- 1. If your child will be moving from classroom to classroom throughout the day draw a map and practice the route before school starts. The constant change of environment throughout the day is the number one complaint of older children diagnosed with PWS. Larger schools often require children to walk to different floors or across large buildings in a short amount of time. Be sure to ask for additional time for your child to transition between classes.
- 2. Use visual schedules even for older children outlining morning routines and class schedules throughout the day. A small visual schedule can fit inside a notebook cover and will not bring unwanted attention as this may make your child feel singled out or too different from his or her peers.
- 3. Be sure your child has a go to person for issues that may come up during the day; forgotten locker combination, encounters with a bully or simply a much needed break or person to talk to.
- 4. Allow your child to practice self advocacy skills by meeting with administrators and/or teachers to ask questions and practice how to handle potential scenarios that may arise.
- 5. Last but definitely not least, do your own walk through to spot potential food sources and get in writing that your school will keep all food contained to the cafeteria.
Back to school can be stressful at any age but older children have the added stress of bigger schools and greater expectations. Planning ahead will decrease some of the anxiety and increase their chance for success.
Manager of PWS Services
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