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<p>There are works teaching fundamental skills, depending on the stage of the child's development and their "sensitive periods for learning."  They start with sensorial and practical life skills.  These, while providing the obvious experiences, also have indirect aims that introduce concepts for higher level learning - hand movements for writing, gauging pressure, fractions, etc. - and they keenly develop their senses for listening, feeling, and discriminating.  Later in the progression, the children move into more academic learning in very hands-on ways.  They learn their letters by shape and feel, they learn their numbers concretely, they learn relationships and concepts in concrete/hands-on ways.  The primary years prepare a child for the focus, concentration, indendent thinking, and problem solving necessary for higher-level learning.</p>
 

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<p>Montessori schools vary greatly.  Reading about philosophy is great.  The best way to see if they are a fit for your child is to visit and observe.  Be open and realistically envision how your child will fit into the environment.</p>
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<p>I know that many people love their Montessori schools and I have loved ours too.  But now all schools (teachers) are able to handle atypical children.</p>
 

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<p>We have had a wonderful experience with DS2.  He went to typical preschool, well actually he was in Early Intervention till 3, then transitioned into ECIP program through public school till he went to Kinder.  At Kinder we pulled and put into Montissori.  For us, it was the best move in the world.  He has matured a lot in the few short months since school started.  He was always struggling in the public school.  They wanted to stifle his need to always help and need for structure.  In the Monstissori program his teacher loves these qualities in him.  She is also very impressed that even though he has never had any Montissori education/training, he has picked up how things are done there.</p>
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<p>We have Sensory Integration Issues and Speech delay as well as some minor fine/gross motor issues.  He has gone from end of school being reluctant to do movement and music stuff (but did do it on occassion) to willingly go up and being part of his schools harvest feast presentation the whole time and not shying away and actually looking forward to it.</p>
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<p>He gets pulled out once a week for speech at school and then again for private speech he misses lunch one day and part of recess.  I think the fact that he gets a lot of sensory stuff automatically (sand letters, hands on, etc) has helped his sensory issues to some degree.  Oh, and his teacher has implemented a lot of movement, and motor skills things in her classroom in general (not just because of DS2, she had done them the year before as well).</p>
 

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<p>My kids go to an AMI certified Montessori school. DS1 has a language disorder and some spectrumy personality traits, but is not diagnosed with an ASD. He's sub-clinical, per our psych. He did very well in Montessori preschool (primary).   Elementary has been a struggle because he doesn't structure his time well. We're probably giving up on elementary for him after this year because as the academic work becomes more demanding he needs more structure.   We've had quite a few special needs kids with ADHD or language disorders or Downs at our school. I love the elementary curriculum because it uses the Five Great Lessons (Birth of the Universe and Earth, Coming of Life, Coming of Human Beings, Communication in Signs, and the Story of Numbers)  to frame the rest of the material, encouraging synthesis of information.</p>
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<p>Primary starts with sensory activities and practical life activities. These are designed to teach motor skills and social skills in preparation for more advanced work.  From there kids move on to reading and math and science and geography and social studies. Math is taught primarily with the use of manipulatives, which I feel is a best practice. </p>
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<p>My neuro-typical 5 year old is currently in primary and is working on multiplication and on division with remainders. He is also working on beginning reading, using the sand letters and phonics. </p>
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<p>His non-neurotypical older brother did lots of geography during the same year, math and science. (He was already a fluent reader.) I have a beautiful map of Asia on my office wall that DS1 did when he was five. His teacher gently worked with him on social skills like eye contact and greetings and talking, so it was helpful from that perspective.</p>
 
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