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Kindergarten Anxiety for Parents

Kindergarten Anxiety for Parents

My daughter is starting kindergarten in a couple of days, and I am – to put it mildly – starting to freak out. My son made the same transition 5 years ago and I was totally cool about it. My other son starts a new preschool next week and that doesn’t have me in a tizzy at all. So I know that what’s making me really nervous is that my daughter has severe special needs and she’ll be swimming with the sharks in kindergarten instead of the guppies who have kept her company until now. I’m worried that:

  1. Nobody will help her off of the bus when she gets to school.
  2. The kids will leave her in the dust at recess if she can’t keep up with them.
  3. She will be confused and overwhelmed and not know whom to go to for comfort.
  4. She won’t be able to hear the teacher, or her hearing aides will squeal (as they sometimes do) and the other kids will laugh at her.

I have to admit I’m seriously considering following the bus and watching from afar to make sure she’s okay getting off. As for the other concerns, it will not be nearly as easy to peer into the classroom or lurk on the playground during recess. Any advice on how to make it through this transition?

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2 comments

  1. Green Mom August 29, 2011 at 9:33 am

    This post makes my heart hurt because I know exactly what you are going through. It happens to me every time my son has transitioned from one program to another in child care, and again when he started his public school preschool program. I’ve literally seen kids leave a table when he arrives at an activity because they don’t want to play with him and it breaks my heart. On the flip side, there is one child in particular that goes out of his way to make sure Max is included and that makes me want to cry too (for happy reasons). Someone will take a liking to her. There will be one kid who hangs back and plays board games instead of Tag or does something D can handle. As for peering into the classroom, schedule meetings with her teacher and/or team as often as you want to talk about her peer relationships (write them into her IEP so they have to happen). I’ve also had success emailing w/Max’s teachers and therapists and expressing my concerns about peer relationships. Regarding the hearing aids, I would find a children’s book that the teacher can share with the class, then include in the book area that may help explain why she wears them. OR, a child in Max’s program had his doctor come in and talk to the class about the child’s needs and the kids thought that was really cool. Child care to public school is a really hard transition for anyone, but throw in all the moving parts of special needs and it’s particularly stressful. BTW, I would totally follow the bus too. Good luck!

  2. Jessie, Modern Mom

    Modern Mom August 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks Green Mom! It makes me feel so much better to know that I’m not alone. I love the idea of the book and the guest speaker.

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