I did something crazy this week….I began the process of enrolling my nearly 4 month old son in secondary schools. Bring on Year Seven 2029!
Now you’re probably reading this thinking I’m nuts…but I am someone who loves to feel prepared, and when the time comes I am looking forward to having some options up my sleeve.
Whilst I officially have 12 years to fine tune Hudson’s transition to Year Seven, for some of our Sprout families the clock is ticking, with only 8 months until January 2018.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to start planning your child’s transition to Year Seven. Whilst the transition to Year Seven is daunting for any student, it is a particularly challenging time for children with additional needs, including children with ASD and/or Anxiety. Preparation and planning is key when it comes to ensuring your child has the smoothest transition to secondary school as possible.
Here are a few ‘To do’s’ I’d highly recommend you start thinking about if you haven’t already:
- Confirm which school your child will be commencing Year Seven at.
- Familiarise yourself with the staffing/departmental structure of the school, in particular the ‘Student Welfare’ department of the school. Arrange to meet with the student welfare coordinator of the school to discuss your child’s needs.
- Communicate your child’s individual needs with the school so they can start preparing additional supports for your child if they are eligible. Provide the school with copies of recent assessments/reports from your child’s health professionals.
- Discuss your child’s transition program with the school- is it possible to arrange a number of transition days rather than the standard one day transition offered to all students?
These are a few things that you can start working on straight away. Remember, if you feel confident and prepared, your child is likely to feel more confident also.
But what about those tricky things that are harder to prepare for? Such as managing increased anxiety in a new environment, reading school timetables, adjusting to having multiple teachers, managing a school diary and locker…how do you prepare for these hurdles?
This is where our Secondary School Transition Group comes in. Our ‘Moving On, Stepping Up to Secondary School’ group is specifically designed to help children with ASD and/or Anxiety prepare for their transition to Year Seven. The group, facilitated by myself and Jacquline Amos (Psychologist) provides an opportunity for peers to develop skills in anxiety management, organisation skills, and problem solving difficulties that they may face as they settle into secondary school life.
The group will run over November and December during an after school time slot. More details will be released in the coming weeks. If you think your child would benefit from participating in this group, please contact myself to register your expression of interest. There are limited places in this group to ensure that we can meet the needs of the individual participants.
Please stay tuned for more information coming shortly. In the mean time, if you would like to register and expression of interest in this group or have any questions, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.