The best place to start is by carefully selecting the school which will suit your autistic child the best.
So what questions to ask autism school? Well firstly the journey needs to be established and looked at.
Distance from home is always a big consideration; will your child need transport? How long will they be on the transport?
Who is the driver, the escort? Try and arrange prior to the start of school for your child to meet them. Look in the bus and get a general feel for the space, look at the color of the bus, seats, floor, walls etc.
How many seats, the fabric, are they noisy, itchy, soft etc? The steps to get in, noise of the engine, is their an air freshener? The smell in the bus, aftershave of the driver, the escort, autistic children have very sensitive senses and smells can be distressing to them. Do they play the radio in the bus, will this affect your child?
Autistic children are very sensitive and all of these factors will need to be taken into account as well as where they are on the collection list. Who will already, be in the bus, who is collected next, and so on?
Establish the bus rules, try out the seat belts, will you need to buy something soft to wrap around the belt if the fabric is hard, will it rub your autistic childs skin. Will your child be seated next to the window? Who will be sat next to them?
Find out about the homeward journey again what time will they leave school? In what order are the children dropped? Is it going to be the same driver etc? Repeat all the questions as above for the journey too school.
Ask what happens when the driver or escort are on holiday or away? Who will replace them? Will you get prior notice so that you can explain the change to your child, autistic children like things to remain the same and a simple thing like different driver or seat could cause anxiety and stress.
After you have gathered all the relevant information you will need to establish a social story which will explain what is going to happen to your child.
A good social story (autism social stories) will help your child understand the what, why, where and when of the situation.
You will need to add specific details yourself like the names of the driver the name of the school etc to the story. Choose autism social stories with pictures. Autistic children will take in information a lot easier if it is visually presented.
Autism social stories are an excellent tool for giving your autistic child clear social cues and coping strategies for all those situations they may find difficult, stressful or distressing.
The social story will give your child clear instructions and help them feel more comfortable with and in those situations a social skills story is needed for.
To view an example autism social story visit us at:
www.autismsocialstories.com? the story link is roughly half way down the page.
To obtain autism social stories for the classroom and school visit us at