Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Oct 20
Profile photo of Dennise Goldberg

by Dennise Goldberg

As we all know, many children with special needs require structure in their daily lives.  From the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed.  We as parents are responsible for organizing their schedule throughout the day with therapies, play dates, after school sports…etc.  However, during those hours most children will also be in some type of educational setting.  Unfortunately, some children with special needs have poor organizational skills which can affect their ability to access the school’s curriculum.  Whether your child is in kindergarten or high school, I’m sure they struggle with organization at some level.  Here are a few tips on how you can help your child with organization for the school environment.

1.  Have your child choose their clothes the night before school

Many children insist on choosing their own clothes, even at an early age.  However, some children have difficulty making that decision first thing in the morning; therefore, making them late for school.  By allowing them to choose their clothes the night before, it gives them time to think about it without being late for school.

2.  Have your child organize their note books and back-packs after homework is completed

I know from experience from with my son, once homework is completed kids like to run off leaving everything scattered on the table.  However, leaving it until the next school morning to gather up their assignments and put them in their proper place only leads to late or missing assignments.  By organizing their notebooks and back-packs when they have completed their homework; it will reduce the lost assignment syndrome.

3.  Talk to your child the night before school about what they would like to eat

Many children with special needs are very picky eaters…including my own son!!!  If your child is not eating in school, it will be that much harder for them to be attentive in class and learn.  Have a conversation with your the night before school about what they would like to eat; better yet, have them help you prepare their lunch box the night before.  They might be more willing to eat their lunch because they participated in the process.

4.  Use a dry erase white board at home to help your child with time management

Since everyone has such hectic schedules these days, I’m sure many of you already use white boards to help you organize all of your child’s extracurricular activities. Whether your child receives a weekly homework packet in elementary school or child is in middle or high school and uses a daily planner, a white board is useful to keep your child organized with weekly homework assignments and upcoming tests.  This way, you can help your child prioritize their work at home for the week; thereby, relieving some of the anxiety that comes with homework and studying for tests.

5.  Check your child’s daily planner every day

By 5th grade, most school districts provide daily planners to their students to keep track of assignments….make sure your child uses it!  If your school district doesn’t provide this, buy one for your child and let their teacher know.  By using the planner, your child can document all of their assignments and upcoming tests in one organized location. 

6.  Clean out their back-packs or notebooks

For some reason, items go in but never come out….it’s amazing how quickly a back-pack or notebook fills up! Try to go through these items with your child weekly so that you can get rid of the unnecessary clutter; making it easier for your child to locate what’s really needed for school.

 7.  Start the homework by helping your child organize their materials

Before your child begins their homework, help your child pull out the necessary books, papers, pencils…etc.  By organizing their materials, it will let you know whether your child is missing an essential piece of homework information.

8.  Help your child study for tests

When your child starts middle school, play time is over…welcome to test central!  Unfortunately, your child most likely did not learn how to study for tests while they were in elementary school.  That’s where you come in parents; you need to take the time to help your child learn an important skill that will help them for the rest of their education.  Try to utilize their strengths to work on their areas of weakness.  For example, if you child has trouble with math, use flash cards to help them remember math facts. 

9.  Help your child prioritize their homework

Homework can be extremely over whelming and cause a great deal of anxiety special for needs children.  Look at your child’s homework before they begin and decide what order they should complete work.  Maybe your child works better after they’ve eaten a good meal, so you might want to save the more intense homework after dinner.

10.  Talk to your child

Kids are not the best communicators so it’s up to us as parents to open a dialogue about school.   Ask them how they feel school is going; basically, do they feel frustrated because they are having difficulties managing their educational responsibilities.  If you see your child is struggling, it might be time to call a parent conference or an IEP.  

 

 

 

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