5 things I wish my son’s new classmates parents knew


Each new school year brings a new crop of kids in Isaac’s class. Some of them know him and can handle his quirky nature. Others are new to him and don’t quite know what to make of them. When kids go home and ask about why my son “talks funny” or stare at his AFOs (articulating foot orthoses), I wish the parents knew the following 5 things:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask me what the deal is. I don’t mind explaining and because Isaac may not want or know how to explain things, I’m really open. It’s not a crime to ASK.
  2. The TA is there for ALL of the kids. Just because she’s technically Isaac’s doesn’t mean she can’t have a relationship with your child as well. She does help your child with things, so makes sure to thank her too when you thank the classroom teacher.
  3. Isaac wants to learn just as much as the student next to him. All he needs is a little extra time and help. Encouraging your child to possibly help out – write for him, ask him an idea – just include him and it will make his and your child’s day so much better.
  4. Make sure your child isn’t a bully. It’s not cool on all counts. Not just to my child, but to any of them. Remind them that kids who are a bit left of center are just as good – even at gym.
  5. If your child comes home chatting about my child because of good things, start the conversation with “Oh, so that’s Isaac! My child loves him.” The standard “I’ve heard so much about him…” line tends to freak me out, as it does for a lot of parents with special needs kids. We’ve gotten enough phone calls about what our child does wrong. We need to hear that they are acclimating well and are having fun with their peers. It’s the good stuff that we need to hear.

These things may seem simple, but they are really important. Some are easier than others, but even trying them means the world to us.
Here’s to an awesome school year!




  1. 1

    This is great! My son went to a special needs peer program for preschool. There was a little girl with MD in his class and he and another little boy in the class would actually fight over who could push her wheel chair. I love how sensitive he became through exposure and being able to ask his own questions. We recently bumped into her mom in Target and Eph came running up to her to hug her and her mom turned and complimented me on how much she loves that the kids don’t even see Rachels wheelchair. That they only see her, but are willing to help and include her despite her limitations.

    I hope more parents will read this post and talk to their kids.

  2. 2

    Wonderful article! My son was in kindergarten last year with two children who did not speak English. At the end of the first week the teacher pulled me aside and told me that my son went out of his way to include them. It became something we talked alot about at home because we were so proud of him. I would suggest all parents ask their child’s teacher if there is anyone in the class with special needs that may make them seem different. If your child is being inclusive talk to him or her about how proud you are. If your child doesn’t initiate playing with them, it can be a great topic of conversation at home to help him or her understand why people are all different and how to embrace those differences.

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