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32 Thoughts Special Needs Parents Have During Back-to-School Time

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It’s that time again. As summer draws to a close, parents everywhere start thinking about the coming school year and all the preparations involved with it. For parents of children with special needs, there can be mixed emotions about back-to-school time. It’s a period of excitement, but also of unique fears and worries. The Mighty decided to ask some of our parent readers what’s on their minds as the school year approaches.

These are the thoughts and emotions special needs parents often feel during back-to-school time:


“Yes! We made it! Familiar routine, oh, how we’ve missed you!”

“I’m so proud. I wasn’t sure this day would ever come.”


“But wait… what if the teachers don’t follow the IEP?”


“And what if the staff and students don’t understand my kid?”


“And what if he/she doesn’t get heard?”


“And… and… what about bullies?!”



“The bus scares me. Actually, all school-related transportation scares me.”


“OK. It’s gonna be OK.”


“But what if all these changes at once are just too much?”


“Is this what’s right for my child? Should I consider home-schooling again?”


“I can’t do it. I can’t leave them alone with strangers!”





“Just breathe. It’ll be OK. My kid will stay busy and be all right.”


“You’re doing the right thing. You’re doing the right thing. You’re doing the right thing.”


“But what if I’m not giving him/her enough time to just be a kid in between all the therapies, classes and activities?”


“On second thought, they’re going to be gone all day…”


“My house is going to be SO. QUIET.”



“Maybe I can actually read a book for once? Or maybe, just maybe… I’ll get some sleep.”


“Wait… this sounds sorta lonely. I miss my kid already.”


“Oh, but the alone time. Think of the alone time… “


“You need to relax for like, even a second.”



“Uh oh, here come the nerves again…”


“What if they can’t keep up with their peers?”

“What if they feel isolated?”


“Who will sit with them at lunch?”


“What scares me most is the unknown. What will happen when they’re away from me all day?”


“And what about GERMS!?!”



“Deep breath. I’m glad to give them a little more independence. They’re going to learn skills they need to succeed.”


“Wait, does this mean they don’t need me anymore… ?”


“Wine. I need wine.”



“Look at them go. I’m so proud to see them excited about learning.”


“I wonder if they’ll miss me…”


“Everything will be OK. I’m here for my kid, and we can get through anything together.”


Originally published: August 7, 2015
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