Things to Consider Before School is Back in Session for
your Child with a Chronic Condition
It’s a bittersweet time of year. Some parents are happy and some are sad that summer is coming to an end. At our house, we love the freedom of summer but also crave our school routine. When kids or young adults have a chronic condition, going back to school can be difficult. Some preparation is often necessary.
Here are some highlights to help you prepare for school:
- Get any medication paperwork for the school to be able to administer medication during the school day prior to the first day of school. Waiting until school starts will mean long lines and your child potentially having to go without medication for a few days.
- Get paperwork signed by the physician prior to the first school.
- Ask the pharmacy for an extra label bottle, if you need to split a prescription to send to school. Most schools require that all prescription medications be labeled by the pharmacy.
- Talk to the school nurse and explain the condition prior to school starting. You are more likely to get individual attention before he/she is running in a 100 different directions getting to know all the kids, collect medication, etc…
- Talk to your child’s teacher(s) and explain the condition prior to the first day of school. Just like the nurses, you are more likely to get individual attention when the teacher is not distracted by multiple students/parents.
- Provide a list of safe snacks to administration/teachers.
- Ask for a “504 plan” meeting. A 504 plan is a legal document designed to plan a program of instructional services to assist students with special needs in a regular education setting. The meeting is an opportunity to review the plan with the teacher, school staff and your child. At this meeting, you will discuss your child’s needs and any special accommodations. Even if your child doesn’t need any special accommodations, it is a good idea to have a 504 plan meeting. It’s your opportunity to discuss with all the staff the severity of your child’s condition both physically and emotionally. It’s is a time for them to ask you questions and address any concerns. For example, if my child needs to run out of a classroom to go to the bathroom, the teacher and my son know that he can and he won’t be questioned. My kids have not had to use their specific accommodations but it gives us peace of mind that there is a plan in place for the worst case scenarios.
Wishing you a healthy new school year!