Top 5 Tips to Start the School Year
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Tip 1: Introduce Yourself
- Meet with teachers, staff members, and service providers as early as possible. This may include bus drivers and aides.
- Determine how you would like to communicate with the people that support your child. Is this every day?
- Be seen as a team member, not a receiver of information
Tip 2: Get Organized
- Review the IEP. It may have been written months ago. Make sure you remember what you agreed for your child.
- Address any unresolved issues
Tip 3: Relax and Smile
- The school year is hectic for all parents. Plan for time to relax as a family.
- Plan activities either during the week or on the weekend.
- Don’t feel guilty for saying no to extra activities if they do not meet the needs of your family.
Tip 4: Network
- Meet other parents
- Emotional support is necessary for you and your child
- Not necessarily parents of children with special needs
Tip 5: Get Involved
- Attend Back to School Night. Understand that this is not a typical conference.
- See your child’s classroom and day from their eyes.
- If volunteer opportunities are available, try it out. You may meet a new parent!
- School art shows and events are a great place to help without long term commitments
Bonus Tip: Be OK with Change
- Transition for the child and parent can be difficult
- Plan and discuss changes in advance
- Highlight similarities