Back-to-School Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs
WHAT? Back to school already?
With each school year brings a new grade, new teachers and for some even a brand-new school! In order to keep you and your child with special needs organized and to help transition into their next grade, here is a list of things that may help:
Suit up and Show Up
Yes, it can get confusing with all the Tours, Registrations, Open Houses, Back to School Night, and always our favorite, Parent-Teacher Conferences (especially if you are dealing with more than one child) It will help you and your kiddo(s) feel comfortable and more connected if you do get that that chance to meet with the teachers, staff, principals and/or possibly the other class-mates and their families. Introduce yourself to your student’s teacher, share your child’s attributes and successes – Heck even bring an Apple, who doesn’t like a red delicious apple.
Back to School Jitters
Most kids, no matter the age at some point in their life get the back to school jitters! Connect with your children, talk about the upcoming first - day - of - school and the expected changes. This may help reduce school anxiety. Sometimes it helps if you share what their IEP entails and even what their accommodations are.
Review and Keep up with Your Child's IEP
An IEP is usually obtained for children with special needs which is the keystone of your child’s program. Make sure it is still valid, whether your child is up for a re-evaluation this year or even to make sure the IEP still applies. You are your child’s best and most knowledgeable advocate.
Organize all that Paperwork
In the world of special needs and special education it is essential to keep organized and perhaps start a communication log for yourself in a notebook for easy access and accessibility. This will help remember where you are in your child’s progress, meetings, school events., documentation, and IEPs in sequential order.
Going back to school is an exciting time for everyone (parents included). Good luck to all the students and have a great 2019-2020 School Year!