Can a preschool really do that?????!!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 02-11-2009, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My friend's child is at certain preschool system..
he is forced at 4.5 years old to take 2 hour nap midd day.

since he does refuses he is consider a potential for
observation for adhd and if evaluated as positive.. he might be forced
to take meds.. ?...

first of all:

is it normal that 4.5 year olds are required to take 2!!! hour nap midd day?
they don't even have an option for quiet play or anything.. their booklet said that they will have 2 hour rest..but does it automatically constitues a NAP???? by their doings yes.

so in this case how is it possible that such a child who can be active but certainly is not a extreme of anything is a potential case for adhd?
and also.. he goes to sleep at 10/11pm.. so this immediately lighted the bulb in the school director as total case to foward for observation by county..

I am outraged.. but I don't know enough about the systems out there so I wanted to run it through you.. is that all legal and normal?

thank you.

p.s. it is a private school system.
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#2 of 26 Old 02-11-2009, 07:02 AM
 
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The ADHD stuff is WAY out of line.

I know when I worked in the states, it was a law in the state I worked in all full day preschool programs had to have a 2 hour rest period. I am pretty sure the children had to stay on their mats for an hour (the teacher played a book on tape or music) and after an hour they could get up and get a quiet book or puzzle.

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#3 of 26 Old 02-11-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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They can institute a "nap time", but unless they're drugging the kid they can't force him to sleep if he's not tired.

There is no way my kids would have napped at 4.5, but there are alot of parents who still have their kids nap at that age.

When I was in kindergarten we still had nap time daily, we didn't have to sleep but we had to lay there.

The playschool can evaluate him for ADHD, however if naptime is their only reason he won't test positive for it. There may be other things going on that are causing them concern over possible ADHD.

the playschool CAN'T force meds on him, however since it is a private playschool they can refuse admittance.

What is he doing when he's refusing to nap? If he's running around & not listening it can be a reason for them to not allow him in the playschool.
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#4 of 26 Old 02-11-2009, 01:00 PM
 
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They can enforce a rest time. The whole adhd thing is bizarre though. My kids went/go to a small home daycare where they must lay down for 2 hours. They don't have to sleep but they do have to lay quietly and rest.

In our case, if a kid were up running around and playing, it would disrupt the entire daycare's nap schedule. And some kids, even 4.5 year olds, do need that time to rest so I can see why they'd be upset with it, but deciding he needs meds is a BIG jump.

Is this an all day preschool? Ours is a few hours 3 mornings a week so nap time wouldn't be an issue. But no, they can't force meds on him and I'd have a nice long talk with whoever is in charge there and start looking for somewhere else for him to go.
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#5 of 26 Old 02-11-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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my quick two cents

1. they cannot evaluate for adhd without written consent.

2. obviously they cannot force medication

3. adhd isn't usually even diagnosed until closer to 7 y.o., if I'm not mistaken; he's far too young!

4. on a personal level, despite the fact that it is entirely within the parents' perogative, I believe it is not healthy, both physically and more importantly for brain development, for a child of 4.5 y.o. to go to bed as late as 10 or 11 on a regular basis (no wonder he looks like adhd. I'm guessing he's had some horrid behavior?). Moreover, it would make sense that the resulting overtiredness might make it impossible for him to take a nap - too wound up (not that my kids would nap easily at that age either, unless they were in a car)

On the other hand, if the reason for the very late bedtime is because he in fact sleeps during the two hour nap at school, at that age the consolidated sleep of an earlier bedtime without the nap would be better for brain development (see e.g. Weissbluth) and I'd have the pediatrician write a letter to that effect.

If I were the parents, I'd (a) put him to bed earlier, for his benefit, and (b) seriously consider taking him out of this preschool simply because they sound nutty over the nap. I assume the parents are making an effort to keep him in so that he can stay admitted for the remainder of his schooling, but often with such schools there are other common years in which it is not difficult to enter - K, first, sixth, etc.
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#6 of 26 Old 02-11-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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My friend's ds wouldn't take a nap at school, he stopped napping at like 2.5. Well he got in trouble A LOT until he told his folks what was going on and they went into school and negotiated a plan (he has to lay on his mat for 15mins just in case he'll fall asleep, afterward he may get up and read).

They are probably using "adhd" as a threat to make the parents tell their kid he has to nap.

Also as a private school I guess they could say "medicate or leave" but I don't know
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#7 of 26 Old 02-11-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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Um, ANY school that threatened to have my child evaluated for ADHD based on their not wanting to take a nap, and said that his bedtime was a valid reason as a "case to be forwarded for observation to county" would NOT be a school that would be seeing another penny of my money! Some children need more sleep than others, plus what time does he wake up in the morning? I know a family that the children routinely stay up until midnight, but they rise at 10am - that's the schedule that works for their household. I refuse to give my money to a place that starts out by threatening me and my family when my child is not even 5! Just wow!

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#8 of 26 Old 02-12-2009, 03:23 AM
 
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#9 of 26 Old 02-12-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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that sounds seriously bizarre. Here in Mass it's the law that PS have to have nap time for 2 hours each day--but no one interprets that to mean all children must actually be asleep--they just have "quiet time" if they don't fall asleep. How absurd.

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#10 of 26 Old 02-12-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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Yeah. My kid hasn't napped at all since she was 2 1/2. They do have a two-hour naptime at her school, and most kids do sleep, but if a child doesn't sleep they're allowed to do something quiet. I would imagine, though, that a child that age who's not napping, and staying up that late, must be overtired. Could it be that he's behaving badly otherwise, and that's the real cause of their concern?

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#11 of 26 Old 02-12-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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In CA a full-day preschool program MUST have a 2 hour nap period. Its the law. However, how each center interprets that for older children has some latititude. At our school, the children had to stay quietly on their mats for the first hour, though they could look at books. If they were still awake after 1 hour (few were), they could come to the table or book corner for quiet play until the end of nap period. The center could not, by law, not enforce some period of quiet-on-mat time, even for the oldest students. Since my DS didn't start K until he was almost 6, we dealt with this a lot since at 5 1/2 he wasn't likely to actually nap during tha time. And I hated it when he did fall asleep because that made bedtime much later.

However, moving from "he doesn't nap" to "screen for ADHD" is a giant and, IMHO, uncalled for leap. Though honestly, unless this is a very unusual child, I would guess there is a connection between ADHD-like behavior and the families late bedtime.

As a private school, they can probably force "screen/treat or withdraw" because they have the right to ask any student to withdraw. If it were my child's school that was taking that hard a line though, I would withdraw on principal because that sort of ultimatium suggests a very inflexible approach to children.

While a different center might not make the ADHD leap, if the program is full-day, they probably won't get away from rest period. But they might find a program that takes a much more flexible approach with it for older kids.
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#12 of 26 Old 02-13-2009, 08:09 AM
 
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I think most preschools are more in line with what Evan&Anna's mom describes, but the director could be overinterpreting the regs. The family should ask to look at the actual regulations that the center is using as a reference point.

I'm assuming that they've already asked what exactly the child is doing during nap time. Some children can be quite disruptive at this time if they do not want to rest. Partly because they are fighting some natural tiredness and getting themselves kind of wound in the process. I would hope that the school didn't really suggest ADHD, but that also might have been misinterpreted by someone after getting a description of the behavior.

 
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#13 of 26 Old 02-13-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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I had NO idea full day preschools had to have 2 hour naptimes! I dont know what my 4yo would do in that situation if she had to go to a school like that, she doesnt nap often and certainly wouldnt nap for 2 hours. Interesting!

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#14 of 26 Old 02-13-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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i am pretty sure your friend has not told you the whole picture.

no way would anyone jump to ADHD with nap time behaviour. there must be other pointers too, and trouble focusing at naptime to rest could play a big role.

one of my dd's friends was like that. amongst other things was his nap time behaviour. generally people dont jump to conclusion - esp. those trained to take care of children. they look at the degree of behaviour. a regular child 'misbehaving' during nap time and a child with ADHD - the level of misbehaving is HUGE. he ended up being diagnosed with ADHD and go on medication. just like his uncle when he was a child.

oh and btw ps was where they caught it. it was mom's first child and they did not know what was normal and what was not.

while the ps cant force them into anything they can ask the child to leave because it was taking too much time away from the children.

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#15 of 26 Old 02-13-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JessasMilkMama View Post
I had NO idea full day preschools had to have 2 hour naptimes! I dont know what my 4yo would do in that situation if she had to go to a school like that, she doesnt nap often and certainly wouldnt nap for 2 hours. Interesting!
Actually it surprised me how much my kids slept during naptime in preschool, even after they had stopped napping at home a year or two earlier.
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#16 of 26 Old 02-13-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
Actually it surprised me how much my kids slept during naptime in preschool, even after they had stopped napping at home a year or two earlier.
mine too. she gave up naps at home at 2, but gave up her ps naps at 4.

because of dd and a few other kids in her class the ps changed their policy. all the four year olds did not have to lay on their mats quiety for 2 hours. they had to do it for one hour - they squirmed, played with their stuffed toy laying down on the sleeping mat but did not sleep the first hour and the second hour they got up to do some quiet activity at the table.

the two and three year olds had to lay on their mats the whole two hours whether they slept or not.

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#17 of 26 Old 02-14-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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Im thinking that even with the laws (I taught preschool for a looooong time and never "forced" naps) that it really means that the rest/nap time is scheduled and available for those that need it. I would be concerned with any teacher that forces a nap and can't be creative enough to find quiet alternative activities for a child who is just not sleepy. I used to keep "nap time boxes" in my closet and they were allowed to come out after a child had tried to sleep (like 15 min or so or whenever they asked) I kept things like matchbox cars with cones, little dollies with brushes, pads of paper with pens (they LOVED the pens b/c they don't usually get to use them) those little labarynth games, etc)

Sounds like it's the TEACHERS that need to be evaluated to tell the truth!
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#18 of 26 Old 02-14-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by snowmom5 View Post
my quick two cents

1. they cannot evaluate for adhd without written consent.

2. obviously they cannot force medication

3. adhd isn't usually even diagnosed until closer to 7 y.o., if I'm not mistaken; he's far too young!
ditto all of this.

and two hours seems very long to me. It seems like it would be very hard for a non-napping child to be quiet and still for 2 whole hours each day. I know mine wouldn't have made it for that long and it wouldn't have been because they had ADD, just because they are bored out of their minds like any 4 yr old that usually wouldn't want to sit still for that long.

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#19 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 01:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
Actually it surprised me how much my kids slept during naptime in preschool, even after they had stopped napping at home a year or two earlier.

Yes, this. I teach 4 and 5 year olds and all but one will consistantly sleep for the entire 2 hour rest period. Even the younger kids in the daycare section of the building usually do not do this I think it has a lot to do with how active my kids are. With the learning stations, the playing outside, etc. They do so much in the mornings that they are just wiped out by midday and really need the rest.

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#20 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 04:28 AM
 
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I had a lot of trouble with dd's preschool when she outgrew naps. They believed that all of the kids needed to sleep for two hours a day until they were old enough for kindregarten and it was very frustrating because she couldn't sleep until almost midnight and she woke up by eight every day because she just wasn't tired anymore, and we had a schedule and went to bed at eight every night for months and laid there quietly and she just couldn't do it. I wound up putting her in the Head Start program part time in the afternoon so she wouldn't have to nap. I don't think they can make you drug your child without a court order. It sounds like they are being lazy and disrespectful towards your son by expecting him to lay there quietly for two hours, if he isn't asleep within half an hour they need to get him up and get him engaged in some of the quality activities you are sending him there to experience.
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#21 of 26 Old 02-15-2009, 08:25 AM
 
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Most programs will provide an alternative quiet activity after a certain amount of time for rest.

I think it is interesting that many parents also complain that in full day kindergarten, kids don't get enough rest. It can be hard to strike the balance. Some kids need more rest than others. I guess flexibility is the key!

 
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#22 of 26 Old 02-19-2009, 01:31 AM
 
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Um......... wow. That seems like a LONG time.

Quote:
4. on a personal level, despite the fact that it is entirely within the parents' perogative, I believe it is not healthy, both physically and more importantly for brain development, for a child of 4.5 y.o. to go to bed as late as 10 or 11 on a regular basis (no wonder he looks like adhd. I'm guessing he's had some horrid behavior?). Moreover, it would make sense that the resulting overtiredness might make it impossible for him to take a nap - too wound up (not that my kids would nap easily at that age either, unless they were in a car)
My 8mo DS doesn't sleep for 2 hours during the day, and certainly doesn't go to bed before 11pm without a fight. He's a sunny and good-natured baby who just WON'T sleep in the afternoons.

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#23 of 26 Old 02-19-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
My 8mo DS doesn't sleep for 2 hours during the day, and certainly doesn't go to bed before 11pm without a fight. He's a sunny and good-natured baby who just WON'T sleep in the afternoons.
Yes, but an 8 mo. old has very different sleep patterns than a 4 year old.
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#24 of 26 Old 02-19-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
Yes, but an 8 mo. old has very different sleep patterns than a 4 year old.
Granted.

My (not so well illustrated ) point is that some kids don't need so much structured sleep. Check out some of the free-range kids on the unschooling forum. Not all kids sleep the same, and to imply behavioural problems from it is silly.

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#25 of 26 Old 02-19-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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My (not so well illustrated ) point is that some kids don't need so much structured sleep. Check out some of the free-range kids on the unschooling forum. Not all kids sleep the same, and to imply behavioural problems from it is silly.
Yes, its true children differ. And leaping from "he doesn't nap" to "he has ADHD" or whatever is completely wrong. I think everyone agrees on that.

One of the sometimes frustrating parts of organized school is that it is targeted to the "average" or "most" children. And its governed by state laws/licensing standards. So, preschools *must* comply with those standards. Schools have different approaches to how they do this though, and this school might be a poor match for this child. But, since *most* preschool children will either nap or play quietly for the allotted time, then I think its wrong to jump from "this child has trouble with this part of the school day" to "this part of the school day should be modified for all children", which is sort of the feeling I'm getting. Its better to say that "this school might not be right for this child" or even "this child may not be best served by an all-day preschool program". Those are hard calls to make, especially if the rest of the program seems good for this child.
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#26 of 26 Old 02-19-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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Find out exactly what the state law reads and what laws are the ones that the preschool has to follow. Rule 3 for preschool centers (and child care centers) or Rule 2 for schools. (at least I think its rule 2, lol, I'm more familiar with rule 3)

In MN we have to allow for nap time and work in a nap period to allow for 2 hours of nap etc. BUT we are required to allow children up after 30 minutes of rest time if they do not nap. Meaning, after 30 minutes if they are not sleeping they can go play, other kids who are sleeping can continue to. And really, not many actually do sleep in my class. Today with a class of 20 kids I had only 5 or 6 sleepers. AND parents decide how long to let their child sleep. We have some that get woken up after 30 minutes and others who sleep for 2 hours.

I know of MANY centers that don't abide by the 30 minute rule and find ways around it. (like putting in a movie for "rest time" for the remainder of the 2 hours) Find out how its worded/written for where you are.

Asking children to stay put for 2 hours is insane. I just can't see how that would work for a child of any age, let alone preschoolers. And ADHD because they don't nap? Pfft, thats just stupid.

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