Today Is the Best Day to Learn Something New

Here we go! Another school year has arrived with endless possibilities and great potential. Whether you have little ones that are starting a new school year, or you are attending school yourself, adjusting to the new schedule can be challenging. Starting a new school year can be stressful, but it can be exciting as well.

For parents and guardians of children with a diagnosis of MS, starting a new school year can be anxiety-provoking. We may have an endless list of what-if scenarios and worry about our child’s safety and well-being while away. What if the new teacher doesn’t understand my child’s needs? What if my child has an accident or does not feel well at school? And what if their symptoms get in the way of their academic progress? This worry is completely normal. Every child is unique, and children with a diagnosis of MS are no different. While some children experience mild symptoms of MS, others may experience symptoms that impact their learning. Pediatric MS may affect their cognitive functioning and their social lives as well. Neuropsychological testing may be helpful when working with the child’s school to request school accommodations such as a 504 Plan or Individual Education Plan (IEP). These plans ensure that K–-12 students with disabilities receive the support they need to succeed in an academic setting. Making certain accommodations will allow your child to be a child and thrive academically. For additional information, you may visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Going to college or university is a time full of excitement and new beginnings. MS does not have to hold you back from doing everything that college has to offer. Pace yourself, and balance work and school with rest and self-care. Stay active, eat some greens, and keep that stress in check. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Being realistic with our expectations can certainly help us manage unattainable goals. Learn about MS symptoms and allow yourself permission to manage them without judgment. Learn about resources that may be available on your campus and advocate for accommodations you may need. All colleges and universities have disability services and/or student services that can provide guidance and support. Reasonable accommodations may be made for those students who can show documentation of their diagnosis and specific needs. Disclosing your diagnosis is your choice and responsibility to share as you see fit. For more information, you may visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

School can be memorable for all the right reasons, regardless of age. Get up, get ready, and go! Today is the best day to learn something new.

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