Supporting Your Child as They Start School

If your child has speech, language or communication needs, starting school or changing to a new classroom/teacher can feel especially stressful. Here are a few strategies that can ease this transition:


  1. Introduce school-related words. Words like cafeteria, auditorium, assembly, recess may be unfamiliar. Come up with a list of school-based words your child might encounter and talk to your child about what they mean. Pictures can help with understanding.

  2. Teach them to ask for help. Make sure your child has some useful phrases to ask for help: “I don’t understand”, “Can you repeat that?”, “I need some help”.

  3. Role-play some ways to talk to new friends. You can suggest some good phrases they might use to start conversations and make friends: “What’s your name?, Can I play with you? Do you like Roblox?”

  4. Build up essential vocabulary. The school relies on children knowing specific words to support their learning and follow instructions. Practicing time-related vocabulary (before/after, first/next/last, yesterday/today/tomorrow) and positional words (up/down, in front/behind, top/bottom) will help prepare them for a variety of school routines.

  5. Keep communicating. Stay in contact with the teacher and other adults in your child’s school. You may want to set up a simple communication notebook that helps you share news from home and school staff share updates with you.


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