Starting the new school year can be an exciting, confusing and even scary time for children with learning and attention issues and their families. New teachers and classmates, new programs and demands may be too many changes to prepare and assimilate. Planning ahead can help you feel confident and informed … but you may not be sure where to start.
That is why we have created our “Start School Strong” guide so that you can return to classes firmly. Each week we will focus on a different aspect of the transition to back to school. Every day we will offer you something to read and something to do.
Read on to find out what it includes every week.
Week 1: Get Organized.
Going back to school can be difficult for children who have learning and attention issues. This is especially true for kids who have limited skills to organize .
During week 1 we will focus on helping you and your child organize. We offer recommendations and resources on a variety of topics, from organizing your child’s file to color coding of school supplies, among other things. The highlights include:
- A Facebook chat on how to prepare kids with executive functioning difficulties for the new school year
- A live video chat with an expert on how to organize your child’s backpack and other things
- A 4-week agenda to download with many more suggestions for organizing back to school.
Week 2: Focus on feelings.
The way children feel about themselves can affect how they approach the beginning of classes. Focusing on your child’s abilities and offering you the tools to handle social challenges can help you start the year feeling safer.
Week 2 will be to help you focus on your child’s feelings and social skills. The highlights include:
- A live video chat with an expert on how to help your child avoid social obstacles
- A Facebook chat on how to handle bullying next school year
- A practical activity to download that helps you identify your child’s skills
Are you looking for ideas to help your child manage social and emotional challenges? Review hundreds of suggestions for children of different ages in Parent Training .
Week 3: Return to your routine.
Returning to school after the long summer break can be a particularly difficult transition. One of the best ways to make it easier is to re-establish schedules and routines.
In week 3 you will find recommendations, tools and events to help you in everything from facilitating your child’s morning routines to helping him dissipate his anxieties on the first day of school. The highlights include:
- A video chat with an expert on the management of school transitions and return to routines
- A Facebook chat about extracurricular activities for children with learning and attention issues
- An expert opinion on how to help kids with ADHD adapt to middle school.
Week 4: Start a conversation.
It is important that you are in communication with your child’s teacher all year. However, it is easier if you start the dialogue at the beginning of the school year. The teacher can be a great advocate for your child and an excellent source of information for you.
It is equally important to have honest communication with your child about the difficulties related to the start of school. After all, you are your best ally!
Week 4 is about finding effective ways to communicate with your child and his teachers. The highlights include:
- A personal story about how parents can collaborate with teachers, written by the creator of Eye on Eye , a founding partner of Understood
- A live video chat with a school principal on how to develop strong relationships with your child’s teachers
- Contracts to download that will help you and your child be equally informed when it comes to school behavior and homework.
Week 5: Take care of the IEP, 504 plan and other services
The IEP or theYour child’s 504 plan helps you get the support you need at school, and you can help it be implemented from day one. And even if your child doesn’t have an IEP or a 504 plan, you can help him get the best help as soon as possible.
In week 5 we focus on supports and school services. The most relevant includes:
- A Facebook chat about the IEP and the 504 plan
- An expert’s opinion on whether a 504 plan needs to be reviewed at the beginning of the school year
- An IEP goal tracker to download
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