Hi, I have a 5 yr old dd with Asperger's. She's in a small charter school that supposedly serves kids with AS and/or ADHD. She wasn't 5 by the cutoff for Kindergarten, but they let her start in October (after she turned 5). So technically she's supposed to start first grade in the fall, but I KNOW she's not ready for full-day school five days per week- this year (it was her first year of school) she's built up to half days five days per week. While she's doing pretty well now, it was rough at first, and I owe a lot of her ability to cope to her teacher this year. Next year there will be a brand new teacher and three times as many students in her classroom.
So, I know state laws require a first grader to be educated "x" amount of hours per day, week, etc. Can you all think of any creative ways to get around that?? I'm not a huge fan of the IEP coordinator or principal :(, so when I present my "plan," I want to feel pretty darn solid. Has anyone ever done a combo of in-class time and homeschooling, or in-class time with a teacher at home part-time? The laws always talk about "least restrictive environment," but I don't know how to pull that off successfully for my daughter.
Any thoughts would be greatly, greatly appreciated!!
Why not repeat K?
I have a DD with Asperger's (with an October birthday!) and in no way would it be appropriate for her to be a grade level up. The hand writing alone would make it inappropriate.
but everything has pros and cons
I would repeat K. It was recommended to me to have my daughter repeat K (she was young for her grade, born in early Sept), but I went ahead and moved her on to 1st grade. Well she ended up having to repeat 1st (which is a way bigger deal to kids), and she is on the verge of being held back again. Maybe two solid years in kindy would have better prepared her for 1st. 1st grade is so much different than K and so much harder. If your daughter is not ready for 1st grade and also happens to be young for her grade, then I would take advantage of the chance to give her another year in kindy. That gives her a whole extra year to catch up and get ready for the work of 1st grade. It would also give you another year to prepare for and get ready for the IEP battle or whatever you are going to have to do to try and have your dd accommodated.
I have a daughter the exact age, 5 in Oct. What was offered to me and I refused, I wish more then anything I had taken it, was 2 years of K. She would of done this year and then next year again in K. Relieves the pressure of "getting everything" the first time around or even if they do, it keeps them with their peers. It is very common in our school to do this for Oct children. I took it down one step and kept her in PK which turned out to be horrible fit but once I declined the offer last March, the slot was filled and when I decided she was ready last summer, it was too late.
Thanks for all your thoughts! The reason I don't want to repeat K is 1)her teacher is leaving, and the woman replacing her is pretty unkind (!), and 2)the girls she *adores* is going onto first grade. Her K class was 6 kids, so they're quite the pack - almost like a little family - and she would literally be ragingly mad if I told her she'd be staying back without them. Their class was really atypical for a school with kids with adhd/AS, in that there were 5 GIRLS and one boy- plus, because this school allows siblings of students to attend (even if the siblings have no special needs), she has 2 girl classmates who are neurotypical. Point is, the likelihood of next year's K class being anything like this again is really slim.
I just know she doesn't have the emotional/social stamina to be in school totally full-time. As I mentioned before, her principal is not helpful- he not only sees the glass as half-full, but he sees it as completely full- i.e., *nothing* is really a problem until it's staring you in the face screaming, "I'm a problem!!" I feel like if they were willing to get creative, there would be a way to work this out- something like having her be a Kindergartener again on paper, but having her do the majority of her classwork with the first graders. I don't know what to do.
If she's Aspie, does she have a Dx? Is she on an IEP? What about an Aide in the classroom for her? These things could help her cope, not be held to the same standards as NT kids and keep with her cohort of friends.
Weary SuperMama to my amazing neurodiverse 6 y.o. DD and to my on-the-go neurotypical 3 y.o. DS
Maybe you could look at it from the other direction: Could you primarily homeschool, adding perhaps 1 or 2 hours a day in the public school class to supplement? I don't know your state's homeschool laws, but it is pretty loose how homeschooling "hours" must look. States vary greatly in their degree of interference in homeschool curriculum and methods/styles. I did radical unschooling in 3 different states, and learned 3 different levels of meeting state requirements. In the most restrictive, I just had to turn in a monthly attendance record and a list of textbooks I intended to use. No one ever checked to see how we spent our homeschooling time, or if I even owned the texts I listed. We did have to take standardized tests at certain years.
I also couldn't predict how flexible/supportive your district might be with homeschooling families - many families in my area use schools only for sports teams, lab sciences, foreign languages or other subjects that need groups, equipment, or specialized skills. You might be able to choose a schedule that takes advantage of the lowest stress times - either more or less structured (depending on your child's needs), less academic pressure or specific remedial reading help, art or PE if she particularly enjoys that. My point is to use the school to meet your family's needs, rather than you all adapting to fit into the school. Just a different perspective...
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
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