PPMD’s 2020 Back-To-School Webinar Series – Resources & Takeaways
As we look towards this next school year, PPMD recognizes that our community is facing new and difficult choices about in-person and virtual learning. To help inform and empower families, we recently hosted a back-to-school webinar series tackling questions and concerns the community has about both in-person and virtual school scenarios. PPMD’s Care Team was joined by leading experts from our network of Certified Duchenne Care Centers, as well as families who, like you, are navigating this unprecedented time.
Part 1 – Planning for a Safe and Successful Return to School
- Sanitize wheelchairs or other mobility devices regularly, and practice wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing
- Ensure you or your child is up-to-date on scheduled vaccinations
- Work with your child’s teacher, school administration, and neuromuscular team to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan to ensure safety and accessibility needs are met
- Despite changing school structures, ensure you or your child are getting plenty of rest, are staying on a schedule, and facilitate social interaction with peers
- Do chest therapy regularly if prescribed by your pulmonologist
- Ensure you or your child has an emergency care card available at school
Family Friday Recording
- Be creative when developing your child’s IEP to include breaks and additional safety considerations while at school
- Be kind to your school administration – they are doing their best with what they have!
- Your school nurse is an amazing resource, and should be a member of your care team
Part 2 – Thriving in the Virtual Classroom
- Promote and model positive health behaviors by optimizing regular meals, adequate sleep, fresh air and activity, and emotional check-ins
- Define a workspace with a desk or table (not a bed), good lighting, organized materials, minimal distraction, and a calendar/schedule
- Promote socialization with peers through video chats, group video games, extracurricular activities, and the PPMD community
- Recognize the signs and work with your care team to manage stress, anxiety, and depression
- Build relationships with your school occupational therapist (OT), physical therapist (PT), speech therapist (ST), teacher, and principal to better implement IEP components into your child’s school schedule
- Just breathe – there is no right or wrong answer and everyone is doing their best!
Family Friday Recording
- IEPs can still be implemented through virtual school; however, it is important to take a flexible approach and adjust expectations to meet the resources available
- Ask your teacher for help when needed – they love to hear from you!