Most families have entirely different routines in the summer than they do throughout the school year. They often sleep in many days and spend plenty of time getting ready in the mornings. Of course, during the school year, children need to be more on task, need to get up early in the mornings and need to eat breakfast, get cleaned up and get dressed before they head out the door.
Special Needs children in Los Angeles County often have difficulty transitioning to new routines as well as to new schools and teachers because many of them struggle with anxiety in social situations. To help children feel as if they can take charge, parents should allow them to make some of the decisions as they plan new routines. Children can help by telling parents what they need to do to feel more successful on school mornings and during homework sessions. Allowing children to be involved gives them a sense of situational ownership.
Finally, parents need to keep stress to a minimum on school mornings. One of the best ways to do this is by preparing as much for school the night before. Parents and children can work together to pick out an outfit and shoes for the next day, to ensure assignments are complete, to pack a refrigerated lunch and to pack the child’s backpack. Keeping school mornings calm will eliminate a great deal of a Special Needs child’s anxiety.