Nervous about the new school year

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2007
Nervous about the new school year
3
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 4:42pm

My DD will be starting 2nd grade on Sept 7th. She is very excited about starting a new school year and can't wait to get back to her friends. (She's UBER social!) She was diagnosed with SPD after a difficult start to 1st grade and talk of ADHD as well as concern about her BMI. Long story short, we stumbled on a diagnosis of SPD quite by accident and it was like a ray of light came down and answered all of our questions.


She really is a different kiddo from a year ago...so WHY AM I TERRIFIED FOR HER TO STAR SCHOOL AGAIN?


I've been realizing these past few days that I'm really nervous for her to go back to school. We won't know her teacher until back to school night on Sept 3rd so I've been putting together a packet of information for her.(We also have a 504 plan so I know we've got good communication with the school)


But the thought of "breaking in a new teacher" just exhausts me.


Last Sept (before diagnosis) we were getting several phone calls a week about DD's behaviors. I know that we have a lot of those things figured out, but I'm just dreading getting phone calls this year.


We've been working on table work this week and I still notice that she really struggles to focus on the work in front of her. One of the things her OT said to try was chewing gum or using sour spray...but I'm not sure if the teacher will allow that in the class.


Any advice on getting a smooth start to the school year?


Anyone else feeling uneasy about starting new schedules?


Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Wed, 08-11-2010 - 2:20pm

How big is this packet? I don't think you want to overwhelm the new teacher.

Here are my ideas.

1. Contact the school, if the administration has not started yet, they should soon. We start on Sep 7 & I know they're going to be around next week as that is when K-assessments are taking place. Tell them what you've discovered about your DD over the summer, you have a 504 & let them know you want an IEP (Individualized Education Program). This will set her up with what she needs, such as a speech therapist or an OT for example (I cannot get my son in with the OT, as he doesn't disrupt class, but sounds like maybe your DD can if you've had the teacher complaining.) So for example, perhaps if the brush therapy is working then the OT would take her out of class just to keep up with the brush therapy.

With that set in place the new teacher will now have some alert.

2. Go on the 3rd with a letter of your daughters strengths and weaknesses. Then provide your contact information and let the teacher know you want to help as much as possible from home and to please keep you aware of anything you can do. (i.e. don't dread the phone calls, think of the teacher as a team member to help your DD.)

You have to remember, the teacher's time is very limited, especially starting a new year. If you give her too much information it's more likely she will not even read it, but give her a little with the ability to ask for more information then its more likely to get her full attention.

3. I just started this with my DS this summer. But we do a tiny bit of yoga (12 poses) every day followed by 3 minutes of quiet time.

I like the idea of yoga because it helps with balance & calming. In fact Boston University has found doing yoga (of course more than 12 poses) will help create GABA - which is an amino acid created our brains which help block out too much sensory & calms our nerves.

Then the quiet time is to help learn to sit quietly. I also read of a private school who requires 30 minutes of quiet time a day for the entire school (K can color). They said at the start of the year the kids a restless, but by the end it's pretty silent. This school believes this helps in behavior & with higher learning.

Oh BTW: my son has poor small & large motor skills. He's about to start 3rd grade & started to ride his bike last week !!! It is late, but yayy !!! Now all of a sudden the boy I had to beg & plea to go outside, I'm now begging to go back inside :)

4. I've just posted this twice in here, but I'll do again. When my DS's teacher came to tell me she thought maybe my DS was ADHD I started him on an emulsified omega-3 two days later. She was able to see a difference before the end of the week. I'll start to go lax over the summer & forget to follow through or keep it in the house. We were out of it for 2 weeks & finally, nothing was going to stop me from going to the store to get the stuff - my house was wreck, I was finding I was arguing more than playing, etc. Now 2 weeks back on the stuff and there is peace in my home again.

5. How about seeing a podiatrist? That really helped my DS. We had him in arch supports. It wasn't good enough & had to go back and get them heightened. Once we got it to a good level he started to run & play more building up the muscles he needed. Now that he's grown out of them he doesn't seem to need replacements. So maybe it was what he needed just to get past some pain to build more mass.

6. I doubt gum/food would be allowed in the classroom. I've heard of lap weights that help, but I'm not one who wants my child to stand out.

There are this thing called PlayAttention. Maybe you'll want to look into it. I have it as a back up plan if the omega-3 seems to not work any more, but we're having such success I haven't decided to spend the money on this (we're really strapped).

You're head is hooked up to this computer & you play games, like shooting clay pigeons or something like that, but you cannot play with your hands. After 40 hours of play it is supposed to (in most cases) make a permanent impact on your focus.

This is how it's described by the lady we'd do the sessions from,

"It is a powerful learning system that uses a high-tech helmet to read brain signals indicative of focus or concentration. These brain signals control our computer games. Your mind becomes the mouse or joystick! These games not only teach you to improve focus, but also to ignore distractions, develop memory skills, finish tasks, and become organized. These skills can improve school work, improve self-esteem, and make life at home much happier."

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I hope one or more of these help reduce your stress :)




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2007
Thu, 08-12-2010 - 2:43pm

Thanks for the info!

The "packet" is more like a letter, introducing DD and letting her know where her struggles are and where her strengths are. Then I've included some hand out information on what SPD is and letting her know that I'd like us to have open communication throughout the year etc. It's not a book or anything. :) I know she'll have a lot going on and I don't want to overload her.

I've been wondering if yoga would be useful!!! I got a yoga kit for Christmas and am ashamed to admit I haven't tried it yet myself! But maybe it's something we could do together. She's a big one on doing things together.
And really, I should benefit from it too! Win win!

I think most of my anxiety over the school year stems from the fact that the beginning of last year was so bumpy...and her 1st grade teacher and I didn't really have a "love connection". Let's just say it took until about May for me to warm up to her. So I'm just nervous about dealing with someone new.

As far as DD, I know she's in a much better place than last year. She's responding well to therapy and we have a plan with her OT to get her through the first month of school. I think I just need to remind myself of how far she has come.

PLUS, now that I've started her on the Omega's maybe table work won't be so difficult for her (CROSSING FINGERS)

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 12:49pm

I dreamed about your message last night :)

There is one more idea, if it is at all possible for you. Walk to school. I think you said she is sort of sedate. Maybe part of her anxiousness around the desk is pent up energy. When I walk my DS to school I get him there right before the buses arrive. This makes it into a benefit to walk. (Seeing you said she's a social butterfly.) My son is also very social and liked not missing a single friend before school started. So arrived a little early & he got a little exercise both from walking & playing w/friends before school started.

Hopefully you'll get a teacher who will work well with you. My son's K teacher would not. I had to try to pull her into the corner to try to get her to get him evaluated by the school OT (request had to come from the teacher) and she still wouldn't. Fine to complain to me about him, but not willing to do anything about it.

He got the same 1st & 2nd grade teacher (called looping, whole class stuck together for 2 years) and I lucked out getting a wonderful woman.

I don't know if his 3rd grade teacher will be as willing, but I cannot know until I meet her. So I'm going to send my letter of strengths & weaknesses & come armed at the back to school night.

I wish you some restful sleep & peaceful days.




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng