The first day of school can bring about a whole spectrum of emotions for kiddos – from eager anticipation to massive anxiety. Add into the mix challenges associated with a learning and developmental disorder or ADHD, and there are bound to be jitters as they walk into a new classroom this year.
Here are five simple tips to help ease fears and prepare for the first day back:
- Have fun shopping for school supplies. Let your child choose what color backpack, pencils, and folders they’d like to have so they feel personally vested in the process.
- Schedule a special meeting before school starts, if possible, with their new teacher/counselor to discuss their current IEP (Individualized Education Program) and any other special accommodations that need to be made for the coming year.
- Establish before and after school routines. Practice waking up in the morning, getting dressed, and having breakfast on time. Likewise, talk about what after-school activities your child will head off to or discuss special things they can do when they get home to unwind from their day.
- Play ‘school’. This may seem silly, but role playing is an effective way for kids to get used to a new situation and also work out any anxieties they have beforehand. Take turns letting them be both a student and the teacher.
- Speak with your physician about any medication adjustments for once school starts. Many kids take a break, or lessen doses of medication during the summer, so plan accordingly for when they are back in school and need to focus for several hours at a time.
Once the first day is completed, consider a small treat or special activity to let them know you are proud of them.