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Managing The Transition Back to School with a Medically Fragile Child

Medically Fragile Child

It’s that time of the year again – time to see what school supplies your children need, how your children will be getting to and from school, and what support you might need, as a parent, to care for your children (both able-bodied and medically fragile) during this transition back to school!

Whether your medically fragile child attends school with a nurse or stays home and receives home care, The Unforgotten Families will give you advice and tips as a parent to navigating this change with your loved ones.

What can you do to prepare your able-bodied children for the new school year? 

When beginning a new school year, scheduling is most important. Figuring out drop-off and pick-up times, what school sports your children will participate in, and what homework time will look like depending on the day of the week. 

According to Child Mind Institute, scheduling family time is a good tip to easing the transition of going back to school and can help make each member of the family feel special.  

“Even just planning quick, regular check-ins with your child — over breakfast, for example — can make a big difference. That bit of planning gives your child confidence that you’re facing these new challenges together, and it provides a built-in time for them to come to you with any concerns as the school year goes on.” – Child Mind Institute

What do I need to prepare for my medically fragile child as they return to school?  

If your medically fragile child is returning to school for the new school year, coordinating and communicating with their nurse and teacher is important in the transition back to school. 

  • What is your child’s nurse responsible for during the school day?
  • What is your child’s special education teacher responsible for during the school day?
  • Does the school have your current emergency contacts on file and updated home address? 
  • Does your child have any new allergies the school or teacher should be aware of? 

How can you communicate this new schedule with your medically fragile child who receives home care? 

Ensuring your medically fragile child understands that your schedule as a parent will be changing, and their siblings’ schedule will be changing as well, can be difficult to understand and it may take a few weeks for the child to feel comfortable with their new routine. According to Life Skills Advocate, providing cues and using pictures to help your child comprehend change in routine can help make day-to-day life easier, especially during the transition back to school. 

Always be sure to communicate any changes in behavior or routine with your child’s care providers, therapists, nurses, and care team!  The Unforgotten Families wants to hear from you on what works best for your family during the hectic back-to-school season! Tag us in your social media posts using #backtoschoolwithTUF.