS are like any other toddlers when it comes to social connections. However, unlike other toddlers, toddlers with AS have a tough time communicating and establishing friendships.
A great way to acquaint your toddler with their new classmates is to plan play dates every now and then, so they can develop a relationship and your toddler can develop a sense of comfort and security when they see their friends in a school setting.
Speak to the Academic Staff About Your Toddler
Before your toddler begins school or gets a new teacher, speak to the academic staff and classroom teacher responsible.
Preparing them for the challenges your child may encounter is a great way to make sure your child is comfortable and safe in school. In fact, many teachers are trained in working with toddlers who have different needs – you’ll be amazed by the support out there!
Be Prepared to Cater to Your Toddler’s Sensory Needs
Toddlers with AS require a routine in order to have a productive and healthy day at school. A good night’s rest and a well balanced meal before and during school can make all the difference.
Foster activities and behaviour at home that prep your child for their school day ahead. Encourage reading, working with pencils and paper, and reduce sensory overload by limiting screen time. A well balanced routine can really make a big difference.
Involve Yourself In your Toddler’s Education
Another way parents can help their toddlers with AS adjust to school is by keeping a tab on how they’re doing. Regularly meeting with teachers and checking on the social and academic progress of your toddler is a great idea.
This way, your toddler is able to thrive in school because you’re aware of what’s to come and can prepare them in a safe environment at home for the changes – for example, a school trip to the zoo.
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