I am working with a number of 2-3 year-olds who will be starting preschool in the fall. Moms are already panicking and worrying about how their kids will adjust. Here are a few a tips for parents to help make a smooth transition to preschool, beginning with making a list of helpful information to share with your child’s teacher:
- Start making a list of gestures, words, or phrases that your child uses to communicate. One little guy says, “Eee” when he wants something, another says, “Reach.” After each verbalization, note what he means and in what context he uses it. This will help his teacher to decipher what he says and make him feel understood and comfortable in his new setting.
- List behaviors and how your child typically reacts and what is effective in helping her comply. Often preschoolers with a speech delay have adopted certain negative behaviors in frustration for not being able to talk like their peers. When a request seems too hard, they may turn their head or scream out of frustration. Share with the teacher how you manage those behaviors so you and the teacher are consistent in your approach.
- Meet with her teacher to talk over your list. The more her teacher knows your child, the better the launch to school will go.
- Keep communication open. As your child grows in her ability to communicate–now she can use 2 or 3-word phrases–share that with the teacher. So many times I go to observe one of my preschool clients in their nursery school, and the teacher is not requiring enough of them because she doesn’t know they can speak that way. “Oh, she can say THAT??” Yes, and model and wait for that level of language.
- Visit your child’s school with her so she can feel comfortable in the surroundings and meet her teacher
- Finally, have a big smile on your face the first day, give a confident kiss, say goodbye and leave quickly