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|Newsletters: School Days|
Many parents feel apprehension and concern when their kids complete preschool. The thought of sending our precious children off into the big world of kindergarten is enough to make any parent panic. Add special medical needs into the mix, and the apprehension and concern turn into absolute fear.
The thought of sending my (g-tube fed, peanut and milk anaphylactic) son to a public school was overwhelming. Someone other than me or my family would be responsible for feeding him? I could not get comfortable with this. No one could do as good of a job as I could. And how would the school accept him?
I dreaded school for years. I knew the day would come, and I spent many, many years fearing it.
Now, I look back on my emotions and think . . . what an over-reaction! School has been great. Not perfect, but great.
Some advice I have found helpful:• Communicate EARLY. Contact school officials long before the start of the school year. There will be many, many forms to complete. Getting these done in advance helps everyone! It may be too late to plan ahead for this school year, but it may help next year.
• Communicate OFTEN. Don’t assume no news is good news. Always be sure to ask (and ask often) how things are going.
• Appreciate EARLY. Teachers and administrators have many, many responsibilities. On top of all their routine duties, caring for children with special medical needs can be overwhelming. Let them know up front how very thankful you are for their extra effort.
• Appreciate OFTEN. Take every opportunity to let the school staff know how much you value their efforts. “Thank you” can go a long way!
• Prepare EARLY. Be sure you have covered every “what-if” scenario. Be sure school officials know how to handle any emergency situation. Document everything in writing.
• Prepare OFTEN. Revise your plans as necessary. Despite all your planning, something will come up. Treat each scenario as a learning opportunity.
LifelineLetter, November/December 2014