Integrated Preschool - Please Tell Me The Pros and Cons - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-06-2008, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
BookGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Gryffindor Tower at Hogwarts
Posts: 6,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My DD doesn't have an official dx yet. Looks like it might be PPD or Asperger's. She is verbal. Her language is somewhat disordered but at times she's capable of making 3 word sentences. Her issues are not that great - lining up things at times, intermittent eye contact, not always responding to name, very short attention span, etc. She doesn't have any big behavioral problems and she's a pretty gentle mild-mannered child.

DD has several months to go before she'd go to preschool but we've started talks with EI about the transition to DOE. The EI people seem to be pushing us to the special ed classroom. They've indicated it's hard to get into an intergrated preschool and that we'll have to fight the local DOE (go to a hearing blah blah).

I'm interested in hearing what other mamas have to say about the benefits/disadvantages of going to a self contained special-ed preschool class versus attending an intergrated preschool. I'm wondering if it's really that hard to get my daughter access to an intergrated preschool. I know one such preschool that DD could go to. No matter what school we send her to I don't want her there the whole day. The special ed classroom looks like it's an all day experience and honestly on that basis alone it doesn't appeal to me.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
BookGoddess is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-06-2008, 11:38 PM
 
giggleball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have our son (CAPD and SID) in both. He goes half days to special ed and half days to a private pre-school. It's a great blend and gives him the best of both worlds. Does your system allow for half day special ed? Next year our son (who will be 4) will go 4 days private in the a.m. and 5 days special ed in the afternoons. So, it will end up being full days for him but he is very delayed so we are hoping to catch him up!

Not sure if that is what you were looking for -- we've been blessed with a great private pre-school but they would not be enough just on its own.
giggleball is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 01:47 AM
crl
 
crl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DS started in a self-contained classroom. At the time, his articulation was pretty bad and I don't think he could've communicated well enough to get much out of an integrated setting. Also, he had a lot of trouble with change and the self-contained classroom had the personnel to deal with that (3 staff to 7 kids).

He's been in an integrated setting for a year and a half now. He is a total mimic so it is very good for him to be exposed to mostly typically developing peers at this point. He is also now very able to follow a classroom routine with just a bit of extra support. (He needs someone to remember to let him know ahead of time if there is a change in routine.)

I think it depends on each kid and where he/she is whether they will get more out of an integrated setting or a self-contained class.
crl is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 05:03 AM
 
kati6110's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Oregon
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would just start looking at lots of preschools to get some context. Talk to the teacher and other parents if you can. I always give a ten second spiel about ds' challenges and then ask about their experience with accomodating special needs kids in the classroom. The response, both verbal and nonverbal, is usually indicative of how welcome your child would be in that school. IME coop preschools and Montessori are more supportive but YMMV.

It sounds like your dd is pretty young. Special needs preschool is a nice gentle transition step for young kids. That's something you might want to consider.

My ds liked his "regular" preschool, but he turned into a behavior problem. It was too loud. Never did the art projects because he has fine motor delay and just avoids that kind of activity. He couldn't follow at circle b/c he has a receptive language delay. School had little meaning for him beyond just playing with toys and eating snack.

On the other hand he's a star in the special ed preschool. It's orderly and supportive. The staff understands his challenges and there is always someone to sit next to him to help him finish art projects and reinforce concepts. He feels competent and confident.

Just my two cents. Good luck
kati6110 is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
BookGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Gryffindor Tower at Hogwarts
Posts: 6,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giggleball View Post
We have our son (CAPD and SID) in both. He goes half days to special ed and half days to a private pre-school. It's a great blend and gives him the best of both worlds. Does your system allow for half day special ed? Next year our son (who will be 4) will go 4 days private in the a.m. and 5 days special ed in the afternoons. So, it will end up being full days for him but he is very delayed so we are hoping to catch him up!

Not sure if that is what you were looking for -- we've been blessed with a great private pre-school but they would not be enough just on its own.
Thanks. I'm glad it's working out for you. I don't know if my daughter can handle so many hours at school but this could just be my mommy anxiety talking. I'm not sure if half day special ed preschool is a possiblity but we are having a large IFSP meeting later this week. A special ed teacher will be there so I can ask questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crl View Post
DS started in a self-contained classroom. At the time, his articulation was pretty bad and I don't think he could've communicated well enough to get much out of an integrated setting. Also, he had a lot of trouble with change and the self-contained classroom had the personnel to deal with that (3 staff to 7 kids).

He's been in an integrated setting for a year and a half now. He is a total mimic so it is very good for him to be exposed to mostly typically developing peers at this point. He is also now very able to follow a classroom routine with just a bit of extra support. (He needs someone to remember to let him know ahead of time if there is a change in routine.)

I think it depends on each kid and where he/she is whether they will get more out of an integrated setting or a self-contained class.
The low staff ratio is what I like about a special ed classroom but my daughter is a mimic also. I would love for her to go to an intergrated preschool with 1:1 help. I have a feeling I'll have to fight our DOE to get this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kati6110 View Post

It sounds like your dd is pretty young. Special needs preschool is a nice gentle transition step for young kids. That's something you might want to consider.

My ds liked his "regular" preschool, but he turned into a behavior problem. It was too loud. Never did the art projects because he has fine motor delay and just avoids that kind of activity. He couldn't follow at circle b/c he has a receptive language delay. School had little meaning for him beyond just playing with toys and eating snack.

On the other hand he's a star in the special ed preschool. It's orderly and supportive. The staff understands his challenges and there is always someone to sit next to him to help him finish art projects and reinforce concepts. He feels competent and confident.

Just my two cents. Good luck

Thanks mama! Your post was helpful. I want DD's first experience at preschool to be good. She would do better in a small setting.

My daughter is young. She's 2 years old. DH and I had a talk about having DD in a special ed preschool for a year and then transitioning her to an intergrated preschool when she's 4 or sooner if she has made a lot of progress. It might happen. She's made a lot of progress just in the last 5 months and most of that came from DH and I doing different things with her to help her make gains in the areas where she has deficits.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
BookGoddess is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
BookGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Gryffindor Tower at Hogwarts
Posts: 6,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
double post....

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
BookGoddess is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 12:12 PM
 
snuggly mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: snugglin' on a comfy couch
Posts: 1,613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I integrated preschool!

Dd has a different set of issues, so not sure how relevant my experiences will be, though. Dd started integrated preschool at 3. She was still using very limited speech, was not independently mobile and not toilet trained. She had a 1:1 aide and attended 1/2 days. She was by FAR the most involved child in the class. But, it was great for her. She got lots of modeling of speech, plenty of opportunities for social engagement and a terrific teaching staff who really believed in inclusion.

She's now in first grade, and the kids who were in her preschool class love to say, "I remember J. from preschool!" They also feel proud that they got to learn about braille and canes and all sorts of stuff.

The teachers have also been able to see that she was able to successfully participate (with supports) in an integrated classroom and that's given them some encouragement to continue that path.
snuggly mama is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 06:48 PM
 
kati6110's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Oregon
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by snuggly mama View Post
I integrated preschool!

She had a 1:1 aide and attended 1/2 days. She was by FAR the most involved child in the class. But, it was great for her. She got lots of modeling of speech, plenty of opportunities for social engagement and a terrific teaching staff who really believed in inclusion.
Snuggly Mama,

Just curious, was that a private preschool, Head Start, or a program through your local ESD?
kati6110 is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 07:45 PM
 
snuggly mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: snugglin' on a comfy couch
Posts: 1,613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The preschool was through our local public school.
snuggly mama is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
BookGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Gryffindor Tower at Hogwarts
Posts: 6,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Snuggly Mama - Love your name btw. The 1:1 aide for your DC was paid by your local school system, right? And the tuition for the preschool was that paid by you or your school system? One of the options mentioned to me was to have us pay the preschool tuition and the school system gives a 1:1 aide. We could do that but shouldn't the school system cover both? But I was told even if we paid the tuition and they gave the aide it would be an uphill fight. The fight doesn't bother me that much. I can be pushy when I need to be.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
BookGoddess is offline  
Old 02-07-2008, 09:59 PM
 
snuggly mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: snugglin' on a comfy couch
Posts: 1,613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We didn't pay tuition or anything at all. When we had our IEP meeting, we talked about placement (integrated classroom) and the fact that dd needed a 1:1 for safety as well as for facilitating social interactions. I honestly expected a huge fight, since I had been told that districts never want to pay for aides, but it was a breeze.

We transitioned from EI as well, and I braced myself for a huge fight. To be honest, it wasn't like that at all. Sure, we had a few areas of disagreement, but nothing awful. A lot depends on your school system, though. We've had great success with this district, which is one of the major reasons I won't move out of our town!
snuggly mama is offline  
Old 02-11-2008, 02:01 PM
 
cchrissyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 2,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DS was in an "integrated classroom", which in our district was the official term for a class of 15 kids, half with IEPs and half typically developing kiddos from head start.

But now he's in a regular full inclusion placement, which has been great.

The law is totally on your side as far as putting him in the least special setting he can tolerate, and bringing in every support to make it work, rather than the easy route of putting him in a more intensive clasroom than he needs simply because the program is there, because other kids with ____ are there, or that's where the therpaists are used to dropping in.

the trick to getting *any* placement or service you want is having a comprehensive report done where an expert says flat out that your kid needs ____.

Berkeley mom of 3 and President of Tender Cargo Baby Gear
and The Nurture Center Store and Resource Center 3399 Mt Diablo Bl Lafayette CA 888-998-BABY
cchrissyy is offline  
Old 02-11-2008, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
BookGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Gryffindor Tower at Hogwarts
Posts: 6,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks CChrissy. I'm looking into having an independent report done by an expert we've hired so that we can get the things we want in DD's IEP. I better start now even though her transition is months away.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
BookGoddess is offline  
Old 02-13-2008, 05:53 PM
 
Serenity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 955
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just wanted to chime in here that we were very happy with ds's integrated pre-school. He has diagnoses of Asperger's and ADHD. He was able to get OT, PT, and speech at school. Plus lots of support and help in the classroom.

I agree that you can push to have your child in the least restrictive setting, that is what the law says. But also know that you can change from year to year. There was another child in his class that started in the exclusively special ed preschool at 3 and at 4 was moved into the integrated preschool. Hope that helps. I would listen to all your options from the special ed committe and tour all these places to see what you think would be the best fit for your child.
Serenity is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off