Back to School by Christy Klaus

Whether you can’t wait to get them on the bus or you have the back to school blues, there are things you can do to help your child with Down syndrome transition back into the school year.

Getting your Student Ready for School

  • Create before school/after school routines – use a checklist with pictures or words to help your child become as independent as possible in getting ready for school as well as after school.  This list can include things like putting on clothes, eating breakfast, brushing teeth. After school list might include snack time, homework time, reading.  Use rewards for completing tasks and to keep your child motivated.
  • Visit the classroom/school ahead of time.  Show your child the important places and how to get there (locker, cafeteria, nurse, bathroom, gym)
  • Introduce your child to his/her teachers and other important school personnel before school starts. Get the e-mail address of each one. Take pictures of each teacher.
  • Create a social story (using the pictures) about going back to school.
  • Create a document about your child (include basic family/contact info, interests, accomplishments, effective social and behavioral strategies). Share this with all teachers/school personnel.
  • Have your child or help your child create something they can share about their summer (using pictures and/or words).

Getting your School Ready for Your Student

Communicating with Your Child’s Team – Regular communication with your child’s team is crucial to success in the classroom.

  • Who -   Teachers, Special Educators, Paraprofessional, Therapists, Nurse, Counselor
  • What – Share information about your child, any support plans, “Supporting the Student with Down Syndrome – Information for Teachers”, summary of IEP goals, DSAGSL seminars and conferences
  • How -   Communicate using a Home/School notebook or binder, e-mail, team meetings, or individual meetings
  • When – Weekly e-mails to the team on Sunday night/Monday morning, if issues are developing intervene early, in May – discuss transition to the next grade, in August – meet new teachers, share information about Ds

If you have specific questions regarding back to school or the resources listed here, please contact our office at (314)961-2504.