As the end of the year draws closer our children are getting ready to say goodbye to the teachers and teaching assistants who have helped them all year.
For many it can be a hard transition. They have built up relationships and understanding. And the anxiety of losing a trusted member of staff whilst simultaneously moving on to a new one can bring about a mixture of feelings.
So what can you do to help?
Make sure your child has a visual timetable preparing them for the last day they will be with their teacher. A visual countdown can ensure that they feel more in control of what is happening because the change is predictable.
Let them choose or make a small gift or write a card to give to their teacher on the last day. Children can worry that their teacher will forget them, so giving them a tangible reminder of their existence always feels reassuring.
Be clear about the future. Will the teacher be returning next year? If so will they be allowed to see them? What will their new relationship look like? If not make sure they have time to say a special goodbye.
For some children and young people Social Stories can be particularly helpful at this time to help them understand both the change and the fact that even though they won’t now see their teacher everyday it doesn’t mean that the teacher likes them less.
Ensure they and you have met their next teacher in advance to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. For more transition advice please check out this post.
Recognise their feelings and emotions around the event. It’s important to acknowledge how they feel and remember that this is something many young people struggle with not just those with autism. But that for children with autism the added fact that they find the change difficult to cope with makes it something they worry about even more.
Why not join our lovely, friendly Facebook Group full of parents and teachers working together to share strategies to help our children.
If you do want to learn more you might find our autism section a useful place to start. It’s full of different strategies to try out.
Or if you’re looking for more personal support to help you take that action, why not check out our Consultancy Services.