Building a Relationship With Your Autistic Child’s Teachers
The new school year is fast approaching. If your child is like ours, he is getting anxious about the new school year. Since he has an IEP (ADHD and Autism diagnoses), we meet with the school regularly to review his progress and update goals. But we don’t stop there. We build a strong relationship with those at the school who interact with our son on a regular basis. We call it “Team Noland”.
Before the school year begins, we reach out to the school and set up a meeting with Team Noland to discuss any changes in his behaviors, needs, etc, since the previous school year ended. We start this meeting by sharing our most recent “Meet Our Wonderful Noland” brochure. We learned about this valuable tool during our parent training course at Easter Seals Midwest. We update it every year and share it with the school and others in the community who will benefit from understanding our son and the best way to interact with him. This brochure includes what he does well, what his triggers are, and the best way to handle his behaviors.
Also at this meeting, we like to include his previous year’s classroom teacher as this person has wonderful insights that can be shared with the new teacher on what works well for our son. We also include our son’s behavior therapist. This allows them to share what Noland is working on in his behavior therapy sessions so it can be reinforced at school (and vice versa).
We have heard from the school how much they appreciate our pro-activeness in helping Noland get off to a good start. They also appreciate that we stay in touch with them throughout the school year. We touch base with his classroom teacher during after school pickup to find out if he had a good day. If he didn’t, we can talk to our son that same day about the choices he made and what some better options are if he is in the same situation again. We can also discuss school behavior issues with his behavior therapist and utilize his therapy sessions to role play these situations.
We feel on-going, honest communication with Noland’s teachers is key to his success in school. We never blame the school for Noland’s behavior. We are quick to apologize when necessary, including reaching out to parents of Noland’s peers if his behavior warrants a conversation. We never like to hear that Noland pulled a chair out from underneath a friend causing the friend to fall or that Noland used bullying language because he doesn’t yet grasp that his “best” friend can also have other friends or that Noland had to spend the afternoon in the counselor’s office because his meltdown behavior was too aggressive for him to be in the classroom. Our heart breaks when we get emails detailing his behavior issues but the school knows that we will take quick action and work out a plan with Noland and the school to improve his behavior. By building a proactive relationship with his teachers each and every year, we feel confident that Noland will continue to succeed and grow.
Building a Relationship with your Autistic Child’s Teachers:
- Be pro-active and create a “Team” for your child that works together to help your child be successful
- Utilize a “Meet Our Wonderful Child” brochure or something similar to highlight the strengths of your child, behavior triggers, and what works
- On-going communication with your Team via after school conversations, email and/or phone
- Take quick action to create solutions with your Team to improve problem behaviors and never place blame
If your child needs to “get the wiggles out” after spending a day trying to be good in school, bring him to We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym in Fenton for Open Play. From August 15, 2016 to October 31, 2016, we are offering a special “After School Open Play Special” where children can play for just $8 each from 4pm-6pm Monday thru Friday.
The communications made through this blog should not be construed as the opinions or beliefs of the We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym franchise. The individual owner of this gym possesses all opinions and beliefs expressed in this blog. This blog is made available by the individual gym owner for educational purposes only, as well as to offer general information and a general understanding of autism and related disorders and the services provided by We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym.