Advice for parents of disabled children as they return to school in Sheffield

Parents of children with disabilities or special needs in Sheffield can help prepare them for returning to school with a new guide.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 1:54 pm

Sheffield Parent Carer Forum, an independent group of over 1,900 members, has published a leaflet with helpful information on starting back in September.

Chairman Kate Monette said the special edition of the newsletter was to try to alleviate some of the confusion and anxiety many families are feeling.

"Throughout lockdown, we have found that support from schools has been inconsistent across the city - some schools have gone above and beyond helping families with remote learning and transition arrangements, whereas others have barely made contact.

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Children may need help to prepare for going back to school

"As we move into September, it’s important that we acknowledge that the first week back will be a bit hit and miss.

"Schools, as well as families, are in unprecedented times, with government guidance changing frequently. Good communication between parents and schools has never been more important."

One mum said her son returned to mainstream school for the last few weeks before the summer holidays and it was the best decision.

“My son is 10 and has developmental language disorder, ADHD and dyslexia. It was a very hard decision, but both the SENCO and his class teacher spent a good chunk of time discussing this with me and going over my fears and concerns.

"My son wanted to go back, but he was also a bit worried as he struggles with change and social interactions. The school outlined all they were doing - social bubbles, frequent hand washing etc.

"I know visuals and social stories were used for younger children and those who needed it. They put him into a group of 15 children, some of whom he knew.

"On the first day back, he came home so happy. Sending him back was the best thing we did, as it helped him so much and his mental health has greatly improved. Our fears were unfounded and he coped surprisingly well.”

The newsletter covers everything from sleep patterns and morning routines to funding and frequently asked questions. It can be viewed here

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