It’s August and the words “Back to School” ring loud in the ears of parents, students and educators. Schools, families, businesses and communities are hearing the rally cry and readying themselves for the inauguration of a new school year!! Some are celebrating the new start and others are bracing for a new year and the anxiety about the unknown. As we busy ourselves with back to school shopping and a return to more routine in our daily lives, I think it is equally important to prepare emotionally and mentally as adults who love and/or work with students with autism. It is well documented that our mental attitude and our thoughts play a huge role in shaping our reality. I am not asking anyone to be ignorant of reality or “pie in the sky” thinkers. However, I am a firm believer in the power of expecting good things and positive relationships. We will find what we seek. How do you prepare mentally?
Take some time to think about and even to write down your vision of what the school year will be like for your child and yourself as a parent. Create a detailed, positive mental picture of your relationship with the teacher, your child’s response to school and the success he or she is achieving. Imagine smiling faces, shaking hands, excited stories around the dinner table. Feed your mind with powerful positive images.
Do your absolute best to avoid speaking negatively about the school, the teacher, and/or the past. This is critically important because your child will pick up on these “vibes” and his/her perception will be darkened even before the doors of school open. Kids are experts at instinctively knowing what fears, anxieties and opinions their parents feel…even when words are not spoken. All students deserve a fresh start; an opportunity to improve, to be their best and to expect the best. It is our job as parents to nurture this “I can” attitude especially if your child has a disability.
Affirmation: I am looking forward to building new relationships, developing new skills and creating a positive learning experience for my child and myself. Smile
(With a firm conviction and a positive attitude, repeat this aloud at least 3 times a day and watch miracles happen!)
Here’s to a new school year!