Your child’s life in a notebook

The few dollars you’ll spend creating a toolkit to store and share information about your child is some of the best money you’ll ever spend. Here’s how to go about it:

Get a 2-inch ring binder that has several section dividers.

Label your dividers to create categories for Medical, School, Therapies, Resources, Questions, and any others you need.

Put a picture of your child on the cover. Since you will use this with doctors, therapists and teachers, it helps everyone remember that the focus is on your child. It can also help break the ice and start conversations. Your child is an individual who needs individualized support—a picture helps everyone remember that.

Store business cards. There are so many providers supporting your child. Ask for business cards from each one and store them in a three-ring binder card holder in the front of your binder. This will keep the contact information handy, so you and the members of your support team can all stay connected.

Keep the most recent (about the last 6 months) paperwork in your current binder. When therapists, teachers and doctors provide reports, ask them to also write simple one-page summaries, too. These can be easier to share with the rest of your team.

Create archives for older documents. When documents older than six months take up too much room in your current notebook, archive them into other notebooks and keep them on your bookshelf for future reference.