Originally Posted by quaz
Let's start with the question of gifted services....
Why would he need a third year of special needs pre-school? Were you looking at special needs for K or just a typical K classroom? Is there a reason you couldn't go with a different preschool? If you did stick with the same preschool, would they be willing to differentiate for him?
There are no formal gifted services until grade 2. However, the elementary school principal has told me that no matter what we choose (start K now, start K next year, do an extra year of preschool then try to skip K) he sees that differentiation will be necessary and granted. I think he'll try to make that happen, although differentiation is one of those things that only goes well with the right teacher placements and so on.
The third year of preschool would not provide academic differentiation-- or real academics of any kind. It's preschool-- they cut and color, they sing and paint and draw, they do lots and lots of gym, they learn about worms and seeds and stuff. This is all good for him as far as it goes. This school would be the only preschool in the area that could provide meaningful intervention services of the kind the kid needs; if we're holding him back because of attention, circle time, etc. he had surely better learn those things in his gap year, and it may require significant intervention to get him there. A regular preschool is not equipped for this-- nor for PT, OT, adapted (=remedial) gym.
Originally Posted by domesticidyll
It also seems to me that many teachers are steeped in a culture of rewards and motivation, and often presume that children really could focus if they tried, that the problem is insufficient effort or respect--essentially, that it is a discipline problem.
Is homeschooling a possibility? Or a year of Montessori?
The one thing I would worry less about, in my (admittedly pretty limited) experience is the toileting.
Thanks for the encouragement about toileting. From what I see, lots of kids do have accidents; I'm just looking to keep our frequency of that in the ballpark of what's acceptable, and it's improving (slooowly) over time.
The perception that it's a discipline problem is perhaps my most fundamental concern-- this kid is trying very hard to do it right, understands what he's supposed to do, and can't always make his brain and body do it, and I want that recognized and respected. I have seen teachers do a lot of damage to this precise kind of a kid. Of course, there's no guarantee that a year off is going to fix his issues; I rather think we're in it for the long haul no matter what we choose next year, which inclines me to say, well, if the issues are there anyway, let's have them in K-- but of course I don't know how bad the attention issues will still be in 2nd grade when the timed tests for math start, and overall demands increase. I don't want to set him up for a crash by rushing him.
Homeschooling and Montessori aren't possible; we absolutely need peers to work on these particular deficits, and Montessori (from what I see in our local programs) lets a kid like mine weasel out of working on his deficits and provides no special ed services. They just don't fit the need. (Actually, nothing appears to; but we have to place him somewhere.)
Originally Posted by moominmamma
He doesn't need to work on learning letter sounds in the fall of 2011 any more than he'd need to work on them in fall 2012.
If we send him to K, we will try to negotiate something where his special ed pullouts (PT, OT, adapted PE) take place during some of the phonics, though admittedly that would reduce circle time practice occasions. If the principal is serious about differentiation, as I think he is, boredom may not be the biggest factor. And the existence of appropriate peers is a draw for K-- unless the kids see him as not a peer because he's tiny and peculiar, in which case it's a big loss.
I appreciate your thinking this through with me, everyone. Still thinking...