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As 2017 is a new school year for your child it means new teachers, new goals, a new grade and maybe even a new school! To assist you and your child with special needs have a successful transition to school we have compiled five helpful back-to-school tips.

  1. Organise paperwork – simplify your documentation.

As there is lots of paperwork to keep track of in the realm of disability, such as calendar of school events, special education meetings, conferences, etc. set up a binder to keep your child’s special education documentation, meeting notices and Individual Education Plans (IEP) to stay organised. Keeping all of the important documentation in one spot makes it easier to reference week to week.

  1. Review your child’s current IEP – is it up to date?

The Individual Education Plan is the foundation of your child’s educational program, so it’s important that you have a clear understanding of it. Note when the IEP expires and if your child is up for revaluation this year. Most importantly, be sure that this IEP still suits your child’s needs! If you’re unsure, contact your school about holding an IEP review meeting.

  1. Start a communication dairy

Keeping track of all phone calls, e-mails, notes home, meetings, and conferences is important. Create a “communication log” for yourself in a notebook that is easily accessible. Be sure to note the dates, times, and nature of the communications you have. This helps with consistency not about what was discussed but also what was agreed.

  1. Relieve back-to-school nerves

By talking to your child about going back to school and potential changes that may occur, can reduce some of that back-to-school anxiety! Some things to discuss could be exciting new classes, activities, and events that they can participate in during the new school year. If your child is attending a new school, try to schedule a visit before the first day. With older students, it is sometimes helpful to explain the services and accommodations in their IEP so that they know what to expect when school begins.

  1. Keep everyone informed

It’s important that a routine is established once school starts. You can even begin practicing your new schedule, focusing on morning and evening routines, and begin implementing them well in advance of the first day of school… The more you know, the more prepared you will be to navigate the world of special education and the best advocate for your child.

Here at Northside we provide respite support to carers of people with disabilities. As school holidays can be a hectic period this is a time many carers use the respite option. Respite is an opportunity to spend any needed time with other children or just some to take a break from your caring role. If you need respite support in the future please call Northside on

1800 052 222

Some of this information was gathered from the “launching young reading rockets” article ”back-school-tips-parents-children-special-needs

Marise, Coordinator.