When Your Child with Special Needs Goes to School

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Has your child recently been in the hospital or had a change in health status? Do you think your child needs special education services or accomodations?

Girl in wheelchair participating in classroomYour child deserves appropriate care at school. Working with your child’s care team can help your child stay healthy at school. Your child’s care team may include your child’s doctor, school nurse, principal, teacher and others. Plan ahead with them before your child goes to school. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or share ideas to get the help your child needs.

Before your child goes to school, talk with your child’s care team about:

  • When your child will be ready to go back to school
  • Expectations for your child’s care and treatment at school
  • Your child’s pain, discomfort, or energy level at school
  • If your child will need to miss school, have a hard time concentrating or difficulty learning skills
  • What supplies, equipment or treatments your child may need at school
  • How your school nurse or school can help you, and what services they provide
  • Transportation for your child to and from school (be sure to talk with your child's bus driver)
  • If your child will need an individual health plan (IHP). Learn about the individual health plan from the Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey for children with health management needs.

Prepare for school:

Once your child has entered school, be sure to keep updated on:

  • New behaviors or feelings your child may have, and the need for counseling and support services
  • The need for changes in your child’s activities, like gym class, lunch, outdoor recess, as well as accommodations like where to sit in class

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