The elevator to success is out of order. You'll have to use the step at a time. ~Joe Girard

Spreading Awareness

My purpose in writing this blog is to spread awareness and provide support to parents of children with and without special needs. I have one child with a Learning Disability, more specifically, a Visual Processing Disorder including Dysgraphia and another child with a disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis, an allergic white blood cell disease that attacks the esophagus.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School

Wow, it's hard to believe that the children will be going back to school tomorrow.  The summer has flown by as it always does, leaving me feeling rushed as the last day of vacation has arrived.  Although we always look forward to the "lazy" days of summer vacation, somehow, they are always filled with appointments and activities that somehow leave us little time for that "laziness" that I crave in June.

This week has been filled with last minute shopping, Back-to-School Night to meet the teachers and my personal meetings with my children's teachers to discuss their various special needs.  Of course Madison loves the shopping part, whereas Andrew would rather be home doing anything else.  They both enjoyed meeting their teachers, discovering the other students who will be in their class and exploring their new classrooms.  And then there are the first teacher conferences that I set up before school starts each year.

Because both of my children have special needs, I feel it is important to schedule a meeting with their new teachers before they ever step foot into their new classroom.  For Madison, this gives me an opportunity to go review her IEP with her new teacher so that she will be familiar with the accommodations that Madison is supposed to receive during the year.  This year when I contacted Madison's teacher, I asked to meet with her, stating that I knew she would be changing classes for subjects.  Her email reply asked if I would like to meet with the entire 5th grade team, as Madison would probably be working with each of them at one time or another.  That immediately gave me positive feelings about the year.  The meeting went well.  The entire team listened to me discuss Madison's background, her strengths and weaknesses.  They also asked questions and gave suggestions as to how they could make modifications in the classroom to better accommodate her.  It was a truly productive and positive meeting.  I am a true believer that when the student, teachers and parents work together, the education process works at its best.

Andrew's meeting was less involved, but yet just as important.  I needed to explain to his teacher what eosinophilic esophagitis is and what impact it has on Andrew.  She needs to be aware that he is on an elemental diet and will need to drink his "juice boxes" at various times during the day.  Andrew also asks that I go into his class the first day of school and help him explain to the class why he can only drink.  So I needed to set up a time with the teacher for me to do this.  The meeting went well and I will meet with the class tomorrow. 

Here's to a great year!  First conference....done!