It’s September, and millions of children across the country will be returning to their schools after the long summer break. Some parents will also be sending their child to school for their first time, which can be both frightening and exciting. For parents who have children with disabilities, this can also be a time of great uncertainty.
If you are unsure as to what to expect from sending your child to school for the first time, these tips can help point you in the right direction.
Arrange a Ride to School
When it comes to getting your child to school, will you be putting him or her on the bus, giving him or her a ride in your handicap van or arranging a ride with another parent?
No matter what method of transportation is available, making sure that your child gets to school safe is something that is worth taking the time to arrange. If you are unsure of your school district’s transportation policies and methods, make sure that you contact them immediately.
Notify the Staff of Your Child’s Needs
There are always people, whether they are the school nurse or a guidance counselor, at each school who can help your child with his or her specific needs. They have the resources and training to care for your child when you are not around. If this is your child’s first year in school (or you have recently relocated to a new district) you should find out the name of each person who can help your child and reach out to them.
It’s always best to get to know people face-to-face, if possible, or at least place a phone call or write an introductory email.
Talk to Your Child About Bullying
It’s an unfortunate reality, but children aren’t always the nicest demographic of people. If this is your child’s first year at school, he or she may not have encountered too many children who don’t understand his or her particular condition. This can often lead to teasing. It can also lead to a lot of misunderstanding and fear.
It’s always best to prepare your child in advance to confront these situations in a healthy manner, and to always report any bullying to his or her teacher. School should be a safe and comfortable place for your child, not a place of bad memories.
Do you have any advice for parents who are sending their child to school for the first time? Let us know your story in the comments below!