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Resources for Back-to-School

A new school year means a new grade, new teachers, and new goals. It might even mean a new school! These resources for parents and caregivers of children with special needs can help make the transition to a new school year easier.

As you begin the new school year, you may have questions about your child’s IEP. Your child’s IEP Team is there to make sure your child’s education program suits them and to communicate information about the program to you. These resources may make meeting with your child’s IEP Team easier:

Developing the Special Education Program: This Education Law Center publication can act as a guide and give you a general overview of special education law.
Available as a PDF article from Disability Rights Pennsylvania

The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child
Create an IEP with this start-to-finish guide for parents and caregivers.
Available in print from the Library. Available in audio and Braille from Bookshare.

The IEP from A to Z
Comprehensive, parent-friendly guide to creating clear and effective IEPs.
Available in print from the Library. Available in audio and Braille from Bookshare.

While preparing yourself to advocate for your child this school year, you can prepare your child by relieving some of their back-to-school jitters. Talk about the upcoming year and its changes. Talk with your child about new classes, activities, and events. Inspire conversation with books. Here are a few great ones:

Composite image of the covers of three back to school books. School Days Around the World depicts children from around the world standing together. School Bus depicts a yellow bus viewed from the side. If You Take a Mouse depicts a cartoon mouse standing inside a lunchbox while holding a pencil.

School Days Around the World by Margriet Ruurs
Non-fiction title that explores what school is like for kids in different countries. Illustrations are against a white background throughout, making the pictures in this text more visible to children with visual impairments.
Available in print from the Library.

School Bus by Donald Crews
A single word or phrase on each page and bright, high-contrast illustrations make this picture book great for all children. The experience of riding a school bus is presented in clear and simple terms.
Available in print from the Library.

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
Picture book with repeating text. All illustrations are against white backgrounds, so if your child has some vision, this may help them focus. If your child is blind, try illustrating the book with real objects. Gather common household items from the story: a pencil, a lunchbox, blocks. As you read, give your child each object as you get to it in the story. This will make the story more meaningful.
Available in print from the Library. Available in audio and Braille from Bookshare.

Have questions about literacy materials or strategies for your child as you start the new school year? Contact the Library to talk with a Children’s Specialist. In addition to sharing information about literacy, Children’s Specialists can help select books and other resources in a variety of formats.

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