Preparing your child for a school transition, whether that be preschool to primary school, primary to high school, or high school to further study, work or community participation, can be a challenging time.
With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, we talk to the experts in the RIDBC Allied Health – Psychology team, about their top tips for a successful transition – for both you and your child:
- Start preparing early
- Help your child familiarise themselves with their new environment
- Work with the school, program or provider to put a communication plan in place
- Give your child the confidence and tools to ask for help
- Understand and make use of the support available to you
Paul says this is often about giving your child the language and skills to ask assertively for what they need. “In a mainstream environment, there might be twenty-five other children in the room, so teaching your child how to ask for help, particularly when something goes wrong, is really important to ensure they are heard and understood.”
He says role-playing is a great way to do this. “Parents can role-play situations their children might find themselves in. For example, for a student who is hard of hearing, this might be role-playing a situation where the FM system the student uses to support their hearing is not functioning correctly. Teaching your child how to ask calmly but assertively will help them not to panic or ‘miss out’ if this situation arises,” Paul explains.
Many services, schools and programs provide support to help you navigate these transitions and beyond. It can be helpful to attend workshops to learn about your options, speak to experts and meet other parents.
According to Paul, parents should ask every question they need answered – there are no silly questions, he says. ” With RIDBC families, many of them have been in the RIDBC program since their child was a baby. Moving outside that framework may be fraught with nervousness and worry – it’s something new for your child and every parent wants the best for their child. Ask everything you need to, and if you are still unsure, ask again, ” he says.
|RIDBC offers a number of services, courses and workshops that you may be able to tap into to support you and your child through school transitions:|
RIDBC Allied Health Psychologists work with families to help them manage life transitions and minimise stress and anxiety. These services are open to children with vision or hearing loss, including those with additional needs. You don’t need a medical referral unless you intend to claim on Medicare, and for some families these services may be covered under NDIS.
RIDBC School Support Service provides a range of services at many independent schools across Australia. Specialist itinerant teachers visit and support students to have access to the full curriculum. This includes helping students with equipment, technology and devices, and provisions that support your child’s learning as well as training school staff.
RIDBC Renwick Centre offers a number of short courses and webinars which are suitable for both professionals working in the education space and parents looking to provide support to their children. Topics include education inclusion for children with vision impairment, using assistive technologies, literacy support, and many more.
RIDBC Alternate Format Publications service assists people who need access to printed materials in braille, large print, accessible e-text, EPUB and 3D and 2D tactile resources, including a range of educational support materials, such as books, exam papers and standardised assessments.
RIDBC can help with a range of adaptive technologies that support the educational journey of children with a vision impairment or hearing loss.