Advice Needed on Preschool & Beyond. — The Bump
Special Needs

Advice Needed on Preschool & Beyond.

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edited July 2013 in Special Needs
I think I am still in the process of trying to accept DS having SPD, but as he gets older I notice I am more confused than ever before.

Last summer DS (strongwilled and a social butterfly) was dx'd with SPD without a co-morbidity and he was seeing an OT.  We also had him in a learn-through-play preschool, which was familiar with his difficulties and met 2x per week ( for 2 hours a day), and he also went to speech.  Due to the DSM-V release, we became more confused, however stuck out this schedule.

This summer, we decided to try out a traditional preschool.  This would give me a much needed break while at the same time DS can get a handle on both social and academic needs.  We phased out the OT minimizing his schedule, and only focused on ST & Preschool.  When I went to the school, I asked them about their experience with children who need a bit more attention, and also told them about DS' SPD,  it seems they were open with the idea. Now we are 2 weeks into the new routine, DS is fighting them (expectedly so) on transitional periods as well as authority.  They said he doesn't know his place, and will try to boss around the teachers.

I want to meet with director, teacher and teacher asst. to remind them of his SPD and come up with ways to help him in the classroom.  I am not using his SPD as an excuse to behave a certain way, I just want him to intergrate in the traditional class with other children his age.  He seemed to be showing signs too though of his SPD (possibly flair-ups from stress??) like he licked another child his first week, and now 2 boys avoid.  This whole thing is making me sad, confused and scared.

I don't want a label on my child, but its also hard to avoid his behavior problems relating to SPD, and I'm not sure if its him being strong willed or his SPD.

>Is it possible to place him into a public school for kindergarten and KEEP him in the classes, like inclusively?
>Since DS's SPD dx isn't found with a co-morbidity how will this affect DS in his school (relating to DS's DSM-V)?
>Is DS's dx private information that only his school will know about? Who do I inform about the dx?

>There is a charter as well as a regular public school in my district (both go form K-8th) and it seems that parents of children who need more attention place their child in the regular public school because there is more programs to help children with special needs.  However, what if I want to go through private funding, is that possible?  How will public therapeutic programs help/hinder DS?

>All of my brothers therapeutic needs were covered in the 80s by a non-profit organization due to the medical condition he was born with, and for any academic extra help - my family hired tutors.  Now in school, my brother wasn't in any special classes, he was inclusive - I want DS to do the same.  Is that even possible?!? 

Should I continue in the school DS is in, or should we place him back into the old schedule and substitute at home for his educational needs?  I just dont know where to go from here - and how I could best prepare DS for the "big pond" of public school.
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Re: Advice Needed on Preschool & Beyond.

  • edited July 2013
    What is his speech dx? Could he possibly get an IEP that will cater to his SPD needs under the speech dx??? For example, my son has Apraxia (which is a motor speech disorder that is also neurologically based like SPD). He will be going to a private school, but will be evaluated and probably receive speech services through school. From what I understand, if any of his SPD issues require accommodations, because of academic need, then they can be tacked on and will accommodate him, in addition to the speech services. I don't know a ton about public schools, but I know that where I live, most kids are in inclusive classrooms unless there are great behavioral, or academic concerns. I wouldn't think SPD would be a reason to place a child in a non-inclusive classroom. He has the right to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. 

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  • Who determined that he has no co-morbid diagnosis?  Has he been evaluated by a developmental pedi?  An OT is qualified to diagnose SPD but not things like ADHD or ASD.  Have you had him evaluated through the school system to see if he qualifies for any services now?
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  • d.fd.f
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    edited July 2013
    Has he been assessed by a Dev pedi or Psychologist to see if there are other diagnosis bel issues at play? What about the public school system?

    One of the best things I have done for my child to date was enroll him in public preschool. They evaluated him and provided over 1.5 school years of amazing services in an inclusive general education class room. His general Ed teachers were also trained and educated around my son's needs. He thrived. They also triggered enough concern in me to seek a full eval which resulted in a PDD-NOS Dx.

    As mentioned above legally a child is placed in the least restrictive environment. Next year for K DS will be in the general ed classroom 92% of the time. He will be pulled out for an average of 2.88 hours a week for speech, OT, and SpEd instruction. We have also done private OT and private group speech in addition to his school services. Next we'll do a private social skills group.

    DS's label/diagnosis has been a positive thing in my experience. It's not like he would suddenly be typical if we didn't have a name for it. His label and the evaluations that have gone along with it have provided us with understanding, tools, and services that have helped DS and our family immensely.

    We will continue to do a mixed bag of public school services and private therapies as needed and money and time allow.

    My DS was accepted (via lottery) to a very reputable Charter in my area. I observed both full day K classes at the charter and my neighborhood school's full day K teacher. I also spoke with the SpEd teacher at both. I chose my neighborhood school because it was a better fit for my DS. It was a difficult decision.

    Edit to add spaces. Apparently the new format is wonky

    DS 09/2008

  • I think it sounds like he would be well-served by an evaluation from the school district that will determine if he qualifies for services. 

    My DD1 (ASD) is headed into full-day, mainstream kindergarten with social, speech and minimal OT supports. She spent this past year in a mainstream preschool class. Her first year was in a class that had  both kids with SN and typical kids, led by a SpEd teacher and with lots of attention from therapists. She would not have advanced as far as she has if she did not have 100% support in her classroom for two full years, in an environment where behaviors & social aspects were addressed immediately, with her actual peers. We do some private services as well and TBH although I think they are useful, I also think it's difficult for them to be as effective as what is delivered in that school environment, given that communication & social interaction are her biggest deficits. Some things need to be done in the moment, in class, to best help her understand other kids and them understand her. 

    The way my DH puts it is, we may not want our kid to be treated differently -- but if our kid NEEDS to be treated differently, then her needs trump what we want. She needs and deserves that extra support so she can be her best and thrive. 

    You said you're still processing the dx. I wonder if he has been fully dx'd, as pps do; and it kind of sounds like you think of a label as limiting your son instead of serving him, as something to be feared instead of something that can be helpful. IME that's part of the processing part, that as much as I thought of my child as typical and not *that* far out of the norm, I had to set that aside and focus on her deficits in order to help professionals assess her needs and get her what she needed. You're very focused on making sure he's included/not left out, whether it's a typical classroom or not being avoided by classmates -- IMO, services HELP with inclusion because everybody (parents, teachers, therapists) is on the same page and understands the child's needs, and that helps everybody give that extra support and attention.  

    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
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