Why autistic children hate the end of the school year and how to help

Dear friend,

There is one week left until the end of school or 5 get ups. I keep reading similar statements on teacher friends status updates. It is the ultimate countdown to freedom, six weeks of fun, lying around in your PJs for as long as you like and if you are lucky a sunny, holiday thrown in too. Most non teachers will make a tongue in cheek comment about wishing they had a job like ours. (You're never there, must be really hard having six weeks a year free etc) But then again not many people would swap, especially not in todays ever changing, stressful, badly paid, poorly valued, world of teaching.

The end of term for teachers is a strange affair. You say goodbye to a class that you've grown to love over the year, there is a sense of loss but also pride at how far they've come, the progress they've made academically and socially and of course the role that you have played in that. You are also caught up in this busy world of report writing, sports days, end of year musicals, trips, parties, planning for next year etc so there isn't much time for mourning the loss of your little darlings or reflecting on the year together. The countdown begins to accelerate and before you know it, it is the last week, the last day, the last lesson and the children leave. You stand in your empty, bare classroom, exhausted but happy and relieved. You made it!

But, the end of the year isn't a party for everyone...

The end of the school year can be a nightmare for autistic children.  There is a degree of safety in the routine of the school day, in the normality, in being with friends. But at the end of the year everything is different.

From the first group (reception in UK) the big lad knew the routine. When he went into class on the morning he would check the visual timetable and tell the teacher if she had got something wrong. He knew exactly what happened on each day. If you asked; What did you do at school today? He would answer, talking in the ring, read books, played outside, work, story then home. Any changes had to be carefully explained beforehand to avoid meltdown. He still needs this security and his amazing support assistant spends time every morning going through what will happen during the day but also what he will be expected to do, there are no surprises and that way the stress is taken away, he can relax and enjoy school.

At the end of the year this becomes harder. There are changes in routine and schedule. There are new experiences, you are expected to do things with other people, classes, teachers, mum helpers etc and the social expectations are huge! It is summer, it is warm, you are wearing new clothes so you feel different too. The stress starts to build...

Then the class has a meet and greet with a new teacher s/he seems nice but different, the class room is different. Where will you sit, who with, will you know where things are, how do the chairs feel, how does his/her voice sound, does he get cross easily?

Too much change! Meltdown...

At the end of the school year most parents are relaxing bed times and allowing children to play out longer, to enjoy the summer weather. Not us! If anything we are tightening control.

Ways to make the transition easier:

Before school ends
  • Child to meet with the new teacher 1-1 
  • Child + assistant to visit the class to become familiar with the new surroundings 
  • Child + assistant sit in on a lesson or two 
  • Child + Parents discuss the transition:  Ask what they are most worried about
  • Parents meet with the new teacher to discuss any potential problems/issues or parents meet with the old & new teachers together to put a plan in place and make a brief schedule for the first day
  • Be positive! 
  • Let them know it is natural to feel apprehensive
  • Stick to routines at home 
Week before school
  • Keep the days before the transition calm and positive - Don't do too much!
  • Discuss what will happen - Go through schedule for the first day
  • Be positive
  • Stick to the bedtime routine - make sure they are well rested
On the day
  • Arrange to go into work later so you can bring them to school
  • Be organised - make sure you have all school materials, gym things, clothes ready 
  • Be on time!

 Let the countdown begin. Bring it on end of term, we are ready, I hope you are too!

Have a great summer!

Post revised June 2017

#PointShoot #15

Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then this could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. You can share your days out snaps or any fun, special, touching moments from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without. 

Welcome to #PointShoot Week #15

This week's featured post comes from MyLittleCheekyMonkey. I love this cheeky shot!

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A photograph is the pause button of life.

We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Monday 6 a.m. (so there is plenty of time to link up.)

Link up your weekend pictures!


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Best of #a blogging good time June

Dear friend,

Welcome to the "best of...#ablogginggoodtime."  Katie and I are overwhelmed by the number of fantastic posts linked up each week and in an effort to give something back I decided to run a monthly feature to showcase some of the brilliant bloggers who regularly link up with us.

The diversity of posts linked up every month is amazing...everything from recipes to poems and lists, heartfelt and inspiring stories to hilarious tales and brilliant tips. Thank you so much! I know that we both struggle every week to pick out a featured post.

This months featured posts include:  


For many bloggers, not all granted, linkys are big business. We add our posts for exposure, to be read and commented on and in return we sign up to comment on a certain number of posts, good idea yes?

I wonder though if deep down people genuinely link to read other posts or whether it is all about stats and exposure? If it is then truthfully I see no issue with that as long as you keep up your end of the deal and reciprocate on the comments. I however learnt that not everybody does. I have learnt this largely through running my linky. My host, Karen of Two Tiny Hands, and I have never made a point of checking the comments and making sure everyone does their bit because ya know, adulthood. Yet we have wondered whether this is the right call or not as people have contacted us to say they aren’t always getting the comments, which is a shame.


A Family Day Out In Whitby

If you read my post last Saturday (Happy Days: Cars, Caves and Beaches), you’ll know that on Bank Holiday Monday we had intended to go to our local carnival. The constant rain made us change our minds and after checking the weather we decided to head to Whitby instead. One thing the weather app didn’t mention was the thick fog and while you can usually see the Sea for a good 20 minutes before you arrive, we couldn’t see it until we got out the car and walked to the cliff edge!

As so often happens with impromptu days out though, we had an absolutely brilliant time and the fog lifted slightly so that we could appreciate the views.


A Toddler’s Guide to the Human Rights Act

As Theresa May once again threatens to abolish the Human Rights Act, a toddler could be forgiven for asking ‘What has the Human Rights Act ever done for me?’

So here is the essential guide to what the HRA means for toddlers.

The right to life

This means you can throw yourself down the stairs/attempt to ride an escalator head first/try to lick the cat, and Mummy must do everything possible to prevent you from dying. Your life is protected – test that theory by risking it as much as possible.


I Bought My Kid A Hatchimal and Now I Hate Myself

You parents know them…


AKA The brightly colored assholes that drove moms to fifty shades of crazy during the 2016 holiday season.

You couldn’t get your hands on them…

If you did snag one, it cost you your mortgage as well as your soul…

People who ended up with less than perfect Hatchimals lost their minds. One woman actually tried to sue the maker when her kid’s furry satanic gift didn’t hatch correctly. (Ummm…. quick thought asshole… read the return policy when buying pricey gifts.)

Other parents went bananas claiming their expensive (and really ugly) toys were swearing at their kids. (Ummmm…. Hatchimals talk in a high pitched gibbly-garb language that eats your brain. Perhaps you imagined swearing as the toy scrambled your mind, this I can see happening. Purposely swearing or rigged to curse up a storm, I think not.)


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#MummyShot Week 24

Dear friends,

Welcome to #MummyShot Roundup, hosted by myself and the amazing MacKenzie Granville.I always seem to end up walking behind the boys playing catch up as they are running along in front of me, chatting away. A few years ago I snapped a shot of my boys walking at the beach. I loved this shot as for me it captured their relationship, hand in hand, mirrored walking steps, little man turned towards his brother... I read the phrase hand in hand together we can make it and my mummy shot was born. I've been recreating this shot even since.

Photography is about capturing souls not smiles.   Dragan Tapshanov.

Featured posts:

This week is all about the flowers and the shots are absolutely amazing. I had to sneak in a 5th shot too as I just couldn't choose! The standard of photography is outstanding on #MummyShot, thank you so much for joining us ๐ŸŒŸ 

A post shared by Sarah (@missbettyandme) on

A post shared by Jenni Horsley (@jennihorsley) on

If you aren't following these brilliant Instagramers then pop over and show them some love.
We'd love you to come and join us at #MummyShot too!

My favourite post from Mackenzie this week:

#MummyShot is an IG community for faceless shots that capture emotion or tell a story. 

Friday Focus: Avifauna

Dear friend,

Welcome to my Photo series Friday Focus. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.

Avifauna is a bird park but they also have some Madagascan animals too. Little man is a big fan of ring tailed Lemurs and when my colleague told me she had visited and you could get up close and personal with them we had to see for ourselves. I was super excited to see the boys reactions. 

Both my boys loved it and Lemurs are their new favourite animal. There was some scary talk of bringing one home but I must admit that I fell in love with them too! 

Happy Days!


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