The long summer holidays are nearly over and it's time to start thinking about the transition back to school. For many children with special needs heading back to school can bring up feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.

Here are some seven tips which may help .....

  1. Arrange a visit to the school a week or two before the first day at school (many teachers can be found preparing for the new terms during the holidays). Take your child for a walk around the school and visit their new classroom wherever possible. Seeing where he or she will sit is a great way to relieve anxiety on the first day.
  2. Buy your school supplies together so your child is involved in buying them. Get them early so your child has chance to use them at get used to them before term starts.
  3. Buy new uniform in good time. If your child has sensory issues you may need to wash it or cut out all the labels before they wear it.
  4. Buy any new tools or equipment before the start of term (for example weighted lap pads, wedge cushions, writing slopes) to give you child chance to get used to them.
  5. Write a Social Story, if possible with photos and pictures of the daily school routine. Go over this with your child in the days coming up to the start of term.
  6. Write a story for the other children. This is particular useful if your child is going to a mainstream setting. A book with pictures telling them all about your child (what they like, dislike etc) and what makes them unique is a good introduction for classmates.
  7. Make sure you let the school know of any dietary requirements allergies etc well in advance of school starting.