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Ideas for types of support your child needs at childcare, preschool or school

by Adina Levy

For many of you, you’re supporting your neurodivergent child to transition to a new year of care – a new class, new teacher, new childcare educators, or even starting at a new school or childcare centre.

You want to help your child’s start to the year go smoothly, and this means connecting with the teacher/educators in an effective and efficient way so that they understand your child’s needs and strengths… as fast as possible!

So let’s talk support needs – many parents feel a bit stumped… it can be hard to know what kind of supports and accommodations to request for your child at childcare, preschool or school.

    Here are some kinds of supports you can ask for, for your child in their education/care setting:

    • teachers and educators accessing professional development and education to help them understand your child’s support needs, diagnosis, identity and strengths

    • education for other children about neurodiversity, autism, and a positive view of differences

    • educators and teachers can and should adjust their expectations to meet your child’s abilities, strengths, interests and preferences, to set them up for success e.g. if participating in group activities doesn’t work well for your child right now, how can they help your child meet their learning and experience goals in a more enjoyable and accessible way?

    • physical and structural changes to their environment, to support sensory, physical and attention needs

    • increasing predictability of routines and supporting your child’s understanding of expectations by using calendars, photos and other visual supports

    If you want to learn more ideas for connecting with your autistic (or possibly autistic) child in a neurodiversity affirming way – I hope you’ll check out my online, on-demand course Connect & Grow.

    This course is for curious parents of autistic (or possibly autistic) children aged around 1- 5 years old. Course access lasts for 12 months and you’ll get access to any updates and extra videos.