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Readjusting To Routine

Back to school: Tips for a smooth transition

Poll most any parents — especially after a lengthy break from school — and they’ll reassure you that kids need routines.

Research backs up the anecdotal evidence. Those predictable routines, along with engaging environments and positive interactions between adults and children, help mitigate challenging behaviors, as well as promote longer-term social and emotional development.

That can be particularly true for neurodivergent children.

But when school has been out for awhile, and kids get used to a different routine at home, switching back into school mode can create yet another disruption.

Here are a few tips on preparing for a return to school (just remember to keep things simple and clear!):

  • Ease back into the routine. A few days before school begins, start shifting toward the school routine. Gradually adjust sleep schedules and return to regular meal times. If the school day itself is a concern, begin adding to your child’s day simple activities that mimic the school day and engage the mind, such as short reading sessions or fun puzzles.
  • Talk it out. Communicate about the upcoming start of school, addressing any concerns or expectations your child may have. Sometimes, visuals can help children remember the predictable steps of the school routine (there are many free printables available online), or they may even want to “play school.”
  • Offer something to look forward to. Reconnect with friends or set up playdates with classmates before school begins. Particularly for anxious children, these connections can serve as gentle reminders of parts of school that they enjoy.
  • Empower children with choices. Encourage independence and involvement with the new routine by allowing children to choose outfits for the upcoming week or make other choices that are meaningful to them.

Need more ideas or help with specific concerns? Reach out to Pariva’s clinicians for advice tailored to your family’s needs. Get started here.

Pariva Health Admin