Before my little one was born, I planned on probably sending him to Waldorf school. Then came the news that he has Down syndrome. At this writing he is 10 months old and doing EXTREMELY well--never a health problem worse than a little cold, and developing either in the "normal" range or just behind it. However, I realize that Waldorf school may be out of the question--few or none, I think, (with the exception of Camphill in PA, where we do not live) can take a little special needs guy or gal, even a high functioning one. But I saw something about Montessori schools often having somewhat of a capacity in that direction. Does anyone have any information or experience?
I'd certainly check at your individual Montessori school but I know at DD's school there are kids there with various special needs (some with learning disabilities and some with physical disabilities) so they've definitely found a way to accommodate them.
I think Montessori would be great for him! I was told at my kids old school they take children with downs syndrome. I would call your local Montessori school to find out. IMO it would be a perfect school but I am not an expert. Good luck in finding your son a great school!
Jennifer, SAHM to my little man 5 1/2 and my VBAC sweetie pie girls 4 1/2, 2 1/2 and 6mos.
I also wanted to add that in Montessori: The Science of Genius (I'm pretty sure it was in there), they talked about how it's so important for special needs kids to learn through physical activity (just like in Montessori). I'm pretty sure they mentioned kids with down syndrome but I could be wrong.
My 3yo DD is Hard of Hearing and she goes to a Montessori preschool. Her teacher is very responsive to my suggestions for what will work best for DD, but I have to stay on top of things and make the suggestions. Depending how old your DS is when he starts school (one school in town here takes 1yo's, DD's starts at 2.5yo), if he is in an Early Intervention program they may be able to send some specialists to the school to consult with the staff. I have found that DD's teacher understands more when the specialist works with her (it's hard to hear suggestions from The Mom!). I still ask myself if mainstreaming was the best choice for DD but I'm certainly happy she's being exposed to Montessori materials.
At one Montessori school I visited, the director said that one teacher had specifically asked for SN kids, and the director herself was the mother to a SN kid. When I heard that, I started crying right there in the hallway! I ended up choosing another school that was closer, but I wanted to tell you what a great experience I had shopping for Montessori schools!
Many Montessori schools are willing to take kids with Downs.
We had a little girl with Downs at our school for four years, until her parents moved. She did very well in primary and lower el. She was happy and was a loved person in our school community.