For a child with a disability, change can be very difficult. Many of these children rely on routine and consistency, so when a major change comes it can be very difficult for them – and for you as their parent. The first thing a parent of a child with special needs should do before sending him/her to a new school is to the visit the school with the child. You can take pictures of the building so they can become familiar with their new surroundings. You can use these pictures to create a social story that will front load your learner with information on the setting and expectations. While at the school, ask questions and inform the relevant staff about your child’s needs. Ask for a copy of your child’s schedule so you can prepare your child for the day.
Once school begins, walk your child to class for a few weeks. Then, keep in regular contact with the teacher. If possible, stop in sometimes and visit your child in his/her classroom to ensure he/she is feeling comfortable and that you are satisfied with the way his/her classroom is running.
“A human being mints many coins from the same mold, and they are all identical. But the holy one, blessed by God, strikes us all from the mold of the first human and each one of us is unique.”
The Transitions Planning Timeline Checklist, created by The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s Disabilities Task Force for the Baltimore Jewish Abilities Alliance, is a great resource for navigating transitions.