Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top 5 Back to School Tips

Back to school can be a difficult time for many kids, especially for kids with special needs. Some kids are nervous about new teachers, new students, old students, changes in schedules, different classrooms, a different routine. But for MY special need kiddo, going back to school is the best! It represents a return to his friends, and return to his schedule, the stability of routine, the familiarity of school and classrooms, the school personnel (especially the specialists that work with him), and the opportunity to learn new things. He has been looking forward to this for weeks!

So, maybe your kiddo isn't quite as psyched about going back to school.  Well, you're not the only one! My other two aren't excited at all! But to help all of us out that do have those kids that are struggling, here is my list of Top 5 Back to School Tips:

  1. Let your kids pick out their own school supplies. Although it took much more time, I took each of my 3 kids separately to buy their school supplies. We also went to separate stores so they really did get not only their own things, but their own style. They couldn't wait until the first day of school to show all of their classmates the cool new things they got.
  2. We slowly started waking up 30 minutes earlier all the way back at the beginning of August, each week moving the alarm up. I have kept the bedtime the same all summer long, although not quite as strict about actually going to sleep...just the staying upstairs. But during the summer, some of us were sleeping until noon! I didn't want to have to fight that battle on the first day of school. 
  3. Write a letter to your child's teacher introducing your student, especially if your child has special needs. Open House night can be very chaotic and the teacher will be trying to digest so much that it makes it much easier to have everything written down for them to refer to later on.
  4. For those special needs kiddos, make sure you have your comfort items lined up. Get together the weighted lap pads, the cushy seats, the squeeze balls, the pencil toppers, and whatever other comfort items your child uses. Make sure it is included in your child's IEP that he/she needs these items and that the teacher understand this.
  5. Set up a nice place for your child to do their homework. Let your child be included in deciding where it will be. My boys cannot do homework in the same room and I obviously cannot be in two rooms at the same time. One does not want to hear anything when he does his work...the other needs to have music or tv in the background or he can't concentrate. 
Hopefully, some of these will help you and your kiddos have a great start to the school year and everyone will look forward to school, rather than dread the first day! If you have any more tips, I'd love to hear them!!

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