Ahhh tis the season… the season for school. What? School? Are we already thinking about school? Yes! In fact, some kids are already back to school and most will be at the end of the month. This is me, over here, embarrassingly doing a little happy dance. My kids need an outlet and giving them the outlet during summer is challenging for me to do on my own!
However, I stop the happy dance to get back to reality and the gist of it is that it’s an interesting time of the year for special needs parents as we step right back into many unknown things for our children. We will have to get another IEP going, we will need to meet the new teachers, new paras, new children!
I am already more than a little freaked out thinking about sending my kids off to the first year of all day school! This is stressful for parents of typical children but the ante has been upped! A few hours was one thing but we now have to add diaper changes, feedings and naps to Dylan’s school day.
One thing that I plan to do this year is take a few minutes to give a special introduction of Dylan in her classroom. I had every intention of doing it last year but honestly? I was a little uncomfortable. (Really? In front of Kindergartners?!) By the time I got to know the kids a little better through volunteering in the classroom, I felt the moment had passed. What a missed opportunity!
Knowing what to say when someone asks about our special needs child is difficult. We often don’t know exactly what to say. I read a comment from a special needs mom today that when asked by a child “what’s wrong” with their child she responds “We don’t know but she caught it at the park.” (Hilarious.) Then when the child does a double-take she just says she is kidding and explains a little further about her child.
This school year my husband is taking a few days off work during the first week of school in order for the transition into first grade to go a little more smoothly. As part of that I plan to talk to the First Grade teacher and let her know that I would like to introduce Dylan to the classroom. It’s going to happen this year people!
Here are some of my ideas that I want to touch on that can be modified to use in your childn’s introduction too:
- Ways that they are all alike.
- Her Favorite things to do.
- Her favorite songs.
- The behaviors she does that aren’t typical for age.
- The noises she makes.
- My favorite thing about her.
Hopefully this will be a helpful guide for more parents to introduce their child in the classroom. Every special needs parent knows that exposing typical children to different disabilities will help to break down the wall and make everyone feel welcome and comfortable wherever they go. It starts at school.
Have you introduced your child at school before? How did it go? Do you have any other ideas on what we can say for our introduction?
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