It’s the time of year when everyone is thinking about back to school. For so many families, thinking about the first day (even if it is years from now!) can be so overwhelming. What do kids need to be successful? How do they learn those skills?
It is easy to get caught up in the academics of school, but really there is so much more to being successful in a classroom than just knowing letters and numbers. Here are a few skills that can help a child be successful:
- Following a multiple-step direction in a distracting environment.
- Advocating for themselves! This could include bringing items for help at the appropriate times and to the appropriate people, asking questions for clarification when they don’t understand something, and telling another.
- Communicating with peers. And that means more than just having conversations with them – negotiating, problem solving and compromising! Communication involves so much back and forth, even at a 6 year old level!
- Making friends (and keeping them!) by turn-taking and following complex play sequences (play moves fast!)
Autism can prevent barriers to children learning these skills on their own, but there’s good news! Intensive early intervention can teach kids these skills to get them ready for school. Children develop these critical social-emotional skills through play and all of the life experiences that come within it. Another reason to love play!