1. If the school your child goes to has provided a transition book, then try to look at it regularly in the run up to returning to school. It can be really helpful to look at photos and remind your child of key people/places. If you don’t have a transition book, you could look for some photos of the school on their website. Talk about what you can see and what is happening in the photos.
2. Have school uniform, clothing, shoes and/or bags available to discuss and for your child to familiarise themselves with. If you child has a school uniform, they might try on a school jumper for example and get used to the fabric and feeling. You could discuss what you might pack in the school bag or your child could try wearing their shoes.
3. Your child might find a transition object helpful when they return to school. This could be a sensory object such as a fiddle toy, playdough, blue tak or any other object which your child would find calming to hold such as a small soft toy. Then your child can carry this as they move into the school until they are settled in their school day. It might be worth discussing this with school staff first to check they are happy to with this transition object too.
4. Make a poster! With your child’s help, you could make an ‘All about me’ poster. We have included a link to a template you could use here. You could include pictures (drawings, photos or cut out pictures) of some of your child’s favourite characters, foods, activities or interests. You could also mention things your child doesn’t like and if there’s anything they find worrying. You could include how your child likes to be helped too e.g. I like it when I have a quiet space to go to. These are a nice way to communicate information about your child to any new adults working with them.
5. Try to keep as many routines as possible the same over the summer break. For example, try to have the same getting up and going to bed routine and times.
6. Follow your child’s lead. If you initiate a conversation about school – keep it relaxed and if your child is not keen to talk about it, then leave it and try again another time. Children with fragile x can find it easier to communicate if you start the sentence for them and let them finish the sentence, rather than asking direct questions. For example:-
When you go to school, you’d like to….
In your classroom, there will be…
Your teacher is called….
7. If your child likes to play with teddies, dolls or small characters then try using these in some pretend play about going to school.
8. Use visuals. Visual timetables/schedules are great for showing the morning routine before school. We have visuals we can send out if you would like some. Most schools will use these in class too. You could discuss your child having a visual (for example a ‘get out please’ card) to show to an adult if they need some time away in a quieter space whilst they adjust to new surroundings and adults.
9. Make sure your child is aware of how they will get to school, particularly if there will be any changes to route or method of travel. Try to stick to the same route each time.
10. Social stories. You can download a free back to school social story from Widgit by clicking the link below. If you would like social stories specific to your child, then please do get in touch and we can support with this.
SENDIASS - https://www.kids.org.uk/sendiass
Family Action - https://www.family-action.org.uk/
NFXF - https://fragilex.org/