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Terri Mauro

Tips for Middle-School Survival

By September 19, 2013

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ClassroomThis past weekend, during my standard Saturday-morning campout in the speech therapist's waiting room, I chatted with a mom whose son has had sessions at about the same time as mine for years. They were in the same group for a while, although her boy's much younger than mine, and although I'd watched him grow up over the years I'd lost track of how old he was. His mom mentioned that he'd just started middle school this year, and her worries about class-changing and dealing with multiple teachers and less parent communication reminded me of my own back then. (And now, as I'm coping with the same things on a larger scale with a community-college student.) I thought of her this morning when I saw a post on the blog Different Dream for My Child entitled "Special Needs & Middle School: 6 Sanity Savers for Parents." If you're also dealing with this stressful transition from the relative predictability of elementary school to the big-time of middle or high school, my articles on special-education transitions, opening locks and lockers, getting extra textbooks, and choosing a binder may also be of help.

Also in the special-needs news today:

+ Adolescence is hard enough, but ADHD sometimes seems to turn the dial to 11. About.com's guide to ADHD has tips for "Understanding Teens With ADHD." If you're mostly concerned with getting your child's teacher to understand ADHD, use my guide to preparing the school for a student with ADHD to put together an information packet.

+ Disaster preparedness for families with special needs is the topic of a post today on Love That Max, and with all the fires and floods in the regular news these days, it seems like a good idea to make sure you know what you're doing. For additional planning assistance, see my articles on dealing with disasters: "Disaster Preparedness for Families With Special Needs" and "Talking to Children With Special Needs About Tragedy." If the biggest disaster you're dealing with is kids bored during a blackout, "Fun 911" and "101 Things to Do When There's Nothing to Do" will rescue you.

+ Disability Scoop reports on research indicating that kids with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome may look like they have autism but their true diagnosis is unrelated. I'm pretty sure the same thing happens to a whole lotta kids with FASD, too.

+ It's Talk Like a Pirate Day! The AAC Language Lab puts a special-needs spin on it with an appreciation of how much easier it would be to learn English if pirate-speak was acceptable all year-round, and a pirate-related lesson plan that's today's Site of the Day.

Looking for more special-needs news? Check the dailyweekly, and topic folders.

Photo: Dave Einsel/Getty Images

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