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Old 03-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
ArielRae
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Question Anyone with a special needs child in preschool?

My son (Autisic) has been in preschool for about a month and we haven't gotten much if any communication from the school on what he has been doing. Little from his therapist or his class teacher. Had a talk with his teacher today and she was shock and confused on why I would want to know what he is doing at school. I told her I wanted to continue what he was doing at school like when he had early intervention therapists.

So is this normal not to be told about what he his learning?

We scheduled a meeting with his therapist, teacher, and school service coordinator to discuss things.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArielRae View Post
My son (Autisic) has been in preschool for about a month and we haven't gotten much if any communication from the school on what he has been doing. Little from his therapist or his class teacher. Had a talk with his teacher today and she was shock and confused on why I would want to know what he is doing at school. I told her I wanted to continue what he was doing at school like when he had early intervention therapists.

So is this normal not to be told about what he his learning?

We scheduled a meeting with his therapist, teacher, and school service coordinator to discuss things.

I've had 2 autistic little ones in preschool and always got updates in writing and phone calls. Do you have an IEP? We had wording included in our's about how often they would report to us, and the teachers went way beyond the minimum. You need to know what's going on so you can all be on the same page. Our kids need routine and it's nice if you're all reinforcing the same things. Good luck with your meeting!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArielRae View Post
My son (Autisic) has been in preschool for about a month and we haven't gotten much if any communication from the school on what he has been doing. Little from his therapist or his class teacher. Had a talk with his teacher today and she was shock and confused on why I would want to know what he is doing at school. I told her I wanted to continue what he was doing at school like when he had early intervention therapists.

So is this normal not to be told about what he his learning?

We scheduled a meeting with his therapist, teacher, and school service coordinator to discuss things.

My not quite 3 year old is in an early intervention program. Because the pre-school is *only* spectrum kids, communication is excellent and I am kept apprised of what's going on and get regular reports and informal verbal updates whenever I ask. How old is he? And did your EI consultant help you with his current placement?
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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Ds3 comes home with a form that shows exactly what he does every day. His program is full day so I don't know if that makes a difference. (9:00-2:00).

We also have an IEP that lists his therapies and how often he should be receiving them. Bring a list of concerns/questions to the meeting. These meetings tend to shift from one topic to another and I always make sure I check off the items as we discuss them. I was crazy during my sons first month. It's a real adjustment.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:36 PM   #5
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Did you get any recommendations from your sons doctor on how much therapy to request? I went into the meeting with my battle face on expecting the worse. I thought I wouldn't get the therapies that I requested so I brought the doctors note with me too. I completely overreacted and I was able to get everything I wanted but I felt confident being prepared.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:00 PM   #6
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My first question is whether he is in a special needs preschool, or if you went to whatever good preschool was in the phone book. Either way it's strange the teacher would be reluctant to tell you, but in "regular" preschool it isn't unusual to not really get much feedback. Maybe a newsletter every month or so, you get any work they bring home and an occasional report card (2-3/year)

If this is a program run through the schools, then yes it is strange they are not giving you more feedback. Even after hitting grade school DD brings home a weekly report showing behavior and a packet of worksheets for what they are doing. They have more strict paperwork rules than nothing, it sounds like the teacher maybe just isn't following guidelines.
If she can't outline what he is learning, maybe you should ask what the purpose of this program is. Is it meant to be a primarily social program? Keeping the kids around other kids and learning social patterns and norms? Such as following a group schedule, eating at a table together, having areas of the room for separate tasks, etc. That can be a really important function that is just hard to quantify or explain to people.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
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He has been officcialy diagnosed by childrens hospital of Pennsylvania and went into early intervention therapy then to our school district that has a special needs preschool. He has an IEP which I went and looked back at. Looks like he is getting a lot less then what I was under the impression he was getting. Speech and OT are only 90min monthly each. He needs more then that especially since he was getting both once a week in EI. I could have sworn it said he was getting it weekly for preschool too. Like I said we are going to be meeting with everyone to work things out. If this doesn't meet his needs I am going to have to take him out and find something better for him. I know I should have been getting something back from them on his progress it didnt seem right to not to know so we are on the same page with his education.

Funny thing is I am supposed to be in a town with one of the best school districts.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:06 AM   #8
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Our dd was in SPED preschool. She received 30 min per week OT, PT and SLP, each. However, the services are going to be what is deemed "educationally necessary". This may well be different than what the child needs to grow as a person. This is a very important distinction that I didn't key in on, til dd was 4.

For instance, I was so relieved she was receiving these services that I didn't think it all the way through. With OT, the focus was on coloring, using scissors, things she would need for school. Her classroom teachers did some really nice work with sensory issues, but it wasn't enough. We kept her in school, but had her in private practice OT when she was 4 to address multiple sensory issues. She's now 7 and still in OT. My huge regret is that I didn't understand how many OT-related challenges dd had at that time.

Oh, and for updates, her teachers would send home a weekly printout of the scheduled activities. However, we didn't get detailed updates on dd personally. Now they have weblogs, so no need for the paper printouts.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArielRae View Post
He has been officcialy diagnosed by childrens hospital of Pennsylvania and went into early intervention therapy then to our school district that has a special needs preschool. He has an IEP which I went and looked back at. Looks like he is getting a lot less then what I was under the impression he was getting. Speech and OT are only 90min monthly each. He needs more then that especially since he was getting both once a week in EI. I could have sworn it said he was getting it weekly for preschool too. Like I said we are going to be meeting with everyone to work things out. If this doesn't meet his needs I am going to have to take him out and find something better for him. I know I should have been getting something back from them on his progress it didnt seem right to not to know so we are on the same page with his education.

Funny thing is I am supposed to be in a town with one of the best school districts.
In my experience, the public schools are good at stepping up to the bar ONCE YOU PUT THAT BAR IN PLACE. Yes, I capitalized that, because if you don't push, they might not do so good. I have to stay very involved, asking for weekly updates, asking for the daily schedule, requesting monthly or bi-monthly meetings (even if noted on the IEP). And you have also discovered 1 very important part - always double-check that the IEP form states exactly what you had understood (i.e., weekly vs monthly SLP). And at the preschool level some things may be allowed/included that once the child reaches school age it is not considered "academic" (i.e., dressing skills, use of utensils, etc.). DD gets wonderful services at school, now that I know to keep on top of things. Yes, it adds and extra layer of work/stress for me, but it's worth it. And we have also had to concede and add private services for additional therapy that falls outside of the "academics" they'll provide in school.

Good luck! Unfortunately, it is a learning process, but it sounds like you are a conscientious parent who wants to make sure your child gets what is needed. As long as you present a "partnership" with the school you'll find your groove and get the services needed.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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Call your CHOP doctor and have them list exactly what your son needs.
I just saw you are in NJ. In NJ they are required to give you the therapies requested by your doctor or else the school will have to pay to put him in a private preschool which will cost them a ton of money. My original IEP had 30 min of speech a week. That's it. Now I have ABA, speech and OT with the times that I need. My son was diagnosed at chop and children's specialized. PM me of you have any questions.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirstenb1 View Post
Our dd was in SPED preschool. She received 30 min per week OT, PT and SLP, each. However, the services are going to be what is deemed "educationally necessary". This may well be different than what the child needs to grow as a person. This is a very important distinction that I didn't key in on, til dd was 4.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanejudy View Post
In my experience, the public schools are good at stepping up to the bar ONCE YOU PUT THAT BAR IN PLACE. Yes, I capitalized that, because if you don't push, they might not do so good. I have to stay very involved, asking for weekly updates, asking for the daily schedule, requesting monthly or bi-monthly meetings (even if noted on the IEP). And you have also discovered 1 very important part - always double-check that the IEP form states exactly what you had understood (i.e., weekly vs monthly SLP). And at the preschool level some things may be allowed/included that once the child reaches school age it is not considered "academic" (i.e., dressing skills, use of utensils, etc.). DD gets wonderful services at school, now that I know to keep on top of things. Yes, it adds and extra layer of work/stress for me, but it's worth it. And we have also had to concede and add private services for additional therapy that falls outside of the "academics" they'll provide in school.
At your meeting check what they mean by 90 minutes per month- that may mean they are meeting for 20 minutes per week, or it could be one session, or 45 minutes every other week, you won't know until you ask them to clarify. If they are doing less, you just have to remind them to meet the guidelines in the IEP.

Outside of that, sometimes the school does have to qualify your child for each service and they can be needs based, so they might be seeing less need than you based on how the need effects their setting. Sometimes you will need to do more, above and beyond the school system. A PP is suggesting your state has laws that prevent that, which would be great for you. There have to be limits to a rule that a doctor's note=everything the doctor asks for but I wouldn't expect that you would be crossing those lines.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:28 PM   #12
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What you are hearings is all true. I never got reports about my dd when she went and started to ask questions. This was years ago and not for a spectrum disorder, in my case I pulled her out and sent her to private school for 10 years rather than deal with the idiots but I do hope things have changed. First no reports, second I learned the OT and the pt did not have a license to be working with her, wonder how many teachers do not have credentials. We found out that it was 90 minutes or whatever but that the clock started when the OT or pt started to set up not when the child actually got their and started to work, so in our case the 90 minutes was actually only 45 minutes. We then found out that it was educational base, so the fact that she needed to walk was not an issue, they were concerned that she sat in her w/c correctly at the desk. They worked on putting pennies in a jar rather than snapping her pants so she could go potty independently. After fighting all years long, I just said this is not worth it and we went private school from kindergarten to 9th grade and private OT, pt and speech. Worked for us. Hope your battle is not as hard but be prepared to fight for ever bit you get.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:30 AM   #13
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Yes get a communication plan (school to home) written into his SPED education plan
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:37 PM   #14
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By law, you allowed to bring whoever you want to the IEP. You need to go with an advocate to the upcoming IEP. Google it with you area. If you can't find who does it in your area, call the closest one and ask who you should call. If you have a FEAT or other autism parent support group they will be able to refer you to the group that provides advocates. Advocates are almot always free. There are tons of things wrong with the parts of your IEP you posted for a preschooler with autism. The time with the therpist should be split between direct and consult. A non verbal kid should absolutely have a communication with home plan in their IEP. Those minutes are WAY too low. 90 minutes direct of OT and speech A WEEK would be more normal. The fact that the teacher acted suprised when you asked for some type of communication, tells me that they are going to mess with you until you get a professional in there to show them you can't be pushed around.
It is not your fault that you have the set up that you have. It happens to almost all new to the school district parents. You just gotta be the squeakky wheel.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:52 PM   #15
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It might be as simple as you are the first parent to be involved and want to know what is going on.
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