Parents of children with Autism face special challenges as Autism comes in many forms and no two cases are alike.
Many children who have high-functioning Autism are able to attend regular schools, but often times a new school year means that parents need to explain their child’s Autism to a new teacher.
Doctor Thomas Frazier of The Cleveland Clinic says that it’s critical for parents and teachers to communicate.
“Disclosure is really good. Letting the teacher know – my kid has sensory sensitivities, my child has trouble with changed in routine and transitions. This kind of information, up front, is really going to help the teacher to do the best job that they can do for the child,” explains Dr. Frazier.
Doctor Frazier says it’s a good idea to ask your child’s teacher about how their child’s day will be structured, what does the classroom look like and how loud is it?
Because children with autism often face challenges when there is a change to their routine, knowing how to prepare them for change, and preparing their teacher for the child’s potential to become confused is key to helping everyone succeed.
Other key things to ask your child’s teacher about are how is social interaction handled amongst the children? Will someone help my child develop a buddy?
Doctor Frazier says that making friends can be difficult for any child, but for children with Autism, the challenges are often greater. He says it’s important for parents and teachers to know that just because the teacher has worked with children with Autism before, it doesn’t mean they won’t need guidance on how to work with your child.
“Every kid with Autism is different and because of that, it’s extremely important to really try to understand that child. What are their particular strengths and weaknesses? What pushes their buttons? What are the things that they’re going to be good at and that you can leverage to help them to understand that they’re a value to the classroom and to the other kids,” says Dr. Fraizer.
Doctor Frazier says the key is to having parents and teachers communicate as early as possible, before the school year begins, to get everyone on the right foot.
Source: The Cleveland Clinic