My son is 4 years old and has a high-functioning form of autism. He attends a preschool program that has ½ kids with IEPs and ½ Gen Ed.
At his last meeting with his teacher, we were asked what we had planned on doing for kindergarten, since his birthday is in late September we could wait an additional year to send him to kindergarten. We told her that we planned on waiting the extra year so that he could gain some maturity and we felt like since he was already a little behind typical peers, there was no sense rushing him into kindergarten before he even turned 5 and have him be one of the youngest kids. She completely agreed, and even said that by waiting the extra year she feels he’ll be ready to join a Gen Ed classroom.
We were all pleased with this plan of action, however we just got word that the principal had a meeting with the teachers and said that there is to be NO preschool retention if the child is age eligible for kindergarten.
My son’s entire team is completely against rushing him to kindergarten, and feel that if we do, it will be to a Special-Education classroom, since he still has some issues to work on that will likely not be an issue as he matures.
I plan on meeting with the principal to try and get an exception, and will contact a mediator if we need to… Does anyone have any words of advice, or studies I can show to plead our case? We all feel that once he gets rushed into kindergarten before he’s ready and put into a Special Ed classroom, it’ll be much harder to get him into a Gen Ed population, so it would drastically change the course of his life. As a last resort, we would, of course just not send him to kindergarten regardless next year and if they won’t budge and let him stay. We would try enrolling him in a typical preschool next year. The problem with that is that he would be missing out on some of the social-support services I think he needs a little help with still.
It’s really frustrating.