Helping your child on the spectrum understand classroom rules and expectations is a priority at the beginning of the school year. Since your child with autism has to make the transition from his summer schedule to a new school year schedule, we found that it was important to help parents take the proper steps to posting, presenting and reinforcing their new schedule and new school rules.
1. Find out classroom rules and post them at home – To get your child with autism used to specific classroom rules, it is always a good idea to get a copy of the classroom rules and create a poster board, list or picture board that is posted in a location that is easy for your child on the spectrum to see. This you’re your child acquainted with the new rules and provides a visual children can refer to if there are questions about the rules.
2. Review Regularly – At the beginning of the year, it is important to review these rules with your child with autism daily. As time passes, your child will need less frequent verbal reminders, but they still may need reminders at the beginning of the week and after returning from a break.
3. Enforce Rules at Home– It is also important to discuss the importance of the classroom rules at home. Maybe even enforce some of the rules in your home. Start with the ones that your child on the spectrum has the most trouble following.
4. Address Other Rules – Classroom rules are not the only rules your child with autism should learn and live by. The home, cafeteria, playground, hallway, friend’s homes, relatives homes etc all have different rules. Although broad rules such as respecting property and people may cover different areas, prepare your child on the spectrum for expectations across environments by addressing rules specific to each environment they visit.
Helping your child on the spectrum understand classroom rules and expectations is a priority at the beginning of the school year. How rules are developed, posted, and reviewed is important for a child with autism.