As we were growing up, school was often associated with the excitement of getting a new outfit or backpack and catching up with friends. Many children experiencing learning and/or developmental delays do not share the same excitement about starting a new school year.
A new school year means new teachers, new expectations, and for some a new school. This time of year can be very stressful, so in order to help you and your child be successful, we’ve put together a few back-to-school tips!
1. Relieve Back-to-School Nerves using Positive Talk with Your Child
*The goal is to create a relationship that will allow them to come to you throughout the school year with problems and to share their victories.
2. Organize Paperwork and Start a Communication Log
*Try to keep a family calendar of school events, special education meetings, conferences, etc. Setup a binder to keep your child’s special education docu mentation , meeting notices, and IEPs in sequential order .
*Start a communication log using a notebook. Track, phone calls, e-mails, notes home, meetings, and conferences for easy reference. Be sure to note the dates, times, and nature of the communications you have.
3. Review Your Child’s IEP and Advocate for your Child
*Review your child’s IEP and be sure you have a clear understanding of the goals and supports in place. If you are questioning whether the IEP fits your child’s current needs, contact the school to schedule an IEP review meeting.
*Educate the teachers and staff about your child’s strengths and interested, and provide them with tips and strategies that work will for your child.
4. Establish Before and After-School Routines
*Routines are key. Create an afternoon, nighttime and morning checklist.
*Establish a consistent bedtime and morning wakeup time. Start practicing 1 -2 weeks in advance of the new school year.
5. Attend School Events
*By attending school events, you will have a better understanding about events that are happening in your child’s school and this will help you talk with you child and ease their stress.
*Participating or volunteering in school events will allow you to build strong bonds with teachers and staff and this too, will help your child while they are at school.