Back to School? Or Back to Stress?
Assessments – Homework – Nutrition
By Susan McCrossin

For many families, the start of school means heading to the local mall to purchase new school supplies, backpacks, and the latest fashion, all with the intention of providing the best possible start for a successful start of school.

But if your child has a learning issue, the start of school often translates into something completely different, which often transaltes into high levels of stress, social isolation, and academic struggles.

In a recent interview with Dr. Pat Baccilli, of the “Dr. Pat Show,” Susan McCrossin discussed the challenges school can cause, as well as how we can break through traditional “back to school” patterns to set up your child, and family, for a much more successful path to success.

Dr. Pat has called Breaking the Learning Barrier, Susan’s book, “a phenomenal book. A revolutionary conversation on how we can look at a world that is medicine-free. This book offers a solution that honors our kids, honors ourselves, honors a future we are destined to have.”

Dr. Pat and Susan discussed the stat of what is happening with our children in the world and what happens when we put our children into narrowly defined categories and labels. Whether it’s a little slow, doesn’t test well, needs to try harder, the common labels that are placed on students with ADHD, Dyslexia, or who just learn differently can create both a gap in self-esteem and achievement that can last a lifetime.

How many of us know that child who is obviously bright, but once in the school system doesn’t do well? What has caused the disconnect, the gap between people who are talented and the labels we put them for not being talented?

Unfortunately, many educational “experts” don’t understand that there are two different sides of the brain that learn differently. Some people have easy access to one and not the other; or partial access to both, or perhaps the connection between the two doesn’t work.

How can your child, and you, counter the labels that are often applied and that limit self-esteem, achievement, and potential? How can you help your child get off to, and sustain, a great beginning to their school year?

As the start of school comes close, parents and educators should begin getting their student ready for the transition period with these seven tips:

  • Power eat! Continue the solid meal plan with plenty of good nutrition, with special emphasis on protein-rich, non-processed, whole foods
  • Hit the sack – at least 2-3 weeks before school starts, begin encouraging your child to get to bed early
  • Pound the ground – literally! Start on a regular exercise regimen to help offset nervous pre-start of school energy, as well as to encourage healthy physical outlets
  • Talk it out – encourage your child to talk about their school and social concerns and make sure to leave time for what they are excited about, as we can often be just as stressed out about new and positive adventures.
  • Make contact with the school – when the offices are open, reach out to your child’s support team and let them know how the summer has gone. Better yet, let your child reach out through email or a physical visit, which might be just the thing to calm start of school nerves.
  • Reach out – hopefully, your child has had a balanced amount of social interaction over the summer. Suggest your child speak to a school friend and discover that beginning of year jitters are not such an unusual experience.
  • Celebrate! Take the time to point out and record the summer successes. Did your child try a new activity, make new social strides, or show heightened levels of self-responsibility? The transition between summer and school can be the perfect time for your child to bask not only in the sun, but in the glow of how much she or he has grown.

Remember, the school year lasts nine to ten months out of the year. The energy surge that comes in August or September can be overwhelming and your child, like most children, might have experienced a slight slide backwards. But despite the fear surrounding the “summer time slide” [insert link back to past post], as soon as the regular rhythm and schedule takes hold, our brains’ capacity to re-trace our academic paths will deepen, as well as the amazing capacity to continually learn.

Have a great start to the school year – and remember to breathe, take your time, and take care of yourself!

Posted in:ADD/ADDHD, Dyslexia