As many special education professionals know, transitions can be difficult for children with special needs. Adjusting to the back to school schedule can be challenging for students, their families and certainly special education teachers and support staff.
The Watson Institute’s special education consultants have developed special education transition tips for educators to help you prepare for your students with special needs to ensure a smooth return to school.
Transitions for Students with Special Needs
Returning to school after the summer can be especially challenging for students with special needs. In order to prepare for a smooth transition for your students, keep in mind that preparation is key! Below are a few tips to help you prepare your classroom for the first day of school.
Organization is critical! Setting up a structured special education classroom can help facilitate learning and smooth daily routines.
- Independent Work Stations – many special education classrooms utilize independent work stations to help promote independence for students with autism spectrum disorder.
- Centers – creating centers in the classroom can help encourage student engagement and independence. Centers can include an art station, break/leisure area, writing area, computer center, reading/library center, and many others.
- Classroom Layout – organizing your classroom to fit the needs of each of your students can help facilitate a comfortable learning environment for students with special needs.
Creating a daily routine and maintaining structure is essential to keeping staff and students organized. Planning student activities and creating visual schedules can help students with special needs adapt to the daily flow of the school day.
Greeting students with a smile and making personal connections sets the tone for the first day of school. If you aren’t able to greet each student as they enter the classroom, make sure to walk around the room and spend a few minutes welcoming your students back to school.
These are just a few tips to help you prepare your classroom and ease transitions for students with special needs returning to school.
Check out our special education resources for additional tips and tools to jump start the first day back to school positively and help you successfully navigate the school year!