The beginning of any school year comes with a lot of anticipation and anxiety. As teachers my husband and I prepare ourselves for the transition from a restful summer to the hustle of back to school by setting our alarms earlier and earlier everyday for the last week of summer. It never works, and after every Labour Day we still find ourselves staring at the ceiling at 2AM, rushing with adrenaline for going ‘back to school’ the next day. We then trudge through the 4-day week like zombies, which then runs into the 2nd week, which is why this ‘Back To School’ post is coming in mid-September. There are 2 things to note about my anecdote: 1. We are adults, and 2. We do not have ASD. I can only imagine the excitement, fear, dread, worries and/or anxiety that students with Autism and their caregivers must go through leading up to school. My classroom is laid out with my plans on my desk ready to go, while they may be walking into an unknown.
This summer we got the wonderful news that we are expecting…X2! My first reaction to the news was very similar to my initial reaction to a camera flash at 1 week old.
This summer was bittersweet for me as I realize that it will likely be the last ‘back to school’ transition that will involve setting an early alarm, meaning, the last summer in which I actually make a choice to get up early or sleep in.
The news has also made me think a lot about what kind of parent I’ll be, and has already given me a different outlook when I’m speaking with the parents of my students. I have become very interested in what parents deem as a successful school year, a good teacher, a meaningful program and where their thoughts might lie with a lot of the programming that I choose to do in my class.
This summer I spoke with AwakeLabs.com which is a company that supports technology use for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They support families, educators, physicians and service providers, and have even created an app for educators that seamlessly tracks IEP goals amongst a group of care providers – I feel another blog post on their app Reveal Stories coming soon!
Awake Labs wanted to interview me on a post about parents engagement and advocacy, a subject that I have always felt strongly about and am even moreso interested in now. The ideas are simple, but I hope that they might help a parent out there ease the ‘back to school’ transition for their child on the spectrum.
My goal for my blog this year is to continue to explore parent involvement and how it directly relates to success in the classroom and the real world. If you are a parent of a child with ASD and are interested in answering a few questions for me, please reach out!
Check out my interview with AwakeLabs, HERE!