It's that time of the year - DS got his school placement — The Bump
Special Needs

It's that time of the year - DS got his school placement

New site so I can't physically visit the school until September but we went to the 'main' school (they have 7 sites).  They explained their program and everything sounds ok.  He got 6:1:1 but they said depending on whether or not any of the other kids need a para there may be more people in the room.  Chris did not get a para on his IEP.  We're ok with this for now.  

The school we went to was a high school.  I didn't actually realize we were in a high school until they specifically mentioned it.  I thought we were in an elementary school.  The room we were sitting in had activities and PECS stuff around the room, shapes on the wall, the sort of stuff I thought (maybe incorrectly) you'd see in an elementary school grade level room.  And then she said 'high school' and then we took a tour of the school and a lot of the kids didn't seem very high functioning and it was - unsettling.  I know I probably seem judgmental.  DS said I was being a bit harsh but I couldn't help how unsettled I was by the whole visit.  I found myself thinking "Chris can function much higher than this" but then also thinking "or am I just fooling myself?"  And then reminding myself this wasn't where he was going to go to school but also thinking these are the kids that come through their program from grammar school and "what does this mean for my Chris?"  

To this point, all we've ever heard is that he's high functioning but then I go here and I'm thinking "this isn't high functioning".  

I think I'm being unfair and I'm a jumble of emotions right now.  I think I just need to breathe because another part of it is that he's going to a real school now, far away from home, with other kids, big kids and I'm not ready for that.  

And work sucks. 

Back to it now.  
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Re: It's that time of the year - DS got his school placement

  • Hugs to you.
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  • edited June 2014
    Hugs and I can totally relate to your emotions. I was kind of blindsided this year too because I assumed dd would be placed in an inclusion classroom because she is high functioning and doesn't present with the more classic autism symptoms like rigidity/meltdowns, has appropriate play skills, etc but they did put her in an asd classroom. Now that I have some hindsight it was the very best placement for her and now am at the point where I'm disappointed she will be starting to move to a more mainstream classroom next year. I know it's easier said than done believe me but try not to overthink it too much. If you find it's not working things can always change.
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  • I hope that you feel better about things when you get to see his actual school. Hugs!
  • Looks like you might be talking about a Kindie class, but my experience with getting my son set for his pre-school class sounds a lot like your experience.  I had to go to the 'mothership' for the program to do his IEP and work out the details of it.  The mothership was in a wing of a local high school.  It was totally separate, access via a double door which you had to be buzzed into, but it was kind of overwhelming for me realizing my nonverbal two year old might be sent to a HIGH school.  Then we go through the whole IEP process and they mentioned 'self contained classroom'...which I knew he would be in but I never thought of it in those terms.  My mom is a paraprofessional in special education and for some reason hearing that sent me reeling (once I got to the car, held it together in the meeting).  I never pictured my son in that setting and had to adjust to the reality that a self contained classroom was actually what was best for him.

    But you know what, it all worked out great.  His actual class was in an elementary school (program in it's own wing, but not secured separately), the 1:2 ratio in that self contained classroom really helped DS.  He's pointing now, signing a little...and most importantly, he has an interest in learning that he didn't have before.  I have to get with the 'mothership' again soon to see if I can have him sent to the same school, maybe even the same teacher, next fall.  I'm seriously counting the days until he starts.

    I second pretty much everything that Auntie said.  What you were seeing were the kids that couldn't be mainstreamed.  If your program was like my DS's, the 'mothership' is where some of the most difficult (not sure how to phrase that) cases are.  I saw some pretty low functioning kids and some others with some pretty severe physical issues at the mothership...I didn't see that in DS's actual class.  He actually seemed pretty on-par for his class, maybe a little behind seeing as he was a latecomer and was probably the youngest in his class (he made the cut off by a whopping 2 days). 

    I hope you find things to be just what your son needs and that you feel better about it when you see the place.  And like a pp said, if it doesn't seem to be working out, you can try and change it. 

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  • edited June 2014
    Hugs.Try the school placement as PP's have said. If you don't think it is a good fit, you can always meet for an IEP to change it or tailor it to your son's needs.

    I know what you are going through. DS was placed in the ASD class and he was the only verbal kid in his class. We tried it because that was the only teacher I knew in the entire school that was close to understanding ASD. It was not a good fit, so we met for an IEP in December to transition DS to the developmentally delayed pre-k class slowly starting with 15 minutes and increasing it according to DS's good behaviors. DS was apart of 2 classes.

    For Kindergarten, we want DS to have the same set up until he is ready to be mainstreamed.
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  • Thank you everyone for the perspective!  I was so focused on what I was seeing that I closed my mind off to everything else.  When we were getting ready for the IEP, we wanted self contained because we knew that right now Chris needs 1:1 and all the help he can get and right now that means something like this.

    Having a day to think it over also helped.  DH reminded me about some of the positive things that came out of the info session.  They gave us a ton of information regarding the program, the staff, the administration, all the resources that would be available to them so I feel a little better about it.  

    It was a bit jarring but time and perspective are making me feel better about it. On another note, Chris "stepped up" today.  That's what they're calling pre-K graduations these days "stepping up".  They had a little ceremony and refreshments at school.  It was cute.  And now I have my first graduation tassel - Class of 2014.  Yay!
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