This school year could be the most stressful year of all, especially for parents of students with special needs. School districts all over Buffalo and WNY are making plans to safely return kids to school.

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As a parent of a child with autism, I understand the uncertainty and the confusion you and your child may be going through. Most children with disabilities don't understand the importance of wearing a mask or being distant from someone they are normally around.

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My family and I came up with a plan, which maybe could help you and your child get used to the new normal. We all know every child with a disability, especially autism, is different. One thing we did that's helping so far is to start classes at home with a mask on.

We also thought of different scenarios that we could be faced with, like using hand sanitizer and washing hands more than we're used to. I have found that doing these small exercises has given our family a little more confidence in the ability of him to deal with the stress of this transition.

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As parents, we are never really sure of the right thing to do, but like most parents of children going back to school, we must rely on instincts.  New York State has released a helpful tips.

Tips for preparing your child with special needs for the school year:

-Have your child wear a mask during home schooling in order to help them get used to wearing one
-Have your child practice hand-washing and using sanitizer
-Reassure your child and help them deal with the stress of the new normal

You can find more tips here.