A spinal cord injury is a life-altering experience that can lead to many complications. One of the most common and difficult complications after a SCI is how to return to school. Hopefully, this blog post will give you some tips on how to prepare for the start of your school year. I know it can be difficult after a spinal cord injury, but there are lots of things you can do to alleviate the situation.
How To Help Your Child Return To School After A Spinal Cord Injury
Assess The General Accessibility Of The School
Ensure that the school is accessible for the child in a wheelchair by taking into account any physical limitations. You might need to find a new school that caters to children with disability. However, most modern schools are designed with accessibility in mind and can accommodate those who use wheelchairs. When assessing accessibility, consider the below:
Access And The School Environment
Most modern schools are wheelchair accessible. The school should be on level ground to make movement easier. Things to think about might include:
- Whether the child can be independent on the playground
- Accessibility to the library and canteen
Toilet And Bathroom Access
What are the bathroom facilities like? What is your child’s level of independence in personal care needs, and how will this present challenges for them at school? Will there be staff available to help out if needed.
It’s important to confirm whether the school will provide recommended equipment to make it easier for the child in a wheelchair to learn.
Your child should be able to access their classroom independently. You need to find out what support is available to the students during the learning process. As a wheelchair user, your child may require extra help during the lessons.
Transport Accessibility To And From School
If you are not able to pick and drop your child at school you need to check how the transport is structured. Is there a safe pickup place for wheelchair users? Some schools provide assisted travel programs for children in a wheelchair.
Communicate The Needs Of Your Child To The School
Before your child returns to school, it’s important to communicate the following
- The health status of your child
- Management strategies for children in a wheelchair
- Provide resources that will help manage your child
Check The Support Available
The best way to take care of your child who suffers from a spinal cord injury is by being proactive. You can find out if there are outreach programs that visit schools and provide assistance. Also, check if there are any other children in the school with spinal cord injuries that can help your child blend in. Your little one can still achieve their dreams of going to school despite being in a wheelchair.