The kiddos don’t want summer to end; You don’t want the school drama to start.
Back to school is already here. You’ve hit Target for tax-free new school clothes, glue sticks, and horsey or car folders. We know what you can’t totally prepare for is the stress of sending a child back to school. This becomes even more stressful when your child is on the Autism spectrum or has Allergies, Diabetes, Epilepsy, etc.
Each chronic disease has special requirements, that are now the responsibility of your child’s teacher. You know your little one better than anyone, so help yourself, your child, and your child’s teacher by being as prepared as possible! The easiest way to keep medical information on your kid is a medical alert bracelet or medical ID necklace.
Here are some discussion topics for preparing your kid’s teachers and staff with the most common medical conditions.
- Inform teachers and staff of your kid’s signs of Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) how to respond to it
- Make sure your student has their emergency glucose close at all times – i.e. backpack, desk, and every classroom they’ll be in (art and music room or if they’ll be in multiple classrooms)
- make special plans for field trips, PE class, and substitutes
- It’s best to prepare for when a seizure will occur, not if. Form a Seizure Action Plan.
- What does you child look like when a seizure is coming on? Or do they have less noticeable seizures (absence or partial seizures)?
- Avoid medical ID necklaces as they pose a choking hazard during a seizure
Allergies / Anaphylactic
- Involve your child about their allergies:
- what to avoid, what to tell people, how they want to carry their epi-pen, etc
- Keep (or bring) allergy-safe alternatives for celebrations that are food-centric (as most are)
- Keep an extra epi-pen at the school and make sure teachers/staff know how to use it
- Create an action plan with teachers and staff starting with what your child’s Asthma symptoms look like
- Let your kiddo get excited about safety by picking our their medical ID and what to store their inhaler in
- Help your child identify what their Asthma triggers are, and notify teachers and staff
- Have a plan for PE class, field trips, and harsh weather for weather related breathing issues or exercise induced asthma
Each year as our kids grow older, they are expected to be more independent in their organization, time-management, homework, peer conflict resolution, and handling any medical conditions they have. When you feel your kiddo is old enough, encourage them to come with their medical meetings with teachers and staff – if they have a say in their care routines, they’re more likely to stick to them!
Fill out ALL paperwork needed for school staff to give any meds. Make sure you hit the 504 plans, school, school division, and district forms.
Give the school back-ups (or check the expiration dates from last year) on meds and supplies like inhalers, EpiPens, or diabetes stockpile.
“Burger King.” this Baby and let the kids “have it their way” (except please let it be known we don’t actually promote feeding kids fast food). Let the kids choose what type of carrying case for their inhaler or EpiPen. Thirty-one travel bags make a great size for both that let you customize embroidery.
And, of course, the kids can pick which style (or multiple styles) of Medical ID they want to wear!
Getting organized early and forming a good line of communications makes a great school start for parents, children, and teachers with smiles, style, and safety.
The internet has brought so many wonderful resources to our fingertips! More and more parents of special needs kids are sharing their experiences with the digital world.
One Time Through:
Special needs mom, Sue, created a FREE PRINT OUT of questions she asks and answers she provides to teachers and school staff each year. Her child has severe food allergies but you can easily do an “insert-your-relevant-info-here” situation. Some of my favorites are:
For School Administration:
- What policies/procedures are in place to keep kids with food allergies safe?
- How will safety info be communicated to school staff working with my child indirectly (recess, library, art, lunch etc)?
- How and when will staff be safety trained? Can I attend the training or assist in any way?
- How (if at all) will the other children be informed? Would you like a recommendation for a picture book that discusses my child’s special needs
- How will allergies (or other medical conditions) be monitored on school trips?
- What are the classroom rules around sharing food? *This could change to be behavior problems, seizure alert, calling names, etc.
One of my favorite Autism parents to follow, Autism Daddy did a similar thing for teachers but he suggests using just information about your child to let the teachers know them as well as possible. In his “LETTER TO MY TEACHER – FIFTEEN THINGS ABOUT ME” my favorite topics were:
- What do I absolutely LOVE doing?
- What academics do I need a lot of extra help with?
- How do you know when I’m getting frustrated?
- Too late! The storm hit! What can you do to calm me down?
- What consequences back-fire and don’t give the desired results?
I need a Medical Alert Bracelet for Kid’s that is all about:
Are you concerned about your little one deciding they aren’t going to wear it because they won’t look cool? Or are they worried about being labeled as different because of their medical ID? Our ID bracelets have style for miles! Choose from classic styles, fun textures, and colors, even medical charm bracelets.