NCDPI Remote Learning Resources for Parents and Caretakers - resources from Department of Public Instruction for parents and caretakers on how to handle Remote Learning (added 8/10/20)
Mental Health First Aid - offers coping mechanisms and informational videos on how to cope with COVID-19 (added 7/7/20)
Parentology with Dr. John Taylor - In his unique brief videos Dr. John F. Taylor provides reassuring guidance and wisdom to help your family over these troubled times. (Added 7/7/20)
ECAC Parent Resource Hub - Here is a document with a variety of resources for parents during this difficult time. Source: ECAC (Exceptional Children's Assistance Center) (Added 5/5/20)
Autism Society information on transitioning back to school:
The thought of a smooth transition back into school days while there is so much uncertainty swirling around is overwhelming. How do you plan for what you don’t know? By taking a moment to catch our breath, we realize that we do know a few things, and there are steps we can take to help our kids get the most out of this year’s school experience and calm the waters ahead.
As parents, we want to make sure our child’s new teachers will get to know them, along with all of the quirks and intricacies that make them fun and interesting people. We also want to make sure that their unique educational needs are met. Taking time to pro-actively address these worries will go a long way during the first weeks of the school year.
Here at the Autism Society of North Carolina, we know how anxious parents are feeling about this upcoming, unprecedented school year. We are here for you to help you learn, problem-solve, and find the information and resources you need.
We're here to help during this time
Visual strategies can ease anxiety, communicate expectations, and support learning new skills for those with autism. You can use some to prepare for the transition to the new school year.
Countdown: Mark a calendar or find another way to count down – perhaps a paper link chain you can tear or a jar with colorful straws you can pull – to the first day of school.
Visual schedules: Start using visual schedules NOW, when days are less busy, so this strategy is in place to communicate all the various transitions and expectations when the busier school days start. A visual schedule can also help you start moving the “wake up” time a little earlier every few days. To learn more about schedules and other visual supports, check out our free, recorded webinars:
Social narratives: Use these first-person stories to explain to your child an upcoming transition or situation along with what they should do in that situation. Here are some social narratives that you can use as is, if appropriate, or to serve as a model to make your own:
Create a profile of your child: Introduce the teachers to your child’s likes and dislikes, the things that serve as triggers, and the strategies to avoid triggers or respond when things go wrong. This can be a letter or just a bulleted list; keep it simple. Click here for an example and a blank one to use. Email the profile to each of your child’s teachers a few days before the start of school if you can.
Review your child’s IEP: Make sure you are familiar with the goals and services it currently outlines. Either just prior to or shortly after the first day of school, your child’s EC teacher should reach out to discuss how goals will be met and how accommodations will be provided. Read more about reviewing your child’s IEP – and find a worksheet to help – in our recent blog post.
Create an inviting learning space: Spend some time with your child in the days before school setting up a home learning space or gathering supplies to enable staying organized and communicating expectations. Consider locations for a visual schedule or other visual cues, like for accessing online platforms. Using the kitchen table for school? Maybe make a placemat that goes on the table when it is time for school. Include preferred colors or characters and a list of expectations when learning. Mark a spot for where the Chromebook or tablet will go. Be creative and have fun doing this.
Upcoming online workshops: Register now for webinars with our Autism Resource Specialists and Clinical Department to learn more and ask your questions:
Get personal guidance: Our Autism Resource Specialists are all parents of someone with autism themselves and are happy to help parents find resources and problem-solve on any issue related to your child’s diagnosis of autism. Find one near you.
Rapid Response Clinical Consultation: This service through telehealth provides short-term consultation with our Clinical Department. Issues can include how to organize and plan the day, enhance structure during activities, and better integrate social communication.
Updates from ASNC
COVID-19 resources: Find more updates, links to resources and information, recorded webinars, and social narratives on our COVID-19 webpage.
Offices closed: Our offices remain closed at this time, but employees are working remotely and can be reached via phone and email during normal business hours. Thank you for your understanding.