Special Needs

For those of you with a child in a special ed preschool

What's their curriculum?

We were able to take a tour today of the school Chris will be going to - it was their last day so it was a little crazy but everyone was awesome. It was one little boy's birthday - also his LAST day of school - as in, next stop Kindergarten.  The director was a little emotional because she'd grown really attached to that little boy.  We also got to meet the person who will be Chris's teacher next month.  He seems really nice - really down to earth.   

He asked what the dx was and we told him that it was going back and forth between PDD and mild autism and he sounded a little like auntie - laughing a little and saying at the end of the day all the kids were ASD. He then asked us about Chris, anything we thought he would need to know about Chris, what his abilities were so far, what were his likes and dislikes - and all of this while navigating a room full of VERY active students.  I think Chris will fit in just right with this bunch.  Oh boy does this teacher have his hands full.  

He was telling us about music therapy and gardening and play time and how 90% of it was social and that he 'snuck in' the academics.  I think DH was worried because of the emphasis on social and not so much on academics but this is pre-school, right?  

What's it like where your kids go to school?


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Re: For those of you with a child in a special ed preschool

  • That sounds similar to my DS's school.  Everything is based around helping the kids be ready to move to a typical kindie class if they are able.  The academics are "hidden" in the social.  They do story time and song time to work on interacting with peers but the songs and stories all have academic basis.  They work together in pairs on counting, colors, shapes activities.  It is very structured and organized but still a fun learning environment for the kids.
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  •   i think the emphasis on social skills and even playtime is just right when it comes to preschool.  at this age they 'sneak" in the skills by making it about social skills and play  what better way to hang with your freinds than to make crafts in the shape of letters or whatever.  I would be much more concerned if the teacher had said they are focused on academics with social time arranged around skills labs.  This is the time for them to learn how to navigate relationships so that they can concentrate on skills later on.  JMO.

      It sounds like you got a great feeling from the teacher and school.  It is so nice to have a good day ; )  does the teacher have any aides in there with all those rambunctious kiddos?  we loved our special education room, there was a teacher plus 5 aides for 7 kids.  He was getting great support and i know he would not have been ready for the next step without it.  Next year ds transfers into a 50/50 sn to nt room (or at least 50% nt) and we are excited for him to be making the leap.

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  • We didn't have a dx when we enrolled DS in preschool. I chose a very traditional play-based nursery school. They had circle time, story, snack, music two days, gym two days, the academics were mostly learning about the community with some pre-reading and math activities and free play.

    The curriculum I was looking for was one that would teach my son what he needed to know for kindie. To get along with peers, understand that he wasn't the center of the universe, rely on an adult who wasn't me, learn classroom etiquette and to be more independent. It was the right choice for us.

    Tell your DH to relax a little. Preschool is about school readiness, even more so for kids on spectrum. It's to prepare them to be students in a mainstream setting if possible. Many bright kids on spectrum already read and do some math, so the academic piece isn't something they need as much as to be "housebroken". For a lot of kids with ASD, it's their behavior that determines their LRE placement. If he's really bright, that gift won't disappear while he learns to behave in a manner that allows him to be included. Without independence around adaptive skills, ability to behave appropriately and social skills, he won't be able to fully use the gifts he has. The notion of the adult with ASD and an advanced degree who is unemployed and living with mom is not a myth. I know a few families who have ended up there.

  • DD's been in an inclusive preschool class so far, so the curriculum has appeared very similar to a typical play-based curriculum, where the earning is mixed in with social/play activities. That said, she has had significantly more exposure to "academics" than DD#1 (who attended a traditional preschool) by virtue of her pull-out therapies-specifically OT, where she's always working on writing letters and numbers as well as her name. I didn't see much of that in DD#1's preschool. My understanding is that the curriculum in the inclusive pre-k is def more academically-driven, which makes sense, given the next stop is kindy!
    When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? ~Pam Brown
    Big Girl 2.7.06 ~ Baby Girl 9.2.07
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  • image -auntie-:

    Tell your DH to relax a little. Preschool is about school readiness, even more so for kids on spectrum. It's to prepare them to be students in a mainstream setting if possible. Many bright kids on spectrum already read and do some math, so the academic piece isn't something they need as much as to be "housebroken". For a lot of kids with ASD, it's their behavior that determines their LRE placement. If he's really bright, that gift won't disappear while he learns to behave in a manner that allows him to be included. Without independence around adaptive skills, ability to behave appropriately and social skills, he won't be able to fully use the gifts he has. The notion of the adult with ASD and an advanced degree who is unemployed and living with mom is not a myth. I know a few families who have ended up there.

    Yep, had a little chat with DH and explained that this is what Chris needs the most as the area where he has the biggest delay is social.  The Director was telling us about how far the kids had come in that one school year.  There was one little boy who said hi to us who she said used to do very little other than scream and scream and scream.  Now he was helping take care of the class's hermit crabs and saying hi - albeit a little shy but saying hi and playing with his classmates - and no screaming anymore.  

    Our little guy is a bright one - you're so right, auntie.  If he doesn't learn independence, all that brightness could go to waste.  

    Thanks everyone! 

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  • I don't have a child in SPED pre-school, however I work at a 100% SPED school where we serve kids birth to 21. This school sounds awesome. Pre-school standards (at least in our state) focus largely on social development. Academics should be "snuck in", but the primary focus at their age is learning to get along with peers, so they are ready for kindergarten when academics take the front seat. Just my thoughts.
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