gifted with disabilities and kindergarten redshirting: pros/cons - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-02-2011, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by christinelin View Post

MGW's response was that all kids are bored sometimes (and some kids are bored a lot of the time), but they have the skills to handle their boredom (they are "soldier to boredom," she said). The kids who have special needs, don't know how to handle their boredom, so they announce it by acting out.

 

Agreed, completely. We work on this.  With the aim of having DS eventually be able to cope with meetings in his job. :)

 

DS won't act out (at least, doesn't so far); he does wiggle and eventually get up and wander off.  I hope we will be able to gradually increase his sitting time, though I don't know at what pace that learning will happen.  It's a precondition of wherever we end up that they have to be able to work systematically on this.

 

Thanks.
 

 

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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That's a really tough one.

Like others, I am very much in favor of entering a giftie earlier rather than later and see a lot of problems with irresponsible redshirting but I feel all the posters who think that in your case it might be beneficial on the social skills and the gross motor side and not hurt him much more on the academic side have a point. I think that preemies are the one sn population that really does benefit from "catching up" - it is particularly the way you are describing his toileting skills and his peer relation skills as "emerging" and "coming on slooowly" that makes me think the year might be a gift. I'd probably decide by looking at which placement will offer him the better services in the PT, OT and remedial gym department and the better support with peer relations and toileting skills - one school does not offer academics at all, one may offer meaningless academics, so maybe looking at school for yet another year as a place for developing anything but academic skills, as some posters have suggested, makes sense.

 

We're in a bit of a similar situation in that we are thinking of having DS start Kindergarten at precisely the age you're thinking about (4y11m). He was born a couple weeks after the cutoff but still within the 3 months grace period in which they will consider early entry upon request (as opposed to an evaluation or readiness testing). DS was a mild preemie (a bit over 5 weeks), but we feel that we still see some issues which might relate back to the two weeks in the NICU and possibly some hypoxy before, during or after birth. He is also very wiggly, socially and cognitively quirky, shows some sensory processing and body awareness deficits, is easily overstimulated and will show ADHDish or ASD-like behaviour when overwhelmed. A behavioural downslide this winter, the reasons for which we are still not quite sure about (new baby sister, winter, peer problems in preschool, mineral deficiencies all likely culprits, but it was really much more extreme than I'd ever have expected) had us so concerned that I went in seeking an evaluation for ADHD; I walked out with a recommendation for an evaluation for ASD which had me even more worried. (Both are off the table for the moment, but with recommendation to watch his development carefully). He has made such huge strides in development in the last few months that I am confident that early entrance is the right step for now.

 

However, I think there are important differences to your situation which might help you get a clearer picture for yourself about what you want:

He is very tall for his age, has good fine motor and excellent visuomotor skills and his gross motor development, while on the slow side, is coming along nicely. His gifts appear to be predominantly in the visual spatial field; while he sounds very advanced verbally he tests very badly on verbal skills and we are still not sure why. He isn't reading yet. So we feel that by entering early, elementary school might be just about somewhat meaningful academically until high ability and gifted programming starts in fifth grade. Your child sounds much more adavnced! K being a pullout program in preschool, asking to have him entered is very low risk - it does not mean he has to go on to first grade, nor is taking part a prerequisite for starting first grade. We also have our eyes on a Montessori and a Catholic school with high standards with Montessori "elements", depending on just how quirky and uneven his academic development is by that time. Neither of them offering any special ed services or OT or anything, but  this being Europe, services would be covered by insurance not the educational system anyway so that's not a concern either at this point.

 

Good luck with your decision.


MeDH DS1 10/06 DD 08/10 DS2 10/12with SB and
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:09 PM
 
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I agree that K inclusion might be beneficial.

 

To give a full disclosure, my dd was born at 27w.  We also had alot of early intervention services and a very poor testing ability.  She did 3 years of preK with this last year including K inclusion for at least 3 hours per week (K and perK are only 2.5 hours per day).  The K inclusion was not written into her IEP but they try to do it for all of the eligable 5yo preK's.  I would have requested it if I had thought of it!

 

She is doing awesome.  She loves her preK and her K time.  Each has benefits and rewards for her.  She can be a "top" kid in preK and still gets to feel like an inportant member of the older K crowd.  The whole set-up does wonders for her social skills and for her self-esteem.

 

I have an alternate success story regarding my son.  He did not have an IEP. did not receive EI services and entered K as a very immature yet fairly smart kid.  He was recommended for a program that is an interim year between K and 1st grade.  It covers academic material from both classes.  He did exceptionally well with this program and entered 1st grade well prepared and emotionally/socially ready.  But it was only avaialble to kids without an IEP. 

 

HAve you fully researched what your district offers for classified and non-classified kids?  There may be other options that you may not be aware of.  I might even suggest looking for an attorney to consult with about the options.  It might be worth the hundred or two dollars for some other options.

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Old 05-03-2011, 09:59 PM
 
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When I first responded to this thread, I didn't realize someone had already brought up Montessori...and then I didn't check back on this thread until tonight!  I agree with the poster who said to try and look at other Montessori schools if the one you checked out didn't seem like a fit.  It is really hard to find an authentic Montessori school (and then you have to actually like the teachers on top of that!).  Montessori developed her philosophy with special needs children who were institutionalized - so, like the previous poster said, a well trained Montessori teacher should be able to incorporate your child into the classroom.  But, many "Montessori" teachers have little (or no) real Montessori training.  The name Montessori isn't trademarked and anyone can call themselves a Montessori school.  I am a trained Montessori teacher, believe very much in the philosophy and ended up not putting my son in a Montessori school for preschool because I didn't like any of the ones in our area.  When I expanded my search geographically (because I was really desperate at that point!!), we found a really wonderful place.  Sooo. it really depends on how large of a city you live in and how far you are willing to drive, but if there are more Montessori schools at all near you, I would check them out.  

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Old 05-04-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post

When I first responded to this thread, I didn't realize someone had already brought up Montessori...and then I didn't check back on this thread until tonight!  I agree with the poster who said to try and look at other Montessori schools if the one you checked out didn't seem like a fit.  It is really hard to find an authentic Montessori school (and then you have to actually like the teachers on top of that!).  Montessori developed her philosophy with special needs children who were institutionalized - so, like the previous poster said, a well trained Montessori teacher should be able to incorporate your child into the classroom.  But, many "Montessori" teachers have little (or no) real Montessori training.  The name Montessori isn't trademarked and anyone can call themselves a Montessori school.  I am a trained Montessori teacher, believe very much in the philosophy and ended up not putting my son in a Montessori school for preschool because I didn't like any of the ones in our area.  When I expanded my search geographically (because I was really desperate at that point!!), we found a really wonderful place.  Sooo. it really depends on how large of a city you live in and how far you are willing to drive, but if there are more Montessori schools at all near you, I would check them out.  


Even if they are certified, it really depends on the classroom teacher. My sons attend an AMI certified Montessori school. All of the teachers are AMI certified. We recently had a change of teachers. The previous lower el teacher was really awesome and worked well with DS1 (gifted with a language disorder). The current lower el teacher sucks. She has no patience for his issues and refuses to accommodate his needs. She really views him as a bad child, rather than a child with special needs. As a result DS has had lots of behavior problems this year. He feels bullied and is angry and acting out.  This year has been a disaster.

 

 

 

 

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Old 05-04-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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I would lean towards holding him back a year with lots of other social time and the putting him in 1st, as others have suggested. About differentiation: can you find anyone to talk to with a gifted kid at that school? As we have learned through experience, schools and principals may talk a good game but not actually implement differentiation much, if at all.
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No, you can't ask him to behave if he is 3 grades ahead of the material being presented. He won't.

DD is probablyat least 2 grades ahead across the board, or could be with little instruction, but actually behaves quite well. This is not a generally compliant or well-behaved kid, either. However, at home, she complains about school. A lot. I don't endorse her situation, but the point is that some kids do manage to keep it together in this situation. She really likes her teacher, and also she is a girl and highly motivated to "do well," all of which probably contribute.

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Old 05-04-2011, 09:51 PM
 
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I think entering in K vs entering in first may be a toss-up as far as expectations. In K, the peer group will likely be rowdier than they would in first; but the teacher will likely be more tolerant and see it as her job to teach appropriate behavior, as opposed to potentially being more frustrated that a child "still" can't sit still, follow directions, etc. Also... at least in our schools, the kinder work is almost ridiculously easy, but it is also a little more creative; first grade at least slightly gets into meatier work intellectually (writing letters to someone based on a story, spelling), but the form of it is much more worksheety. If your school is similar, it might depend on the child wh

 

ich setting would be a friendlier entry point.

 

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Old 05-04-2011, 09:59 PM
 
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I can't seem to get quoting to work today, but I have to say we had the EXACT same problem in Montessori this year as RiverTam.  After 2 years in a lovely Montessori preschool where we were very happy, we had a horrible, horrendous experience with a new teacher in the classroom who could not understand or accomodate DD's special needs and dealt with her by excluding her from the classroom.  At the start of the year she was the best reader in her Montessori preschool and only 1 other (also gifted) child was at her level in math, but once we got the new teacher she learned nothing at all. Because DD was quite convinced she was being "bad" she did not communicate well what was going on and we didn't catch on until November. We withdraw her and had her placed into the school district's special needs preschool program. She hasn't learned a single academic thing in the SN preschool this year either but at least they handle her behavior appropriately and don't make her feel like a "bad" kid. We do math workbooks at home now and then and she reads a lot to herself (I'd say her reading comprehension is up a full level from last fall and that's mostly all her own doing).

 

We have had a tough time deciding what to do with her for schooling next year. She surpassed the Kindergarten curriculum before she turned 4 and she will 5.75 when she starts K next fall. We found two lovely little private preschool/early el programs for gifted children where I think she would do well and which were willing to be very accomodating of her special needs, however, we could not afford to enroll her in either program. And I'm not really sure how well she'll do in a school where the teacher doesn't have much SN experience or professional support.  She has been in PT since she was 18 months old and in OT for around 2 years since being "diagnosed" as SPD but she has fits of inappropriate behavior.  I am hoping that she can be sent up to higher grades for reading/writing, at the very least, next year, and hopefully for math as well.  The TAG program in our district starts in 1st grade but they have to pass a group scantron-form text to get in.

 

Anyhow, this isn't great advice, but that's our experience and our decision-making process so far.  She was 5 in January so probably about year older than the OP's child's due date.


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Old 05-05-2011, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflowers View PostHe was recommended for a program that is an interim year between K and 1st grade.  It covers academic material from both classes.  He did exceptionally well with this program and entered 1st grade well prepared and emotionally/socially ready.  But it was only avaialble to kids without an IEP. 

 

HAve you fully researched what your district offers for classified and non-classified kids?


Yeah, there aren't that many options here. People who hold back their kids appear to be rich enough that they can send their kids to private pre-K for the bridge year, so the district doesn't offer one. There is a district SN preschool with only SN kids (no typical peers) that I judge to be not the correct environment.  There's the SN preschool that we like.  And there's K.  (We could get itinerant services at a local private school, but not the comprehensive services that will help him most.)  That appears to be it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View PostShe really views him as a bad child, rather than a child with special needs. As a result DS has had lots of behavior problems this year. He feels bullied and is angry and acting out.  This year has been a disaster.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View PostBecause DD was quite convinced she was being "bad" she did not communicate well what was going on and we didn't catch on until November. We withdraw her and had her placed into the school district's special needs preschool program.


Rivertam, Aufilia, what a nightmare.  I know this happens-- I've seen it locally too-- I can't believe schools allow it.  But they do.  Which is one reason why DS won't be enrolling anywhere with an unqualified teacher.  Aufilia, I'm glad you got your child out of there.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post

About differentiation: can you find anyone to talk to with a gifted kid at that school? As we have learned through experience, schools and principals may talk a good game but not actually implement differentiation much, if at all.


I think it will really happen, at least enough for now. Perhaps I'm naive.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by domesticidyll View Post

I think entering in K vs entering in first may be a toss-up as far as expectations. In K, the peer group will likely be rowdier than they would in first; but the teacher will likely be more tolerant and see it as her job to teach appropriate behavior, as opposed to potentially being more frustrated that a child "still" can't sit still, follow directions, etc. Also... at least in our schools, the kinder work is almost ridiculously easy, but it is also a little more creative; first grade at least slightly gets into meatier work intellectually (writing letters to someone based on a story, spelling), but the form of it is much more worksheety. If your school is similar, it might depend on the child which setting would be a friendlier entry point.

 

 

Domesticidyll, that's a nice way to think about this.  Thanks.
 

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