Back to School The Sensory WayFor me, Back-to-School has a slightly different time line. It’s not a full court press for the month August running from store to store and having everything labeled, stocked and ready to go. Why? Because that’s not how most sensory kids (or overwhelmed adults) successfully manage a transition. Here, we need to apply the same strategies to Back-to-School as we do other sensory supports: Break it down, eliminate distractions, and create a visual guide or system (for us and for our sensory kids!). Three key ideas to remember: Focus on immediate needs only, only introduce a few things a week, and involve your child in the process.

From my experience of living with and working with sensory kids, Back-to-School is the three month, not a two-week, process. Our sensory kids are often tangible, concrete learners so preparing ahead of time for something that is not here yet often feels too abstract for them and leaves them feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Do you know any child that really wants to make a homework station before school starts and before they actually have homework? Part of Sensory Organizing is understanding that we have to see what’s not working before we can set-up the best system to support it. So let’s simplify this Back-to-School Process for our sensory kids (and us) with a slightly different time line.

August:
Central Message Area
Morning Routines / Systems
Getting Ready for New People and Places
Simplifying Supplies

September:
Portable Homework Bin
Systems for Getting Things Home and Back-to-School Again
Weeknight Meal Planning

October:
Homework Strategies
Remembering Techniques
Visual Planning Tools

So for the next 3 Months, I’ll be working off this time line and sharing strategies, visual systems, and colorful examples that support these goals. Here’s to a little more summer and a slow but steady approach to what will be a new, messy, forgetful, frustrating school year chock-full of small victories ~
#sensoryorganzing #sensorychild #backtoschoolthesensoryway

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