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SPD and public school-tell me your experience

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

DD is 4 yo and will be testing for kindergarten very soon (in a month or two). DH and I always thought we would homeschool.  However, I am having some doubts with homeschooling and public school. I would be the one doing the homeschooling probably through a cyber school. I am more than willing to try to homeschool but I am not sure DD would listen and be able to be taught by me. She normally doesn't cooperate much during the day now.  


My thoughts are all over the place. What I spoke to DH about was that I thought it would be better to put her in public school and pull her out of it if it doesn't work (and enroll her cyber school) rather than put her in public school once the school year has started if homeschooling doesn't work.  I've read and read.  The one thing that keeps jumping out at me is that SPD children do well in public school most of the time but that they've contained themselves all day so that when they come home they are in a comfortable environment and the meltdowns are worse than ever.  I'm not sure I want to put her through that or us as a family through that.


If some of you could share your experiences it might help DH and I solidify our decision.  Thank you!

post #2 of 6

My son was a mess in kindergarten from his SPD.  HOWEVER, we belong to a school district that not only recognizes the disorder but works hard to help the children who have it.  He's in his second year of first grade (we held him back a year) and he's doing beautifully.  Yes, there are times where he holds himself back so much that he just loses it at home but that's okay.  He's entitled.  I hold myself back at work sometimes and go home, lay on the floor and have a good old fashioned 3 year old style tantrum.  In fact, planning on having one tonight LOL.  


I'd say if your child isn't in pre-k - get her into one a few days a week to see how she does and go from there.

post #3 of 6

My older son has SPD (along with other disabilities) that was not identified in K and that was a nightmare. My younger son  also has SPD and is in K his year. Because he is identified the school has provided accommodations that work. For me the bonus of public school is the resources. My older son's IEP actually places him at a private school that I could never afford on my own.

post #4 of 6

Good point about the IEP. My son has an ADHD diagnosis but his therapists agree his symptoms seem to be more sensory related. The services he gets through the school are wonderful and have really helped with his symptoms. That said, your DD is still young. Kindergarten is not even required in our state. Why not wait a year to decide? But in the meantime it might be worth seeking an occupational therapist to help her.

post #5 of 6

Just a few thoughts from a teacher:


The main benefits of doing public school would include greater access to resources that can be helpful with SPD (Occupational Therapy, Adaptive PE, etc.).  Some schools are very good about this, and may even have special programs.  The drawbacks are not all schools have such good resources, and not all schools have teachers/personnel who understand/have experience with SPD (mainstream classroom teachers generally know NOTHING about SPD).  If that's a concern, you'll have to get a sense of what is available, and who at the school "gets" SPD.


The vast majority of kids I've worked with with SPDs also had a dual diagnosis of moderate to severe autism, so most of them were in self-contained Special Education classes for their academic classes.  Most had a variety of sensory accomodations that were not difficult to implement in a school setting.  The students I've worked with in mainstream classrooms usually had milder cases of SPD (often combined with ADHD), and simpler accomodations were used (fidgets, special seating, sensory breaks, movement breaks, etc.)


Since kindergarten is considered optional in most states, you probably don't need to worry about having a very formal curriculum for a child in kindergarten if you decide to go the homeschooling route (or you decide for whatever reason your child isn't ready for formal kindergarten).  Some kids respond fine to homeschooling with their parents, others may do better with a "tutor" (something about it being a stranger often elicits different behavior).  Sometimes having a familiar person who isn't mom/dad is beneficial.  If you decide to try homeschooling, and it doesn't seem to be "working", before giving up entirely, you may want to try hiring a tutor.




post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for your responses!  DH and I attended a SPD seminar at an OT office this past weekend.  Between all of your honest and helpful responses and the seminar we have decided that we will be homeschooling.  It really has taken quite a load off our backs to have made this decision!  Thank you again!

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