School is a huge part of life for any child. While some love their time here and others dread it, the equation for thriving in school becomes murkier for special needs children. They may face each school day with fear or doubt. As you step in to help your child thrive in school, use these five simple tips to get you started down the right path.
One of the biggest challenges is getting to know your child’s teachers personally. Take the time to reach out to them before school begins for the year, and continue to keep lines of communication open as the year progresses.
If you find that your child has made friends with one or two of his classmates, find a way to bring these new friendships into your child’s life outside school. Short playdates do not have to be overwhelming and can help children meet each other on common ground while discovering similar interests.
Your child may be particularly fearful of getting to know a new school building if you have recently moved to the area or if he has transferred to a new school in the middle of the year. Take a day to visit the school together, and ask administrative staff for a tour so that your child knows where to find his classrooms, the cafeteria, and other main areas.
Your child may feel that he is an integral part of his school if he is allowed to get involved in extracurricular activities that interest him. Whether he prefers sports, music, or theater, let him follow his interests.
It can be easy to want to pressure your child into doing well at school and loving the experience. However, by giving your child space to feel his emotions, you will help him grow into his new place in life.