The end of the summer means many things for many families; while many parents breathe a sigh of relief for the introduction of a more structured routine for their kids with the beginning of the school year, others may look wear a look of apprehension. If your child is on the autism spectrum, it is likely that you belong in the latter group of parents. For parents with autistic children, especially for those whose kids may be going to school for the very first time, getting your pre-schooler ready for the new school year can seem a daunting task-what does a child on the autism spectrum need on the first day of school to best prepare them for the challenge ahead? We compiled a list of the essentials. We hope that by reading through, parents will find the confidence and assurance necessary for preparing their pre-schoolers for this very important step.
Glue Bottle, and Sticks
Kids love playing with glue, and your kid is no exception. Given that there are a lot of projects that the kids will get involved in that required this sticky substance, you want to get your child ready for the new school year with lots of it. Your toddler is going to love taking the glue of his hands!
Get some blunt tip scissors. A blunt tip will prevent injuries occurring when the kids handle the scissors. If your kid has trouble cutting with regular scissors there are special training scissors available that you can get from any special needs catalogue to help them get started. Over time they can make the switch to a regular blunt scissor.
Jumbo Crayons and Markers
Jumbo crayons are great for little hands which are not yet over the hill in their mastery of learning how to grasp. Washable markers are great because they wash off and do not stain-these kids will play after all.
Equip your child with a supply box for all the goodies. These come in many different colours but the wide plastic version is still a viable option. You can write your child’s name on the supply box with a permanent marker and this can help with name recognition.
Paper Towels, Hand Soaps, Tissues and Wipes
In short-everything necessary for keeping germs at bay. Keep it simple: no scents or cream since you are not aware of anybody’s allergies. Tissues should be the basic type. Perfume scented hand soaps bother some children and adults and should be avoided. It is best to check with the school to learn the rules on wipes. If wipes are allowed, then Clorox and Lysol wipes are a good idea. It is important that teachers endeavour to wipe down their classes so that the kids do not end up being bothered by the scents of cleaning products.
Change of Clothing
There are always accidents. It’s part of the learning process. Get your pre-schooler ready for the new school year with more than one change of clothes. Ideally it should be two sets of clothes with their names written on them to be kept in class. If your toddler is still being potty trained, you should equip your child with pull-ups, preferably those with Velcro on the side tabs for easy changes.
Back Packs Without Wheels
Finally a back pack-one without wheels. Those are difficult enough for an adult to handle, talk less of burdening a pre-schooler with it. Preschool is made up of 3 and 4 years old just trying to keep up with each other in the hallway; a bag to lug up and down the stairs and along the hallways is cumbersome and the last thing they need!
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