How Your Child's Pediatricians and School Can Work Together

It can be overwhelming when your child has a medical or developmental diagnosis that makes attending school more difficult. Making sure your child with special needs is succeeding in school involves advanced planning, regular communication, and staff awareness.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the task of supporting your child through school alone. At Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, board-certified pediatrician Rainilda Valencia, MD, with Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, can work together with your child’s school to ensure their needs are met during the school day.

Learn more about how our pediatric care team can work with your child’s school to support their learning and development.

When can your pediatrician work with your child’s school?

Usually, Dr. Valencia and her team work with your child’s school, including teachers, principals, and support staff, to help them learn more about your child’s medical diagnosis, developmental delay, or learning difficulty, that requires special assistance for them to succeed in school.

Medical conditions

Having certain medical conditions means your child needs special provisions to ensure they can safely go about the school day. Teachers and school officials need to be aware of any special medical issues so they can assist your child with day-to-day management and in emergencies.

Your child could have a variety of medical needs that impact their learning. Two of the most frequent childhood medical conditions Dr. Valencia sees in children are allergies and asthma.

For example, if your child has asthma, they may need to carry an inhaler at school and use it before athletic activities. Children with severe allergies might need to carry an EpiPen® or limit their exposure to the allergen at school.

Developmental delays or learning difficulties

If your child has any delays in their development or learning difficulties, this can change how they learn. Examples of childhood conditions that can impact school performance include ADD and ADHD, autism, or specific learning disabilities like dyslexia or dyscalculia.

Depending on the specific diagnosis, these children can need additional help to learn academic skills, integrate socially into the classroom, and behave appropriately in class. If your child has a diagnosis that impacts learning or behavior, they might need an individualized learning plan on file with teachers and school officials that details their needs.

Ways pediatricians and schools can coordinate your child’s care

To ensure your child with a medical condition, developmental delay, or learning disability gets the support they need, Dr. Valencia and her team can work with your child’s school in a variety of ways.

Communication

One of the most important ways Dr. Valencia works with schools is to regularly stay in communication regarding your child. Dr. Valencia can make your school aware of any medical or developmental needs she’s identified in your child, as well as her treatment recommendations.

Additionally, Dr. Valencia stays in communication with any updates or changes to your child’s needs and asks their school for regular updates on your child’s progress. She helps you and your child’s school remain in regular communication as well.

Input into evaluations

If your child has a potential special need identified at school, they often want to perform an evaluation and testing to determine what support your child needs. As your child’s pediatrician, Dr. Valencia can offer her insights into your child’s needs for these evaluations and provide medical evidence for any interventions necessary.

Advocacy

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), your child with special needs has the right to reasonable accommodations that allow them to manage at school. Dr. Valencia can advocate to your school to ensure your child gets these needs met.

This can include discussions with your child’s school if the school and Dr. Valencia disagree on the diagnosis or conclusions regarding your child. Your school and Dr. Valencia can work together to reach a mutual agreement of your child’s needs and required interventions.

Getting help for your child at school doesn’t need to fall on you alone. For assistance communicating with your child’s school, call Valencia Pediatrics today.

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