Welcome to another monthly newsletter from HSSN and also to my subscribers who have been with me from the very beginning, as well as newbies.

We are already in the last week of July, and I cannot believe that August is upon us already. From here on out I am going to try and have a monthly/season theme to my newsletters because it keeps it interesting and intriguing, as well as fun!

So, without further ado, get yourself a cup of coffee, tea or water and sit down to some HSSN Needs TidBits News!

~Mom Advocate

Make back to school easy with schedules, fidgets and sitting wedges from NationalAutismResources.com

The new school year can mean excitement and new beginnings for many students. However, for some youth on the autism spectrum, aspects of a new school year can also be stressful and lead to feeling overwhelmed. There are several ways families can prepare for this change and promote a successful transition back to school.

  1. Before the start of the school year, talk to your child’s teachers about how they learn best. Consider creating and providing teachers with a one-page profile on your child’s strengths, skills they are working on and strategies that do and do not work for promoting their engagement and availability for learning. The following blogpost guides parents in how to create such a page: How to Make a One Page Profile. Older students can generate their own letter to their teachers; it will help engage their teachers and make a positive impact.
  2. Take a tour of the school and your child’s classroom before the first day of school, during a time when it is calm and other students are not present. If possible, request a 1:1 meeting with your child’s teacher(s), and walk around the school to point out important locations (e.g., locker, bathrooms, main office, cafeteria, gym). If helpful, take pictures of these locations and teachers to create a social story for your child. Older students benefit from learning how to navigate the school to change classes and practice opening their locker.
  3. Practice the morning routine in the days (or weeks) leading up to the first day of school to build predictability and reduce anxiety about the upcoming change. As many children’s sleep and wake schedules may be different during summer vacation, slowly work to putting your child to bed and waking them up closer to their bedtime and wake up time during the school year (e.g., modifying each end of the schedule by 5 or 10 minutes a night). Don’t forget to practice the walk to the bus stop if your child will be taking the bus, including reminding them where to get off on the way home!
  4. Talk to your child about what to expect in the new school year, identifying what will be similar to the prior school year (they still get lunch break) and what will differ (changing classes, more students…). Brainstorm possible challenges and how to problem solve these obstacles (e.g., using role play). Identify safe adults your child can seek support from.

Additional details on preparing for the new school year can be found at:

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3 Easy Delicious Fruit Salad Recipes (Life Skill) Easy to follow


1-2 cups chopped pineapple

1 cup green grapes

1 cup red grapes

1 cup strawberries, quartered

1 cup chopped bananas

2 mandarin oranges chopped

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp honey optional: mint, basil, etc.


1 cup of chopped watermelon

1 cup chopped honey dew

1 cup chopped cantaloupe

1.5 cup chopped cucumber

1/2 tsp. diced jalapeno (optional)

2 tbsp fresh lime

Handful of fresh mint

Handful of crumbled feta


1-pound fresh strawberries hulled and halved

2 peaches cut into chunks

6 ounces fresh blackberries

6 ounces fresh blueberries

6 ounces fresh raspberries

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

“School is around the corner and summer went by so fast….”

Homeschooling 101: Structure the School Year

Structure the School year

Now that you have begun your homeschooling schedule, there are various questions that trouble you. Should you study continuously, take a number of short breaks or a long vacation? What about public holidays? When should you take a break?

The answer to these questions and many more like these is actually quite simple: Do whatever suits you best. This is one of the appealing benefits of homeschooling. You do not have a set pattern to follow. You do not HAVE to take that autumn break, or close shop for a prolonged summer vacation. Flexibility is the key here. For some practiced unschoolers, even a definite curriculum is not necessary because lessons are a part of their day- to-day.
life. But this may not be the case with beginners. Beginners may need to chart out their activities to fall into a pattern.

Before you plan the structure of your classes, consider some of the most important issues. What method of homeschooling will you be following, what is your teaching style and your child’s learning style, what are the work and play schedules, what are your vacation plans. Some families plan small 1-week vacations at different times of the year. Other families prefer to go away for a month or more. Consult with the members of your family, and
chart out a holiday schedule that most suits you.

There are some positive benefits in following the traditional summer vacation schedule. First, your children can benefit from the various summer activities, camps and classes. Your child’s schedule will coincide with that of his school-going friends. A summer job may be possible. A long summer break also means that both parents as well as children get a break from their daily lessons. This could also be a major drawback, as it is sometimes difficult to get back on track once the classes resume.

On the other hand, there are some advantages to taking numerous small breaks in the course of a year. Children do not get bored since they get time to explore other interests. You can cover more topics in the extra time that you save. You can also take family trips and vacations during the less popular periods of travel. This means less crowds and better prices.

As far as homeschooling is concerned, you and your family are the people in charge. Taking care of the individual needs of the child is the primary focus of this system. So, tailor the school year to suit your child’s needs. Most importantly, avoid burnout – both in yourself and your children.