TIP of the WEEK: Back to School PWS Style

Latham-Centers2Any transition can be difficult but the transition from summer to school is one of the biggest of the year. Changing schools, teachers, and the introduction of new peers and new social expectations can take a toll on a child with PWS and, in turn, the whole family. Here are some ways to help make the transition a little less challenging:
1.  Meet the school personnel ahead of time. Teachers, coaches, administrators- anyone your child will be in frequent contact with. Most schools will allow for this opportunity.
2.  Check out the environment. Play on the playground or for older kids go to the library, outdoor “hang out” spots and let them explore before the introduction of social expectations is upon them.
3.  Ask.  Find out what will be taught this year and start discussing it at home.
4. Calendars. Make a calendar or a visual countdown to the first day of school.
5. Start the school routine now. Wake up and have lunch at the times that they will be doing so when school starts.
6. Keep is positive. There will be bumps, expect them. Do not criticize teachers or caregivers in front of your child. This makes forming a relationship next to impossible. If your child does not believe that you have faith in their school there is no hope for success.
 7. Be mindful of new school clothes. If your child has a sensory processing issue then new clothes and new shoes can be brutal for them. Wash new clothes several times before introducing them and when possible buy used, already broken in shoes. Your child likely already has attention challenges. Being uncomfortable will just add to that.
When properly prepared for, back to school can be a fun and exciting time.
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Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices. 


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