Greetings to our VFN Family and Friends.

As the end of the school year approaches, parents and guardians everywhere are gearing up for a shift in routines and dynamics. For parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs, this transition can bring about unique challenges and considerations. The staff here at VFN know there are several crucial aspects for parents to address to ensure a smooth transition and a successful start to the next chapter.

First and foremost, communication is key. Reach out to your child’s teachers, therapists, and support staff to discuss any necessary accommodations or modifications for end-of-year activities. Ensure that everyone involved is aware of your child’s specific needs to make the transition as seamless as possible. Reflecting on the past year can also be valuable. Take some time to review your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 plan, or health plan to assess their progress and identify any areas that may need adjustments for the upcoming school year. Consider scheduling a meeting with your child’s educational team to discuss goals and strategies for the future.

Second, the end of the school year may bring about changes in services or therapies. Take this opportunity to coordinate with your child’s school-based team and healthcare providers to ensure continuity of care during the summer months. Whether it’s scheduling appointments, refilling prescriptions, or arranging for home-based therapies, proactive planning can help alleviate stress and ensure that your child’s needs are met. Remember us at VFN should your child have Extended School Year services (ESY) and you find yourself with questions or need support in communicating with your school district.

Third, as summer break begins, it’s essential to establish a new routine that provides structure and support for your child. Consider incorporating activities and outings that cater to their interests and abilities while also allowing for relaxation and downtime. Be mindful of sensory sensitivities and environmental factors that may impact your child’s comfort and well-being. Transitioning to a new routine can be challenging for children with disabilities, so be patient and flexible as you navigate this period of change. Offer plenty of reassurance and support and be prepared to adapt your plans as needed based on your child’s individual needs and preferences. Expect the unexpected!

Finally, take some time to celebrate your child’s accomplishments and milestones from the past school year. Whether it’s a small family gathering or a special outing, whatever works for you and your family’s needs – acknowledging their achievements can boost their confidence and self-esteem as they prepare for the next chapter. You are the expert on your child! And all of you have earned a celebration! When my twins graduated from high school? I said – WE graduated from high school!!!

The end of the school year can be a busy and sometimes stressful time for parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. By prioritizing communication, planning ahead, and providing support and encouragement, you can help ensure a smooth transition and set the stage for a successful summer break and upcoming school year. Remember to take care of yourself as well, and don’t hesitate to reach out to VFN for support, as well as from friends, family, and professionals if needed. Together, we can navigate this transition and set our children up for a joyful summer. We appreciate each and every one of our families – we are just a phone call or an email away!

From the heart,