Friday 9 December 2016

December 9th- School at Christmas

School can be very busy at this time of year so here are some top tips and resources  for reducing anxiety and stress and keep your kids calm in school
Create a daily timetable of events and try to avoid changes wherever possible. Anxiety will be ramping throughout December so remember to clarify and explain everything.
Keep decorations where the child works to a minimum, and provide distraction free work-zones.
Have a pre - planned set of activities your child can do during all the rehearsals that they can just get on with independently, maybe related to their special interest somehow.
Consider they may not cope with the carols concerts and plays.. Maybe they could do a more behind the scenes job, and that's OK.
Consider allowing them to stay at home if there is something they really wont cope with such as parties . Or create a safe quiet place in the building that is Christmas free for them to escape to. 
Children's language processing ability decreases when things are hectic and busy so back up your language with visual support at all times.
Non uniform days can lead to stress so let children come in wearing their uniform with no fuss.
Make sure all changes to the timetable are discussed and shared with home, preferably written down, as children can fret about things at home and often parents don’t know what to say to help if they don’t have all the info to hand.
Timetable in periods for relaxation, exercise , and sensory breaks throughout the day.
Use social stories to help children access activities they may find a challenge such as Christmas lunch, parties,  rehearsals etc.
Allow them to eat their own food at the school party.
Have a transition debrief time before hometime if possible. Or a period where they an chill before going home. 
Pace the daily activities so children don't get overloaded. It will be taking a huge effort for children on the spectrum to maintain the busy pace of school in December so this needs to be taken into consideration when planning the day. 
Maintain as much normality as possible as the chaos ensues around you …and give yourself a big pat on the back when its all over … well done for surviving it all I say.

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