Special Education Connection

A Special Education Newsletter for the Katy ISD Community

December 2020

The Special Education Connection is a quarterly newsletter produced by the Department of Special Education to help keep our Katy ISD community informed related to the happenings, trainings, and resources available in our area.
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Preparing Students for Winter Break

The winter break is right around the corner and the holiday spirit is in the air. Educators do their best to provide continued structure for students during this time despite the excitement of the holidays. A plethora of events happen on campuses throughout the district during this time of the year and changes to the typical routine can create struggles for students. The meaning of the holidays can be abstract and often difficult for students. Some of the tips below can help make weeks leading up to the holiday break and the transition back to school after the break smoother.


Routines

Holiday breaks mean a change in routine. For some students that requires leaving their comfort zones. Schedules change to include different bedtimes, dinner routines, and other small shifts that can be big concerns for students. Considering the following points can help compensate for those changes.


  • Visuals help children conceptualize and understand what is happening in their worlds.
  • Make the abstract more concrete by implementing a physical countdown of when school will end and again for when school begins after the break.
  • A daily calendar of events occurring during the holidays assists students in managing expectations related to when big events such as family gatherings are scheduled.
  • Begin transitioning back to the "school routine" a few days before school begins to help students acclimate to the schedule.

Gatherings

During a typical holiday season gatherings with friends and family are a commonplace occurrence. This year that may look different than in years past. However, interacting with unfamiliar people, or being in a different environment, can also create stress for students. Consider the following points to help children adjust.


  • Social stories are always helpful when introducing something new for students or when establishing expectations in a new environment. Teachers often have social stories on hand for many different situations. Reach out to your student's teacher if you need assistance in locating appropriate social stories.
  • Bring familiar items such as toys, books, blanket, etc. to help create familiarity in an unfamiliar place.
  • Overstimulation during holiday gatherings is a frequent concern for children. Prearrange a location at the gathering where your student can go if they are feeling overwhelmed and need a quiet space.

Holidays are a wonderful time to create memories and spend time with family and friends. Hopefully, these ideas will help create success for your student during this time.


The Special Education Department would like to wish you all a safe, enjoyable, holiday season.

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