Back-to-School Tips for Special Needs Children
The period of going back to school is difficult for most children. But for children with special needs, the transition can become more difficult by the emotional preparations that are required. Parents need to pay more attention to the environment of their children to make the change smoother. A little extra care for the children can make a great change in their learning patterns. Parents should start the preparations well before the session starts to make the children feel at ease with the entirely new environment.
Here are a few procedures you can apply to make your children feel more at ease with their surroundings when they go back to school-
- Start with attending a meeting with the teachers even before the school session starts. If there is no provision for one, request a meeting from the authorities. Interact with the teachers and tell them a bit about your family and your child and his condition so that the teacher is familiar with the extra care he needs beforehand. Also visit the school nurse and make sure she has an entire copy of the medical records so that any accidents can be dealt with appropriately.
- Take photographs of the new classroom and the teacher beforehand and let your child be accustomed to the layout of the new environment to avoid any unnecessary stress on your child’s part. Keeping photographs handy can also serve to reduce the pre-school jitters of your child by making him understand exactly what he is going to face on returning to school.
- Research about the Individualised Education Programme (IEP) that is suitable for your child. Check if the school is meeting the requirements and stay updated with the latest programmes of learning world-wide. This can help you understand what your child needs rather than what is deemed proper by society. In this manner, you can also take charge of your child’s education by consulting doctors and psychologists.
- Keep your paperwork about the IEP, school events, parent-teacher conferences, special education meetings ready in both hard and soft copies so that you can sail through the session smoothly. Attend all meetings to get a clear idea of the progress that your child is making along with any difficulty he may be facing. It will also help you to get a more vivid understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your child from his teachers and to figure out ways of working on the weaknesses along with your child at home.
- Talk to your child. This is the most important step, which will ultimately help your child the most. Talk to him about his fears and gently let him know about the change that is about to come. If necessary, perform the same routine a few days before school starts to get the hang of it.
Special needs children do require a bit of extra work on the parents’ parts. However, this little extra effort of the parents can go a long way in helping the children succeed in life by obtaining a proper education. So go on ahead, let your child go back to school.