Ep. 15: Becoming a Behaviour Detective

4 Simple Tips to Prepare Your Child For School

It is hard to believe but the return to school is just around the corner. Because of ongoing hygiene measures in your community, things may be more confusing than usual. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone! Read on to learn how you can make your child’s first day their best day.


Talking positively about returning to school is a fantastic tool to try. Calendars, social stories and pictures may also help to prepare your child for changes in their routine (Kidder & McDonnel, 2015). Using these tools to empower your child may reduce problem behaviours if they struggle with changes to their routine (Carr et al., 2002).

A calendar visually represents when something will happen.

Pick a quiet time to talk to your child about when they will be returning to school, who will be there (friends!), and some of the fun things that will happen (e.g., gym class).

Include Your Child in Preparations

If you buy your kids new clothes before the first day of school, let them help you to choose. If you order their clothes online, wait until the evening before the first day of school to open the package. This way your child’s excitement to wear their new clothes becomes connected with returning to school (Williams, 1994).

The first day of school often means a new hat, boots, or coat!

Speak with a Community Worker

Your community is full of helpers. To prepare your child with disabilities for school, call your local clinic and ask to speak with a “Community Worker”. Community Workers cooperate with others to guide you towards the resources that are available in your community. Resources that are not available in your community may be accessible through a program called Jordan’s Principle.

Call your local clinic and ask for help if you are feeling nervous about your child’s first day of school

Online Sharing Circle

Disability Programs Specialized Services (DPSS) regularly hosts an online sharing circle for the Cree communities of James Bay. Parents and caregivers of people with disabilities can connect to share their experiences or simply listen. The online sharing circle a safe space to connect with others to combat feelings of isolation.

Connect with other parents and caregivers of people with disabilities through the virtual sharing circle.

Now What?

Thinking about change may be uncomfortable. These are just some of the tools that you can use to help manage those feelings as the the big day approaches.

Check out the links below if you are interested in more tools for your child’s return to school!


Community Schools

Whapmagoostui – Badabin Eeyou School

Wemindji – Joy Ottereyes Memorial School

Wemindji – Maquatua Eeyou School

Waswanipi – École Rainbow Elementary School

Waswanipi – École Willie J. Happyjack Memorial School

Waskaganish – École Annie Whiskeychan Memorial Elementary School

Waskaganish – École Wiinibekuu School

Oujé-Bougoumou – Waapihtiiwewan School

Nemaska – Luke Mettaweskum School

Misstissini – Voyageur Memorial Elementary School

Misstissini – Voyageur Memorial High School

Eastmain – Wabannutao Eeyou School

Chisasibi – Waapinichikush Elementary School

Chisasibi – James Bay Eeyou School


Carr, E. G., Dunlap, G., Horner, R. H., Koegel, R. L., Turnbull, A. P., Sailor, W.,

… & Fox, L. (2002). Positive behavior support: Evolution of an applied

science. Journal of positive behavior interventions4(1), 4-16.


Kidder, J. E., & McDonnell, A. P. (2015).Visual Aids for Positive Behavior

Support of Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Young

Exceptional Children, 20(3), 103–116. doi:10.1177/1096250615586029

Williams, B. A. (1994). Conditioned reinforcement:Experimental and

theoretical issues. The Behavior Analyst, 17, 261–285.

doi: 10.1007/BF03392675

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The information provided on this website is for information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, assessment and evaluation. We encourage our readers to seek and consult qualified health care professionals for answers to personal medical questions. Read the full disclaimer.

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TRANSCRIPT: 4 Simple Tips to Prepare Your Child For School

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