Breaks during the school year can end up being stressful for parents. The key to success would be to prepare as much as possible beforehand.
Try these 7 tips to help your child with Autism handle breaks from school:
- Give your child a heads up that there is going to be a break in the routine. Mark down the days on a calendar, and consistently review it with them starting a couple weeks before leading up to the break.
- Work with outside therapy providers to create visual schedules or prompts that can make the break run more smoothly—this is especially true for kids who follow schedules at school regularly.
- Keep your routine as consistent as possible during the break—keep bedtime, chores and meal times as close as you can to what kids would typically do.
- Provide as much structure as possible during the break, the less down time you have, the better! This can be a good time to plan outings to places you can’t typically go, such at the zoo, aquarium, museums, and parks.
- Check in with teachers about possible activities and academics that could be practiced over break. Frequently, teachers will assign extra work during this time.
- Use the break to keep your child caught up in school—review their homework and give them a head start for what’s coming up at school after the break!
- Breaks are also a great time to add more hours of therapy!
For additional information, check out our other Autism and school blogs.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!
Jennifer Bartell is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and educator with over a decade of experience working with learners diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, double majoring in psychology and music performance, and earning a place on the Dean’s List. Following a move to New York City, Jennifer received her Master of Special Education degree from the City University of New York—Hunter College, wherein she specialized in Behavior Disorders and became dual certified to teach both the general and special education populations. While in New York, Jennifer was a part of the opening of the innovative NYC Autism Charter School—the first of its kind on the east coast—and had the opportunity to work in classrooms with reduced and one-to-one ratios and a curriculum created using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Here she worked extensively with learners between the ages of 3 and 18, and presenting with an array of challenges, skill deficits, and abilities. Jennifer has vast experience in creating programming for community-based instruction, adaptive daily living skills, and self-care, yet also employs her education background to provide high quality academic and cognitive services as well. A well-respected member of the home- and school-based organizations for whom she has provided services, Jennifer is frequently called upon to provide professional development and training for her colleagues and those she is supervising. Jennifer has presented at a number of professional Applied Behavior Analysis and education conferences for fellow educators, behavior analysts, and parents around the New York area.