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Are you and your child ready for Back to School?
6/24/2011  •  Comment (1)
By emst

Seems crazy asking the question: Are you and your child ready for Back to School? Our school year just wrapped this morning.
Summer is generally a time to regroup and stand down from the high alert of the strep season that just ended but consider this over the next few days and weeks: what happened? What were the low points?
It's helpful if you have these ideas written down. How long do PANDAS exacerbations last? What is your usual course of treatment? What accommodations helped - and what did not. Did your child miss days of school due to PANDAS? Did your child regress in math or handwriting? How would you characterize anxiety as it cycled from good to bad to worse and slowly back again. What helped with anxiety?
Wait and see, hope against hope and playing it by ear are not PANDAS strategies.
Next to healing, preparation is the best position for a crisis should a crisis arrive next school year. It is helpful to have these challenges documented and aligned with meaningful educational goals in your child's IEP or 504 plan.

What does aligned with educational goals mean? On the ground it means that if your child misses school days you may need to ask that work be prepared to be sent home, if that helps. It may also mean that assignments will be modified. Have that written in to your IEP. Math regression? Have a goal written that says math must be tested and re-taught as needed. Hand-writing regression? Teach keyboarding in the summer and have it added to the IEP for the school year as an accommodation. Handwriting issues can also be addressed by having a parent or teacher scribe, or write down the words the child dictates which works especially well for composing essays. Anxiety? Sensory problems? One of our kids needs modified gym; she cannot function in the noise.
Call a meeting with your district. Put all these supports in place now while the preceding years troubles are still fresh in your mind and you'll be in a strong position going in to the fall. Of course part of me will still hope that you won't need any of these accommodations but that's not a strategy, right?
For other resources check in with PANDAS Resource Network:

Tags: PANDAS, P.A.N.D.A.S., IEP, 504, Back to School
UPDATE T-Minus 4 weeks and counting.
emst emst