Posted by: ugleepen | September 13, 2012

Back to School Anxieties and Your Autistic Child

Education expert and mother of an autistic child Priscilla Gillman offers some insights into the causes of anxiety that your autistic youngster may be facing now that it’s back-to-school time.

Understanding what can trigger anxiety in your autistic child can go a long way to helping you learn how to work with your child to make the back to school transition a little more gentle for everyone.

1. Novelty. Children with autism typically struggle with novelty, and a new school year brings just that – new teachers and classmates, a new physical space to become acclimated to, a new schedule and routine, and new demands and expectations both academically and behaviorally.

2. Seasonal Changes. The change in seasons also affects children with autism who can be acutely sensitive to temperature and textures. Less outdoor and active play time as the weather gets colder leads to an increase in irritability, along with the loss of summer time therapeutic activities such as swimming and time in nature.

A change in textures can include going from being barefooted or wearing filp-flops as the child may have done through the summer, to the unaccustomed feel of socks, as well as enclosed shoes.

3. New Routines. Having to go to bed and wake up earlier can be hard for autistic children, who tend to have disordered sleep. And the pressure to move quickly and efficiently in the morning to make is all the more stressful for autistic children who may struggle with everything from feeding themselves to tying their shoes.

With all of these factors creating anxiety for an autistic child, the last thing you want is for your child to also feel frustrated just trying to do school work because he or she can’t hold a pen properly. Many children with autism have weak fine motor skills that affect movements of the hand such as grasping, gripping, and pinching.

The UGLee Pen is a scientifically-designed ergonomic pen that is easy to grasp and grip because actually it grips you. This “comfort pen” relaxes the hand, and the easy-flow ink prevents any drag on the paper. It’s the best pen to allow your autistic child to have a positive experience with handwriting.

Photo Credit: Catherine Ledner/Getty Images

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