As the end of the school year draws nearer in Denver, so do academic testing dates. Many children experience an increase in anxiety while preparing for and taking exams. For children with autism, this feeling of anxiety is even higher since taking and preparing for tests involves a change in routine, which is something they are highly dependent on.
Preparing your child in advance for test-taking can greatly reduce their level of anxiety. Many children may also lack motivation or focus to complete exams. By explaining the importance of exams and helping your child practice techniques that reduce stress, you can help set them up for a successful end of the school year.
Exam Preparation Tips for Parents
In Denver, academic testing for many schools will begin sometime between early to mid-April, though some schools may elect to hold off on testing until the end of the month. In addition to suggestions recommended by a therapist during family therapy sessions, parents can help their child get ready for exams by using the following strategies:
- Teach your child easy relaxation techniques such as the 4 7 8 breathing technique. Share these strategies with your child’s teachers and other school staff members.
- Make sure your child gets eats well on exam days and gets plenty of rest on nights prior to exams. Recommended sleep hours for school-aged children vary from 8-11 hours, depending on age.
- Encourage your child to participate in sports, outdoor games, or other physical activities that help reduce stress. If your child shies away from physical activity, try offering to participate with them to increase their interest.
- Post your child’s exam schedule someplace where they’ll see it every day.
- If your child enjoys music, encourage them to listen to relaxing songs or albums before taking exams. For this, you may want to check with your child’s teacher first. It’s important to be careful that items like iPods or cell phones do not become a distraction.
Get Professional Advice
If you would like to get more advice or tips on academic testing strategies, our Denver professionals would be more than happy to be of assistance. Call our office today to schedule an appointment or speak to a family therapist about your concerns and/or your child’s school-related needs.