Returning to School Resources September 2020

August 29, 2020
by Rachel

Below is a wide range of back to school resources that are freely available online. September 2020 is out of most peoples comfort zones in terms of health, safety or anxiety as we start to begin a ‘new normal’ in the world. Some of the resources signposted may be useful for your own family, or for that of others during this unusual time.


Autism Little Learners have lots of social stories around Coronavirus, mask wearing, Covid-19 tests and returning to school.

Books Beyond Words also have a wide range of social stories around Coronavirus including having a test, when someone dies from Coronavirus and what to do if you have the virus.

Everybody Worries by John Burgerman. Even the bravest of the brave and the coolest of the cool worry. Worrying is normal when so much has changed. Inspired by conversations with his parent friends who weren’t sure how to explain what is happening right now to their small children, artist and writer Jon Burgerman decided to do something to help.

While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar. Hedgehog and Tortoise want to give each other a great big hug, but they’re not allowed to touch.

The Buddy Bots go Back to School by Teacher’s Pet. Follow the Buddy Bots gang as they return to their school, after being at home with their families in lockdown due to coronavirus! Watch as they find out what has changed, what that means for them and discover that even though change can be scary at first, it can also be lots of fun.

How to Go Back to School! by Mike Forde. Families and schools begin to work out how children can return, this second story helps children come to terms with the new normal in their classrooms and playgrounds.

Keeping Our Social Distance by PECS UK. A story on social distancing and why it’s needed.

Lucy Goes Back to School by Chris Duke. From the author of Lucy’s Blue Day, this sees Lucy go back to school, and all the emotions that come with it.

10 Books for Children Who Worry. A list of 10 books for children age 5-12 years who have anxiety or worries.

Lenny & Lily in Lockdown by Prof Barry Carpenter, Ali Erskine and Jenny Hawkes. Lenny and Lily live next door to each other. Every day they walk to school together and play with the same group of friends. Then one day their teacher explains there is a pandemic. She tells them it means their school will be closing for some weeks and they will be learning at home. Lenny and Lily feel sad and abandoned. The story explores Lenny and Lily’s experiences of loss and change in the days of the lockdown, how they develop ways of maintaining their friendship, the challenges of learning at home and the range of emotions they each experience.

Lenny & Lily Return to School by Prof Barry Carpenter, Ali Erskine and Jenny Hawkes. Lenny and Lily have had different experiences of the lockdown, but now it’s time for them to return to school. Lily is excited to go back and meet up with her friends again, but Lenny has enjoyed being at home with his family and feels more anxious. When Lenny and Lily go back to school they both face different challenges. Lenny struggles to reconnect with his friends and find his place in the group. Lily has found home learning difficult and struggles to keep up with the pace of lessons in class. The story explores the range of emotions Lenny and Lily experience as they come back into school and rebuild relationships with their teachers and friends.

My Story About Pandemics and the Coronavirus by Carol Gray.

Useful Websites

Elsa Support have a huge amount of free resources based on supporting social and emotional learning for children.

Reachout ASC have a range of useful resources on their website to manage returning to school including social stories, visual timetables, mind maps and symbols.

The PDA Society have a list of the support resources available for those with PDA during Coronavirus, including tips from adult PDA-ers.

Autism Education Trust have resources available for preparing children and young adults in returning to school this September.

Leeds Autism AIM (Advocacy, Information & Mentoring) have cheap of resources for children, families, adults and professionals.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital have Coronavirus Resources for Children and Families.

National Autistic Society have resources and information about Coronavirus.

IPSEA – update on COVID-19, school re-opening and SEN provision.

Online Training

Managing Your Child’s Back to School Anxiety” Webinar by ACAMH. Live event held on 2nd September 2020 at 5pm.

Preparing Autistic and SEND Children for Going Back to School” by Lynne McCann at Reachout ASC

“Returning to school after the coronavirus lockdown” by the Mental Health Foundation.

How can SENCO’s Respond to the Covid Lockdown and Transition Back to School” by NASEN.

Covid-19: Psychological First Aid” by Public Health England.

Other Useful Resources

KS2 (Age 7-11 years) What is Coronavirus Newspaper Article can be useful if children want to know the facts around Covid-19.

Special Needs Jungle – Awesome and Autistic in a Post-Pandemic World. Siena has some incredible tips that not only teenage autistic girls (and boys) would find useful, but that many neurodivergent adults will too!

Back to School Widgit Symbols. Back to school toolkit of resources to help support signage, wayfinding and personal care around a socially distanced school environment. The toolkit also includes a set of well-being and mental health resources to assist children returning to school after such a major disruption to their normal day-to-day lives.

Preventing Anxiety Based School Refusal by Lincolnshire County Council.

Schools Reopening – Information for Parents and Carers by Well Child.

Top Tips for Autistic and ADHD Children for Returning to School.

Autism and Coronavirus: 20 Top Tips by Peter Vermeulen

What to Expect when Returning to School and College by Ambitious About Autism.

Transition Toolkit – Helping Support a Child Through Change from Autism Education Trust.

Autistica – Coping with the Uncertainty of Coronavirus.