Secondary school signals a time of great change for all children and their families. This is especially so for children with ASD’s as ‘change’ so often gives rise to seemingly endless questions, uncertainty and understandably, that all too familiar anxiety. For many children the first week is all but over! The end of summer saw the mass struggle to get the uniform sorted out (that was a trial in itself) then there was the acquisition of the obligatory pens, pencils, rulers, erasers – having got that all sorted, all that remained was for your child to arrive at school and begin learning. If only it was that easy!
Nothing is easy about a new start at a big new school, there’s just so much newness: New rules, new layout, new staff, diaries, subjects, timetables, homework, canteen and lots of new faces and classes to move between. Then there’s the largely unstructured ‘freedom’ of break and lunch-time too. All this change on entering secondary education is a fact of life but what perhaps counts the most is the relationship which lies ahead between the pupil, the school and parents. All these ‘apparent’ mountains can be ‘down-sized’ with perseverance and essential communication between home and school.
For many parents and pupils all this change may seem daunting. You may be wondering how your child will cope? Will the school understand him or her? Will this phase of their education see the beginnings of a more ‘grown up’ and happy individual able to develop their own special talents? If your child has moved beyond the ‘magical’ year 7, you might want to share your experiences of working through these common concerns, what has worked and what might have been done in a different way? It might be that year 7 is a new world for you and your child, in the days and weeks ahead you may want to share your thoughts about how it’s going. To pupils and parents alike – good luck!
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