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The Complete Back to School Checklist

Back to school can be a stressful time for any parent, but it can be especially challenging for parents of neurodivergent kids. There are so many things to think about, from making sure your child has the right supplies to preparing them for the social and academic demands of the school year. As a parent of a neurodivergent child, you know that every kid is different. What works for one child may not work for another. That’s why it’s so important to create a back to school checklist for parents, that is tailored to your child’s individual needs. In this blog post, we will provide you with a checklist that can help you get started. We will also share some tips and advice from other parents of neurodivergent kids.

1. Set Up a Routine

Let’s kick things off with routines. They’re the backbone of daily life for all kids but hold special importance for neurodivergent ones. A predictable schedule helps reduce anxiety and improve focus. Start by gradually adjusting bedtimes and wake-up times to match the school schedule.

  • Establish morning routines: waking up, getting clothes on, eating breakfast.
  • Create after-school schedules: homework time, relaxation period, physical activity slot.
  • Implement bedtime rituals: winding down activities, reading time lights out.
back to school checklist. A boy is using Goally to stay on track.
Read more: What are Daily Routines?

2. Organize Learning Space

Moving on to learning spaces – these are more than just physical areas; they’re zones of focus and productivity. Whether it’s a quiet corner with a comfortable chair and good lighting or a dedicated study room free from distractions – make sure it works for your child.

A great tool that can help in creating an effective learning space is Goally – a digital visual scheduler that aids in maintaining structure at home while promoting independence in kids.

The Kid’s Tablet for Daily Routines:

Using tech can make routines & time management fun for kids. See all of the apps included on the Goally Kid’s Tablet that build executive functioning skills:

3. Update Medical Records

No “Back to school checklist” would be complete without mentioning medical records. It’s crucial that all necessary medications are refilled and that the school has copies of any updated health plans or doctor’s notes regarding your child’s condition.

Name of MedicationDosageTime(s) Taken

4. Meet With Teachers

In the world of education, communication is key! Arrange meetings with teachers before school starts to discuss your child’s needs and strategies that work best for them. This could include sharing insights about their strengths and challenges or discussing how Goally has been beneficial in managing their daily tasks at home.

5. Shop For Supplies

We had to remember shopping for supplies! And we’re not just talking about pencils and notebooks here – though those are important too! Consider items that might help your child focus better in class, such as fidget toys or noise-canceling headphones.

Here are the top 10 essential school supplies for the new school year:

  1. Notebooks
  2. Pencils and Pens
  3. Erasers
  4. Ruler
  5. Highlighters
  6. Binders and Folders
  7. Backpack
  8. Lunchbox
  9. Water Bottle
  10. Calculator


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"Goally has changed our lives. I no longer nag our son nonstop to complete basic tasks like getting ready for bed or cleaning his room!" โ€” Bryna, Goally Mom
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6: Prepare Emotionally

Last but certainly not least on our Back to school checklist for parents, let’s talk about emotions. Discuss any anxieties or concerns your child may have about returning to school after the summer break โ€“ remember, open communication goes a long way!

Evidence shows that kids learn best when they’re having fun. Many teachers recommend using learning tech like Goally to engage with kids in a way they love.

In the classroom, Goally can help kids with:

  • Following directions by providing visual supports to help them understand what they are supposed to do.
  • Staying on task by providing timers and reminders to help them stay focused.
  • Communicating with their teachers and peers by using the AAC Talker app to express themselves.

Goally’s distraction-free kid’s tablet can be used as a therapy tool to help teach executive function, language, emotional regulation, finger dexterity skills, and more!

Back to school can be a time of great excitement and anticipation for kids, but it can also be a time of anxiety and stress for parents of neurodivergent kids. There are so many things to think about, from making sure your child has the right supplies to preparing them for the social and academic demands of the school year. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you and your child have a successful back to school experience. With a little planning and support, you can help your child have a successful and enjoyable school year.

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We help parents teach their kids life skills, like doing bedtime and morning independently. Backed by science, we incorporate evidence-based practices and expert-informed designs in all of our apps and content.