Returning to school after stroke may feel like a scary prospect, but see it as an achievement; it is a milestone in your child’s recovery. It is also an opportunity for your child to see their friends and participate in class.
Our guide ‘Supporting children after a stroke: Toolkit for teachers and childcare professionals’ contains useful information for parents and carers as well as education professionals. It covers learning and development, communication and emotional changes.
To make your child’s return to school as smooth as possible, contact your child’s headteacher or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) well in advance of the return to school. Let the school know about the stroke and how your child has been affected. Ask for a meeting with all the professionals involved to discuss in more detail the support your child will need in the classroom and at break times. If your child is in secondary school, make sure that all of their teachers are made aware of the situation.
Schools must offer staged support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) (additional support needs (ASN) in Scotland) and if those needs are particularly complex you have the right to request a formal assessment from your local education authority or education board.
It might be helpful for the school to speak to other pupils about any physical effects of your child’s stroke, if your child agrees. It may be helpful if the other children know what changes to expect and how to support their classmate. The classroom can be a noisy place and it can be tiring to return to school and learning, so a gradual return may be advisable.
It might be a good idea for your child to sit in a quieter position in the class, so it's easier for them to concentrate. Any therapy your child is still receiving should be planned in as part of their school day.
Research shows that children with SEN/ASN or disabilities are more likely to experience bullying. Contact our helpline on 0303 3033 100 for advice and information on how to work with the school to tackle bullying and support positive relationships within peer groups.