Friday, March 27, 2009

Part III: School Transition Stategies

Image: My son at his 'graduation party' on his last day at his former elementary school. It was held in the school school cafeteria. Five professionals, two classrooms and a couple of guests (me and a aide's teenage daughter) attended for a total of approximately 40 people. We had one or two pieces of cake left!

What the child's current teacher/team can do:

1. Put a positive spin on the move. As my child's most recent move was due to his being unhappy with being in a younger classroom, he was told he was graduating from the old school to the new one with a classroom of older children. It worked beautifully for my son (who is outgoing and loves attention, which may not be the case with other, more shy children.) He was so proud!

2. If you know the new teacher, help bridge the gap between the parent/child and the educator.

3. Plan a going away party and encourage the parent to help. If the child also attends a regular education room, be sure to include his other teacher and classroom.

4. Give a going away gift. These can be certificates of completion (in our case a 'diploma' signed by the teacher and principal, or books about the child's favorite topic or special interest area.)

5. Have each child in your classroom make a card. My son's third grade teacher did this and my son received 23 cards (most with frogs on them!) as well as two books about "froggies."

6. Social stories can help immensely. Either write one about the impending school switch on your own or ask the speech therapist to help if appropriate.
Note: This was the third and final part of my series on school transition strategies. Part I was about what parents can do to help their child with ASD transition to a new school. Part II was about what new (to the student) teachers can do to help incoming children with ASD adjust to the new classroom.

3 comments:

Casdok said...

Super photo.
And all very good transition advice. Getting it as right as you can makes a huge difference.

Maddy said...

Great photo and great advice. I seem to get more practice every year.
Best wishes

Marla said...

Great advice. I love using social stories. The picture is adorable.