Help your child with special needs adjust to school (aka, advice I should have followed!)

Help your child with special needs adjust to school (aka, advice I should have followed!)

This may be one of my favorite articles, simply because it gave me such great ideas for getting Charlie ready for school.

Not that I executed on all of them. In fact, the one I really wanted to do and never got around to it: Practicing eating lunch from a lunch box. Seems simple enough, right? Well, every time I thought of it, the sandwiches were cut, the veggies had been served and I just let it go… again.

Karma bites again.

Well, today was Charlie’s first day of school, and he got a glowing report on all activities… except lunch. Yep. I’m serious. Sometimes I swear this mommy karma crap is going to kill me. But it’s important to separate the important things (he ate his cookies and apple sauce!) from the not-so-big-deals, like his first note home from school:

“He didn’t want his sandwich. He cried only at lunch, we didn’t know the reason, maybe the sandwich.”

Despite the hours I poured into preparing school supplies, the Sharpie-stained fingers I have from inking names into miniature clothing tags intended to make me blind and the diligent, methodical and effective nagging I did to get The Husband to create a flip book of Charlie’s “personalized” signs…

The damn lunch got me.

I immediately gnawed my fist with guilty frustration. I knew I should have practiced with the damn lunch box.

From feeling prepared to feeling guilty. Mommy Mental Cycle complete.

So, my point is, maybe one of the helpful tips in my allParenting article on how to help your child with special needs adjust to school will be a game-changer for you. The difference between a Minimal Mom Mental Cycle and, well, the usual. Good luck, and let me know what you think!


  1. You are being way too hard on yourself! If he only cried at lunch, that is a major success. Who’s to say that he wouldn’t have cried if you HAD practiced? This will be a great post to look back on someday and see how far you’ve come. Now that the twins are going on their third year of preschool, they are lucky I remember to give them underwear to put on.

    • Maureen Wallace says:

      I LOVE THIS COMMENT (and am momentarily thankful my kids are still in diapers, because if I forget those, well, I have lost all my marbles.

      Vicki, you are so right about the 20/20 hindsight. The teacher’s note cracked me up, really and truly. I couldn’t help but laugh at the prospect that he cried during the ONE part of his day I had ANY influence on! (And also, the kid needs to get more definitive in his food selections. If you don’t like soy butter, don’t pretend to at home! Dry runs exist for a reason.)

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