Back to School with AAoM – Tips, Resources, and Training for a Successful Year Ahead!

Contributed by Erik Gallery

It seems like we say it every time when this season starts to end, but wow, that was a quick summer! With the end of summer comes the return of the school year. This can
be both an exciting and anxious time for students and families alike, whether they’re a
returning student or entering the school environment for the first time. We at AAoM wanted to present a list of helpful tips to consider in easing this transition.

  • Talk to your child about the upcoming school year: This doesn’t have to be a formal, sit down conversation. This is an opportunity to keep your child aware of the transition, but also opens the door for you and your child to speak more on the subject. A visual tool can also be used during this time. Utilizing a calendar with the back to school date noted can aid a child in better anticipating this big change to their routine.
  • Create a new morning routine and practice it: We all have high hopes as to what the perfect morning routine looks like…though it doesn’t usually go the way we plan in our heads. Creating a morning routine ahead of time, and involving your child in the planning process can help to ensure they are both aware of this new routine, and have a voice in it, which can make it more motivating to actually follow.
  • Take a tour of the school, meet staff ahead of time (if possible): Even if your child is a returning student to the school, it can still be beneficial to see the location of a new classroom, gain a reminder on locations of bathrooms and other common areas. This act is another piece of easing that transition and keeping your child aware of coming changes. It never hurts to request to meet a teacher ahead of time, but be mindful that this may be difficult to arrange prior to the school year starting.
  • Keep school staff informed, provide a “snapshot” where needed: For children with specific needs, providing a 1 page overview of those items can be helpful. Items regarding dietary restrictions, sensory aversions, communication and behavioral needs, can all act as a great reference to the staff serving your child. It’s also beneficial to list reinforcing items and activities, as well as methods that are used to treat those needs should they arise in the classroom.
  • Ensuring any “plans” are in place for the first day: Whether your child has an IEP, a behavior support plan, etc. it’s good to ensure that the accommodations and resources from those plans will be prepared for the first day of school. Don’t hesitate to request a meeting to ensure all parties, including potentially new staff, are clear on the expectations
  • Be prepared for incoming communication: Your child’s educators are going to want to keep you in the loop about progress and needs where they can. Often they’ll need your support to ensure your child is having a successful school year. Be mindful that our educators serve many students and have limited windows of communication. Adapt where you can to keep that communication going!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask: A new school year can present needs and challenges that we can’t always anticipate, no matter how much we prepare. As resources and options are discussed, make sure you’re informed and understanding of the process. Never hesitate to ask for more guidance!
  • Find the joy where you can: Easier said than done…but despite all the changes and expectations, don’t forget the purpose of school, an opportunity for your child to learn, grow, connect with their peers. Support that where you can, and between the homework, forms, and lunches, don’t forget to enjoy time with your child.

While the above items can provide general direction for navigating the start of school, we realize that further resources may be needed in addressing more focused needs and special education support.

Please utilize the following link or QR code to access our AAoM’s Education Resource Guide:

We also encourage our families interested in learning more about special education needs and support for their children to consider registering for our upcoming Special Education Advocacy Summit that will include a Wrightslaw Training session with Pete Wright!

Register at

For any further support, we remind you to utilize AAoM’s MiNavigator Program and speak to a Navigator! We can be reached at 877-463-2266 or