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.
In recent years, a positive shift has occurred from the therapist being the expert and “prescriber” to a more collaborative approach. Caregivers and therapists are working together to ensure the child is engaging in meaningful activities that are relevant to the child and family’s routines and priorities.
The shift to a therapeutic partnership acknowledges that each member of the child’s team has expertise to share. Additionally, the teaming process allows for improved caregiver engagement, inclusion of family values and perspectives, joint problem solving, and on-going reflection to ensure progress.
Recent research studies consider collaboration of caregiver and therapist as best practice with improved therapeutic outcomes documented.
Ways to improve collaboration with your child’s therapist:
- ask questions
- give frequent updates
- attend child’s appointments consistently
- follow-through with joint plan
- provide feedback on whats working or not working
- provide details, no matter how big or small
- share concerns and priorities for your child
Integration Station Pediatric Therapy Services is accepting children into our occupational therapy program from 0-14 years of age. Occupational therapists with expertise in early development and sensory processing are ready to support your child’s needs with morning and afternoon availability. We work with all insurances plus Medicaid.
To inquire about having your child evaluated call us @ 704-595-9363 or contact us via our website.
Integration Station, located in the University area of North Charlotte, would like to announce the addition of therapists Ashley Stevens and Alexa Hughes. Ashley and Alexa are a great addition to the already dynamic and sought-after team of therapists specializing in child occupational therapy services at Integration Station. Welcome Ashley and Alexa!
Charlotte Parent magazine recently published the 2014 Mom Approved Docs for the Charlotte area as nominated by parents. Integration Station is excited to announce the inclusion of director and therapist Nicole Cyphert as the only occupational therapist recommended in this years edition. To read comments made by parents in recognition of Nicole’s dedication to the children and families of Integration Station go to Charlotte Parent Mom Approved Docs 2014.
Integration Station is gearing up for two exciting new summer handwriting camps in Charlotte! If you’re interested in learning more about our summer camps or occupational therapy services for your child, contact us today!We would be more than happy to answer any questions!