Are you a mom who struggles with helping your special needs child better fit in at school?
First, you’re not alone and you’re in good company. Next, your job of advocating for your child is a long-term effort. We’d like to offer the views from three other moms who are walking in your shoes.
Here are three insightful stories from moms who are struggling to find the best ways to help their kids to better fit in at school.
Brielle is a special needs child. Her mom (also a blogger) shares thoughtful and meaningful steps you can take, as a mom, to help your child better fit in with his or her peers at school.
Brielle’s mom takes a realistic view: she asks you to be sure you aren’t doing things to keep your child from fitting in better. You may not even be aware that the things you are doing may be getting in your child’s way. On her blog, brielleandme.net, she posts these concrete suggestions:
Find a good consultant. We’d say, even a trustworthy friend, who can see some things that you may miss. Because you are so close to your child, you may not see something obvious. Don’t overlook an aspect of your child’s everyday life that you can help your child to change.
Ask the consultant (or friend) to be very honest with you. This type of viewpoint about how your child is perceived from a trusted person can be invaluable. Is there anything that you can do to make your child fit in better? Examples she gives are: is clothing style you dress your child in age-appropriate? Does it conform to the way the other kids in your child’s school dress?
We like this key recommendation about asking for feedback. Start with your child’s teacher:
“Consider talking about how your child could better fit in with his teacher. They are around similar aged children five days a week. Ask them what you could do differently for your child.”
This post by Brielle’s mom is a down-to-earth look at basic things you can do as a mom. It’s an excellent read! Click here. Bookmark it for future reference.
Making the best small decisions
Eileen Seidman, mom and award-winning blogger at Love That Max describes a difficult moment she experienced when she came upon bright purple crocs (shoes) in a store. Her son Max is obsessed with clothing and all things the color purple. He would have loved the crocs! She also knew he would never take off the purple shoes. He would love them too much and never want to take them off. So, even though the purple shoes would look so cute on her son, she left them on the shelf. This thought summed up wonderfully the reality she understands about Max,
“Cuteness alienates you from other children, especially when you have certain traits that already make you seem younger than you are. “
Enlist help from school cafeteria staff
Lyn Pollard, writer and mom of special needs children discusses the particularly stressful aspects of lunchtime in the cafeteria. Some children with learning disorders have a tough time at lunch when because they can’t always carry their tray or eat some of the foods being served. She suggests that you develop a support system during the IEP (Individualized Learning Plan) meetings with the school faculty and staff.
Make sure that the IEP team designates a member to talk to the cafeteria monitor or other workers about your child’s challenges (in a discreet way) so that they can offer assistance and support when needed. Sometimes just one adult being aware of why and when a child may struggle can make a huge difference in a child’s confidence level.
Find Lyn Pollard’s complete article on the National Center for Learning Disabilities website by clicking here: Everyday Decisions: In the Lunchroom—Helping Kids With LD Fit In at School.
We wish you success in helping your child with special needs to better fit in with his peers at school.
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