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What everyone hopes for is an easy transition back to school. New teachers, new professionals, sometimes a new school.

And then comes the task of re-establishing goals, training, teaching and getting all those school professionals, the news ones, on board with what you’re doing for your special needs child. And of course you have your own independent consultant who’s tailoring a program for your child.

School is not a matter of having a free daycare for your child, or the school sitting your child in a corner and ignoring them. Because quite often this is exactly what will happen to any special needs child unless a parent is pro-active. One of the mistakes parents make is relying on their school district, teacher, and principal, to just “take care of things for them.”

It really isn’t up to them. And just so I don’t upset everyone. Many school professionals do care, but they are limited, and can only do what they can do, many have their own ideas of what that child can accomplish, and may disagree with the direction that you and your consultant are taking.

It’s up to you as the parent to be part of the team at the school with a solid credible program put together for the child, which includes academics, social skills, and if there is behavior, and it must be independently tailored for each individual child. It is never okay to take an intervention plan for one child and stick another childs’ name on it, and unfortunately this is done way too often.

Also it is key that the school is working with the parent. Home and school have to be in partnership, working together or your child is the one that will suffer.

Resources are limited in many school districts. But they are still there, unfortunately it is up to the parent to dig and find the resources you need. The finger-pointing that has gone on for so long that schools are not doing enough, won’t solve the problem. Parents must take a leading role, but also in a way where you are “pleasantly persistent” and remember that old saying don’t “burn your bridges”. If you’re angry or irritated at someone from the school, take a breather, and don’t react it won’t get you anywhere except maybe held at an arm’s length distance from school. There is wisdom in taking a day to digest instead of reacting, take up kickboxing, or roll out that punching bag. But don’t lose it at the school, because its impossible to take back something you’ve said in anger. And remember memories are long, and becomes easy to be labeled, “the problem parent.” It’s a balance you have to walk, but any parent with a special needs child is more than up to challenge.

Next Blog Oct 17 – Confidentiality and when your child is alienated at school.

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