Special Ed.
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Thread: Special Ed.

  1. #1
    SahmIam is offline Senior Member
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    Default Special Ed.

    It is looking like Callum will be accepted into a Special Ed. PreK program once he finishes being evaluated next week. BUT I don't know if this is the right place for him. I only know one other child w/ ASD irl and he is hs. If your child (especially w/ ASD, SPD, or similar) was ever in public school, can you please share your experience? This program is5 hours per day, 4 days per week. The homeschool co-op (not SE) he is signed up for is 3 hours, 1 day per week. If I put him in, how will I know if he's handling it okay? How will I know if it is helping him or hurting him? I am so conflicted. I desperately want to do what's best for him and I just don't know what that is. Any advice/ thoughts/ opinions/ prayers would be very helpful!
    Melissa.

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Special Ed.

    I have never had a child is special ed at public schools, but I can share why I am homeschooling my son with Down syndrome.

    1. He needs frequent, short lessons instead of one, six-hour "school" session per day.

    2. He is more attentive when things are done around his schedule instead of on appointment. I can capitalize on the moments first thing in the morning or during lunch, when he's most responsive. By the time I would get him ready to "go" to school, his prime responsive period would be over.

    3. He learns best through meaningful activities. For example, it is meaningless to him to practice clipping clothespins on colored index cards or to learn to tie his shoes by using a lacing board. He is very interested in helping me hang laundry or learning to tie his own shoes, though. It's hard to recreate this kind of opportunity in a classroom.

    4. It's inefficient for someone else to try to evaluate him. Sometimes he just doesn't feel like doing something, and then they think he "can't". Merely from parental observation, I already know what he can and can't do. An example is the one and only time I took him to a clinic designed to evaluate his abilities. We had to drive two hours to get there. He was very happy to be out of his car seat and the first thing they did was try to sit at a table and work puzzles. He just couldn't concentrate on that after being cooped up in the car for so long, but it's something he "can" do.

    5. Any books or resources I study or evaluate are looked at with my own child in mind, not some hypothetical student with special needs. Therefore, I can better apply what I have learned.

    6. Praise from ME, specifically, is very motivating to my son. I don't want him rewarded with M&Ms and praise from other people doesn't have the same impact.

    7. My son has my total attention when we are working together. I don't have to give him tasks designed to keep him busy so I can work with someone else. Even though I still have four children at home to teach, it's a much smaller class than even most special needs classrooms.

    8. My other children are really good teachers! They have so much patience for things like blowing bubbles all afternoon so Joshie can practice popping them (finger isolation), or helping him climb the up the slide over and over again.

    9. I am more interested in seeing my son succeed than any teacher could ever be.

    I don't think I'm compromising my son's education in any way by homeschooling him. On the contrary, I feel he'll do better this way.

    Every family is different, though. Only you know your abilities, the demands placed on your time, and how your own child responds to certain situations. I really trust a parent's instincts, and I'm sure you'll make the right decision. You're doing what I usually do . . . get loads of opinions and learn about other people's experiences before making my choices!

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    MamaMary's Avatar
    MamaMary is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Special Ed.

    I LOVED this post! Great question and GREAT ANSWER!!!!
    Mary, Child of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ! Wife to best friend and Mama to her four boys 91, 96, 00, 02, Homeschooling since 1998! Come visit us on our blog! http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/MamaMary/

  4. #4
    ambertopaz75 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Special Ed.

    My son has PDD-NOS which is a ASD. He wasn't diagnosed til the end of second grade which is another story all together. He was in school for a full year after his diagnosis and though the people at his school did a lot to help him they just couldn't give him the attention he needed. He acts out and gets frustrated easily and no one there could calm him down they just made it worse. Took away his recess and sent him to the office. Ya lets take away recess from a boy who can't sit still for long periods of time and needs to be active. It got to the point that I dreaded the phone ringing while he was in school cause I feared it was the school calling me to pick him up again. I actually lost my management position since I got too many calls at work and had to leave a few times. Though my son was never in the SpEd class in school cause his scores were to high. I think he actually would of done good in the class cause he likes helping others and I think it would of been a good boost of confidence but PS doesn't really let the Parent decide what is best for their kids. A lot of kids excel in SpEd classes and letting your son try can be good. My longest friend is a special needs teacher and keeps open communication with her kids parents. Talk with your sons teacher, ask questions keep communication open with her/him and with your son. If after a few weeks you don't feel right about it then reevaluate the situation.
    Amber
    13y/o son with PDD-NOS

  5. #5
    SahmIam is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Special Ed.

    Thank you for all of your responses so far! Kelly, as always, you are a wealth of knowledge. Amber, I totally forgot I had talked to you about ASD long ago. That was before Callum was diagnosed and we were on this path.

    As of right now, I am thinking that we will ask to try him in the PreK part-time, either (Monday or Tuesday)/Friday, or Monday/Tuesday/Friday. I would like to give it a try because I think the therapy-type stuff they can do might help him immensely. But the more it weighs on me, I get the feeling that he needs to go to co-op with us on Thursdays. I am signed up to be the helper in his class during first period, for mini PE, so I hope that will help us transition into the day. \/ I'm not sure how he'll do in the other classes, but we'll find out when we get there. I also don't know if the school district will accept part-time, but hopefully if they don't, he can still be on waiting lists for services outside of school. On the days when he would have PreK at the school, I would like to take the opportunity to do more volunteer work (we read to kids over there at the ps). That way, I can peek in and make sure he's doing okay. And if he doesn't do well, I can just pull him. In WA, he's not required to be in school until he's 8 years old (4 1/2 years from now).

    As an outsider, does the ps/hs plan sound reasonable? He does great at church on the weekends and I would like the chance of getting him around as many other kids as I can, not just the same group every day. I may be preaching to the choir here, but I have to ask this last one: is my mom right? Am I Callum's helicopter mother, hovering over him and smothering any chance he has to grow into himself? Ugh. She says I need to pry myself away from my baby.
    Melissa.

  6. #6
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Special Ed.

    You'll know when it's time to start letting go.

    I think your plan sounds like a nice compromise between homeschool and public school. It's obvious that you've really thought things through, and I think it's great that you're staying flexible.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  7. #7
    SahmIam is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Special Ed.

    If it works, great, I'm all for it. But at the same time, I'm going to do what's right for my child, not just what the school district wants me to do. I am still a little wary that their "free and appropriate" will be right for my son when I know it's not right for my daughters.
    Melissa.

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