(Mass Appeal) – Many kids, especially those with learning challenges, may need extra support navigating the shift back to school. Dr. Sharon Saline offers four tips to help get kids off on the right foot.
1) Once they’ve returned to school, sit down and talk with them about their hopes and concerns for the year. Be as specific as possible. Think about some successes from last year that can be carried forward into this one. No success is too small to mention. Write this down.
2) Together, make a list of 3 goals for this year that are achievable and realistic. Keep them simple and concrete. For instance, if your son struggles with math and got a ‘C’ last year, getting an ‘A’ in math may not be a realistic goal for this year but getting a ‘B’ might be. Prioritize these ideals and agree to focus on one at a time. Set a weekly time and date for a follow-up conversations.
3) Identify worries about the school year with your son or daughter. Your goal is to empower him or her towards feeling a sense of control over any concerns instead of being controlled by them. Strategize some manageable solutions and write these down too.
4) If your child has special learning considerations, an IEP or 504 plan, make sure that their teacher or teachers know about their accomodation needs. Give your child or teen time to adjust to the school routine. It often takes kids whose brains are wired differently longer to make transitions and adjust to a new schedule.