Back to School Tips for Students with Autism

From our partners at the Autism Society of Colorado. Thanks!


As summer wraps up and students prepare to head back to school, here are some tips to help individuals with autism have a positive experience at the beginning of a new school year…

  1. Create and practice routines prior to the first day.Implementing routines for getting to school in the morning , emergency procedures, behavior plans and adjusting to the school calendar can help reduce anxiety and make your child feel more at ease before school starts.
  2. Contact teachers, principals, special education staff and occupational therapists in advance. Communicating your child’s strengths, weaknesses, possible sensory issues, dietary restrictions, and favorite reinforcers is key to starting of the school year on the same page. Utilizing teamwork like this will make the school year even more successful for your child.
  3. Practice incorporating sensory breaks every 5-20 minutes throughout the day.For those children on the spectrum who struggle from sensory overload, certain objects can offer a great deal of comfort.Make sure your son or daughter has a favorite sensory item available on the first day and at all other times.

Other quick and easy sensory breaks include:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Sitting on a therapy ball
  • Reading a book in a comfy chair
  • Chewing gum
  • Listening to music
  • Playing with toys
  • Swinging

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