Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Your Special Needs Student!

Feb 12, 2024 | Special Education, Special Needs, Special Needs Child

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Your Special Needs Student!

February brings thoughts of celebrating our loved ones. If you have a student with special needs, you might want some creative ideas on how to make the day, the week, or even the month special for your youngster.

Does your child:

  • Become overwhelmed easily?
  • Become frustrated by an inability to communicate?
  • Get frustrated with social difficulties?
  • Find social situations challenging or discouraging?
  • Find loud and busy environments difficult?
  • Find things move too quickly?
  • Maybe your child is unable to articulate the classmates to whom they’d like to give a card.
  • Maybe they struggle to write on those cards.

Here are some tips for increasing your student’s enjoyment.

Do some advance planning.

  • Talk with teachers and other school staff who know or interact with your child.
  • Tell them how previous Valentine’s celebrations have been disappointing and painful for your child.
  • Volunteer to assist the teacher to ensure the day (or week or month) goes well for all the children.
  • That could include a suggestion that each child gets a card from all classmates, and that each child gives a card to all classmates.

Prepare your child for celebrations.

  • Talk with your child about Valentine’s Day, what it stands for, what to expect, and what ideas they have for how to celebrate.
  • If possible, use your child’s ideas.

Create social stories.

Your child may need more detailed preparation.

  • If that’s the case, the use of social stories can help.
  • What will the classroom experience be like for your student?
  • Consider their developmental level, keep it simple, and use pictures and simple phrases to preview the day.

Include all classmates.

  • Ask the teacher for a list of all your student’s classmates well in advance of school celebrations.
  • Make sure your child has enough time and supervision, if necessary, to prepare something for each child in class.
  • Brainstorm with your child what they’d like to write on the cards.
  • For younger students, it might simply be the other students’ names.
  • For older children, help them generate a list of ideas that are socially appropriate. Then your youngster can refer to the list when writing out the cards.

Difficulty with fine motor skills?

  • Your child could sign with a special sticker or a rubber stamp or stencil with their name.

Remember to mark the day with a celebration at home.

  • Your child will likely be more comfortable in their home environment and free to enjoy the celebration without extra stress or concerns about their appearance, speech, behavior, and fear of rejection.

Do you have concerns about your child’s performance in school? Need assistance with your child’s educational program?

Call an experienced attorney today to find out:
609-409-3500
info@sgwlawfirm.com



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