The tips below will provide a starting point for preparing your child with autism for the new school year ahead.
|Start talking about the new school year well in advance. Having conversations about school schedules, what to expect and things they are looking forward to or worried about can help alleviate their concerns.
Get organised at home
|School mornings can be very rushed and stressful. It can be helpful to prepare for the school days in advance. One way of preparing is to create a visual schedule or packing list with your child. This will help them understand what they need for school and develop their independence.
Practice school routines
|Practice new routines to allow your child time to get comfortable with them before the school year starts. By slowly introducing these new routines (sleep & wake up times, daily meal schedules) you can help your child adjust to changes outside of the normal routine.
Visit the school in advance
|If you can, try to visit the school before the start of the year to help your child become familiar with the school environment. Identify where they will be spending most of their time to help reduce uncertainty in the first few days of school.
Develop a profile for the teaching staff
|Prepare a short student profile with your child, for their teacher and support staff. This can help with introductions and making the staff aware of your child’s strengths, stressors and how best to help with these.
Meet the teacher in advance
This can help reduce stress for you and your child. Check with the school to see if you can arrange a time to meet teachers or support staff before the start of school. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and go over the individual goals and specific needs your child may have.
It could also be an opportunity for your child to meet their teachers before the start of the year.
Here are some examples of how your school may be able to help: https://www.onethingforautism.com.au/10-education-things/
Give yourself and your child extra time to process
|The first few weeks of school can be very challenging and confusing for your child, causing them to become tired and behave differently. Allow yourselves some extra time to relax at the end of a school day before starting your afternoon/ evening routines.
Introduce your child to new uniform and equipment early
|Before starting school, give your child a chance to try on new uniforms and identify any sensory issues before the beginning of the school year. Test out equipment they will be using at school to help them become familiar with some of the everyday activities they will be doing.
Being proactive in the run up to the new school year by starting the conversations about school with your child early and introducing them to routines can help with your child’s transition into the new school year.
We hope these tips help provide a starting point to preparing your child for their school adventure next year!
Braving the rain and train strikes, the LiveBig team spent two days engaging with attendees and creating connections with participants, clinicians, and businesses to help support participants access their support services and help them achieve the best outcomes.
LiveBig superstars, Mette & Maria were then off to Hornsby, to present to attendees at the One Community Ready-Set-Connect event as table sponsors. These events provide the perfect platform for us to connect with Participants, People with a disability and Support Coordinators and communicate the ways LiveBig’s client-centred approach helps people of all ages with disability access their support services.
Thank you to all the LiveBig team for their hard work in exhibiting and representing the business at the events this month. If you missed us in July here’s where we will be over the next few weeks.
Keep an eye out for us in your local area.
Our next event will be the Brisbane Disability Expo held on the 14th and 15th of October.
With 150+ disability product and service providers exhibiting, speakers, sensory/activity zones and performers, there was something for everyone at the Source Kids Disability Expo in Melbourne.
Our team of Janelle, Kavitha, Jordane, Genevieve, and Ben had a great time meeting and engaging with families, new and existing participants and support coordinators in the lively and welcoming atmosphere at the MCEC. Our booth was a huge hit with the kids who needed a distraction from the hustle and bustle of the expo and have a bit of fun building and playing games. The team connected with the wonderful people who visited us at the booth and showcased what we have to offer in Victoria, with particular interest in our Occupational Therapy and Psychology services, which both have immediate capacity in Victoria.
We had a great time engaging people face-to-face again in LiveBig’s first in-person expo of the year. It was a great chance to understand how we can support the community and see first-hand the impact our knowledge and expertise has on people’s lives with the work we do. Our LiveBig team came away more motivated than ever to make a huge difference in the lives of the children and young adults we work with.
Thank you to Source Kids for another great expo!
If you’re interested in learning about LiveBig and the services we offer, contact us today.
Take advantage of the free public transport in Sydney over the next few days and explore the city! Here are a few places you can take your loved ones with disability over the Easter weekend.
Sydney Royal Easter Show
Head to the Sydney Showground at Sydney Olympic Park and spend a day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and you can not only see but also interact with beautiful farmyard animals, taste award-winning produce and experience a variety of exhibits.
Quieter days: Tuesday 12th April, Wednesday 13th April, Thursday 14th April and Tuesday 19th April.
Quieter Areas: Arts & Crafts Pavillion, The Paddock, Woolworths Fresh Food Dome, Showbag Pavilion (Mornings)
Accessible Parking, Accessible Toilets, Scooter, Wheelchair and Stroller Hire, Accessible Seating, Free entry to Companions
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is one of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks. An architectural masterpiece meets one of the best theatres in the state, a visit to this landmark is a must. The Sydney Opera House has a range of inclusive performances for people of all ages and abilities. Check out the shows and exhibits on this Easter.
- Captioned performances
- Auslan Interpreted performances
- Accessible performance and sing and play sessions
- Relaxed performances
- Audio Described Performances
- Assisted Listening Devices (FM Radio System)
- Tactile tours
Universal Access Toilets, Accessible Seating, Auslan Performances, Relaxed Performances, Audio Described Performances, Tactile Tours.
Royal Botanical Gardens
With fantastic views of the harbour and Opera House, the Royal Botanical Garden is a great place to escape the bustle of city life and relax. With wide pathways throughout, it’s easy to explore some of Australia’s plant and animal life, including an exploration of coastal environments at the Inside the Tide immersive exhibit.
Wheelchair Accessible Entrances, Accessible Indoor and Outdoor Venues, Universal Access Toilets, Accessible Parking, Wheelchair Hire
A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without visiting one of the most iconic beaches, Manly Beach. From Manly, you can do the coastal walk to Shelly Beach which has no stairs and wide walkways, making it wheelchair accessible.
Collaroy Beach is a surf beach that adjoins Narrabeen Beach forming a long stretch of coast. The beachfront area contains fun facilities for everyone, including people with mobility issues. Featuring Wheelchair Accessible picnic Areas, Ramp access to the beach and an accessible playground with sensory elements and liberty swing for wheelchair users.
Wheelchair Accessible, Beach Wheelchair Hire.
Wheelchair Accessible, Beach and Submersible Wheelchair, Accessible Toilet
Melbourne is bursting with fun and wonderful attractions for people of all abilities to enjoy. There are a number of sights to see, so here are a few of our suggestions for what to experience.
Kids Day Out – Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Kids Day Out is a free event for families held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Good Friday, 15 April 2022.
Enjoy free entry and a range of activities for kids and families, including carnival rides, the popular Teddy Bear Hospital, a Mini Film Festival with Disney movies, Classic Cars, the Woolworths Fresh Food Fair and more.
The MCEC has parents rooms available, providing a private and quiet space.
Wheelchair Accessible, Assistance Animals Allowed, Braille signage, Accessible Parking, Accessible Toilets
National Gallery Victoria
Check out Australia’s oldest and most visited museum! The National Gallery Victoria offers a range of resources and events to make you visit as easy and enjoyable as possible, with audio described exhibits and tours, sensory maps and activity sheets for selected exhibits can be accessed through the website.
Wheelchair Accessible, Accessible Toilets, Auslan Tours, Audio Description, Relaxed Sessions
ACMI – Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Australia’s nation museum of screen culture, videogames and art, ACMI has interactive exhibits, like The Story of the Moving Image, exploring the history and future of moving image. ACMI also offer relaxed sessions, with sensory guides and dedicated quiet rooms, and audio described tours.
Wheelchair Accessible, Assistance Animals Allowed, Hearing Loops, Free Entry to Companions, Wheelchair Hire, Accessible Toilets
Phillip Island – Penguin Parade
Visit the iconic Philip Island to catch a glimpse of the Penguin Parade. The site has a number of accessibility measures in place to ensure this is an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all. Accessible-height counters and displays, ramp access and wide pathways leading to exclusive sensory and wheelchair access viewing areas.
You can also enjoy Phillip Island Nature Park from the comfort of your own home with virtual experiences available online.
Wheelchair Accessible, Buggy Service, Sensory-inclusive site, Noise-cancelling Headphones, Free Entry to Companions, Accessible parking
Other activities to look out for in your area…
- Cinemas have Audio description and Closed Caption shows available, with some participating cinemas running sensory friendly screenings on certain days.
- Museums and national galleries across the country also run relaxed sessions.
Heading out of the City?
Heading out of the city can be a great way to find quieter locations. Organisations like Autism Friendly Charter provide listings to accessible businesses and places near you, and many National Parks have accessible facilities. E.g. Parks Victoria provide information on parks with social scripts, accessible play areas, accessible canoe launchers and all abilities walks.
Make sure to search what may be available in your area…
Sensory-friendly Easter Egg Hunts
Here are some ideas and adaptations to make your Easter egg hunts at home accessible to all…
- Colour-code your Easter eggs by ability or participant to make sure everyone is included
- Swap chocolate eggs for sensory friendly toys or decorate some eggs at home to find
- Hide eggs at eye-level or stick clues to the walls at eye-level
- Use a familiar location for the hunt and create quiet spaces
Some Sensory friendly Easter Egg Hunts take place in the community.
Arts & Crafts
- There are plenty of resources available online to take advantage of, like these Easter colouring pages.
- You can find fake decorating eggs in shops and online that provide a less fragile surface. Use watercolours to decorate or create a more tactile decorating experience with foam stickers and jewels.
Some fun Easter recipes to give a try:
We hope you have a great time this Easter, whether you’re out and about or relaxing at home.
Over 2700 amazing people turned up to experience the inclusive, welcoming environment and our LiveBig team members Camila, Janelle and Maria participated in many engaging and informative conversations with clients, families and support coordinators. Everyone was so excited to learn about the LiveBig therapy services with particular interest in our Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology.
Held at the International Convention Centre, there was a great energy with so much engagement and fun. The LiveBig team would like to thank all the amazing people who came along to make the weekend so special, and we loved the opportunity to connect with some new and familiar faces. The Source Kids Disability Expo provided a great opportunity for us to come together and share our knowledge and expertise in order to make a difference to so many young people.
Thank you to Source Kids for running such an incredible Sydney Expo, we’re looking forward to the next one in Melbourne in June. We’d love to meet you so make sure you come and say hello if you’re around!
You can register for free: https://sourcekids.com.au/disability-expo/melbourne-2022/
Melbourne 2022 – Source Kids
When: 18-19 June 2022 – 10am to 4pm both days
Where: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Cost: FREE to attend