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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Starting School with a Special Needs Child

I promised last night that there would be a post with tips on starting the school year off when you have a special needs child. My daughter not only had special needs but was medically fragile. There may be some items that you do not need to do. I hope that is the case for many of you reading this post. These are all things I have done for Megan to get ready for a new school year to start.

1. Pick up all forms for medical needs about 10 days before school begins. These include, but are not limited to: general health questionnaires, medication administration sheets, permissions for procedures at school, and whatever else the school needs in documentation to care for your child..

2. Fill out said forms and take them to the doctor's office to be signed. I usually made an appointment because it does take the doctor quite a while to sign them all. Then, I didn't spend so much time on the phone faxing and then calling to remind the office that I still needed them.

3. Go to the pharmacy and get mini-bottles with the current prescription information on them for each medication to be given at school. Then, you can pour the liquid (or otherwise) medication into them to keep at school and just send home when refills are needed.

4. Remember to ask the pharmacist for extra syringes for the school bottles for the liquid medications. Go when the nicest one is there so that they give you at least one for each mini bottle you need.

5. Write out a schedule for everything your child needs throughout the school day with the corresponding time it should be done. Include the medications and dosages on this too - the separate sheets the doctor signed for you should correspond with this schedule.

6. Write out a procedure page for each piece of equipment your child has that needs to be used by the school staff. (For example, the nebulizer, suction machine, feeding tubes, feeding pumps, etc.) This tells step by step how to use the equipment. Yes, I still had to go in for a couple of days and show them how and then watch them do it too. But, each year, the number of days I had to go at the beginning of the year lessened as the staff was more comfortable with everything that needed to be done.

7. Write a page regarding any emergent needs your child has and what should be done if any of them happen. For example, how should the school treat your child if they have a seizure, their g-tube malfunctions or comes out, they act out of character for themselves, they have trouble breathing, etc. Also include if they should just jot you a note to read, contact you, or call 911.

8. Ask the teacher to inform you if anyone is coming to school sick so that you can keep your child home, if needed.

9. Pack a bottle of hand sanitizer to have for the classroom and have other people/students wash their hands or use the sanitizer before touching your child.

10. Pray for your child, their teachers and aides, and yourself. You are all going to need it!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great ideas. I never thought to ask for small bottles for the meds at school!

Lori said...

Our pharmacy made those little bottles for us at no charge and understood what we needed so that we didn't have to send our larger ones to school everyday! Our school wouldn't allow us to pre-fill the syringes with meds and send them in a lunch box.