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Starting School???


 
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McKenna
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006

Last Visit: 16 Oct 2006
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Location: Texas

PostPosted: May 18 2006, 6:20 PM    Post subject:
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Okay...Darah's almost 2 (BOO HOO!!) and I wanted to know at what age did you all start looking into PPCD? I have NO CLUE what I'm supposed to do, ask, research, ect...and I have heard that we have the option for Darah to go to a regular preschool, instead of the Elementary school and the Public school system will pay for her care and therapies still??? Is that necessarily true, and is that better for her??

I'm also nervous because I know that mainstreaming doesn't come until kindergarten, and we have enough "habits" that I'd like to rid ourselves of...I'm nervous of her being around other children with special needs all day and picking up their wonderful habits that their parents are tired of. Is that a reasonable fear? I don't want that to sound judgmental, because it's more that I just want her learning typical behaviors.

If you think it's still early for me to look into her school, let me know and I will put these thoughts as far away from me as possible, because it makes me sad thinking about my baby turning 3 and starting school! Sad And, what are your thoughts on putting her in a Mom's Day Out program until she turns 2? Super beneficial?? We're dealing with so much separation anxiety and it's driving me mad!!

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McKenna
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Darah Faith 11 Aug 04 (DS and AVSD repaired)
Baby due 18 Nov 06
Darah's Website



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momofrussell
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Joined: 05 Apr 2006

Last Visit: 17 Oct 2006
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Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: May 18 2006, 6:54 PM    Post subject:
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Well... what does PPCD stand for?

Ok.. I will answer you in basic, IDEA, legal type stuff and hopefully that will answer some of your questions.. because beyond that... it will boil down to a personal decision based on your daughter's needs when she turns 3. Wink

When entering the school system at 3 yrs old, all spec needs children are entitled to an education. They (district) SHOULD offer your daughter a Least Restrict Environment (LRE) which starts off IN and inclusion setting..then if that isn't appropriate... you go for a more restrictive environment. Mainstream and/or inclusion starts at age 3, not kindy. They might eval your daughter and even say things like "this is where she tested so she needs to be placed here".. or "all the kids w/spec needs go here"... which is not really how it should be. Your daughter's placement is based on your daughter's unique needs in a least restrictive environment and if that means a typical preschool, then that is where it should be!

And yes.. that is a reasonable fear you have, wanting her to be with "typical" peers more so then not. That is what you should strive for.

As it gets closer... I am sure you will be contacted.. or you may have to contact someone and ask to see placement options... this should include a typical preschool and spec needs class. If your district ONLY has a spec needs class and that is it... and you want a typical class.. then ask to see one. They HAVE to give your daughter that option.. whether it be a private preschool or in a neighboring district if that is the case. And yes, if LRE is a private, typical preschool and it's decided by your team.. then the district pays for it and still provides therapies.

I am pro inclusion... it doesn't work for Russell, but I am VERY much for it... that said.. there are plenty of benefits from BOTH types of settings. And in those settings, there are ways to tweak the setting so your child can have both... part spec needs.. part inclusion time.

And now for my shameless plug LOL... Go buy "From Emotions to Advocacy" from Pam and Pete Wright and read the whole thing when it comes time... it's WELL WORTH IT!

I hope this helped..... Wink It is a scary thing when we have to send our babies to school at 3... it's such a rite of passage for us parents!!!!

A.

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Adrienne, mom to Regan 13, Russell 8 (DS, Autism, Visually Impaired) and Reece, 5.

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mary c
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Location: Westchester County, New York

PostPosted: May 18 2006, 7:13 PM    Post subject:
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For what it's worth, this has been our experience so far. At 20 months, Anna started going to an integrated Mommy and Me program for 2 year olds. Half kids with special needs of different types, half typical kids (although as the year went on several of the typical kids went to get evaluated for EI). We got all our therapies at home (PT< OT< SP< SI). This coming fall we are putting Anna in a typical nursery school 2 year old program. Her birthday is after our school district's cut off, so although she will 2 years, 9 months when she starts and thus among the oldest in the program, this is the group that she will eventually go to school with. The class is only 2 mornings a week so she will get all her therapies at home on the other days. We have to pay for the nursery school because it was our choice to put her in a typical program--if we had chosen a special ed or integrated program, EI would have paid. For us, it was important for her to be with kids she would eventually go to elementary school. All her therapists, including her SI who is also her Mommy and Me teacher think she will be just fine in the typical kids class. Anna's greatest deficit at this point is gross motor while speech appears to be her strength. As a result, we feel she will be able to keep up with the other kids "academically", particularly as she has essentially done a 2 year old program this year, albeit with me present.

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Mom to Libby 6/92, Alex 9/93, Anna (DS)12/12/03

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McKenna
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Location: Texas

PostPosted: May 18 2006, 7:58 PM    Post subject:
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PPCD-
Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities

It's probably a Texas term....

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McKenna
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Darah Faith 11 Aug 04 (DS and AVSD repaired)
Baby due 18 Nov 06
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McKenna
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Location: Texas

PostPosted: May 18 2006, 8:10 PM    Post subject:
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So, when does this whole process begin to start public school/and or decide on placement, ect? Does this start at 2 1/2, or does it start the month before she turns 3, or does it start closer to her 2nd birthday??

Also, Darah has an August 11th b-day, and I'm trying to decide if this is a good thing or not. I'm assuming we won't begin kindergarten until she turns 6, or we'll start at 5 and repeat it??

Mary-I don't think our EI program offers spec ed preschool before they turn 3! Sad I'm going to look into it. I am definately going to do a Mom's Day Out if they don't because I know Darah needs to be around more peers.

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McKenna
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Darah Faith 11 Aug 04 (DS and AVSD repaired)
Baby due 18 Nov 06
Darah's Website



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mary c
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Location: Westchester County, New York

PostPosted: May 18 2006, 9:00 PM    Post subject:
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Where we are, the transition to the committee on preschool special education from early intervention takes place before the 3rd birthday, hopefully in time for a placement in a program to take place. Most programs here start in September and they fill quickly, by late spring at the latest. Kids with a summer birthday try to get to the CPSE (which is administered by the school district, but funded by the county) by March at the latest to try to get into a program for the following September(although depending on who they are dealing with, they may be able to get to the CPSE early). Anna's birthday is in December, and she will already be in school by that time. I've been told to hold off going to CPSE early because once they go there, they follow a school calendar (with all those vacations) rather than a year round calendar. Here, our county contact iniates the referral to CPSE.

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Mary
Mom to Libby 6/92, Alex 9/93, Anna (DS)12/12/03

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momofrussell
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PostPosted: May 18 2006, 9:02 PM    Post subject:
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It all depends on your district Wink We lived in CA when Russell turned 3. His bday is in March. They started contacting me and the whole process by around Dec/Jan.. I want to say Jan. The psych for our district did an eval.. very short assesment (no other testing was done at this time) and we also visisted 2 programs and discussed another one not seen. We then got together and went over everything and decided on a placement. The one discussed but NOT seen was the one the psych was going for.. but we also felt another placement option was where we'd like to send him. Both were appropriate.. but one was more restrictive.. we picked the least restrictive option Wink

I have heard some districts contacting you RIGHT before the child turns 3.. and the parents feel rushed.. they don't offer to let the parents see placement.. and things like they have to wait for a letter to see what placement they get.. they really should give you ample time and the placement decision really should be made at the transition meeting.. or TRIED to make. Some districts do ALL the testing... we didn't have all our testing done until we were in MO and Russell was turning 6. Our PT did do a report through EI since we were transitioning.

See.. I am a planner.. so I am not one to wait until the last minute.. so if I didn't hear from anyone, I'd be calling and asking how the process is done. Heck, I have been known to make those calls 6-12 months in advance. When it comes to Russell and his education.. I want to be IN THE KNOW!!! so.. I neurotically plan and make sure I am on the same page as the rest of the team MONTHS before it's time. We have moved a few times.. so I start contacting way early!

Oh.. and on the bday thing and kindy.. that too depends on the child and how pushy your district is. With Russell having a March bday... he could have gone to kindy at 5.. but we actually kept him in EC an extra year.. so he didn't start kindy until he was 6. Then there are alot of kids that repeat kindy. So.. it just all depends. So.. the child's bday and when school starts is only a small part of it.

A.

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Adrienne, mom to Regan 13, Russell 8 (DS, Autism, Visually Impaired) and Reece, 5.

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Carson's Mom
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Location: Bossier City, LA

PostPosted: May 18 2006, 10:34 PM    Post subject:
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I work and Carson has to go to daycare. The one I have him in is where Kenna goes and Callan used to. I plan on Carson staying there until he is 4 as long as everything stays the way it is now. The people there love him. The OT is able to come there and the teachers are working on things she shows them. Today they told me he was really sitting well, and when I got him home he is totally sitting by himself. I work with him, but, it is so nice that they will during the day when I can't be there. For me the answer is that it depends. Go check out the schools and see which ones you like and how they respond to the fact that she has DS. For us the director never missed a beat, she welcomed him in.

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Kayla, Callan(5), Kenna (3), Carson 1 yr
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naomid
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PostPosted: June 07 2006, 12:33 PM    Post subject:
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Here's how the process worked here (southern CA)

At Callum 2 1/2 year meeting with EI his coordinator started mentioning transitions to schools and she told us to contact the school district about 3 months before his birthday to get the process going.

So In January this year we contacted the school district and they sent us out a bunch of forms, we filled them in sent them off and about a month later (I think they have 30 days to respond) the school psychologist called to start making appointments for evals.

In the beginning it sounded like they would get everyone (PT. OT, ST, nurse, special ed teacher, APE, school psychologist) in one room with Callum for a couple of hours and that would be the extent of the evals. Boy were they wrong, we did do the big eval with nearly everyone there but then the APE guy wanted a seperate eval, then the teacher wanted to observe him at school, then the PT wanted a more in depth eval, then they wanted an eval written by his school and his private PT and his ST from EI and a couple of evaluations filled in by us. Then EI wanted a psychological exam. It was never ending for about 6 weeks and we were all exhausted at the end.

Then the IEP was scheduled (only about a week before his 3rd birthday). Again everyone in the room, we were only given the reports and tentative goals while in the meeting and each therapist basically verbalised what was in their report and then left the meeting. At the end we were told that they (the team) recommended a SDC (Special Day Class) for Callum and they never even discussed an integrated class, I tried to bring it up a couple of times and was just told that this was the "teams decision". We were very overwhelmed and felt like we were being bullied into just signing everything.

We refused to sign for the placement but said that we would take a look at the class. Within a couple of minutes I knew that it was not the place for Callum. We reused the placement and that's when it came to light that all the other programs were full.

After many phone calls we got to see the person in charge of special ed for our school district and they have basically said that they will pay for Callum's preschool and therapies at his private school until September. In September he will be joing a collaborative class which is a mix of special needs kids and typical peers.

So my advice, contact your EI coordinator and ask what the school transition process is. When it comes to IEP time make sure that you have all the reports and evals prior to the meeting, do not sign anything unless you are 100% sure, make them explain their placement decision. You can request to see placements prior to the meeting, they wouldn't arraneg it for us and they have several different programs and didn't want anything to happen until it was discussed in the IEP.

Sorry for the book, lots of people have a good IEP experience, we didn't.

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Naomi
Mum to Callum (DS) 3/03 and Kieran 8/04
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