by Chris Williams | Aug 04, 2015

How to Prepare Your Child for School


School starts very soon!

Going to school can be very stressful for a child. Especially if this is their first year.

Preparing your child for a school environment – playing with others, listening to the teacher – is part of our ABA and OT practices. But there are also several things you can do to help your child get ready for school.

We’ve sorted our tips by date here, for easy reference. Please read these through, and try some out with your child.

In the Weeks Leading Up

  • Work on skills that may have been lost over summertime – basic cognitive & academic tasks, like drawing or listening.
  • Go back to a regular schedule: Waking up & eating meals at the same times each day.
  • Put the child back on their school-day sleep routine.
  • Drive to the school to familiarize themselves with the route (a new route may upset the child if they’re not familiar).
  • Engage in what’s called “priming” – telling the child they’re going back to school soon.
  • Put together the necessary school supplies. Have your child put on their backpack so they get used to wearing it.
  • Be mindful of potty training. They may get anxious & Mom’s not there. It may help to bring their potty insert from home & leave it at the school during the day.
  • Take the child out for some extra socializing. Go to parks, the mall, or a library. This will help stir their curiosity.

The First Day of School

It’s here! On the first day, go into school with your child. Point out buildings they saw before. Be there when they see their classroom.

Talk to the teachers. Make sure they have a way to contact you if it’s needed. Decide ahead of time the best way to communicate – a daily log, exchanging notes, email, etc. Frequent communication helps if there’s any issues (yours or theirs).

And prepare yourself – Remember, the staff at the schools are trained to take care of children with special needs. The child IS quite safe.

A Caution about Parent Anxiety

It’s normal to feel anxious while your child’s in school. You may even want to stay there & help him or her through the day.

However, this may not be the best thing for the child.

Research papers published by UCLA, the University of Washington and the University of Hong Kong indicate that “intrusive parenting” – doing things like taking over tasks the child’s doing themselves, or giving excessive physical affection – may limit the child’s ability to interact with peers & make friends at school.

Your therapist will help you with parental behaviors that encourage your child’s involvement in school.

If you do have the time & want to help out, parents can be aides in “parent participation” schools. You’ll help out in the classroom, working with your child and others. Ask your child’s school administration about parent participation.

We hope your child enjoys themselves in school! If you have questions about school preparation which we didn’t cover here, please send them to

See you next month!

Stay & Play Times at San Jose Public Library, Wednesday August 12

A “Stay & Play” event engages children with books, songs, and playtime with others. They’re a fun way for your child to relax and learn.Aug15_libraryPhoto

The San Jose Public Library holds Stay & Plays weekly, at its multiple branches. On Wednesday, August 12, they’ll host several Stay & Plays:

Visit the San Jose Public Library Events page for a full calendar & driving directions. Call (408) 808-2100 for more information.

Ask AIFA: My child is losing his Regional Center assistance! How do I verify insurance?


“Dear A is for Apple,
My child is losing his Regional Center assistance. How can I find out if A is for Apple will accept my insurance?”

When children turn 3, or their medical circumstances change, a Regional Center may no longer offer financial assistance with your child’s therapy at A is for Apple. If this happens, don’t panic! We have a system in place to help you.

We can check with your family’s insurance carrier to see if they will cover your child’s services. (Here’s more information about insurance plans we accept.) How? With this online form.

Insurance Verification Form

We’ve added a Verify My Insurance form to our website. It’s on this page: Get Started with A is for Apple.

Click the “Verify My Insurance Coverage” button. The form will open right away. You’ll need to fill in your information, your child’s information and your insurance policy information. Instructions are included. The online form is HIPAA-compliant, so you can rest assured that your private medical information will be kept private.

Important Note: You’ll need scanned copies of your insurance card (both sides) and prescriptions, to complete this form.

If you need help working with the form, please email our Intake Department at

Our new form will shorten the time needed to verify coverage, so your child continues to receive the care they need. Please try it out!

Do you have a question you’d like answered? Please email it to us at for inclusion in a future newsletter.

Inside A is for Apple

Staff News – New OTs, First RBT in Campbell and More Therapists Taking BCBA Exam

In the past month our therapists & supervisors have been busy. We have new staff hires, new certifications and BCBA exams coming up.

Staff Hires & a New RBT

We’ve hired 3 new Occupational Therapists this summer! If your services include OT, you’ll meet them soon.Aug15_insideAIFA

One of our therapists has also passed the tests to become a Registered Behavior Technician, or RBT. Registered Behavior Technicians must be approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to work on specific behavior assessments for our BCBA supervisors.

This is a first – A is for Apple now has the very first RBT in the City of Campbell.

Two BCBA Exams Coming Up

We have 2 of our technicians lined up to take the BCBA exam this month. If they pass (and we’re sure they will!), they will become our newest Board Certified Behavior Analysts.

In the autism therapy industry, a BCBA exam is similar to a lawyer’s “bar exam”. It’s a form of continuous education, and a way to keep a strict ethical standard in place across the industry.

BCBAs are authorized to manage groups of children’s cases, and to work directly with insurances agencies on ABA services.

How does all this benefit you, our parents? More flexibility in scheduling your child’s sessions.

These staff improvements expand our existing workforce’s capabilities, so we can make more services available to you.

If your Regional Center has suggested working with an RBT, or you know someone who needs ABA therapy services for their child, please contact us for help.

By |2018-11-29T00:36:23+00:00August 21st, 2015|Thrive|0 Comments

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