It's hard to believe it - September is here and in a matter of days our children will be returning to (and starting!) school.

It's a time of excitement and anticipation, as the final items of school uniform and PE kit are purchased, shoes are polished and pencil cases are filled. 

For some children and young people however, particularly after the period of uncertainty and change that we have experienced in the past months due to Covid-19, this time may be fraught with anxiety and fear.

Making the transition from being at home during the long summer holidays and returning to school can be especially difficult for young people on the autism spectrum, who can find dealing with changes to their daily routine challenging. 

Our Family and Specialist Support and Children and Young People's Services teams share their top tips to help ease any anxiety at this time. We also include links to downloadable 'transition activity packs' for both primary and secondary school, produced by our team; as well as links to helpful websites offering a range of useful resources and information.  

We hope your child's transition back to school goes as smoothly as possible and wish all a very happy new school year. 

Top Back to School Tips from the Aspens Team 

“Plan your journey to school, practise it and look at timetables or alternative ways of getting there in case the bus is late.” – Tasha

“Talk to your children about how they feel and use a communications book to do this if verbalising is difficult. Use checklists to ensure they’re prepared and organised. They can tick off each one as they complete.” – Lucy W

“Get ready the night before, get a good night’s sleep and plan your commute.” – Simon

“Choose your favourite breakfast that you will look forward to when waking up, to set you up perfectly for your first day back at school.” – Sophia

“Make a checklist of all the items you need: uniform, stationery, extra activity kits, morning routine (break it down).  Discuss any worries in advance and look at making action plans.” - Kelsey

“Ensure downtime is scheduled in at the end of the school day for regulation.” – Lucy W

Transition Packs

Starting Primary School 

Starting Secondary School

Further resources

Reaching Families: Returning to School in 2021

Amaze Sussex: Factsheets

West Sussex Parent Carer Forum

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire - Children's Speech and Language Therapy Resources

For further information and advice contact our team on Tel: 01243 214120 or email [email protected]