The first day back to school is looming – are you ready yet? I’m preparing for my older daughter to head off to high school, while Dane is going into year 5! Should be fun managing two drop offs/pickups at two different schools that are nowhere near each other. Fun times. Thank goodness for interesting podcasts to while away the time in the car. Heading back to school also has its unique set of challenges with a kid that wears a contact lens and glasses.
From his first day in daycare when he was 14 months old, we’ve sent a detailed information sheet to administrators. The information covered off Dane’s condition, all about his contact lens and how to manage it and dealing with problems that might arise.
The information sheet changes every year as things have changed with managing his contact lens. We went from ‘call mum immediately’ if something went wrong, to ‘he can now take the lens out himself’. I had a look at a really old version that even had interpretations of his delayed speech.
Some examples of information sheets
I’ve seen some great versions of this type of information sheet in the For Little Eyes, Parents of Children with Cataracts in Australia, and Children with Congenital Cataracts Facebook groups so head there and do a little search. I’ve shared my versions on this blog post though in case they might help other parents.
It’s also a great idea to email the information directly to your child’s carer or teacher and try to make a time with them before school starts to run through the details. Don’t save it to the first day of school – the classroom will be absolute chaos and the teacher won’t appreciate you trying to explain something like that when they’re trying to settle 20-30 kids.
Off to school this year
This year, Dane will be heading to school with his letter, his lens kit that contains drops, a removing plunger and a contact lens case, his glasses and case, and sunglasses and case – not much at all! He can now put his own drops in when needed and take his lens out if he has to – although with his grotty hands we prefer him to call one of us to come take it out. He’s also great at explaining to teachers all about his lens and when something has gone wrong. If I notice that he has a relief teacher, I do just mention to them about the lens because he did once have a relief teacher than didn’t believe him when he complained it was hurting.
For those of you with school-aged children, I hope you all have a smooth start to the school year. There’s every chance there’ll be some challenges but you will get through them.