Doctors’ visits, new backpacks, shoes, and checking off school supply lists are all indications that a new school year is about to begin. However, a successful start of the school year for our children with Individualized Education Programs (IEP) requires thoughtful planning. Here are some ideas our family uses to help with the transition back to school.
- Before the start of the new school year, get your child’s paperwork in order. Check the current IEP. Are goals still appropriate? Are revisions needed prior to the new school year? Schedule an IEP meeting if you believe changes are needed.
- Review current special education laws and regulations. Are there any changes that will impact your child’s education?
- Does your child take medication at school? Get required forms to your child’s doctor for his/her signature—and make sure you have a supply of medication for both home and school.
- Are required vaccinations up-to-date? Having a hard time getting an appointment? Local urgent care centers usually offer vaccinations without an appointment.
- Talk with your child about the new school year. What is he/she excited about? What are his/her expectations for this year? What are his/her concerns or fears? Help your child find solutions for his/her concerns. Plan a time for your child to visit the new classroom or school. A short visit with new teachers before the new school year will help with transition.
- Be prepared to share information about your child’s summer. Did he/she take advantage of educational opportunities? Has there been a change in health? What events took place that might impact your child’s return to school? Has there been a change in behavior and how did you address it?
- Help your child get back into school sleep/awake routine. Adjust the schedule 30 minutes per day until your child reaches their normal school bedtime. Ease them back into a normal morning routine (e.g., getting up and dressed first thing in the morning). Starting the routine early will hopefully make that first day of school a stress-free success.
- Take the time to develop a plan. It will help your child have a successful start to the new school year. And a successful child makes for a happy parent.
Go to Organizing School Records on this website to help get ready for back to school time.