This week parents of school age children with additional needs have been split into three camps.
Those whose children have been at school over the recent lockdown period anyway due to being particularly vulnerable or because they have a parent/carer who is a key-worker.
Those who already home school and so have been carrying on as normal (minus the trips, get-togethers etc.) and those whose children have been returning to school for the first time in absolutely ages.
All the Zoom learning has stopped, tuning in to the BBC programmes has come to a halt, even Joe Wicks has hung up his trainers, and operation ‘back to school’ has been put into action!
So how has it been going?
Stories emerging so far show a mixed bag of good, bad and downright ugly, so is there anything more that we can do to help our child to succeed as they return to school?
Many of our additional needs children need loads of preparation and processing time to cope with a big change like this.
After months at home, suddenly finding themselves with a totally different routine, perhaps having to cope with getting up and dressed a bit earlier and then leaving the house for the first time in ages to go to a place full of sensory and social overload can be really, really hard.
So here’s a few resources I’ve found that you might be using already, but if not they may give you some help…
There are free resources about returning to school that you can access for free on the Widgit website:
There’s a free download on the Twinkl website that helps explain returning to school:
You will also be able to link to other helpful resources.
Our friend Lynn McCann at ReachoutASC has provided a wealth of brilliant free downloadable resources here:
Action for Children
Knowing how to talk things through with children about returning to school can be hard, here’s some easy steps to follow from Action for Children:
There’s lots of useful information on the ParentKind website that can help you navigate a path through these difficult times too:
A wide range of useful free downloadable resources can be found on the Do-IT> website, under their rather appropriate heading of ‘Survive, Revive and Thrive’:
Autism little Learners
Just love this site, so full of useful stuff and there are some great Social Stories on this link:
https://www.autismlittlelearners.com/search/label/COVID-19 There must be more great resources out there, so do share what you have found helpful and maybe we can add it to this list.
Wishing you all the very best as you continue to support your additional needs child ‘back to school’!