Has anyone had to do one at this age? I just met with his case worker today and she warned me that this is the next step, as he gets turned over to the school district on his 3rd bday.
He is ASD, but his needs are communication and socialization, he is normal to above average with most of his cognitive and physical abilities. His case worker indicated that she thought a particular preschool program would be the best fit for him because that's exactly where their concentration is (communicaiton and socialization), but that there's no guarantee we'll get recommended for the program, or for any preschool program at all. One of my big concerns is the transition between daily ABA and preschool - it sounds like they often go cold turkey, which he does not deal well with.
What is reasonable to ask for? What is not? What should we expect at this age? I just don't even know.
I just really feel the need to have my ducks in a row now, since I'm 35 weeks pg right now and am not going to have the brain power to stress over this with a NB.
Cristeen ~ Always remembering our warrior ~ Our is 3, how'd that happen?!?!
We welcomed another warrior in May 2012!!
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I don't have specific experience with this piece, but I think I had the impression from something you said that you are in the Bay Area. If so, do you know there is a very active Yahoo group called Peninsula Parents of Special Needs Kids? Folks there will likely have specific experience with local districts and what they offer.
Our transition over has been a nightmare but it varies so widely based on where you are. It still isn't fully settled, even though he has a IEP. Definitely do not be afraid to push for things. In the end, I basically agreed on "worthless" goals just to get what services we could get. Here we have no special preschool programs, it is mainstream private school only. They pay for x amount of hours a week based on the child's issues. If there are local people that know your particular system then they are certainly the people to talk to.
My DD just turned 3 at the end of March, so we JUST did this. So here is my best advice:
Start Early, make your transition meeting with the school district ASAP. Every district does things a little differently, but usually the process is something like this. 1. Initial transition meeting with school district team, ECI case worker, and parents. 2. A Boatload of paperwork. 3. Initial assessment of child by diagnosticitan to see if the child qualifies. 3. Intensive assessment including OT/PT/Speech. 4. ARD Meeting to discuss findings and set the goals. 5. Registration into the school. 6. Start program
The law states that ECI programs transition service to the school district on the child's 3rd birthday, they give no transition time, but you may be able to accompany your child on some visits to help ease the transition after the ARD.
So here is my advice.
1. At the first meeting take notes, and ask - What does the transition process look like? What is routine/placement for a child with disabilities/delays like my child?
2. Collect all the paperwork yourself as soon as you can, and bring it to the Diag at the school BEFORE the first meeting. Ask for summaries from your current therapists. If the Diag feels you are trying to help them out, they will be helpful.
3. Apply for all the areas you qualify for (Vision, Hearing, OT/PT/Speech, other health impairments). Even if you do not use the services at the school, it is best to have it on file that your child has those needs.
4. Know what you want, and speak up about what works best with your child at each assessment. You want to lead the therapists into recommending what you want. (I wanted homebound, so I was sure to discuss all the potential problems that could arise at school, and how they would deal with them if we were refused homebound. Every therapist we saw recommended homebound after that).
5. Ask for a copy of all the assessments and paperwork BEFORE the ARD. This will give you a chance to read what everyone has to say and formulate questions. If you disagree with an assessment, you can call that person. IME, the therapists deal with questions regarding their assessments better one-on-one than in the ARD.
PM me if you have specific questions.
Yes, evaluations are considered school records and access by parents prior to an ARD/IEP meeting is not governed by federal regulation 34 CFR 300.613 Access rights. It is also a good idea to read one's state special education law as some, like mine, may require that you be given the evaluation prior to the meeting. It's a good idea because there is a good chance that "they" have not.
"Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy" has a lot of information on procedure, dealing with the school, and organizing your records.
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