Preparing your autistic son for high school is never something that happens overnight. It takes time and planning, to do it properly.
Keep reading, for a few tips on how to get started preparing your autistic son for school.
Consider All Options
While it isn’t true in every case, you may have more than one high school to choose from. If so, consider all options carefully. The best example of this is probably private school versus public school. Each one typically has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Visit the Campus
If possible, visit your son’s high school more than once, before the new year begins. Focus on one specific area during each visit. This might be the cafeteria, the gym, the library, general classrooms, etc. Take pictures of the school and draw a map as well.
Inquire About a Buddy System
Find out if the school has any type of buddy or mentor system in place. If not, request that something be put together specifically for your son. Having a buddy makes it easier for many students to adapt to a new learning environment. There’s nothing like a friendly face in a sea of people you’ve never met.
Discuss Adaptive Equipment Needs
There may be adaptive equipment, not used at home, that would be very beneficial in helping your son succeed at high school. Discuss the possibility with teachers and other school administrators. They may have suggestions that you haven’t considered.
Consider a Personal Care Assistant
Many autistic children are assigned a personal care assistant, starting in elementary school. Of course, hiring an aide such as this is a possibility in high school as well.
This doesn’t mean the assistant needs to follow your son around all day if he doesn’t want and/or require constant help. After all, independence is extremely important. However, it does mean that help is always on standby.
As mentioned above, you can’t wait until the last minute to prepare your autistic son for high school. Remember, it’s always best to ease into things. It makes it more comfortable and less scary for everyone involved. You can do this!