The twice-exceptional child is no different than any other child when it comes to the nerves associated with back to school season. The thought of a new school year with new academic and social challenges is daunting to everyone. But there are helpful ways that parents can prep their children for an easier transition by following some of the tips in our checklist below:

  1. Visit your child’s school if possible and do a “walk through” of what to expect during the course of the day with your child.
  1. Make sure that you are punctual each morning when delivering your child to school (arriving late really stresses them out all day long).
  1. If your child likes to listen to music to focus, help them preload music playlists onto their smartphones and provide a headset that is a good fit.
  1. Get your child into a consistent bedtime routine before the start of the year.
  1. Practice smart sleep hygiene so that students are rested and ready to go in the morning. Discontinue technology use at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  1. Practice positive thinking by listing three things that you are looking forward to on the way to school with your child.
  1. If your child is gifted or 2e, prepare a letter to their teacher introducing them and outlining things that they can do to help your child have a successful start to the year (you will be surprised how many are grateful to receive this). Ask your child what they would like their teacher to know about them.
  1. If your child uses technology at school, set them up for success by making regularly used options like Word, PowerPoint, etc. ready to go on the home computer.
  1. Talk through how it is going to be to meet new friends on the first day of school. If appropriate, role-play some scenarios and think ahead about some conversation starters that your child might use.
  1. Create a fun, casual “vision board” with your child. Have them think about the (achievable) things that they would like to see happen for themselves during the course of the school year.
  1. If your child has trouble focusing suggest they not be seated in the front row but in the second row or another seat where they cannot only see the teacher, but other students as well. It is helpful for them to be able to look to their peers for visual cues if they’ve missed something due to lack of engagement.

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