Special Needs

Therapy during the summer after age 3?

My son is 3 and a half, has an ASD diagnosis and attends our town's fullday inclusion preschool 5 days a week. He receives 2 halfhour speech therapy sessions and one halfhour OT session weekly as part of his IEP. The therapists also come into the classroom once a week to work with all of the kids typical and SN together.

Because it's a public preschool, there is no summer program. It runs SeptJune, just like a regular school. Because my husband and I both work FT, we'll likely be sending our son to Kindercare for the summer months. He went there before he turned 3 and liked it, but he was also still eligible for EI therapy then, and had behavioral therapy 4x a week including his therapist coming into the Kindercare classroom and working with him there.

My question is, now that he's aged out of EI and is in the school system, is there any way for him to get therapy during the summer months when school is closed other than paying for private therapy? Fulltime Kindercare is going to be all the budget strain we can handle, especially since preschool is free. Am I an idiot for not knowing the answer to this? TIA for any help you can provide. We're in NJ, if that helps.
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Re: Therapy during the summer after age 3?

  • iPhone deleted all of my hyphens for some reason. Fullday, halfhour, SeptJune etc.
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  • Does he qualify for extended school year services ESY? You can call an IEP meeting to address this. Entitlement revolves around the ideas of critical learning period and possibility of regression.
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  • Hmmm I don't know! How can I find out if he qualifies? Ask the school?
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  • Thanks for the info. I'll look into it. I definitely think he's at a critical juncture and in danger of regression if he goes three months without therapy, basically in glorified babysitting, at Kindercare, but the school might not agree.
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  • My ds is getting ESY, our school district runs a summer ASD program, they feel that at preschool age they don't want to risk regression and prefer to be proactive. Our last school district did not feel that way and would fight to avoid ESY unless you could prove beyond a doubt there was regression.
  • clc023clc023 member
    Yes, ESY!  My son is in kindergarten and they already determined he does not qualify for ESY, but he did for his between age 3-4 yr.  It was awesome! 
  • hopankahopanka member
    We fought for it once in due process and won. We had a lawyer, though that the district had to pay for. If your district is anything like mine and your state is as bankrupt as mine is, they will likely deny it at the IEP, because as gatekeepers they are supposed to, and you will have to fight for any meaningful services at court. In my experience, advocating for services at the district level is much more pleasant than trying to get through the thick heads at the school level. But, that is my personal experience only, like I said.
  • Hi, this is my first time posting on this board- what I would like to say is that if your child does not qualify for ESY, and private insurance does not pay for therapy, then there are different types of medicaid out there that you can apply for, which you may not realize your child could be eligible for to pay for these services.  Additionally, as you OT and SLP for "summer work" There are a lot of things that you can do at home to facilitate improving your child's skills in addition to therapy :)
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