The start of school is an exciting time for most children and their parents. Many children with special needs eagerly anticipate the start of a new school year. But lots of kids are incredibly anxious at the thought of all the unknowns: new classroom, teacher, friends or school.
If you are the parent of a child with special needs, how are you feeling about the start of the new school year?
Scared or fearful – Will your child’s particular needs be met?
Afraid – How will your child react to new smells, lights, sounds and routines?
Overwhelmed – Is your child going to a new school? Are you wondering whether he will be able to handle the transition?
Unprepared – Do IEP meetings make you feel like you don’t know what you are doing?
Alone – Do you feel like you are the only parent with your concerns?
Worried – Is your child going to do well in a class with “typically developing” peers?
Insecure – Are you wondering when to swoop in and help your child versus sitting back and watching him and the school handle any hiccups or problems?
Nervous – Will your child make friends? Will he be by himself on the playground?
If you are experiencing any or all of the above emotions, you are not alone. There is no doubt that starting a new school year is hard on students AND parents. But, when you mix in the complications of dealing with a disability and the necessary accommodations or supports that need to be in place in order for your child to succeed, it can be very stressful!
This blog series, and all of the resources listed in each post will help you tackle whatever comes your way. By being prepared, you will calm your nerves. Hopefully, you will become excited, confident and in-control. Your little one will sense your positive outlook and enthusiasm, and it will rub off on him, too.
Check out these tips to smooth the back to school transition for your child. Learn helpful ways to make the transition from summer to school do-able and realistic, including changing bedtime hours, adjusting meds and meeting your child’s teacher.
Please share your feelings about the new school year – good, bad, up, down, and anything in between. Got any tips? Let’s hear them. We all learn from each other.
Have questions? Text or email them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org. We are here to help.