July 2020 – After the NICU

After the NICU
By Jenny R. McCormick

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc with our community, both in the NICU and at home. For those at home that are many years post-NICU, there is fear about returning to school as the second wave hits. We get it. Some tips:

  • Enlist the Pediatrician and/or Specialist: Ask the doctor to write a note about your child’s low immune system, chronic lung disease, disability that would make returning to school impossible for safety.
    Virtual Meeting with the Principal and/or Team: Having a meeting around your child’s situation should be done sooner rather than later. Reach out to the school and see if a meeting can be scheduled either now or a short time before school actually starts. Provide the letter to serve as a reason why you have concerns for your child’s return to school.
  • Virtual School: Suggest virtual school for the year until the virus appears to be on full retreat. If need be, have the entire year be virtual. There has to be students like your child that will have to do a similar plan so the school should have already thought this through.
  • Virtual Services: If your child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 accommodations plan, services will mostly likely be provided in school and/or virtually. So as to not overwhelm your child, ask the team to please space out the services “meetings” to only one or two (at most) a day. And ask that they be done in the latter part of the day as well.
  • Coping with Stress: School work, class work done from home is challenging in and of itself. Make sure the team doesn’t just bulldozer your child a school day and has some breaks built in for a little stress relief.
    Virtual School Support Group: Your child is not the only one to likely do virtual school in the coming year. With that in mind, ask the team early on if they can connect your child with others for an informal virtual meet-up on a regular basis. Nothing overly structured, just social and fun but with a little discussion around school at home.
  • Virtual School Support Group:  Your child is not the only one to likely do virtual school in the coming year.  With that in mind, ask the team early on if they can connect your child with others for an informal virtual meet-up on a regular basis.  Nothing overly structured, just social and fun but with a little discussion around school at home.  

 

 

 

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