When you think of September, what comes to mind?
Crisp notebooks, new backpacks, sharp pencils with brand new erasers, reconnecting with friends, running around at afterschool sports and activities, enjoying recess and gym.
Remembering the ADHD medication, morning madness, battling homework, trying to pay attention, talking with teachers, scheduling this year’s 504 or IEP meetings.
Going back to school can conjure up so many different reactions- excitement, joy, frustration and overwhelm. It’s a time of change for everybody- from getting up earlier, to sharing the bathrooms and heading out the door in the morning to afterschool activities, extracurriculars and parent meetings in the evening.
Back to school can be what you want it to be. Success depends on your perspective- you can dread the return of homework, or find ways to get it done and on with better things. You can head into the school year expecting to struggle, or as an opportunity to learn how to implement new ways of coping and thriving.
As your child starts the academic season, remember that he or she is another year older- look for strengths that have been developed over the summer, and anticipate challenges that may arise with the higher level of academic expectations. Practicing getting out in the morning, readying a homework station, starting ADHD medications a few days early if necessary. Be as proactive as possible.
And for students, remind yourself every day that your brain is an amazing gift. It allows you to do things that other cannot, and provides you with ways to excel and grow and gain strength as you overcome challenges. Ask for help when you need it, and keep track of times when you don’t. And always remember – you can do anything you put your mind to!