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Top tips to prepare your autistic child for starting school (BLOG)

Preparing an autistic child for school begins along time before they arrive on the first day!


You would need to think about and plan how and what you are going to do anywhere from six to twelve months prior to the first day of school.

We have outlined some things to be thinking about and getting ready below (in sequential order)

* You might begin by talking with your child about school and what that means;

  • who will be there?
  • what you will be doing there?
  • how the school day will look? (timetable, structured play and lunchtimes, different teachers for different subjects such as art, P.E etc)

Contact school

* Initiate contact with the school and classroom teacher (if you know who that will be)

  • arrange a meeting to discuss what your child will need in preparation for school.
  • discuss a plan around transition and extra times that you can meet and come to the school to look around.
  • take photos of the areas and places that your child will need to know about – these will be used in social scripts.



* In the week leading up to the beginning of the school year, prearrange for you and your child to visit the classroom to find out things like;

  • where they will be sitting,
  • where their tub/tray will be,
  • where to hang their bag and
  • where they can go if they need a quiet space.


* Purchase the school uniforms a size or two larger about six months earlier so that they will be the right size for the following year. If there are sensory issues around the feel of clothing on their skin, begin washing the new uniforms a number of times before school begins to make them feel a little softer and easier on the skin. Also practise wearing the uniform a few times to get a feel for the material.


  • opening food wrappers and lunch boxes to prepare them to be doing it by themselves.
  • packing and unpacking the school bag, checking on a list or bag tag to make sure they have everything.
  • begin a morning routine a few weeks before starting school by following a schedule.

If you follow these simple guidelines, your child will have a great start to school and so will you!

Written by Sherri Cincotta


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