View Full Version : transitioning
09-26-2006, 08:00 AM
Zoe turns 2 in October and her EI coordinator is talking about transitioning for when she turns 3.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this. I am not sure I want her to be in a sn preschool. I do not think she will qualify for that because she is advanced cognitavely. For example the child can count from one to twenty, knows her ABCs, spell her name, and can add and subtract before she turns 2. That is rather advanced for her age.
Is it possible for her to get services through her IEP like OT, PT, and speech but not be in a sn class?
I just do not think she need to go to preschool until she is 4 like other kids but I do think she will still need the services.
09-26-2006, 08:40 AM
Abby was like that too--cognitively on target but in need of services in other areas. We went with the special needs preschool program simply because it was easier to get all her services--multiple visits each with ST, OT, and PT--in at preschool when I was teaching full time and dh was in graduate school full time.
We had some selection because our district was so big, so we chose a program which seemed like it would be fun for Abby. It was. She loved it.
Around here lots of kids start preschool at age three. In fact, my older three were all in preschool at that age and only one was special needs. The special needs preschool classes are generally so small they can adapt their instruction to whatever cognitive levels the individual students have and make it a fun learning experience for all.
09-26-2006, 08:52 AM
My concern is that Zoe will be in a class with children who have cognative issues and that she would be bored in that class. I want her to be mentally challenged.
When school starts, I want her in a typical classroom because I strongly feel that is where she needs to be. My aunt has a daycare that the kids visit (with me) every week for a couple of hours. Zoe fits right in and plays with the other kids. Infact, Miss Zoe is actually a bit of a ring leader and gets the other kids to play with her. She has a few friends already and even a little boyfriend who follows her around hugging her. It is rather cute. The last thing I want to see happen is for her to lose the ability to interact with her typical peers and to lose her coginitive skills because she is in a program that is not challenging her.
I am going to bring this concern up with all transition meetings. I am also going to talk to my mother in law and have her possibly sit in on her IEP meetings when those start. My MIL is a special education teacher by the way. She is a good advocate to have since she knows all the ropes.
09-26-2006, 08:52 AM
This is nearly the situation Becca was in at Zoe's age - advanced in every way except motor skill and a bit socially.
The Early Intervention I felt actually pushed me to go right into preschool for 2 years for Becca. At the last minute, I cancelled the preschool screening despite all the paperwork they did for it. My gut told me it was not the right thing for Becca. Early intervention was not thrilled, but they got over it. I really liked them tons and did not want to offend, but had to follow my gut. Plus I am a licensed teacher (staying at home now).
I opted to home school until age 4 and then continued with clinical (taking her to peds therapy) OT and PT out in town for an hour each - each week. I also got her in baby ballet and gymnastics, story times, etc. . . for social interaction with peers and instruction from an adult other than myself or friends. It worked VERY well. She reads fluently and knows more than any other preschooler did, and the same now in Kindergarten standss true.
She went to pre-school at 4, and her IEP had some social, OT, PT, and expressive speech goals only. She was in an inclusion classroom with about half with IEPs and the other half mainstream. It was wonderful because all her services were in the classroom setting - very little pull-out (only for eval time, etc).
Now she is reg. Kindergarten with very similar IEP goals and an inclusion calssroom with only 3 IEP kiddos - one autistic. The aide helps Becca with motor tasks when needed, and PT is during PE class. We took a break from clinical OT/PT last year as she was getting burnt out. . . but will start clinical OT again next month in addition to the school OT/PT to carry through her cast/restraint therapy from the camp last summer. School will not address this - their therapy is educationally based and I use this as grounds for referrals to a clinical setting when I see fit. Never been a problem, really.
Hope that helps. You have time to plan and seek options. There is no reason she needs to sit through 2 years of preschool if she does not need to, and you think she would benefit (and you too) from being at home longer. You just get the services yourself.
09-26-2006, 09:52 AM
I would definitely visit the early childhood classes in question to see. Our early childhood here has "typically developing peers" in the classes too starting at age three. Then at age four Abby was in regular ed junior kindergarten (which was offered at our public school for all four year olds in the district). I realize not everyone has all those options, though.
If you visit the special ed preschool class and it doesn't seem like a place which will nurture and challenge her, and you can work your schedule around all her therapies, I'd keep her home and transport to therapy. Check out the specific classes you'd be able to choose from and see. Remember there may well be other kids who, like Zoe, are cognitively on target and are in that class for their other therapies.
Another option is to put her in a regular preschool a couple days a week (most start at age 3), and then schedule her therapies on her off days.
09-26-2006, 11:34 AM
What seems to be an entire lifetime ago Riley was in a very similar siutation to Zoe.
She was on target with her cognative skills and her biggest area of delay was motor skills. I had the exact same fears you do. We fought hard to have her in a program like Langan is in. Typical kiddo's with the SN kids. That way there is plenty of typical interaction as well as the therapies and IEP goals.
Sine the only program around here is out of our county we weren't able to get the county to pay for her to go and paying out of pocket was unrealistic so we conceeded and allowed her to go to the developmental preschool.
The program was ok, she turned out to be a leader in the classroom, which was great for her self esteem. She was not the highest functioning kid, but not the lowest either. There was another little boy there who had CP, but was right on target for his age. Riley and this guy became buddies, my problem came in when Riley started wanting to crawl all the time, like he did. Had I known then she had the CMT (the genttic muscular disease she has) I would not have worried so much about it. But as far as mental regression she didn't- at least not due to being around other more severe SN kids.
Her regression came about when her seizures went bezerk.
Now she is one of the lower functioning kids in the class. :(
- something else you may want to consider-
When we did pull Riley out of the SN pre-k we looked into the most appropriate typical classroom after she stayed home for about a year, she was a young 4 when we looked back into placement (I think, 4) we had her placed into a older 2's (almost or just turning 3) class the kids were right at her level then, physically and developmentally. I had never been really impressed with the school therapy so that was no big loss to her. She had always been in private therapy even when Early Intervention started coming out. Even now in elementary school the school therapy isn't worth what they bill medicaid for.
This is a huge transition for miss Zoe that you have coming up...
09-26-2006, 11:52 AM
In our area, the pre-school are not exclusively special needs. They are preschools where the therapist visits for the needed services. Some elementary schools have pre-schools and some don't. When they don't the therapist goes to the school to provide services. So, Carly was in an inclusive setting.
09-26-2006, 03:23 PM
I don't know what Zoe's issues are, other than what is in your tagline, and of course that doesn't explain it...
I have two boys, less than a year apart and one I sent to SN preschool and the other waited to go to "typical" preschool when he was 3 almost 4. They both have CP, are ambulatory etc.. the one had cognitive issues and the other didn't. I was very selective about the typical preschool, but I truly felt that my child would be better off in the long run, from an inclusion point of view, if he were always with his typical peers. I knew that developmentally he was fine, except for gross motor and maybe a little on the fine motor. I think in some ways those kids have it tough because they don't really fit in well with the SN classroom nor the typical classroom. My son who was in the SN classroom for preschool has always played catch up. If I could do it over, I would have put him in as "typical" a classroom as I could find, at least one with some "typical" peers. Mainly so THEYwould treat him more typically. The child that went to typical preschool, well he has loads of friends and fits in pretty, well --typically. They know that he has "physical" issues. But he only had to overcome those "stigmas" and not all of the "stigmas" that come from being in a special needs classroom. Just my 2 cents.
09-26-2006, 03:43 PM
Your EI coordinator should be able to give you a list of placements that will be available when Zoe turns 3. There shoud be a continuum of placements, from complete inclusion in a typical class to all special needs classes. Most states contract with private daycares and some private preschools for IEP kids. If you choose one of those, Zoe would be in a typical daycare or preschool setting with the therapists coming there to work with her. Easter Seals and other organizations also often contract with the state for these slots. At least here, it was difficult to get info on the private contract placements. The school system is most interested in placing kids in their classes- it's cheaper and easier for them. So we had to work to get the info.
The assessment will show her levels and needs, and the IEP team (which includes you) will determine placement at the IEP meeting. Obviously, you can decline services. However, other than paying privately, you will not be able to get services outside of those decided upon in the IEP.
That said, I would visit every possible placement and compile notes. Decide if any of them would be a proper placement for Zoe. And then advocate for that placement at the IEP meeting.
In Langan's case, she is very delayed in all areas. But I really wanted her with typical peers. The school system folks wanted her in an all special needs class. I did my homework and went to the IEP meeting prepared. I knew exactly where I wanted Langan, and we won. She is in a private preschool in a class of typical peers with 2 other SN kids in the class. The school is amazing. Langan is, by far, the most delayed kid in the class, but she benefits so much from these other kids. We have actually kept her in the same class this year, so she is with 3 year olds even though she is 4, but she has her same teachers and thrives there. Many of the 3 year olds are writing their names and reading short words. The teacher is amazing at getting each kid to reach their potential. I truly believe Langan is much better off at this school than at home with me or in an all SN class. She may have to head that direction during the school years, but these early years are so critical.
That's my two cents. There is tons of info on www.wrightslaw.com as well.
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