Preschool and kindergarten: thinking ahead

If your child has autism, it's important to have them be in a classroom that welcomes them.

It's also important that they get the support and services they need to make it work for them.

Why is preschool important for kids with autism?

  • School Readiness — Helps them get ready for kindergarten, get used to a schedule, etc.

  • Builds social skills — Gives them a chance to interact with peers, practice sharing, etc.

  • Helps practice developmental skills — Language, motor skills, emotional interactions, etc.

  • More "eyes on your child" — Teachers have experience with all kinds of kids and can help to monitor your child's progress.

  • Encourages you to create strategies for your child - With help from teachers and therapists, preschool is a good time to put in place strategies to make things easier for your child in a school setting. Examples are  visual schedules, reward systems and behavior plans.


And remember that if your child gets therapies like ABA or OT, these can be done in the school.


How can I get ready for preschool?

Icon of a three person teamSchedule a Transition Planning Meeting with your EarlySteps Team.
Do this as soon as possible - at least 90 days before your child's third birthday. This will decide next steps in transitioning your child to preschool


Schoolhouse iconWith your EarlySteps team, schedule a meeting with your public school district.
Map out the Special Education Services your child might be able to get after EarlySteps. 

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Plan to visit the preschool programs you are considering. 

See if you can have your child join in and try out some of the activities. 

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Set aside extra time to focus on this process, if you can. 

There will be meetings and evaluations to do. 

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Talk to other parents.
Many of them have been through this process already, and are willing to help you.