It can be tough for kids to get back into the swing of the school routine, but going back to school can be a nightmare for children with learning disabilities. For these kids, the classroom can be a major source of stress and anxiety. They fear being called on in class, having to read aloud in class, and having to struggle with homework assignments that take up so much time. With a little help from Mom and Dad, your child can have the best school year ever.

Talk to Your Child

Don't underestimate your child's stress about returning to school. Talk with her about her concerns and let her know that you will be there to help her throughout the school year. Discuss ways she can deal with conflicts that arise, such as how to handle bullies. Acknowledging your child's fears and concerns and letting her know that it's okay to feel how she feels, will help her be more confident and comfortable. Arming her with the skills to overcome daily obstacles will help her to succeed.

Visit the School and Teacher

Go to the school to check it out with your child, especially if she will be attending a new school. Call ahead of time to schedule a meeting with the teacher. Let your child discuss her concerns with the teacher so the two of them can get to know each other and the teacher can ease some of your child's fears. The two of them may even be able to come up with a plan that can help your child succeed and be confident. Some teachers will assign children a question ahead of time to answer in class the next day. This takes the pressure off your child and allows her to both participate in class and build her confidence.

Help Her Get Organized

Organization is a key ingredient to a successful school year. It helps children keep track of assignments and study efficiently. Have fun shopping for back-to-school items with your child and let her pick out her folders and binders. Help her label her new items and make sure there is a place for everything.

Practice Skills

If there are certain skills your child struggles with, practice them before school starts. Refresh her reading, her writing, her speaking, her time management, and her math skills with some of last year's assignments or workbooks for her current grade level. This will help her start the school year on the right foot.

Review the IEP or 504 Plan

Make sure everything is in order with your child's Individual Education Plan or 504 Plan. Schedule a review of the plan with the school for about two weeks before school starts. This will help ensure that your child has everything she needs from the school in order to be successful. Work with your child to set her goals for the school year and make sure her teacher and school staff are on board with those goals.

Back-to-school fears can be eased by listening to your child and acknowledging that such concerns are real and valid. Work together and your child could have her best school year yet.

Support For Families of Special Needs Children

This post was included in the first edition of the Teaching and Learning Blog Carnival.