Last Modified: February 16, 2023 | Published: September 10, 2022

Wondering How to Get Your Child Ready for School This Fall?

Many children have a tough time with transitions and change. This can be especially true for kids with autism, ADHD, or anxiety.

Whether this is your first year of school or your child is going into 5th grade, some children struggle with the end of summer and the start of the school year.

It will be important to provide support for children who are inflexible or get extremely worried as transitions arise. Getting prepared in advance by making sure your child has all the supplies they need, has met the teacher, has seen the classroom, and met some peers, can be extremely helpful. However, even with such supports in place, many children will have unique challenges with transitions.

How to Support Your Child as School Starts

Think about bedtime, waketime, and lunchtime

Summer schedules change as children attend camp, go on vacation, go to the pool, or stay up late to watch those summer action movies.

Try to set up a consistent schedule that closely matches your school schedule.

Gradually ease your child or children back into a regular routine so that they are not shocked when the school requires earlier mornings and rules around snacks and lunchtime. Posting a schedule on the wall can be a helpful way to create a daily structure in your home. The use of checklists for the morning routine can assist your child in feeling organized and being recognized for doing their part in the morning. For more on how to support your child’s morning routines, check out the Cadey Course on impulsivity.

Take advantage of any opportunity to introduce your child to their new teacher in advance

If you have the opportunity to schedule a private meeting with your child’s teacher early in the school year, this can be very helpful.

Give your child a chance to see the structure and expectations, read any classroom rules, or see the daily schedule.

Allow your child to tell the teacher about interests, favorite classes, and preferred topics for projects and activities. Parents can facilitate a better start to the school year by staying positive and supporting your child’s relationship with their teacher. Particularly in a child with anxiety, you may hear concerns and complaints about your child’s teacher or teaching style. Keep in mind that it is important for you to remain calm and as positive as possible to support your child in getting off on the right foot for the school year.

Every teacher wants to get the year off to a good start. Your child’s teacher should be open to meeting them in advance to improve the probability of a successful first day.

Usually, schools are happy to accommodate you on a teacher training and set up day.

Try to plan some play dates with school friends in the weeks leading up to the transition

See if you can find out who is in your child’s class. Even after the school year starts, it can be extremely valuable to meet up at the playground after school with other kids and their parents or to set up a playdate with a peer at school.

Whenever possible, set up a meeting with children around your child’s age and grade level to facilitate some positive interactions. Sometimes, a nervous child can begin to feel much more comfortable from having even one friend in the class. As a parent, you can say something like, “When you get to school today, you will get to see Sally again.”

Your Next Step

Take a quick assessment on to understand your child’s needs. We are pioneering new ground in child psychology. Instead of waiting months or years, you can help your child today. To get started on life-changing interventions, visit