It’s almost here!  So…..let’s see hands for all those parents excited for school to start back up!!!! 

Ok…not everyone put their hands up.  I get you.

Going back to school isn’t always the most exciting time for parents of special needs children.  In my own experience I doubted anyone could take care of my son better than I could.  But I had to learn to trust in the school system and realize the benefits that other children would attain by interacting with him and in a safe, supportive atmosphere.  By including your special needs child into preschool or even in a church Sunday School class, you are helping other little ones learn compassion and gain a feeling of importance as they help your child in the classroom.

So since the first day of school is almost here I thought I might rundown a few tips so everyone can be ready.  Naturally you are going to need school supplies and you can find some fantastic coupons from a lady that has done all the work for you.  Go to http://thekrazycouponlady.com/.com to find the latest and greatest money saving coupons.  Seriously people, she found Elmers Glue for seven cents for crying out loud!

Have you scheduled random appointments yet?  Dentist, haircuts, eye doctor…you need to get these over and done.  I personally love the optical department at Target.  It’s easy to get in for an appointment and there are many cute kids frames for a one stop shopping.

Have you gotten school clothesJC Penney always has great deals on school uniforms and backpacks, not to mention many brands of tennis shoes.  For an easier morning, have your child (or you) lay out their clothes each night for the next day.  This will keep the morning chaos to a minimum.

Have you taken your child to the school for a walk through?  Contact the school administrator and ask if you can meet and let your child see the playground, the lunch room and possibly the classroom.  Going before the school season can be very helpful when there aren’t hundreds of kids on campus.

Start now getting your child to go to sleep a little earlier each night.  Summertime is great for staying up late but you don’t want to put junior to be at 8pm tonight when he went to sleep at midnight last night.  Start mastering a normal bedtime and stay with it, understanding you may get some whining at first.

Have your child help you with lunch time decisions.  Wait.  While I’m all for everyone helping out, you might want to have some healthy parameters around what foods go into the lunchbox.  If you haven’t been eating healthy all summer this could be a challenge on the first day of school.  Think whole grains, more fresh fruit and vegetables.  Do you have leftover pasta from the night before?  Pasta with a small salad and a piece of fruit sounds pretty good to me!  Parents Magazine has some awesome lunch box recipes that are simple and delicious.

On the subject of food, be considerate of some special downtime when your child comes home from school.  Children are tired at the end of the school day and need some time to unwind.  Have a nice snack prepared and try not to bombard them with questions about their day.  Give him a little space and he will open up soon enough.

Peer pressure.  Ugh.  My advise here is to get involved in your child’s school.  Help out in the classroom.  Get to know and talk to her friends and their parents.  Talk to your children about what is and isn’t appropriate behavior.  Keep the communication lines open and remember that your body language can instantly turn the conversation OFF if your child senses your anger or exasperation.  Work on MORE listening and LESS talking.  You can even ask your child, “Do you want me to listen or do you want me to give you some advice?”  Giving them a choice may help them with coping mechanisms.

Are there any tips you might have for the upcoming fall school year? I know there are many more!   Let me know!!

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