Top 3 Tips for Helping Your Teen With Autism Get Back to School

The transition from summer back to school can often be a challenging time for children and teens, especially for youths on the autism spectrum. Because autism covers a large spectrum and presents differently in every person, there are several ideas for ways to help your teen or child with autism feel that they belong and have significance during this time of change. Keep reading for top 3 tips for helping your teen with autism get back to school.

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Real Talk for Teens: Back to School

This article is an invitation for teen readers to self-reflect and visualize a positive back to school experience. You are invited to create a vision of yourself living your best life next school year. This visualization is one that you can return to any time you start to feel bummed out or anxious or overwhelmed before school starts. It can also be used when you are at school, and you’ve caught an emotion that is weighing on you or keeping your mind in a place of worry. Furthermore, you can create and invest in this visualization as a safe space for you to access, a way to comfort and take care of yourself.

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Quick Connections: Asking Curiosity Questions

Asking curiosity questions to the children and teens in your life will not only increase their engagement (which brings confidence, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and so much more along with it), but it will also give you, as the parent or caregiver, more room to breathe. Keep reading to learn how to use curiosity questions in a wide range of opportunities!

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Quick Connection: Making Agreements with Teens

You and your family can make agreements about screentime, chores, finances or allowances, curfew, and so on. When you and your child or teen reach agreements TOGETHER, the buy-in is stronger. They are more likely to follow through with genuine interest and commitment. Plus, there’s less weight on you! Instead of giving instructions or reminders-- which can feel like nagging-- you can ask/remind your teen, “What did we agree to?”

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Quick Connection: The Power of Breath

Parents, caregivers, and supporters, I invite you to give this practice a try. Become aware of how it changes your own mood and energy as you face challenges in your own life. Then, notice how your breath can change, impact, and support the environment you facilitate with and for the children and teens in your life. Breath can be a powerful tool for talking to teenagers about the tough stuff!

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Organize Your Summer for More Fun & Connection

As the school year winds down, you’ve probably already thought about your big summer commitments: summer camps and trips and now the reality of a very different schedule and rhythm for the summer months may be at the forefront of your mind. Summer offers many organizational challenges: inconsistent schedules, summer trips, sunset at 9 p.m., camps, playdates, and more. It also gives us a chance to spend more time with our kids and teens, which we hope can be fun instead of a struggle. When you organize your summer together with a focus on connection, summer fun is more likely.

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