COVID-19 has posed challenges for every household and for many autistic people, the loss of structure and routine has been particularly tough. AsIAm, Ireland’s national autism charity, has partnered with SuperValu to launch an autism-friendly learning resource toolkit to help ease the transition back to school in 2020. Find out how you can get your free booklet here:
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Back to school 2020 is set to be a very different experience for all children, however the loss of routine for many months will make this significantly more difficult for those with autism. In addition, re-establishing routines in classrooms and settings that may have changed will be an additional challenge.
AsIAM Launches ‘Bridge Back to School’
The Bridge Back to School learning resources launched by AsIAm and SuperValu, developed with Mary Immaculate College, have been developed to help those with high support needs prepare during the summer months to return to school in September.
Professor Emer Ring of Mary Immaculate College, who collaborated with AsIAm on the project said: “Every person around the country has experienced some obstruction to their routine due to the pandemic, however many do not consider how the changes that may seem minor to some, can pose serious stress to others in their community. Whilst we welcome the reopening of businesses and society, we must be mindful that this is not a simple transition for many people.”
In developing the resources some of the most challenging elements of the current ever-changing circumstances which autistic students might find difficult to navigate were identified.
The booklet offers support and guidance in these areas, and will focus on:
- Sensory integration
- Preparing for the new year
- Dealing with worry and anxiety
- Explaining the “new normal”
- Social skills
- Use of visuals
- Clear communication
Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAM, said: “The summer months present an important opportunity for Summer Provision facilitators and family members to help prepare children for the transition back to education in September, but materials and guidance are needed to do so. The Bridge Back to School resource will support a young person to understand, prepare and manage the return to school.”
Where Can You Get a Booklet?
If your child would benefit from the learning resource booklet, you will find identifiable points in SuperValu stores around the country where 20,000 booklets will be distributed and available to pick up from Monday, July 6th.
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Have your say! Would the Bridge Back to School booklet from AsIAm and SuperValu be helpful for your family? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!