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Posted by Lynda on November 14, 2000 at 23:36:53:

In Reply to: Kindergarten next year posted by Kat on November 13, 2000 at 10:41:41:

: Okay, I need to vent and am so confused.

: I have a 5 year son that will be starting Kindergarten next year and I do not know what to do. He talks all the time (to much), can write his name, knows his basic colors and shapes, he can count to ten and okay comprenhension and good memory. Loves to play with other children. My son has proven that he can learn but takes him awhile before he truly understands but once he does get it, than it stays with him. I have him part time in a normal day care right now and the other half day he is in Early Child hood. I put him in a normal daycare to see how he would do with other (normal) kids. He does pretty good but sometimes gets to loud and has to be put in time out. He loves the class and the teacher (at Day Care) says he is ahead in some area but behind in other areas. The basics (colors, shapes, letters and numbers) he is ahead of everyone but behavior is not so good (staying in his seat and being to loud)sometimes.

: I want to do what is best for my son but he does pick up other things from kids for example, at early childhood he was in the morning class and these kids were more severe (very little words, toe walking, hitting there heads sometimes) and my son was starting to imitate some of there bad behaviors so they moved him to the afternoon class with higher level kids. The afternoon kids are kids preparing for kindergarten and only have normal bad behavior (like saying you are a butt-head). He did soooooooooooo much better in this class and is meeting all his goals and actually can do some pre-kindergarten stuff.

: So, now I have to make a decision for next year. Does he go to a Learning Disabled class or normal kindergarten. I want him in a normal kindergarten class, but I want him to continue learning and this would not be possible without a good aide. So, if he goes to a LD class I am afraid he might regress and pickup some bad behaviors (like hand flapping or hitting his head, making noises) and he would only be a role model for the other kids. I just want him to continue to learn and be the most he can be. I want a full time aide in a normal kindergarten class but at the IEP meeting last week they said he would not need a full time aide but maybe only an aide once in awhile. Well, I do know for a fact that he would have to have and aide in a normal class (20 to 25 kids) in order for him to stay focussed . He can stay focussed in Early Childhood because the class is only 6 kids but at Day Care there are 18 kids and he has trouble staying focussed. Part of the problem is because regular teachers do not know how to work with kids with Autism to learn. They said I could try him in normal kindergarten class and if does not work out than put him in an LD class. Well, I said why waste a half a year on this because I know for A FACT that my son cannot learn in a normal class without an aide and they disagree. Well, I have proven this by a normal day care. I hate my school system. If I get an attorney to fight for a full time aide than the other problem is that how do they find a good aide. My school district now (in Early Childhood) has aide's in the class and they are terrible. If we get an attorney to fight this (we will be financially broke) I need it to be worth my while.

: Also, we were thinking of a private Baptist school and they said they would give Zachary a try but they have no experience with Autism and no service available to him (like speech or O.T.). They would allow my speech therapist to come in the classroom but I would have to pay for all of this. If we go this route, this will just about tap us out (financially) but we will do whatever is best.

: Okay, than there is also the diet issue, my son is GF/CF and I will have to send his food and I need to school district to follow this.

: We just do not know what to do and would love some advice. I wish there was some in between class with kids not so severe and a smaller (like 6 to 8 kids) than my son would do great but this is not an option. I do not know what to do.

Kat,
I do not know what state you are in ,but do not let the district tell you what they only have to offer. They must meet the needs of your child.
In PA if you place a child in a private school--like the one you mentioned (Baptist school), related services (like ST and OT) are to be provided by the local school district. And if your child needs an aide the district must provide one if it is written in the IEP or your child may be eligible for TSS (therapeutic staff support). My son (kindergarten age)has a TSS all week for 35-38 hours in a home-based program (we are homeschoolers). It is part of a program called wrap-around in PA. If we were to place our son in the public schools, his TSS would be with him all day everyday. This program is seperate from my son's IEP. The teachers simply do not have individual time for these guys. I know that my son could make it in a regular kindergarten classroom, but only with an aide to help guide him through the day. My son is very visual and here in our home he has a daily picture schedule, schedules within a schedule(for ex: circle time or brushing teeth), but it takes my son's aide (TSS) or myself to guide him through his day. That is what these types of supports are for and your district (especially spec. ed. personal) should recognize that your child needs various types of supports to make his school year a progressive and successful one.
I would also indicate your child's dietary issues in his IEP. My son is home-schooled and I still requested that his dietary issues be written in his IEP and they are. He was gf/cf for a year and now is only cf because test results with or without gluten are coming back normal. Dairy however is a big no-no for my son.
Remember, your child's IEP is to meet the needs of your child not the district's and what ever is written in there is a binding contract. I hope I have helped some and good luck. I have been through a lot since my eyes have been opened to the world of special ed. and you just have to hang in there and do what is best for your child.

Lynda

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