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School?????????


 
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briarsmom
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PostPosted: October 25 2004, 10:14 PM    Post subject:
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I know that Briar is only 3 and he has at least 2 years before he starts school but everyday I wonder what it will be like. I have a few questions for those of you that have already been thru what we will face in a few years.

When did you go to the school and talk to them about your child coming to school?

What are some things that they will provide for my child?
Will they provide someone to help him during the day and stuff?

What if he is still in diapers? I hope not but how do the tend to those needs?

How is the therapist in the school systems?

What if he is not talking?

Briars birthday in at the end of June the cut off for our school is Sept 15. Has anyone held their child out for one more year? If so was it a good thing? I have held my oldest out cause his b-day was on the 14th of sept. So he was almost 6 when he started school.



Just a few questions I have.

Thank you!!

Lori
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Myztri
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 2:48 AM    Post subject:
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I can actually start bub in a program at i think 3 down here.. so i really cant help you much...
but they tell me that all needs will be met, be it diapers, assistance in walking, etc.
BUT, I have held my daughter out longer than i have had to...

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aprillperez
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 8:49 AM    Post subject:
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Same here...PJ can start at 3 at a school called the Early Learning Institute. I get sad thinking about sending him off to school and it's 2 years away! I am crazy.

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vonda
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 10:33 AM    Post subject:
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I've honestly never heard of a child with Ds NOT starting school at age 3. Here, in Maryland, we have the Infant and Toddler program in which therapists come to your home for therapy until the child reaches the age of 3 and then it is required that they go to Pre K. Noah is enrolled in Pre K in the regular public school system where his sister's go to school. He receives PT, ST, and OT there as well. Does Briar still receive therapy at home at age 3 or how does it work in your area? Vonda
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Emdad
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 11:45 AM    Post subject:
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Same here - Emma started a pre-school (mixed, special-needs and not) at our local elementary school (the location was pure luck). Now she's in Kindergarden at the same school, with a full-time aide.
She's still in diapers, they're responsible for it. She's getting therapy there that's at least more consistent than she was, getting moved from provider to provider through our insurance system. She's still not talking very much - She's saying(and signing) Mommy now, finally!, but her aide and therapy, along with the socialization, have shown great improvement in her just since school started. We would have preferred that she remain in the pre-school another year, but that was not an option. Emma seems to be doing pretty well with it. She's even sporting a big-girl hairdo, I'll get a pic up soon.
Sam's birthday is in November, we started him later, as we felt he wasn't emotionally ready at nearly five as he was at nearly six. I think it was a good decision.
Your fears are all well-founded, but I hope to give you the message that they aren't beyond dealing with.
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vonda
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 12:02 PM    Post subject:
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Well, Noah is SUPPOSED to be in kindergarten this year, but the pre-school has been SO SO great for him that we just ASKED if he could go another year and they didn't bat an eye and said YES. My twins went to kindergarten a year later than they were supposed to as well, only because their birthday is December 29th, so late in the year, and I have NEVER regretted doing this. So this is Noah's 3rd year of pre K. Now this year they do take him up to Kindgergarten, which is just up the stairs 3 days a week to slowly phase him into the bigger group, the only problem is that they say he talks up a storm downstairs in PreK, but once he's up in kindergarten he clams up and won't say a word!!!!! Vonda
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amante
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 12:31 PM    Post subject:
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Peter turns 3 in February and starts school then. Where do you live Lori?
Amante

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Conniejs
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 2:56 PM    Post subject:
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Alex goes to a pre-school at his local school districts Kindergarten center in Delaware. He started when he was 3 years old. Alex recives all his therapies there, OT, SLP, PT. I know Alex will be attending the preschool for another 2 years. I have requested that he start kindergarten when he is 6.

We had a unique situation. My daughter went to the same pre-school that Alex goes to. So they knew Alex since he was a baby and have been anticpating having him in in their school very early on. I started talking to his school about 6 months before he started. I had his pre-school come and observe him at Easter Seals and we started having transition meetings.

Alex's school handles everything that I do with him at home including potty training and self help skills. He gets his therapies there as well. When Alex started he would not talk to them very much. So the teacher and her aids would help with his communcation by pictures. Now he talks and gibber jabbers all the time. I do not think they can shut him up sometimes (ha ha ha).

I hope I answered some of your questions. I sure you live in a diffrent state than us but I would just start visiting the school he will go to. Ask to set up some time for them to observe Briar. Request a transtion meeting between what service/ therapist he has now and the school he will be going to. Ask all the quetion you can think of. Sorry for rambling.

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Sidney Girl 1/19/1997
Alex(DS) - Mr.GQ 8/14/2000
Max - Mr.IQ 6/10/2003
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AbbysMom
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 3:12 PM    Post subject:
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The public education system in Arkansas(where Briarsmom and I both reside) does not begin until kindergarten. There are a few pilot schools in the state starting pre-k programs funded by grants so hopefully pre-k for all is on the way, eventually.

Lori, I hope I can share some information based on what I know from working in Arkansas public schools in the past and from what I have learned by asking questions since having Abby.

Dr. Gibson told us to go to our school district the spring before Abby would be starting kindergarten to formally make them aware that she will be starting that fall so that they can prepare(our district is so small, they will know, but we plan to do this anway). He said this is basically a protection plan because he has known of schools who used the excuse of "we didn't know and we're not really prepared to handle your child" to put off providing some services. This way they have all summer to prepare so "no excuses."

I know you have to make the decision of whether or not you should send Briar to kindergarten at age 5, but I can share my decision with you. Abby will definitely not begin kindergarten until she is 6. She will go to a private preschool at least part-time until then. She has a late birthday like Briar, July 15, so she would have just turned 5 when starting kindergarten. As a teacher, there is NO WAY I will start her. She's already going to have Down syndrome working against her so why not give her that extra year to develop maturity, physically, and coginitively.

When you meet for Briar's IEP with the school, therapy that he needs should be included and the school must provide the these therapies. The problem I see in our future is that I know some of the therapists in our district and Abby will not use some of them--they are pitiful. You have the right to choose Briar's therapists, and it's my understanding that you can make your own choices to get the best therapists and the district still must pay for the services but you may have to schedule the therapies after school.

As far as someone being there to help him, that is a gray area. The school is legally supposed to provide every child the "least restrictive environment" to learn thus promoting inclusion. So, if you want Briar in a regular kindergarten classroom and you feel he can handle it, but may need an aide with him part or all of the day to function in the "regular" class setting, you push for this to be in his IEP. The school may try to get out of this because of the money but stand your ground if this is what you think would be best for Briar.

The school will be responsible for any care that he needs during the day including diapers if that is the case.

I hope this helps a little. I KNOW your anxiety. Abby is just 15 months but the school years and IEPs and advocating to make sure she gets the best from her educational experience are my biggest worries. I just know from being in many different schools, they will try to get away with offering as little as they have to in hopes of saving the almighty buck. It pains me to say it but the special ed kids are usually not viewed to be as important as the other children by most "powers that be" in the systems(not the special educators, the administrators!). So I know it will be an uphill battle at times but fortunately, I live in a small town too, with small schools, where we know most everyone and they know my husband and I both have backgrounds in education so I hope it won't be as hard as I'm predicting.

Talk to you soon.

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Jamie



Abigail Katherine, Ds, 2 yrs.
7/15/03
Jackson 6 yrs.
2/14/99
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helandy.cop
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 3:41 PM    Post subject:
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It's all so different over there! Here, when a child reaches 3, most children get a free place at a school nursery every morning or afternoon each week. When they reach 4 they go full-time (9-3.30ish). At 4 or 5 they start in reception, and proper school starts from there on in.

You cannot keep a child back - when they are 5 they have to be educated somehow, either at school or at home. Rachael will be starting proper school 2 months after her 4th birthday, Matt will start 3 months after his. Rachael goes to her local school nursery and loves it - she learns Makaton along with her class mates (although there are no children in her class who rely on Makaton for communication).

As soon as a child can walk, or unless they have any other mobility needs not to do with DS, they get no PT. OT is only offered to children with specific problems and not as a general service to kids with DS. Speech therapists, however, do work with children in their schools.

Most kids with DS here, receive a lot of one-to-one support, some get full-time, others around 50%, depending on their needs.

Nabia, who lives on my street, has DS and is just 8. She has one-to-one support every morning, and is doing fantastically. She is 'part of her class' completely and is not excluded by the others. She sees her friends socially and is treated, by them, as any other kid. In fact, she has actually been put up a class in with the 9&10 year olds, as she is doing so well. She is also bi-lingual! (Just thought you might like to hear a bit of a success story!)

Anyway, shows how different the system is over here.

Helen

[Edited by helandy.cop on 10-26-2004 at 03:43 PM]

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Mum to Rachael Kinza (25/07/01), Matthew Isaac DS (14/06/03) and Hannah Cerys (14/06/05) - my gorgeous children! :p



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briarsmom
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PostPosted: October 26 2004, 4:57 PM    Post subject:
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I should have put in my thing that Briar is in preschool now. I am wondering about public school.

Lori
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Abigail's mom
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PostPosted: October 27 2004, 11:43 AM    Post subject:
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For Abigail, she started in an early intervention program when she was 3 in conjuntion with regular daycare. She has been in daycare since she was 3 monthes old and has received therapies since then. Abigail began kindergarden this year. She turned 5 in July. We thought about keeping her in the early intervention program another year, but all of her therapists felt that it would not benefit her. In school she has an aide with her all the time which was needed. She is potty trained which just happened this summer. In talking with her teacher, if Abigail did not have her aide she would not make it in the classroom. She will probably repeat kindergarden and that is okay. Socially, she is doing great! The kids love her. She has her group of friends. She actually cuts very well thanks to OT. She is learning how to listen and follow instructions better. She is successfull in her own way!

Nancy
Mom to Elizabeth 8 and Abigail 5 (ds)
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