Ensure a Smooth New School Year for Your Child with Special Needs


Lucie P. Lawrence, PhD
Family Communication and Disability Specialist

The beginning of a new school year is a time of great enthusiasm and anticipation. But for some, it also means stress, anxiety, and trepidation. Families raising kids with special needs face numerous challenges throughout the school year.

Not only are IEP goals and implementation a cause of stress, but families also worry about how effectively a new teacher will work with their child’s complicated needs; how other kids in the general education classroom will accept their child; and how their child will react to a new classroom setting, as well as having new teachers, paraprofessionals and therapists.

The following advice will help parents and kids navigate the anxiety of a new school year and ensure ongoing success.

become active in your child’s school
create a “What Works” notebook
develop an “All about Me” portfolio for your child’s classmates
introduce your child to the kids in the general education classroom

forget to visit the new classroom with your child
begin the school year without a parent-teacher conference
underestimate the importance of good communication skills
assume you understand your children’s needs and desires

Read more. Expert Beacon.