Going back to school is always filled with the excitement of seeing friends, getting school supplies, new teachers, new clothes and a fun lunchbox. It also, brings with it anxious feelings. For our FASD kiddos this can be a time of extreme stress and anxiety, which in turn causes some extreme emotional and behavioral issues.
How can we help our FASD kiddos to ease back to school with success?
Be proactive with teachers
I was an elementary school teacher for ten years and have been a homeschool teacher going on 14 years now. One of my kids went to school and the other two have been homeschooled. What I have found is that teachers, myself included, do not have any real knowledge of what fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) looks like in the classroom. After raising two with FASD, I look back on my own years of teaching and can spot those kiddos that may have been affected by FASD. I will never know, of course, but am thankful that God gave wisdom and guidance while I was teaching.
While FASD has many symptoms, it can present itself in myriad of different ways in the classroom and at home. One of the best ways to create a successful back to school transition is to be proactive with teachers.
Schedule a time to meet with your child’s teacher before the first day of school. In a kind manner, let the teacher know what FASD is and what it looks like for your child in the classroom. You want the teacher to know what he/she can expect to see with your child developmentally, emotionally, and behaviorally.
Offer to be a resource for the teacher. If it fits with your family dynamics, volunteer to help in the classroom and on field trips. You will have the opportunity to be an asset in the classroom and will also be able to reinforce to your child that you are there for them.
Set up a routine or schedule that works best for your child.
Setting up a regular morning and after school routine, will help your child to feel more in control of their day. FASD children have an insatiable need to be in control. When they don’t feel in control, the behavior issues are enhanced and the anxiety can run high.
Stick to the routine as much as possible.
Children with FASD feel most secure when their routine is predictable. When you know the routine needs to change, prepare your child ahead of time or at a time that best works for them to feel safe. One of my FASD kids liked to know in advance when there was a change. The other child could only handle the change 5 minutes before that change or event was to happen. As he got older, we were able to give him more notice than 5 minutes.
Use essential oils to ease anxious feelings and support focus.
Essential oils are another great tool to ease the anxious feelings that come with going back to school.
Essential oils are distilled from plants and are a great natural solution for easing anxious feelings. My favorite oils to use for easing anxious feelings are a blend called Balance
and the blend Adaptiv.
Both of these oils can be found HERE
is a grounding blend and may bring balance and grounding. Adaptiv
was created to support our bodies during times of everyday stresses and anxious feelings.
is another great oil to ease anxious feeling and uplift the mood. I personally love combining Wild Orange
together. I have seen huge results in my children’s ability to control impulsive behaviors and have a more uplifted mood.
For more information on how to use natural solutions and essential oils successfully with your FASD child, grab my FREE GUIDE.
Be ready and available to walk/talk your child through their anxious feelings and those moments of panic, with grace and encouragement.
So many times, in our hurry to get children to school and other events, even just the craziness of life, we forget that a few simple words of encouragement can go a long way to easing anxious feelings.
I have watched countless times, the anxious feelings of my children subside as I took the time to validate their feelings and encourage them with whatever it was they had to do. When we do this, we are also teaching them to face their challenges and problem solve.
Our children can learn so much when we as parents exercise grace and encouragement in their journey through this challenge of growing up.
For more encouragement and support in your journey of raising your children with FASD, check out my Joyful Parenting – Thriving with the FASD Child. This is a 6-week mentoring program for adoptive moms raising children with FASD. It is designed to offer support, encouragement, and tools to aid you on your journey of raising your child with FASD. Click here to find out more.