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Tips to Help with Back to School Anxiety

Two girls with book bagsStarting the new school year can be very exciting for some kids!  They look forward to a fresh start with a new class, new teacher and new friends.  But, for some kids, the idea of change can be extremely intimidating and cause anxiety.

Common worries in children can be:  Will I have any friends in my new class?  Will I fit in?  Will I like my teacher?  Will I be able open my locker?  Who will I sit with at lunch?  Will I understand my new schoolwork?  Will I be able to figure out my new schedule and find my classes?

Some general tips to help with back to school anxiety are as follows:

  • About a week before school, start your child on a school-day routine.  Have them go to bed early and wake up early and eat at regular times.  Have the whole family participate on the new schedule so everyone is adjusted.
  • Include them with the back to school shopping for supplies.  This will help adjust them to the idea that school is starting soon.
  • Ask them to organize their school clothes so they feel confident in what outfits they plan to wear.
  • For new students, be sure to attend any orientations available and tour the school so the student knows where things are.  Ask for a map of the school.  Introduce them to the school counselor and their teacher, if possible.
  • On the first day of school, send a reassuring note in their lunch to help ease separation anxiety.
  • If the child has a small keepsake object, allow them to bring it with them and keep in their backpack for reassurance.

We hope these ideas will help with the back to school process and we hope everyone has a great new school year!

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Autism vs. Awesome-ism©
By Dr. Melodee Loshbaugh, Co-founder & Executive Director of Brock’s Academy, Woodinville, WA

>What if we decided to just open our minds and see things from a wider, more diverse perspective?

>What if we didn't easily label and categorize people that we perceive to be different than us?

>What if we learned to think about people and differences as not right or wrong, but just different gifts?

>What if we fully believed and accepted that there is, and always has been, neurodiversity (i.e. cognitive differences) in the world?

>What if we accepted that neurodiversity is a brilliant achievement of Mother Nature?

>What if we entered each day believing each one of us is uniquely created and here to serve a higher purpose?

>What if we believed our job is to support one another in achieving that higher purpose?

>What if our differences are here to teach us appreciation, compassion, acceptance and to challenge us to stay open to all?

>What would that be like? # # #

Ryan, a 14-year old autistic student, writes:
>Meet me where I am.
>Stop trying to fix me. I don’t try to fix you.
>See my gifts, talents and strengths, not things you think I should have; see the “me” I was born with.
>Learn from me. Sit with me. Try to see the world from my perspective.
>Love me unconditionally and find ways to support me in what I came here to contribute to the world.
>Appreciate me.
>Just because I am experiencing the world in a different way than you are doesn’t mean it’s wrong, so stop judging me.
>I am me and I am beautiful.
>I am happy and I am whole. # # #

Copyright 2017—Dr. Melodee Loshbaugh
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