Article by: Kara Fawley, Director of Clinical and Behavioral Services

As summer winds down it is essential to start preparing for the start of school in order to make it a smooth transition. Here are some tips from our clinical department for supporting your child with their return to school.

Create routine

Some parents get more relaxed about mealtimes and bedtimes in summer and now is the time to start creating a daily schedule that looks more like the regular school year. Begin by inching bedtimes back little by little and anchoring days with a lunch or dinner at a consistent time.

Visit museums or other cultural attractions

This can help shift your child back into a more “scholarly” mindset. Many museums offer free admission on certain dates and times, so pick your favorites and plan a trip!

Reduce screen time

Every few days replace some screen time with reading or educational activities. Parents may need to say something like, “When you read for 15 minutes, then you can earn more screen time.” Be sure to limit screen time in the hour before bed and remove electronics from bedrooms to prevent them from interfering with your child’s sleep.

Review information about the coming year

Discuss your child’s expected classes, homeroom, upcoming events, anything that will help them feel more prepared. You may want to review what to expect on the first day of school. If your child is new to Pathway or you think they may fare better if they is more familiar with the environment (as is often the case with children with autism or others that have difficulties with change or transitions), please contact us to schedule a walk-through and/or time to meet their new teacher before the year starts.

Focus on the positive aspects of returning to school

Perhaps your child will be excited about seeing friends, their favorite teaching staff, and the activities planned for the new year. Let your child pick out new supplies they will get excited about using. At Pathway, we are excited to open our new Innovation Center and have our students interact with the new technology available!

Do something fun to diffuse the stress from this time of year!!

Even if it’s just getting Rita’s or walking the dog after dinner when it’s still light out, but not as hot. Everyone needs to take some time for self-care and re-connection.

Enjoy the rest of your summer break!