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Eliana Tardio is the proud mother of Emir and Ayelen, both with Down syndrome. Tune into love at her weekly column about children with special needs at Babble.

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6 Common Fears Parents of Kids with Special Needs Have When They Start School

By Eliana Tardio |

Disponible en Español, aquí

In our county, school is back in session in less than a week. I can’t believe my son is ready to start 2nd grade. I can still remember his first day of school, almost 6 years ago. He was a tiny little boy. He didn’t know how to chew properly yet, and his vocabulary had only one word: Mama.

This magic word worked for everything. As his “Mama” I never felt challenged to understand him. I knew exactly what “mama” meant in every different circumstance; food, milk, wet diaper, play, or nap time. Nevertheless, my problem started the day I learned he would start school for his 3rd birthday. I couldn’t imagine him climbing into a school bus and heading up to school by himself. I couldn’t picture him far from me, far from his “mama” for a whole day, when actually, it was me who didn’t have a clue as to what to do without him.

Kids with special needs can start school same day they turn 3 years old. The paradoxical part of this experience is that when some parents of typical kids are dreaming for their brood to start school soon, many of us (parents of kids with special needs) have a really hard time to letting them go so early.

These are 6 common fears parents of children with special needs may face when it’s time to start school. I’ve also included how to face these issues to ease the transition and foster more success for both parent and child.

 

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6 Common Fears Parents of Kids with Special Needs Have When They Start School

1) He doesn't know to talk yet. Nobody is going to understand him.

Most kids with special needs who start school at the age of 3 are not fully verbal yet. Many of them will never be. The most important thing to do, if this is the case your child, is to bring the necessary tools to make communication easier between him and the teacher. Your child’s teacher should be a trained professional, ready to start an individual plan for your child, but providing her with information about signs he may use or pictures that will facilitate his way of communicating, is always a great idea.

Above all, talk to your child’s teacher, create a positive relationship with her and request her most convenient times to call to e-mail to check-in on your child. Perhaps express interest in pursuing different opportunities to volunteer and become an active and involved parent. These strategies will help you and your child be more successful in school and alleviate those common fears we parents of kids with special needs seem to face when they start school.

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About Eliana Tardio

elianatardio

Eliana Tardio

Eliana Tardio is the proud mother of Emir and Ayelen, both with Down syndrome. Tune into love at her weekly column about children with special needs at Babble. Read bio and latest posts → Read Eliana's latest posts →

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One thought on “6 Common Fears Parents of Kids with Special Needs Have When They Start School

  1. Your children are gorgeous! So interesting to read this, although I don’t have children I work with many organisations who are still learning how to create environments that are fantastic for every child, and these insights are so valuable – I will be tuned into your blogs from now on!

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