As Liam’s first day of preschool crept up closer and closer, I started to feel very anxious about this big change in his routine. I have left him home with our beloved nanny since he was 4 months old, so leaving him somewhere while I went to work wasn’t new for me. The difference though in leaving him at home, in a place where he is comfortable, and leaving him somewhere new with lots of other kids and teachers, seemed huge to me. My biggest worry was that he would feel lost in the afternoon, when he had to switch classrooms and teachers, as some kids go home at noon and the school combines the remaining children into two groups, based on age.
I asked some other Bee mamas for advice about this transition and they were so helpful. Mrs. Stroller suggested talking to Liam about his new routine, going over the different parts of the day several times before he actually had to live the new routine. Mrs. Twine pointed me to something called Social Stories, where you create a personalized story for the child about his or her new routine. It is recommended to use real pictures of the child doing the things in the story, but since I didn’t have any, I just used clip art. If he has a problem with any particular part of his routine after he starts, I’ll ask his teachers to take some pictures of him in school and use those to create another story. For now, though, this has been working out great! Social Stories are designed to help kids with special needs, namely autism, adjust to new routines and expectations. However, as I’ve learned in my training and experience as a teacher, what works for kids with special needs is beneficial for all kids. Here is Liam’s story!