Back to school means many different things for many different families. The lists, the shopping, and so on. Many moms are excited to have a break. Many will miss their kids. Many are worried.
Special Needs parents are no better than NT ones. Our lives are just different. Back to school for us, means more worries. How will our child handle the change? How will they do in school? How will they handle the bus ride? Will they ride a bus with NT kids? If so, how will they handle that? Will their IEP be followed? How often will we get a call from said school?
I'm lucky in this department. Our decision to home school was one of the best I ever made. (It was a no brainer after our local school violated our son's civil rights) This isn't to say I don't have worries.
We still need to get a routine down. This sometimes takes a couple weeks. Liam, like many autistics, loves routines, but only if they are HIS routines. For me, "mommy mode" needs to be turned off and "teacher mode" needs turned on, at least for part of our day. So it takes us a bit to get into our groove!
Then his therapies start back in for the year. Since he has in home OT and PT, we just work around those times. Speech is at our local library, so that's the one we schedule for "after school." Oh, and then he has a mobile therapist, so we must work around that too.
He also has an IEP. Yes, he is "home schooled" with a PA cyber school, so he does get an IEP. They also provide all the above therapies except the MT. (His insurance provides that.) I have IEP meetings just like you do. Except I don't need to get dressed and leave my house! (home school perk number one!)
School shopping? Pffftttt! I don't have to do that either. Liam, like many autistics doesn't care for clothes, so he does his lessons in his underpants. No need for a whole new wardrobe! School supplies? The cyber school mails them to us! Everything he and I both need for a successful year. (home school perk number two!)
Bed time? No need to prep for that! We have Liam on an "asynchronous" course. That means we do his lessons, on his time. Sleep is for the weak in this home, and Liam is RARELY in bed before midnight. So if he sleeps in, cool! We start classes around 11 or noon the next day. This gives him time to do something he wants, and then we do lessons, and then he can play outside. (home school perk number three)
This also means if he's having a rough day, we can skip lessons. So no calls from school about rough days! We can also double up on lessons on good days! Last year, Beans was done with school in APRIL! Yes! We have been on summer break since spring! (getting into our groove may take a bit this year!)
School bus isn't a worry! (Thank God, because the 4 days he rode it in kindy he was bullied for his lunch snacks) (home school perk number four!)
Doing school from our living room is a blessing and a luxury! As you can see, personally, we have many perks, but I still have worries. Thankfully, they aren't as severe as the special needs parents that don't have the option to home school. I've had those worries before and it wasn't fun. So I feel for all of you. Keep that in mind as you are sending your NT kids back to school.