It’s Ok if Your Child Isn’t Ready for School
July 20, 2022
July 20, 2022
There is a lot of pressure on parents. The pressure for parents to stay home with their kids but also to go back to work, the pressure to find the best school or therapy provider, the pressure for kids to roll/sit/walk/talk by a certain age but also for them to learn these skills in their own time. The pressure to keep up and do it all is too much, and it can feel like there is no right answer.
The truth is, there is no one correct answer; there are many. Each child is an individual and what is best for one child or family may not be for another.
This is true for all families, but we especially want to share this reminder with families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Watching other children meet milestones can spark confusing feelings for caregivers of kids who may not reach them as quickly.
Not only are kids with autism compared to neurotypical children, but it can seem as though they are compared to other kids who are on the spectrum, too.
Maybe you are concerned your child isn’t meeting certain goals as quickly as other kids. Maybe you worry that some of their friends are graduating from their ABA therapy programs and moving onto kindergarten while your child is still working on school-readiness skills. If this sounds familiar to you, we want you to know that we see you. We see your child. And we support all of you with open arms and ingrain that support into every inch of what we do here at Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers.
If your child participates in applied behavior analysis (ABA therapy), occupational therapy or speech therapy at Hopebridge, you may be seeing a lot of “graduates” over the next couple months as some of our children transition to school. What seems like an exciting time for these kids can naturally bring up questions for other families.
Don’t worry if your child is not one of these graduates. Your child is right where they need to be.
We never want you to feel like your child is not progressing—because they are! Success looks different for every child, and each takes a different path to reach it. Though the data (and our experience) shows that early intervention is significant in future development and independence, it’s important to remember that kids who utilize these services will get to where they need to be at their own pace.
We are here to celebrate your child’s every win. Whether that is decreasing the amount of elopement behaviors, using an AAC device to communicate the phrase, “I want …” or sitting at the table for a few extra moments to eat a snack, we are here for them. All the while, we’ll be serving up the most enthusiastic high fives and hugs, helping them to realize their potential, while also standing ready to assist them with the next goal.
We hope you will also find value, joy and pride in these present moments, no matter how big or small they may seem compared to those of others. If you start to feel the pressure to move on, remember there is no rush. Therapy takes time and we will never push your child to transition before they are ready.
Even if now is not the right time, but one of your child’s goals is to ultimately find success in school, please don’t give up on it! Our teams are well equipped to work with them on communication, socialization and general life skills, which are beneficial in school, plus they are experienced in helping them build other specific skills that are necessary in the classroom.
To prepare children with autism for school, here are a handful of resources that outline why interdisciplinary therapy centers are often a great stepping stone. You will also find tips for families considering a transition to school or growth into other environments suited best to their needs:
Whatever your child’s goals are, be sure to soak up each win that occurs along the way. An extra gesture, word, food or minute can make a huge impact. If your child does not yet attend Hopebridge but you are interested in learning more about autism testing or how we can help your little ones unlock their greatest potential, please fill out the form on our website to get started at one of our centers across the nation.
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