Back to School, Back to Routine
Author: Krista Flack, MS OTR/L
Can you believe that the first day of school is right around
the corner?! With only a few more weeks
to go, it’s a good time to start thinking about how to make the
adjustment as smooth as possible. Here
are some tips for easing the transition:
waking up earlier! While some kids
are early risers all year round, others enjoy the opportunity to stay up late
and sleep in during summer. If your
child is a summertime night owl, consider slowly shifting bedtime and wake time
in 15 minute increments over several days, until you’re on the
schedule you need to be for the school day.
about classroom expectations that can be hard for your child, and start
practicing them now. If your child
has trouble sitting still, pull out some tabletop games and activities that
start to get them used to sitting in their chair for an entire activity. If your child gets the wiggles, think about
appropriate and sneaky ways for them to get movement in (stretching their
fingers, giving themselves a hug, or clenching their toes can provide just a
little bit of proprioceptive input that can help calm the body). If your child needs more input than that, it’s
a good idea to bring up your concerns to an OT.
trial run of getting out the door on time! Go through your morning routine
to get an idea of how long it takes to complete, so you aren’t
surprised the first day by being rushed (which can be stressful), or by being
done early, and left to sit and wait (providing more time for nerves to grow
and wiggles to come out).
about it! For many kids, talking
about the upcoming school year, the new classroom, and any changes they should
expect, can help them feel prepared for it.
Give them a chance to verbalize their feelings and ask questions, and
try to keep the conversation calm and positive.
Schedules and Social Stories can help ease anxieties about a new school year. This is a simple way to help an anxious child
know what to expect out of their day.
Your child’s therapist can help make a social story that is customized
for you, and ask us about our custom