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.
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.