Introduction to Educating Middle School Students with Asperger Profiles
Strategies That Help With Transition to Middle School
As you prepare for the transition to middle school, consider these strategies that other students, parents, and teachers have found helpful.
- Have the student meet their go-to person at the middle school before the start of school. They can tour the school and find all their classes before all students return.
- Have plans in place for the less structured times of day, like lunch. Is there a small group to attend if the cafeteria is too loud or your child can’t find any friends to sit with?
- Agree to try one school activity each year so that your child can be involved in the life of the school. If additional support is needed for your child to participate in a school club or team, talk with your team about how to facilitate your child’s inclusion.
- Novelty is usually challenging for students with Asperger profiles, so they may be anxious the first few weeks of school and at other times of transition. Put supports and structures in place at the start of the year and then pull them back if they aren’t needed instead of waiting to see if he fails.
- Make sure each teacher has seen your child’s IEP or 504 plan and is aware of accommodations and goals.
Especially For Parents
- Discuss rules for social media and screen use. Balance your child’s needs for down time and online connection with safety and other responsibilities.
- If your child knows about his or her diagnosis, talk with your child about disclosing to classmates and peers.
- Consider having an older family friend who has attended the middle school explain the “hidden curriculum” or the unwritten rules of the new social environment. They know important information that parents and teachers miss.