He might not be able to go to our neighborhood school. : ( Is this typical? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 06-11-2012, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 24 Old 06-11-2012, 08:01 AM
 
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It probably also depends on your particular child's particular needs and abilities, and what gets put in place via the IEP process. Everyone - you, his teachers and specialists, and the school district - will have more information in two years about what will work best for him, and which school has the best supports for him. It could be that he is able to participate in mainstream classes with support, or it could be that a self-contained classroom at another school is the better fit. Or some third or fourth or fifth option!

 

FWIW, in our school district, there is one self-contained autism classroom with a very expert teacher, many aides/paras that are accustomed to working with kids with autism specifically, a room set up to meet sensory needs, and a dedicated occupational therapist. I don't think our district could replicate this in every school in the district. The district does provide transportation to the program if needed. Our daughter will be going to that program because it's what makes the most sense for her right now. It's not our neighborhood school.

 

As it turns out, we live on the cusp between two school districts and our son goes to an out-of-district school anyway, because that's the one nearest our house and the one he has the most affiliation with. It is sad that our two kids don't go to the same school, but on the other hand, I feel good that each of them is getting what he and she needs. 

 

Best wishes!

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#3 of 24 Old 06-11-2012, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#4 of 24 Old 06-11-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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I've dealt with this to a certain degree.  My oldest son is on the spectrum.  At one point, 4th grade, his behavior became so disruptive, that he had to be moved out of the "regular" special ed class, to a class that dealt specifically with the issues he was having.   The school was in the same district, but a different school from my other two boys.  I was really worried and a bit upset tpp.  But  it was the best thing for him, because the class was so in tune with his needs.  The teachers were incredible, and it was totally worth the inconvienence.  He was so much happier and got the services he really wouldn't have gotten at the other school.  I hope that things work out for you guys too!

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#5 of 24 Old 06-11-2012, 04:09 PM
 
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In our district, they put "like" children in the same school.  So the elementary school my son goes to houses all children with autism.  One of the other elementary schools houses the children that have severe disabilities.  The main reason they do this is they have teachers and resources particular to that diagnosis instead of paying to put them in all of the elementary schools.  It works out very well bc the teachers know these disorders in and out and are much more adept  than a general special ed teacher.

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#6 of 24 Old 06-11-2012, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#7 of 24 Old 06-11-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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This is pretty much what the parent I spoke with was saying about the way things are here now although I haven't confirmed with the school district exactly what the deal is. 

DON'T!

 

you may not the real truth- I do know in your state there are counties that have told parents the can't accommodate their children and they go OK!

 

my BFF (in you state) found out most districts are very ill-informed on a number of subject dealing with special needs (even the good ones!) - contact your county advocacy group, if yours has one AND also the state advocacy group for your type of special needs

 

very simple things such as IF you drive your child to school (because the time on the bus may cause an issue, noise, etc) you can be reimbursed by your district- my BFF told her school this and asked for the form to fill out and they denied it happens, the state advocacy group got her the form and she got get money including back from when she started do it

 

even the best schools do not really know - what every you are told- check with those who really DO KNOW 


 

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#8 of 24 Old 06-11-2012, 09:53 PM
 
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Two part answer:

 

First- when kindergarten time comes, you, with the school, will figure out what best meets your child's individual needs. It may be a mainstream classroom with supports, it may be a specialized classroom. Just as Autism is a spectrum, there are a whole spectrum of possibilities out there. The mandate is to provide an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Most kids start in a mainstream class, and are only moved to a higher level if needed. Typically, it is cheaper for the district to maintain kids in a regular classroom - alternatives are only offered as needed. I have never heard of a school district anxious to jump to the more expensive option before trying the easier paths. It would be hard to predict 2 years ahead of time what level of services will be needed. My advice would be to enroll him in the neighborhood school and see what happens. Ask for an IEP evaluation immediately, but don't assume the worst. Unless he has had truly disasterous preschool experiences, it is hard to say that he would not thrive in a mainstream class.

 

But maybe the real point of my post - I know the grief you are feeling. Over the years with YoungSon (now 16, with ASD), I was occassionally blindsided by sudden realizations about the reality of living with and loving a kid with special needs. Once, when he was maybe 6, I drove by a playground and was overcome with the realization that my beloved boy would probably never be able to just play at a playground like other kids. I must have driven by that playground 100 times before, but that moment it suddenly hit me. I pulled over, parked, and cried.

 

Sudden realizations like that were a painful part of accepting the cards we have been dealt, and of dropping expectations that don't apply any more. As a confirmed bookaholic, it was hard to admit my son might never learn to read. I still don't know if he will ever be fully independent. But for what it is worth, today I have many more occassions to be amazed at what he CAN do, than need to grieve over what he can't. This is partly because he is really thriving and exceeding all early expectations, and partly that I have dropped many of my preconceived ideas of what success means. But perhaps more important, I am pretty much through with the grieving process. I just wanted you to know: the sadness you feel is real and it is valid, but it doesn't last forever.


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#9 of 24 Old 06-12-2012, 03:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post

Two part answer:

 

First- when kindergarten time comes, you, with the school, will figure out what best meets your child's individual needs. It may be a mainstream classroom with supports, it may be a specialized classroom. Just as Autism is a spectrum, there are a whole spectrum of possibilities out there. The mandate is to provide an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Most kids start in a mainstream class, and are only moved to a higher level if needed. Typically, it is cheaper for the district to maintain kids in a regular classroom - alternatives are only offered as needed. I have never heard of a school district anxious to jump to the more expensive option before trying the easier paths. It would be hard to predict 2 years ahead of time what level of services will be needed. My advice would be to enroll him in the neighborhood school and see what happens. Ask for an IEP evaluation immediately, but don't assume the worst. Unless he has had truly disasterous preschool experiences, it is hard to say that he would not thrive in a mainstream class.

 

But maybe the real point of my post - I know the grief you are feeling. Over the years with YoungSon (now 16, with ASD), I was occassionally blindsided by sudden realizations about the reality of living with and loving a kid with special needs. Once, when he was maybe 6, I drove by a playground and was overcome with the realization that my beloved boy would probably never be able to just play at a playground like other kids. I must have driven by that playground 100 times before, but that moment it suddenly hit me. I pulled over, parked, and cried.

 

Sudden realizations like that were a painful part of accepting the cards we have been dealt, and of dropping expectations that don't apply any more. As a confirmed bookaholic, it was hard to admit my son might never learn to read. I still don't know if he will ever be fully independent. But for what it is worth, today I have many more occassions to be amazed at what he CAN do, than need to grieve over what he can't. This is partly because he is really thriving and exceeding all early expectations, and partly that I have dropped many of my preconceived ideas of what success means. But perhaps more important, I am pretty much through with the grieving process. I just wanted you to know: the sadness you feel is real and it is valid, but it doesn't last forever.

This truly brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you for sharing.

 

You haven't even checked with the school yet, so don't get too upset.  The spectrum covers a whole lot of ground, so they really can't have a "kids with autism go to this school" policy.  It will have to be based on what accomadations your son needs and whether or not the school has the personel to give your son the attention and services he needs. 

 

 

Quote:
Typically, it is cheaper for the district to maintain kids in a regular classroom - alternatives are only offered as needed.

 

I want to second this!  It is really much easier and cheaper for the school district to have your son go to the neighborhood school.  When it was determined that ds needed more support than the closer school offered, they had to provide special transportation to the new school.  The class he was in only had 6 other kids in it, and they when he was in the regular ed classroom for specials and for a few of the main subjects, they had to provide an aide for him.  Exxxxpensive!  Now, keep in mind, this may mean that you end up having to fight for services if your son isn't getting the support he needs.  This is a much more common hurtle to deal with than being offered extra unnecesary services. 

 

That being said, when my son was in K and they were talking about moving him out of the regular ed classroom, I was heartbroken.  I actually fought it for awhile, and the school said they'd give it a try with an aid in the classroom with him.  After 2 weeks of that, ds came home and when I asked him how his day was, he started shaking his hands around his head shouting, "Toooooo Much!'  So, wow!  I decided to try it, and he thrived!  I'm not saying that this is necesarily true for your son, and I think I'd insist on trying things at the neighborhood school and seeing how it goes, but if it doesn't go as well as you'd like, you have the other school as back up. 

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#10 of 24 Old 06-12-2012, 04:32 AM
 
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Typically, it is cheaper for the district to maintain kids in a regular classroom - alternatives are only offered as needed.

 

I want to second this!  It is really much easier and cheaper for the school district to have your son go to the neighborhood school.  When it was determined that ds needed more support than the closer school offered, they had to provide special transportation to the new school.  The class he was in only had 6 other kids in it, and they when he was in the regular ed classroom for specials and for a few of the main subjects, they had to provide an aide for him.  Exxxxpensive!  Now, keep in mind, this may mean that you end up having to fight for services if your son isn't getting the support he needs.  This is a much more common hurtle to deal with than being offered extra unnecesary services. 

 

also remember the high cost of bussing and they really do want him near his home (homeschool) - incase you need for some reason to come get home-mostly it is about dollars - please don't take hearsay - check it out


 

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#11 of 24 Old 06-12-2012, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#12 of 24 Old 06-12-2012, 05:47 AM
 
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My son is not at his home school.  The school in our neighborhood doesn't have services.  However, the school he does go to which has both regular and special needs is spectacular.  A few kids in our neighborhood also go to this school.  We do not house like children in the same schools in our district but rather send children to school which have the best services to fit a child's need.  I'd say the school is 80% regular education and 20% special education.  However, regardless of the SN - they do a beautiful job of inclusion.  My son is currently in self-contained K-2 without any pull outs for regular education.  Imagine my shock when we went to the school for a fair and a bunch of adorable 4th grade girls swooned ~hi D~ as we walked past.  DH and I looked at each other and said "how do these girls know him??"  His teacher said they play in the schoolyard together, see each other at lunch sometimes.  I have to say, it's been a very positive experience.  I hope yours is as well!

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#13 of 24 Old 06-12-2012, 06:21 AM
 
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since your county offers so many services to special needs - talk to your local groups- from what I understand with your registration you must attach a certified letter of intent and they can help you write what is needed so that you can get all that you need to meet your child's needs

 

my BBF's DD was in your county and the schools really served her needs- she went to her local school and was completely accommodated 

 

knowing your rights is really the key and since you have time to gather that info you will be better prepared to get what is needed


 

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#14 of 24 Old 06-12-2012, 09:10 AM
 
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You've gotten a lot of good responses.  I just want to share my family's experience.

 

When DS was the age to move from the district's preschool program to Kindy, it was obvious to all of us (teachers, therapists, district psychologist, and us his parents) that DS should not be placed in a mainstream kindergarten classroom.  He was (is) bright and was academically above grade level, but his social impairments, sensory issues, and language processing difficulties made him unable to function in a regular classroom.  Our district has several elementary schools and they have different special education services available.  Some have only a resource room - a place were a child can go to get extra help in a certain area, when return to the regular classroom. A couple of schools have mixed disability classrooms.  One school has an autism classroom (actually 2 classrooms, one for k-2nd and one for 3rd-5th) where the teachers are specially trained to work with students who have autism using a variety of techniques and strategies.  These classrooms also have direct access to a sensory room and the speech and OT spend additional time in these classrooms.  This set up uses a lot of resources and there are not enough children in the district who need this intense a level of services to have a set up like this in every school. 

 

We send DS to the school with the autism program, which is not our neighborhood school.  We have been thrilled with that program and the teachers there.  In first grade, DS had some partial mainstreaming into the regular classroom (with an aide) and he did well. He enjoyed being in the regular first grade class for part of the day, but it was still obvious that he could not handle all day in that setting.  In second grade (this past year), the school rushed into full mainstreaming (still with an aide), despite the fact that was not what we had agreed to and was not in the IEP.  It was a complete disaster. We had several emergency IEP meeting to get DS more support and to get him time out of the regular classroom. After 3.5 months, the school finally admitted their mistake and agreed to move DS back to the autism classroom.  By that point, DS's self confidence and sense of security were shattered.  It took the teacher in the autism classroom several more months to help DS come back to his previous levels.

 

Ideally, I would have liked for DS to attend the neighborhood school. he would get to know the kids who live nearby and his cousin goes there. But the autism classroom is the best placement for him and to us that's more important. 

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#15 of 24 Old 06-12-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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Awesome responses all ready. They are required to provide him an education "in the least restrictive environment possible" but there is no requirement on *where* they do that. I understand the grief that you are feeling, even though I long ago made my own peace with "what ever will work." 

 

My DD is very high functioning, yet cannot handle being in a regular school building. She's in high school now, and our local high school, which is a really wonderful school, has 1,800 students and enough sensory overload to tax neuro typical students. winky.gif She attends a tiny private alternative school and does really well there.

 

And you really can't tell at 3 what an ASD child will be like when they are older. My DD was mostly non-verbal at that stage with tons of delays across the board. While she can't quite cope with regular school, she still is doing regular classes. She is college bound, and mastered Algebra I this past year and one year of Spanish!!

 

Good luck!

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#16 of 24 Old 06-15-2012, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#17 of 24 Old 06-16-2012, 03:03 PM
 
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As others have mentioned, it depends on the district, what services are available, and how effected your child is. My son is 15 and has never attended school in his home district. All self contained classrooms are housed in one school that's only devoted to special education. His current school is about 20 miles away..

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#18 of 24 Old 06-17-2012, 06:12 AM
 
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I wouldn't solely rely on what school/district employees tell you; even if they have good intentions they can give you bad information. My school's otherwise helpful resource teacher told me that I wasn't allowed to see my ds' comprehensive evaluation until it was presented at the IEP meeting; when the LSSP told her that she would e-mail me a copy, the resource teacher still thought that it was due to her personal policy; when, in actuality, federal law allows (when requested) and my state law requires that I be given a copy before the meeting. Your state department of education website will have a page(s) on your state's special education law and services including parent education classes (on special education in your state). If you have still have doubts as to whether the school/district is behaving appropriately/legally you could do a consultation with a lawyer with experience in special education law.

 

The purpose of IDEA is to prepare the child for further education, employment, and independent living" so children are "prepared to lead productive and independent adult lives" to develop "economic self-sufficiency." Sometimes school districts have low expectations of a SN child. Sometimes they are trying to apply a "one size fits all" approach, when the law requires an individualized approach; if a child can function in a general ed class room with supports, or with an aide and supports, then that is what their placement should be. You are part of your child's IEP team which makes this decision. You could make sure that his IEP includes language, and his goals are oriented towards, future placement in a regular kindergarten classroom. If he already has an IEP for next year you can (in writing) request an IEP meeting if you think some things were not addressed (or adequately addressed).

 

Though hearing from other parents can give you interesting information, you probably don't have the complete story. Autism is a spectrum; it could be that the particular services her child needs are offered at that school in the district. My ds' primary classification under IDEA (he is also ADHD) for the IEP in place next year is Autistic, but the area he requires particular support with is social reciprocity and pragmatics; which (for next year) is provided by an ST, an LSSP (school psychologist) a set number of times a week, and his teacher. He doesn't require an aide.

 

As a pp said, knowing your rights is really important! I recommend reading a few books:

 

All About IEPs (I just finished this one; an easy read in question & answer format)

"Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy"

"Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition"

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#19 of 24 Old 06-21-2012, 12:02 PM
 
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Just so you know, things are changing in public schools across the country. Due to budget cuts, schools are quietly cutting special ed teachers and aides, and are totally revamping--and in some cases, eliminating--special ed programs.

6 years ago, autistic children who could be mainstreamed were paired with a one-on-one aide, who shadowed them all day, helped them pay attention to the teacher, helped them with socialization issues at lunch and recess, helped them with "organizational issues" (like lining up numbers correctly for math work, writing down assignments, packing their backpack at the end of the day, etc), basically giving them the extra help they needed in order to learn how to do it all independently.

Now, school districts are announcing that they are "streamlining services." In other words, they are cutting the aides. Now, instead of an aide for every autistic child, there will be an aide for every classroom. Or, for school districts with less $, an aide for every grade.

Our school board insisted that this would result in better services to the child. (The word "streamlining" has such a positive connotation, doesn't it?) But, at least in our county, it's been an absolute disaster. Parents are moving their children to private schools--which I suspect is what the district wants, anyway.

I strongly suggest that the OP find out if there is an autism parent support group at her school, church, and/or synagogue, and contact as many parents as possible who have already navigated the system at the school. They should also be able to point her towards other advocacy organizations in her area.



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#20 of 24 Old 06-22-2012, 05:17 AM
 
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Oh, one thing I forgot to mention Abby - my biggest sadness came from the fact that my son wouldn't be going to the same school as the other kids in our neighborhood.  Imagine my surprise when we discovered several children from his class live only a few blocks from us!  How cool is that???

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#21 of 24 Old 06-22-2012, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#22 of 24 Old 06-22-2012, 06:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

* They may have a different name for it in CA--it's the meeting between parents, their child's teacher, the principal, and any other relevant staff, held before the start of school to come up with the "Individualized Education Plan" for the child, and addresses special needs and challenges.

 

This is an IEP (or ARD) meeting.


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#23 of 24 Old 06-22-2012, 03:40 PM
 
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AbbyGrant-

I understand that you are upset by taxi's post, but most of it isn't against the forum guidlines or the user agreement, though some of it is OT for the thread.  I have removed your post, since it is a personal attack and therefore against the UA. 

 

Taxi-

Please remove the part of your post regarding vaccinations and non-verbal autistic children.  It is OT for this thread.

 

I am well aware of issues on other forums on MDC.  This is not the place to work out those issues.  Please take it to PM or put each other on ignore. 


 
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#24 of 24 Old 06-25-2012, 05:29 AM
 
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That is really cool. And now that you mention it, I just realized how small our district is, so really the kids could only live but so far from each other no matter what school they attend.

 

And on another positive note, my son just started ESY services this week and was so excited to be back he could hardly wait to get in the door. The first thing he did was give his teacher a hug. love.gif And the speech therapist he'll be working with is awesome.

That's wonderful Abby!  It always knocks us back a few paces when things don't happy for our kids they way we want them to but it sounds like your little one is in the right place.


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