8 Habits of Highly Successful Students
How to Ensure Success at School for Your Child With Cerebral Palsy
Plan for Friends, Play, and Social Activities
In addition to having educational concerns, parents often worry about how their child’s cerebral palsy will affect their social life at school. How will speech, hearing, or mobility differences affect how other kids treat their son or daughter?
One approach that may help is for parents to connect with teachers and school staff to learn about what social activities are available to keep their child active and help them make new friends. They can ask if there are any after-school programs that connect kids with similar challenges or are therapeutic in nature.
Parents can also take an active role in scheduling play time with other kids, so their child develops friendships outside of school.
Breslin Larson recommends that whatever fears parents have, they brainstorm approaches to address that fear. For example, “If a parent is afraid that their child will be bullied, they can develop a strategy to communicate who their child is, their interests, and their strengths,” she says. “Find some kids who will be in the new setting and invite them over before the school year starts. Build a circle of friends before entering the school system.”
For parents who aren’t sure where to start, perhaps the best first step is to simply write down their unanswered questions. Then connect with the people who can provide answers to their questions and concerns — teachers, therapists, child advocates, or others.
By building a team of support both inside and outside a school, parents will ensure that their child with cerebral palsy will thrive in their educational career and beyond.
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