Given the many challenges that are experienced by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (also known as ASD), if you have a child with this diagnosis, you might be wondering how to tackle school.
So how can you best prepare them for and support them through school?
Speak to your therapist:
This should be your first point of call. Particularly for those who do not currently have a diagnosis for their child and are just wondering if they might be experiencing ASD, it is extremely important that you have them assessed and a correct diagnosis can be given. Once your therapist knows exactly what your child is experiencing, they can give guidance to the school on how best to support them.
Telling your child and their teacher’s about the diagnosis:
It is important that your child has an understanding of what is going on for them. It may be better to tell them right away, or you may find it more suitable to wait until they get a little older and have a conversation then. Either way, this can be an important process in helping them to be prepared for some of the unique challenges ASD can pose to their school experience.
This site: http://www.autismawareness.com.au/diagnosis/telling-people-about-a-diagnosis/ has some helpful information on talking to your children about their diagnosis.
It is also important that the school and your child’s teachers are aware of your child’s diagnosis. Although you may be worried about “labeling” them, it can be far more problematic if the school is not aware. This is because without an understanding of the diagnosis, the teachers may feel that your child is just poorly mannered or misbehaving and might dismiss them rather than providing them the guidance they need. They are also not able to provide the valuable specialized support for children with ASD that can help your child succeed at school without being aware of their diagnosis.
Preparing your child for school:
What about high school?
Similarly, you would want to introduce your child to high school slowly. You can do this in the following ways:
For further information on ASD and adjusting to school, please see the links below.