(WSYR-TV) — This week is a big one for many of us; it’s that week during the year when kids, teachers, and staff members return to school.

Making the transition back can be quite a process, especially for families with special needs kids.

Special needs parent Christina Van Ditto talks a little bit about some strategies these folks can try when getting ready for the transition.

Christina recommends keeping a schedule and sticking to it in order for your family to develop healthy and consistent habits. Having something visual can really help children to understand what the expectations are.

Christina also recommends touring schools and classrooms ahead of time in order to get a sense of your child’s daily surroundings.

She stresses the importance of being an ally and extending a hand to people with differing abilities in a time of need. Just standing next to someone, inviting them to talk, or lending a hand can make a big difference.