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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all, my 4 yo ds has been struggling in his current private preschool, although he is unaware of it. he is happy and has a friend for the first time. his teacher however tells me he has outbursts whenever he is given a fine motor activity, has difficulty with transitions, difficulty with sharing, among other things. We know that he has gross and fine motor delays, sensory issues, and possibly Asperger's. Which is to say that he does not handle change well at all.

anyway, the school district just evaluated him and observed him at his current school and said that he qualifies for our county's integrated special needs preschool. I think this could be a good thing for him in the long term but a really difficult change for him. He will not want to have all new kids, new environment, and new teachers. He is currently unaware that he has special needs. We have always explained that every child has things that they need to practice until they learn how to do them better. How can I explain why he will be switching schools in the middle of the school year? How can i make this easier for him? I don't want him to regress and totally obliterate any strides the integrated program could have given him, kwim?
 

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I've not been in your situation, but maybe have a suggestion. Can you involve him in the transition before it happens? Like taking him on a tour of the school/classroom, meeting his teacher, etc. I wonder if they'd even consider a full session day where the two of you go participate during one class session.

My DS is starting EI Preschool for the first time this January. We just keep telling him how exciting it's going to be going to his big boy school. He got to go with DH on Monday to see his classrooms, see all the kids, meet his teacher, etc. DH said he was so excited doing that.
 

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Your son sounds a lot like mine, and I really worried how the switch would affect him, especially since it would mean going to the special needs preschool for half a day and then back to his regular preschool/daycare setting.

We explained that the bus would be picking him up and taking him to a new preschool and then taking him home again. We went to see his classroom and meet his teacher. We got him a special backpack with his name on it. That was basically all the prep we did. And he sailed through the change. I was absolutely blown away by how quickly he adapted, how much he loved it. In fact, I think he loves it more because they are much better equipped to understand why he does the things he does. Does that make sense?

For all my worrying about this decision (initially I turned it down because I was afraid the change would be too much, similar to what you expressed) it has been the best decision we could have ever made. He has absolutely blossomed in just 2 1/2 months time. I just can't even tell you the difference I have seen already. Not total, he still will barely pick up a pencil and still refuses to try to draw anything, but it isn't the all-out meltdown anymore. But I truly can't express enough how thankful I am we made this decision. we can actually have small conversations now, he is learning how to actually socialize with other kids and has really improved in the area of lashing out when he is upset and can't express it.

Hope this helps you in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
these are good suggestions and i do feel better hearing that it was a good decision for you learnintolaugh. thanks so much, it helps to hear from others with similar issues. i just don't want him to feel badly about himself.
 

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My 4 year old is in a Montessori school and I am about to pull her out. She is getting evaluated in January after many months on a waiting list. I am just learning about preschool for special needs. I actually never knew there was such a thing so I am ignorant on the subject. Does every town in NJ have this? Or is it county-wide?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
in nj, you can request that your preschooler be evaluated and they have to perform the evaluation within a certain time frame. I think its 45 days. but there are integrated and special needs preschools throughout the state as far as i know.
 

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ragnomc - I live in NJ so I wanted to address your question. So you have contacted the Child Study Team that would be located in your town? When we did this we had Early Intevention guide us and helped us contact our local Child Study Team. The letter gets the clock ticking etc. They do not diagnose, just determine if the child is delayed enough to get in. Some towns have awesome programs some not so much. Depends on the type of delay and what the child needs to help them catch up. I would say an autistic child should do to a preschool that is designed to help autistic children. You did not say what you are dealing with and I don't see where in NJ you are. If you are near Morristown Memorial, Overlook or St. B, I know lots of great doctors.

OP - I second a tour and introductions. If you can you might plan to stay for just a bit to help ease the transition.

Good Luck!

Doreen
 

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Thanks for the responses. I am in central NJ in Mercer County. I am not exactly sure what I am dealing with. Is that bad? lol I am suspecting that my daughter has some form of ADHD and ODD. She hit and kicked her teacher a couple of days ago after 3 months now of constant behavioral problems from her at preschool. I am embarrassed by her behavior, but I am not sure she understand cause and effect. The school thinks she needs evaluation as well. Sometimes it takes 5 teachers to stop her behavior and I hate thinking that my child is holding back other children from their opportunity to learn. I am stressed out about it at the moment, but I expected all of this since she was 1 year old. I haven't contacted the Child Study Team of my school district. I only spoke with her pediatrician at this point. She is scheduled for a Developmental Evaluation in January at Children's Specialized Hospital.
Any more suggestions are welcome

Mary
 

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Update: I just contacted the Child Study Team for our school district. They told me that preschool is full for the year. However, the school will evaluate her if I think there is a need to. So, I am going forward with writing a letter of request to them, as well as having her evaluated through the specialized hospital. I thought that the one evaluation would have been suitable. I am surprised my pediatrician didn't suggest that I also contact the school district. ugggh Thanks everyone for listening to me.

Mary
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hi mary, how old is your daughter? i was wondering if she would be going to preschool next year too. i am also dealing with mercer county. it is my understanding that if the school is full they have to bus the student to another district, you are legally entitled to special services and your child shouldn't be put off just because there are a lot of other children with special needs. it is their responsibility to provide services for every child who needs them.
 

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Well, my daughter will be 5 in April. Too late for early intervention I guess. That only goes to 3 if I am correct. I figured that the child would be bused to another district, but wasn't sure if the district was obligated at the preschool level.
The school told me she would be going to kindergarten in September. I don't want to send her to preschool another year... I would enroll her in kindergarten. Out of all this experience what I really want to learn is how to help her become successful with school and learning. I also want to learn some techniques (that work) to modify her behavior.
By the Way Serenity, I am in East Windsor.... crummy schools with the highest property taxes (LOL). Can you tell I have gripes?

Mary
 
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