Certain steps can help ensure your child receives the necessary support and accommodations for success in school. The following tips can facilitate the process and create a more comfortable school experience for your child.

A teacher helps her students at school.

Understand Your Child's Needs 

Every neurodivergent child has unique strengths, challenges, and learning styles. Understanding your child's specific needs, preferences, and triggers can help you to advocate effectively for them in the school setting. Observing how your child responds to different situations and environments can provide valuable insights into their individualized support requirements. 

Build a Supportive Team 

Establish open communication channels with educators, counselors, and special education staff to develop a comprehensive support plan tailored to your child's needs. Working together as a team ensures that everyone is aligned in supporting your child's academic and social development. 

Advocate for Accommodations 

Advocating for appropriate accommodations can help your child to participate fully in classroom and school activities. Familiarize yourself with relevant laws and regulations, such as IDEA and Section 504, and work with school personnel to identify and secure accommodations such as extended time on assignments, modified testing formats, or access to assistive technology. 

Create a Positive Learning Environment 

Support your child’s academic and social well-being by advocating for sensory-friendly classrooms, flexible seating arrangements, and visual supports that accommodate sensitivities and learning preferences. Encourage educators to promote acceptance and understanding of neurodiversity among school staff members and your child’s peers to foster a supportive school culture. 

Take Advantage of Opportunities to Prepare Your Child for a Mainstream Classroom 

Cortica's PREP (Pre-K Readiness Early-Intervention Program) is one option available for children with autism who are between the ages of 2 and 6. PREP is an intensive group therapy program aimed at preparing children for mainstream kindergarten. The curriculum focuses on developing essential social, communication, cognitive, and motor skills necessary for success in general education classrooms. PREP sessions take place at Cortica's centers, with morning sessions available from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at all centers, and afternoon sessions varying by location.  

Eligibility for PREP requires children to undergo an ABA assessment or be enrolled in ongoing ABA services at Cortica. With personalized interventions and a supportive learning environment, Cortica's PREP program empowers neurodivergent children to thrive and reach their full potential as they transition to kindergarten.