I have 2 sons who are transitioning to Middle School. This an exciting and anxiety provoking time for me as a parent. If that is the case for me, I’m sure my boys are also anxiously anticipating the transition. The following tips and suggestions are things that I find to be helpful and informative as a parent to both an amazing child with Autism and an amazing neurotypical child. Did I say my sons are AMAZING!?
Below are 10 tips on helping a child with Autism transition to Middle School. Followed by general suggestions for preparing the student, the parent, and the academic support team for the transition:
Now would be a good time to mention, of course we hope that all teachers would read the IEP in an effort to familiarize themselves with your student. But this is Middle School. This means several different classes, different teachers with different teaching styles and they may not see the SDI if they don’t read the IEP.
It would be a good idea for you to shoot the teacher a quick email summarizing your child’s strengths and weaknesses, SDI’s, and any other special information you think is important, to share about your child. I always say “It is better to lead with your strengths rather than letting others discover your deficiencies”. Provide the teacher with a “cheat sheet” to understanding your student.
When my son was in 3rd grade we added the computer lab on his school’s campus to his list of SDI’s where he could go daily and use a software program that helped him with writing, sentence completion, comprehension and grammar. He was already strong in English but writing was an issue due to difficulties with fine motor skills. He responded to the program brilliantly and now is much better at writing and taking notes.
After school programs are an opportunity for your student to do something fun and create relationships with others based on common interests, develop a positive association with school, and feel good about themselves! Win Win Win!
A few General tips
Over the Summer:
The following are a few things you and your child can do to prepare over the summer
With the School :
As a parent I truly hope that all of the above tips help you and your student(s) get your “Transition Mission” accomplished. I am praying on behalf of my family and yours that Middle School be an awesome, cultivating, learning, challenging, inspiring, fun experience for our children!
Sources: Vicker, B (2003), AAutisminRealLife.com
image from: Indian Grove Elementary School
It’s summer time!! I know that kids get extremely excited to be out of school for the summer. It’s finally time to relax and NO homework or tests. They’re finally FREE!!! That last day of school before summer vacation is a day they have been finally waiting for. No more having to listen to teachers telling them to pay attention, look towards the front of the class, sit still, stop all the chattering, or being picked on to answer a question when they feel unprepared. They are in the best mood ever on that day and you all go out and celebrate the end of another successful school year.
Now that you have your kids for 2 ½ months, what are you planning to do with them? I remember when my kids were younger, I would have mixed feelings about summer vacation. On one hand, it was great not having to wake up early in the morning, make them breakfast, and pack their lunch. However, on the other hand, I knew that it became my job to keep them entertained. How was I going to fill up 10 weeks and make sure to keep them happy and at the same time, keep my sanity. In the first few weeks, I took my kids to the community pool and beach. That idea worked for a while, but soon we all became burned out from the sun and water.
We still had many weeks ahead of us to fill up before school started up again. What was I going to do? Well, I admit that there were many days that I couldn’t come up with anything and they were bored sitting at home. All I heard some days was, “Mom, we’re bored?” Does that sound relaxing to anyone? Hence, I have listed several ideas to fill those days that they are driving you over the edge…
If you feel that your kids are getting burned out from the activities you have scheduled, change your course and let them relax. It’s imperative to provide a balance for your kids during their time off from school and allow some unstructured time to play and encourage creativity. According to educators, they believe that downtime helps kids’ minds relax and function better when school is back in session.
Remember, if you get frustrated with your children during these summer months, the best way they can express their thoughts and feelings is through their play. Research studies indicate that children use play as their language and toys as their words.
Written by Susie Ibrahim, M.A., Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist
Susie currently sees clients in Orange, CA
The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The information in this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical or psychological conditions or diseases. The statements in this website have not been evaluated by the American Psychological Association or any other mental health organization or financial organization.
The information provided in this website is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician, other mental health care professional, or financial advisor. You should not use the information in this website for diagnosis or treatment of any health, mental health problem, prescription of any medication or other treatment, or financial advice.
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1370 N. Brea Blvd., Ste. 245 ~ Fullerton ~ CA ~ 92835
I think the wedding dress is a much misunderstood article of clothing. When I have premarital couples in my practice for their handful of counseling sessions before they tie the knot, this is often a significant topic of discussion. It means soooo much to the bride that her dress is absolutely perfect, not overstated, but certainly not upstaged by anything else at the wedding....often times including God.
“For the Holy Spirit knows that a thing has only such meaning and value for a man as he assigns to it in his thoughts.” – Martin Luther
Every thought (positive or negative) leads you to action (behavior). No act is done without first having a
thought. Our first example of this concept is found in Genesis 1. We find that God created the heavens and the earth, but it had no form. We can conclude that as God’s Spirit hovered over the surface, He was thinking about His master plan. Then He spoke, “Let there be light,” which resulted in action – “and there was light.”
Here, God is showing us that He doesn't just do things, but He thinks about them. He plans them out. He doesn't just react out of nowhere.
Have you ever considered how your thoughts are impacting what you do or how you feel? It all starts in your mind. Thoughts impact your life; they affect your attitudes, your fears and worries, how you speak to others and yourself, your outlook of life, how you behave with others, and how you feel.
By: Dr. Kevin Downing
Several years ago I counseled a man who was a professional bodybuilder and also a very strong Christian. He came to me because he wanted me to help him turn his marriage around. During the course of our conversation I presented to him a hypothetical question.
I asked, “If you had four days to work only on your athletic ability and physique do you know what you would do?” He nodded his head in confident affirmation, as he told me what he'd eat, how he'd workout, with the number of repetitions and so on. (It was more information than I needed!)
Then I asked him if he knew what he would do if he were to spend four days where he only worked on his faith. Sure enough he told me what passages of scripture he would read, what books he might go through and how he would pray. Once again he was quite confident. Then I ask him what he would do if he had four days to work only on his marriage. His confidence dropped and he shook his head. He said "I'd take her out to the movies". (And he was serious!)
Frankly, I was expecting a little bit more than that, maybe flowers or a dinner out at least! This man understood personal disciplines in the area of bodybuilding and faith, but he didn't know how to apply personal disciplines to his marriage.
Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on men, fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake. Job 4:13-14
And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord - that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.' Job 28:2 8
The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? Psa. 27:1
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psa. 34:4
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7
“You’re only saying that to look good to our friends – it’s just a show you’re putting on.”
“You don’t really love me.”
“You don’t care about anything that matters to me – you only think about yourself.”
These are all examples of what we call MIND READING. Mind reading is when we dictated the thoughts, motives or intentions of our mate. In essence it’s attempting to play God by claiming to know the intent of our spouse’s heart and mind. This is dangerous ground for a marriage because of the tremendous frustration and conflict it creates. (Indeed it is one of the leading conflict styles that is used to predict divorce.)
This Too Shall Pass
By Dr. Peter Robbins & Dr. Kevin Downing
[Elijah] came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord.” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” - I Kings 19:4
But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry…”Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than live.” - Jonah 4:1, 3
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