It’s school time in a week! I’m sure it has started in other parts of the world, as well.
I guess the kids have mixed feelings.
Some maybe excited to see their teachers and classmates once again.
Others may feel a little bit sad that summer vacation will be done and they will be missing the late night sleep and sleeping-in the following morning, the camping, the out of towns, the never ending video games, etc.
For your child with special needs, they may have the same mixed feelings.
I guess they are more excited than the regular kids. I know they show more enthusiasm and elation.
They are more open to express their joy and eagerness to be back on track.
How about the first timers? Is your child with special needs starting school just this year? How does he or she feel about it?
Maybe a little bit nervous to be out there on his own? Or also excited to be with other kids his age?
Of course I’m talking about those kids who are verbal and could express themselves already.
For the non-verbal ones, I guess the parents are the ones who are either nervous or excited.
So, my dear parents, have you started buying the things that your child needs come school opening or you already have bought some essentials way back in June or July and just about to complete the list?
This post maybe a little bit late but I’m sure it’s still very helpful for that final look for school must-haves.
I have prepared a back to school checklist for moms ( and dads, of course ) – what to buy and prepare for your child with special needs, so be ready to check out what you still need.
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1. Adaptive stroller
- If your child is still non-ambulatory or is walking but gets tired easily, this is really essential.
- If he rides the school bus, there is a specific stroller that has optional transit or school bus tie-downs that you can buy or secure for your special kid, as shown below.
- These strollers are usually what they sit on in the classroom as well, so choose properly with the help of his therapist or rehabilitation doctor.
2. School bag
- This is very important as well.
- You have to consider a few things though. If your child has attended school the previous year, you might not need to buy a new one if his bag is still useful.
- I know kids always want something new, but if you feel his old one still looks okay, a little talk with your kid might be all you need to let him know that he doesn’t need a new one.
- Anyway, if you’re ready to purchase a new one, keep some things in mind before buying. How big does your child need for his bag? Big enough to put his sweater or jacket in winter?
- Will his lunch bag plus some school essentials like his planner and pencil case fit in comfortably?
- How heavy will it be with all the essentials in there? Think of his back for all the time that he will be carrying his bag. Is it a long walk from his classroom to the parking lot or to the bus stop?
- Does he need just a back pack or a school bag with wheels?
Please see some choices below. Click the image to see the price.
3. Lunch bag / kit
- The size will depend on how many hours is your special child staying in school or the time of his class.
- If he is in school for just 2 hours, more or less, then he needs to bring in snacks only but if his school time is done just about lunch time maybe you need to pack lunch for him.
- Consider packing a crunchy snack because chewing is great for reducing stress and a good concentration tool.
- Of course during recess, your special child needs to eat something to reward him for a good day or to sustain his interest to learn his lessons.
Look at these awesome lunch bags that your kid might love. Click the image to see the price.
4. Water bottle
- A 2 glass water bottle is also an essential part of his bag. He needs to be hydrated at all times so he will not be sluggish and will continue to be receptive of the day’s lessons.
- After a hectic or an active day, your special child needs to drink his juice or plain water ( the healthier option ), so be sure to fill his water bottle to the brim!
- Make sure to buy a BPA and PVC free water bottle which has leak proof lid with cap.
Here are some awesome water bottles, click the image to see the price
5. Pencil case
- Choose something that is spacious enough to fit in his pencils, markers, and sharpeners.
- Your special child will love opening and using a pencil case with designs that he loves like animal prints or his favorite cartoon character.
- Having a pencil case will teach your special child to organize his stuff and put them back properly to where they belong. This develops in him responsibility.
Here are some choices. Click the image to see the price.
6. Pencils, markers, and crayons
- Buy as many as you can.
- Your special child may just be starting to scribble or just beginning to learn how to hold a pencil, but the more choices he has, the more chances of getting him excited to do his part in learning how to write.
- If possible, buy the big grip pencils and crayons or markers.
Here are some choices. Click on the image to see the price.
- You can also buy some additives that will be useful for your special child such as these pencil grips for perfect grip for him to be inspired to write or scribble as much as he can.
- These are useful even if the pencil is small.
Click the image to see the price ( pencil grips and erasers )
- Your child’s teacher or school might have these items provided, but it is still best to buy so your child will have something to use at home for his homework or just for practice.
- Buy those with beautiful covers that your child with special needs would love to open time and again. Designs that would let him smile and giggle and get him inspired to write down because his favorite animal or cartoon character is in the cover.
- Those with lines are the most essential ones so your child will learn how to write with proper alignment. If possible choose notebooks with three lines, so he will be guided how to write big and small letters properly.
- These colorful notebooks will delight your special kids.
Click the image to see the price.
8. School shoes ( and socks )
- Find shoes that are most comfortable on his feet. You would not want your kid to be coming home limping with sore ankles because his shoes is too tight that he develops a blister after a day’s wear.
- They should just be the right size so your child can run or walk without difficulty while playing in the playground or doing tag with his friends and classmates.
- Socks that will allow his feet to breathe properly even in winter are a must. Buy socks that he can wear depending on the weather outside.
Click the image to see the price for some choices of girls’ and boys’ sneakers/ shoes.
9. Sweaters/ Pull overs
- Always let your child wear a sweater or a pull over on top of his shirt because it will usually be cold outside once school starts or put it in his bag if it is warm, so he can wear it if the weather changes.
- This is really important if your special one still cannot express his feelings.
- Again, sweaters with awesome designs will become a favorite of your kid. Also match the color of his sneakers with his sweater.
Click the image to see the price of the awesome sweater your special one will love to wear on the first day of school.
10. Clothes and accessories
- If there is no uniform in the school that your child goes to, you may need to buy a few set of clothes especially those that he can wear and show off on the first day or week of school.
- He will always be proud showing off to his teacher and classmates a blouse or shirt with his all-time favorite cartoon character or a shirt which is his favorite color.
Click the image to see the price.
- Your little girl’s hair will be pretty either tied or with an awesome bow.
Click the image to see the price.
- A cute beannie hat ( and mitts ) for your little boy or girl that can match his or her backpack and shirt will be useful to keep his or her head safe from some cold or draft at the start of fall.
Click the image to see the price.
11. Calming toy or pillow
- Let him bring to school his favorite toy or pillow for calming effect especially if it is his first time to attend school. This will really be helpful to allay his fears and anxiety.
- You can allow him to bring it to school on the first day or week or the whole school year whichever he prefers.
- Your special child will be more focused with his school work if he has these handy.
Click the image to see the price of the calming pillows
Are you ready for school?
There you go, my dear parents, have you looked into the list of school essentials that your little one needs for his first day of school? Did I forget anything? Hope not.
Anyway, most of the time, kids want to show off to their classmates or teachers their new backpacks, new clothes, new pencil case, etc, so I suggest buy him something new , even though some are recycled from last year or the previous years or maybe hand me downs from older siblings or cousins.
I remember when my son was in the elementary, even though we just buy his schoolbag from the thrift store, he was so excited to show off his “new” backpack to his friends and he was proud to show off how many pockets it contains, the awesome design, etc.
I guess even our special kids would love to show off their stuff to his teachers and classmates, so as parents, let us try to be aware that this is something that our kids get excited about school.
We don’t want him to hate his school bag or lunch bag that would ruin his enthusiasm to go to school everyday.
There’s this excitement or some fears on the first day of school that ” something new, ” especially if it’s his favorite toy, marker, shoes, top, or bag and if his classmate or friend also likes it, it will be a big factor for your special child to have a reason each day to get excited to come back to school everyday.
Let the start of school be something that your special one will look forward to with an AWESOME school essential.
Look at this back to school checklist again so you won’t forget anything.
What is your special child’s favorite cartoon character that he wants for his backpack? Have you bought or prepared all the essentials for his school this year?
As parents, are you excited that your special one is up to another school year of learning and discovering new things?
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