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Back to School for Kids with Special Needs (page 2)

Back to School for Kids with Special Needs

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Updated on Jun 6, 2013

Expect anxiety—and make a plan. No matter how loving and patient you are, says Lavoie, any child’s life has its stresses. Your best strategy he says, is to talk about it ahead of time. “Stress,” says Lavoie, “can be a very difficult feeling to describe,” but we all know that it can bring big trouble. Try making it concrete, says Lavoie, by encouraging your kid to pay attention to his internal “stress beaker”—a container that should never get so full that it overflows. Ask “how’s your beaker today?” and ask it often. You may be surprised how much the question alone can reduce a kid’s anxiety.

Finally, as school approaches, don’t be surprised if your child's excitement blends with some anxiety of your own. Pay good attention to your own “stress beaker,” advises Lavoie, and do what you can to send positive, upbeat messages to your child about the year ahead. Remember: teachers went into this business because they cared about kids, and they’re just as eager as you are for a great year ahead. After all, says Lavoie, “at the end of the day, we’re all in the same business. We’re here for the kids.”

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