Next Support Group Meeting
February 27, 2010
4870 S. 2700 W.
Salt Lake City, UT
6 Suggestions for Going Back to School
Back to school is an exciting time for any child. New teacher, new subjects, new classmates along with old friends and old routines. Going back to school means a lot to look forward to, and a lot of unknowns. Back to school also means added anxiety for a child with a chronic illness.
Here are a few ideas of how you, as a parent, can help to ease this anxiety for student and teacher - and for yourself.
1. Meet your child’s teacher.
It can be intimidating to have a child with special needs in your class. Explain your child’s diagnosis and needs. Then communicate often so the teacher stays in the loop.
2. Help classmates understand.
Provide brief, easy-to-understand information that the teacher or other school staff can share with students. (Try sharing info from our website or from kidshealth.org). Encourage classmates to keep in touch during hospital stays.
3. Keep the school informed and involved.
During long hospital stays, consider assigning an advocate to provide updates when your attention needs to be elsewhere.
4. Communicate needs.
Ask a doctor to provide information for the school about your child’s special needs, limitations, etc. . Explain to school staff how to recognize signs of complications and how to respond. Ask about how an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) can help to identify areas where school services may provide extra help.
5. Provide encouragement.
Realize that teachers and other school staff can be frightened, overwhelmed or discouraged when they have a child with a serious illness in their classroom. Accurate information and words of appreciation can go a long way.
6. Take care of siblings.
Having a family member with a chronic illness is stressful for the entire family. Make sure your healthy childrens’ teachers are informed so that they can give extra attention and watch for signs of stress.
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