by Ashley Bennett, Director of Trauma-Informed Care
Keeping your kiddo regulated in the classroom can be tough! But it’s a key component to helping them succeed. Here are a few easy ideas to consider talking to your teacher about if you have a kiddo who is struggling.
1. Food and water every 2 hours. Pack a snack your kiddo can eat between meals at school, and encourage them to drink lots of water.
2. Bubble gum and peppermints. Both these items promote alertness and attention. See if either one is an option for times your child struggles.
3. Movement breaks. See what natural movement breaks already exist in the classroom. Perhaps you and the teacher can brainstorm how to give your child more.
4. Fidgets. Consider what options exist to help your child’s brain stay focused, especially during unstructured times.
5. Flexible seating options. See what seating options can be brought in for a child who can’t sit still.
6. Chew jewelry or pencil toppers. Check out what kinds of items you can get to help meet your child’s oral sensory needs.
7. Printed visual schedules. Tape a mini schedule of the day on the top of their desk so they can check it out anytime. Children feel safest when things are predictable and they know what’s coming next.
8. Transition cues. Talk with the teacher about how she can give countdowns and advanced warning for times of transition throughout the day.
9. Transition jobs. For a child who really struggles with transitions, simply ask the teacher to give them a responsibility or job to do during those times; this can often be enough to help them begin to transition well.