Raising Special Needs Kids

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Momof4AEMW
Transition from PreK to Elementary
January 5 at 10:41 PM

A lot of you have children in elementary or beyond, so can you tell me what the 'transition' process was like for you moving your children from one school to the other.  I'm not meaning how did your child do with the transition, I 'm wondering about the actual process.  My 3 little kids are moving next fall, and since 2 of them have pretty complex needs the new school has contacted me about beginning discussions, even though actual transition meetings will begin around March after their 3 year testing is done.  I personally want to see the Sped program, meet teachers if possible, etc.  I'm just not sure what to expect, what things I should ask.  It's so different than when my no 10 year old NT child went 6 years ago.  Thanks ladies!

 

Replies

  • mandee1503
    January 5 at 11:17 PM
    I'd take advantage of them being welcoming. Tour the school get to know the staff. Find out about services offered and equipment. Good luck!
  • darbyakeep45
    January 6 at 5:49 AM

    I will be doing the same thing soon:)

  • jjamom
    by jjamom
    January 6 at 6:27 AM
    It was a relatively easy process for us, a few additional meetings, but nothing too intense. In December we (his ECI team) met to discuss testing. The testing was done in January. We had an IEP meeting again in February, I believe, to discuss the results and to start talking about placement. I visited a few schools in Feb/March. We met again in March to do his annual IEP. I believe we decided on placement at this point, but it's a little sketchy now, lol. We still had to go to the school we chose and register him for K in April during open enrollment.
  • Momof4AEMW
    January 6 at 10:27 AM

    So you had different schools to choose from?  I think we are just assigned the one public elementary in our boundary as they feel all their public schools are equipped (not sure I'll feel the same way, but...).  Were you just choosing between different public schools, or did they have other options for you? 

    Quoting jjamom: It was a relatively easy process for us, a few additional meetings, but nothing too intense. In December we (his ECI team) met to discuss testing. The testing was done in January. We had an IEP meeting again in February, I believe, to discuss the results and to start talking about placement. I visited a few schools in Feb/March. We met again in March to do his annual IEP. I believe we decided on placement at this point, but it's a little sketchy now, lol. We still had to go to the school we chose and register him for K in April during open enrollment.

     

  • Gloria1025
    January 6 at 10:28 AM

    Thanks for this post - we are in the middle of the process now so I am interested to see what others have to say.  My son is 4 so we need to decide if we are going to defer for a year and stay with the preschool program or have him start Kindergarten.  We were advised that if we were unsure, it is better to go through the process so the school district is prepared rather than wait - We have until August to decide.

    The school district had a group meeting for all families with children recieving preschool services (which is through the county system in our state) in November.  At that meeting they advised the parents that the process is we needed to sign permission for them to get our childs records from the preschool system.  The school district would review the records and we would have 15 minute individual meetings scheduled with the district psychologist and SLP and a representative from the preschool system sometime before February.  They gave us a form to complete with information about our child which we were to bring to the individual meeting.  Based on the review of records and parent input (the filled out form), they would decide if they needed to do their own evaluations and parents would need to give permission for evaluations or they may have parents sign that they were OK using the preschool evaluations.  If evaluations were needed, they have 60 days from the day permission was given to conduct the evaluations and issue their report. 

    If based on evaluations they deem the child does not qualify for services, parents would get a phone call informing them of that (no meeting) and they cautioned that many children who have gotten preschool services do not qualify for school services (?? - I guess they think the preschools provide miracle cures).  If the child qualifies for services, then an IEP meeting will be held within 30 days of the issuing of the evaluation report. 

    Where we are personnally in this process is we had our individual meeting in December at which point they said they could not make any sense of the information provided by the preschool (not a suprise after what we have been through but that is a whole other story) so we gave permission for full reevaluation by the school district and are in the process of taking our son to various locations for different evaluations and should have a report in early February.  Any questions we asked during our individual meeting was met with "you will need to speak with our supervisor".  I have left several messages for their supervisor as well as the districts head of Sp Ed (a football coach at one of the middle schools) but have not heard back yet.  I am OK waiting until we have the evaluations to speak with them though since we will need that information to have meaningful discussions. 

    I will say that based on interactions so far, the school district has an attitude of we are the professionals and we know best and will tell you what will happen.  They also blatantly said at the group meeting in November that if parents decide to place their child in a charter or private school, then they don't have any obligations to the child. (I don't think that is actually true but I will leave that one to our lawyer if it comes to it).   

    I am trying to keep an open mind and hope that this is a positive experience and they really are basing decisions on what is most appropriate for our son but there have been a lot of "red flags" (like the SLP mentioning after his evaluation where many times she asked us to tell her what our son was saying because she couldn't understand him that she will likely be recommending that he does not need any Speech and Language support......and the PT saying she only needs to determine if he is OK to get up and down the stairs etc. so he doesn't get hurt at school.....sigh...but I will wait for the official report before I get excited) and I anticipate this won't be smooth or easy.  We have also been investigating private school options who unlike the public schools have been more than happy to have us observe the classes and meet the teachers. 

    Good Luck and I would be happy to answer any questions but it seems like the process does vary by school district and individuals involved. 

  • Momof4AEMW
    January 6 at 10:35 AM

    Wow, that sounds like a lot of run around.  I hope it works out for you. 

    Quoting Gloria1025:

    Thanks for this post - we are in the middle of the process now so I am interested to see what others have to say.  My son is 4 so we need to decide if we are going to defer for a year and stay with the preschool program or have him start Kindergarten.  We were advised that if we were unsure, it is better to go through the process so the school district is prepared rather than wait - We have until August to decide.

    The school district had a group meeting for all families with children recieving preschool services (which is through the county system in our state) in November.  At that meeting they advised the parents that the process is we needed to sign permission for them to get our childs records from the preschool system.  The school district would review the records and we would have 15 minute individual meetings scheduled with the district psychologist and SLP and a representative from the preschool system sometime before February.  They gave us a form to complete with information about our child which we were to bring to the individual meeting.  Based on the review of records and parent input (the filled out form), they would decide if they needed to do their own evaluations and parents would need to give permission for evaluations or they may have parents sign that they were OK using the preschool evaluations.  If evaluations were needed, they have 60 days from the day permission was given to conduct the evaluations and issue their report. 

    If based on evaluations they deem the child does not qualify for services, parents would get a phone call informing them of that (no meeting) and they cautioned that many children who have gotten preschool services do not qualify for school services (?? - I guess they think the preschools provide miracle cures).  If the child qualifies for services, then an IEP meeting will be held within 30 days of the issuing of the evaluation report. 

    Where we are personnally in this process is we had our individual meeting in December at which point they said they could not make any sense of the information provided by the preschool (not a suprise after what we have been through but that is a whole other story) so we gave permission for full reevaluation by the school district and are in the process of taking our son to various locations for different evaluations and should have a report in early February.  Any questions we asked during our individual meeting was met with "you will need to speak with our supervisor".  I have left several messages for their supervisor as well as the districts head of Sp Ed (a football coach at one of the middle schools) but have not heard back yet.  I am OK waiting until we have the evaluations to speak with them though since we will need that information to have meaningful discussions. 

    I will say that based on interactions so far, the school district has an attitude of we are the professionals and we know best and will tell you what will happen.  They also blatantly said at the group meeting in November that if parents decide to place their child in a charter or private school, then they don't have any obligations to the child. (I don't think that is actually true but I will leave that one to our lawyer if it comes to it).   

    I am trying to keep an open mind and hope that this is a positive experience and they really are basing decisions on what is most appropriate for our son but there have been a lot of "red flags" (like the SLP mentioning after his evaluation where many times she asked us to tell her what our son was saying because she couldn't understand him that she will likely be recommending that he does not need any Speech and Language support......and the PT saying she only needs to determine if he is OK to get up and down the stairs etc. so he doesn't get hurt at school.....sigh...but I will wait for the official report before I get excited) and I anticipate this won't be smooth or easy.  We have also been investigating private school options who unlike the public schools have been more than happy to have us observe the classes and meet the teachers. 

    Good Luck and I would be happy to answer any questions but it seems like the process does vary by school district and individuals involved. 

     

  • jjamom
    by jjamom
    January 6 at 10:45 AM
    We basically had three choices: keep him at our "home" school with pull-out services and an aide, special center, or a MINC site.

    Our home school is where he did preschool and our other two children attended. Having enough experience with that school, I knew they were ill-equipped to meet his needs.

    The special centers are Preschool to 21 and really focused more on students with severe needs. That wasn't the right environment for him either, although for some (my friends daughter for example) it is a wonderful option.

    The third was a MINC site, which is a typical elementary school that has a MINC (multiple intensive needs center) program. His school has two MINC classes (primary K-2) and Internediate 3-5). The kids in the MINC program spend part of their day with the general education class and part with the MINC class. I observed two of these sites. The one we were supposed to be zoned for, based on his "home" school was over 9 miles away, the other 1.8 miles -- I could walk there if I had to). So, I fought to get him there since they were both supposed to be the same program, but not only was it closer to our home, I knew it was a better school overall. I had to agree to transport him myself, which I didn't mind. He has absolutely flourished in this program!

    Quoting Gloria1025: Thanks for this post - we are in the middle of the process now so I am interested to see what others have to say.  My son is 4 so we need to decide if we are going to defer for a year and stay with the preschool program or have him start Kindergarten.  We were advised that if we were unsure, it is better to go through the process so the school district is prepared rather than wait - We have until August to decide.
    The school district had a group meeting for all families with children recieving preschool services (which is through the county system in our state) in November.  At that meeting they advised the parents that the process is we needed to sign permission for them to get our childs records from the preschool system.  The school district would review the records and we would have 15 minute individual meetings scheduled with the district psychologist and SLP and a representative from the preschool system sometime before February.  They gave us a form to complete with information about our child which we were to bring to the individual meeting.  Based on the review of records and parent input (the filled out form), they would decide if they needed to do their own evaluations and parents would need to give permission for evaluations or they may have parents sign that they were OK using the preschool evaluations.  If evaluations were needed, they have 60 days from the day permission was given to conduct the evaluations and issue their report. 
    If based on evaluations they deem the child does not qualify for services, parents would get a phone call informing them of that (no meeting) and they cautioned that many children who have gotten preschool services do not qualify for school services (?? - I guess they think the preschools provide miracle cures).  If the child qualifies for services, then an IEP meeting will be held within 30 days of the issuing of the evaluation report. 
    Where we are personnally in this process is we had our individual meeting in December at which point they said they could not make any sense of the information provided by the preschool (not a suprise after what we have been through but that is a whole other story) so we gave permission for full reevaluation by the school district and are in the process of taking our son to various locations for different evaluations and should have a report in early February.  Any questions we asked during our individual meeting was met with "you will need to speak with our supervisor".  I have left several messages for their supervisor as well as the districts head of Sp Ed (a football coach at one of the middle schools) but have not heard back yet.  I am OK waiting until we have the evaluations to speak with them though since we will need that information to have meaningful discussions. 
    I will say that based on interactions so far, the school district has an attitude of we are the professionals and we know best and will tell you what will happen.  They also blatantly said at the group meeting in November that if parents decide to place their child in a charter or private school, then they don't have any obligations to the child. (I don't think that is actually true but I will leave that one to our lawyer if it comes to it).   
    I am trying to keep an open mind and hope that this is a positive experience and they really are basing decisions on what is most appropriate for our son but there have been a lot of "red flags" (like the SLP mentioning after his evaluation where many times she asked us to tell her what our son was saying because she couldn't understand him that she will likely be recommending that he does not need any Speech and Language support......and the PT saying she only needs to determine if he is OK to get up and down the stairs etc. so he doesn't get hurt at school.....sigh...but I will wait for the official report before I get excited) and I anticipate this won't be smooth or easy.  We have also been investigating private school options who unlike the public schools have been more than happy to have us observe the classes and meet the teachers. 
    Good Luck and I would be happy to answer any questions but it seems like the process does vary by school district and individuals involved. 
  • Momof4AEMW
    January 6 at 10:53 AM

    I had to laugh that you're zoned for the school 9 miles away and not the one like 2 miles.  Schools are so weird!

    We have the first 2 types of schools you are talking about, not the 3rd.  And I don't feel I want any of my kids in our 100% disability school as I want to correct peer modeling as well for them to have those correct social, language, and behavioral examples.  So that leaves the publis school for us, and I think then it is based on what one you live within boundary of.  Luckily for us it is like the best one in town!

    Quoting jjamom: We basically had three choices: keep him at our "home" school with pull-out services and an aide, special center, or a MINC site.

    Our home school is where he did preschool and our other two children attended. Having enough experience with that school, I knew they were ill-equipped to meet his needs.

    The special centers are Preschool to 21 and really focused more on students with severe needs. That wasn't the right environment for him either, although for some (my friends daughter for example) it is a so detail option.

    The third was a MINC site, which is a typical elementary school that has a MINC (multiple intensive needs center) program. His school has two MINC classes (primary K-2) and Internediate 3-5). The kids in the MINC program spend part of their day with the general education class and part with the MINC class. I observed two of these sites. The one we were supposed to be zoned for, based on his "home" school was over 9 miles away, the other 1.8 miles -- I could walk there if I had to). So, I fought to get him there since they were both supposed to be the same program, but not only was it closer to our home, I knew it was a better school overall. I had to agree to transport him myself, which I didn't mind. He has absolutely flourished in this program!

    Quoting Gloria1025:

    Thanks for this post - we are in the middle of the process now so I am interested to see what others have to say.  My son is 4 so we need to decide if we are going to defer for a year and stay with the preschool program or have him start Kindergarten.  We were advised that if we were unsure, it is better to go through the process so the school district is prepared rather than wait - We have until August to decide.


    The school district had a group meeting for all families with children recieving preschool services (which is through the county system in our state) in November.  At that meeting they advised the parents that the process is we needed to sign permission for them to get our childs records from the preschool system.  The school district would review the records and we would have 15 minute individual meetings scheduled with the district psychologist and SLP and a representative from the preschool system sometime before February.  They gave us a form to complete with information about our child which we were to bring to the individual meeting.  Based on the review of records and parent input (the filled out form), they would decide if they needed to do their own evaluations and parents would need to give permission for evaluations or they may have parents sign that they were OK using the preschool evaluations.  If evaluations were needed, they have 60 days from the day permission was given to conduct the evaluations and issue their report. 


    If based on evaluations they deem the child does not qualify for services, parents would get a phone call informing them of that (no meeting) and they cautioned that many children who have gotten preschool services do not qualify for school services (?? - I guess they think the preschools provide miracle cures).  If the child qualifies for services, then an IEP meeting will be held within 30 days of the issuing of the evaluation report. 


    Where we are personnally in this process is we had our individual meeting in December at which point they said they could not make any sense of the information provided by the preschool (not a suprise after what we have been through but that is a whole other story) so we gave permission for full reevaluation by the school district and are in the process of taking our son to various locations for different evaluations and should have a report in early February.  Any questions we asked during our individual meeting was met with "you will need to speak with our supervisor".  I have left several messages for their supervisor as well as the districts head of Sp Ed (a football coach at one of the middle schools) but have not heard back yet.  I am OK waiting until we have the evaluations to speak with them though since we will need that information to have meaningful discussions. 


    I will say that based on interactions so far, the school district has an attitude of we are the professionals and we know best and will tell you what will happen.  They also blatantly said at the group meeting in November that if parents decide to place their child in a charter or private school, then they don't have any obligations to the child. (I don't think that is actually true but I will leave that one to our lawyer if it comes to it).   


    I am trying to keep an open mind and hope that this is a positive experience and they really are basing decisions on what is most appropriate for our son but there have been a lot of "red flags" (like the SLP mentioning after his evaluation where many times she asked us to tell her what our son was saying because she couldn't understand him that she will likely be recommending that he does not need any Speech and Language support......and the PT saying she only needs to determine if he is OK to get up and down the stairs etc. so he doesn't get hurt at school.....sigh...but I will wait for the official report before I get excited) and I anticipate this won't be smooth or easy.  We have also been investigating private school options who unlike the public schools have been more than happy to have us observe the classes and meet the teachers. 


    Good Luck and I would be happy to answer any questions but it seems like the process does vary by school district and individuals involved. 

     

  • jjamom
    by jjamom
    January 6 at 10:53 AM
    We basically had three choices: keep him at our "home" school with pull-out services and an aide, special center, or a MINC site.

    Our home school is where he did preschool and our other two children attended. Having enough experience with that school, I knew they were ill-equipped to meet his needs.

    The special centers are Preschool to 21 and really focused more on students with severe needs. That wasn't the right environment for him either, although for some (my friends daughter for example) it is a wonderful option.

    The third was a MINC site, which is a typical elementary school that has a MINC (multiple intensive needs center) program. His school has two MINC classes (primary K-2) and Internediate 3-5). The kids in the MINC program spend part of their day with the general education class and part with the MINC class. I observed two of these sites. The one we were supposed to be zoned for, based on his "home" school was over 9 miles away, the other 1.8 miles -- I could walk there if I had to). So, I fought to get him there since they were both supposed to be the same program, but not only was it closer to our home, I knew it was a better school overall. I had to agree to transport him myself, which I didn't mind. He has absolutely flourished in this program!

    Quoting Momof4AEMW:

    So you had different schools to choose from?  I think we are just assigned the one public elementary in our boundary as they feel all their public schools are equipped (not sure I'll feel the same way, but...).  Were you just choosing between different public schools, or did they have other options for you? 


    Quoting jjamom: It was a relatively easy process for us, a few additional meetings, but nothing too intense. In December we (his ECI team) met to discuss testing. The testing was done in January. We had an IEP meeting again in February, I believe, to discuss the results and to start talking about placement. I visited a few schools in Feb/March. We met again in March to do his annual IEP. I believe we decided on placement at this point, but it's a little sketchy now, lol. We still had to go to the school we chose and register him for K in April during open enrollment.

     

  • jjamom
    by jjamom
    January 6 at 11:01 AM
    I love having the third option because it is like having the best of both worlds. Of course it is not without it's flaws, but really has been wonderful for us/for Alex.

    I agree, if I had had to choose between the first 2 options, I would have chosen full inclusion. That actually would have been my first choice if I had had more faith in the school. It was a good school for my other kids, and good for Alex for ECI, but I knew they did a poor job with the inclusion piece for a few kids my other kids had in their classes throughout elem school. I really think in an environment where everyone is dedicated to making it a successful experience that inclusion is best. I really wish I had had more faith in our "home" school. I just didnt want to allow Alex to be their guinea pig! Good luck with it all!

    Quoting Momof4AEMW:

    I had to laugh that you're zoned for the school 9 miles away and not the one like 2 miles.  Schools are so weird!


    We have the first 2 types of schools you are talking about, not the 3rd.  And I don't feel I want any of my kids in our 100% disability school as I want to correct peer modeling as well for them to have those correct social, language, and behavioral examples.  So that leaves the publis school for us, and I think then it is based on what one you live within boundary of.  Luckily for us it is like the best one in town!


    Quoting jjamom: We basically had three choices: keep him at our "home" school with pull-out services and an aide, special center, or a MINC site.

    Our home school is where he did preschool and our other two children attended. Having enough experience with that school, I knew they were ill-equipped to meet his needs.

    The special centers are Preschool to 21 and really focused more on students with severe needs. That wasn't the right environment for him either, although for some (my friends daughter for example) it is a so detail option.

    The third was a MINC site, which is a typical elementary school that has a MINC (multiple intensive needs center) program. His school has two MINC classes (primary K-2) and Internediate 3-5). The kids in the MINC program spend part of their day with the general education class and part with the MINC class. I observed two of these sites. The one we were supposed to be zoned for, based on his "home" school was over 9 miles away, the other 1.8 miles -- I could walk there if I had to). So, I fought to get him there since they were both supposed to be the same program, but not only was it closer to our home, I knew it was a better school overall. I had to agree to transport him myself, which I didn't mind. He has absolutely flourished in this program!


    Quoting Gloria1025:

    Thanks for this post - we are in the middle of the process now so I am interested to see what others have to say.  My son is 4 so we need to decide if we are going to defer for a year and stay with the preschool program or have him start Kindergarten.  We were advised that if we were unsure, it is better to go through the process so the school district is prepared rather than wait - We have until August to decide.



    The school district had a group meeting for all families with children recieving preschool services (which is through the county system in our state) in November.  At that meeting they advised the parents that the process is we needed to sign permission for them to get our childs records from the preschool system.  The school district would review the records and we would have 15 minute individual meetings scheduled with the district psychologist and SLP and a representative from the preschool system sometime before February.  They gave us a form to complete with information about our child which we were to bring to the individual meeting.  Based on the review of records and parent input (the filled out form), they would decide if they needed to do their own evaluations and parents would need to give permission for evaluations or they may have parents sign that they were OK using the preschool evaluations.  If evaluations were needed, they have 60 days from the day permission was given to conduct the evaluations and issue their report. 



    If based on evaluations they deem the child does not qualify for services, parents would get a phone call informing them of that (no meeting) and they cautioned that many children who have gotten preschool services do not qualify for school services (?? - I guess they think the preschools provide miracle cures).  If the child qualifies for services, then an IEP meeting will be held within 30 days of the issuing of the evaluation report. 



    Where we are personnally in this process is we had our individual meeting in December at which point they said they could not make any sense of the information provided by the preschool (not a suprise after what we have been through but that is a whole other story) so we gave permission for full reevaluation by the school district and are in the process of taking our son to various locations for different evaluations and should have a report in early February.  Any questions we asked during our individual meeting was met with "you will need to speak with our supervisor".  I have left several messages for their supervisor as well as the districts head of Sp Ed (a football coach at one of the middle schools) but have not heard back yet.  I am OK waiting until we have the evaluations to speak with them though since we will need that information to have meaningful discussions. 



    I will say that based on interactions so far, the school district has an attitude of we are the professionals and we know best and will tell you what will happen.  They also blatantly said at the group meeting in November that if parents decide to place their child in a charter or private school, then they don't have any obligations to the child. (I don't think that is actually true but I will leave that one to our lawyer if it comes to it).   



    I am trying to keep an open mind and hope that this is a positive experience and they really are basing decisions on what is most appropriate for our son but there have been a lot of "red flags" (like the SLP mentioning after his evaluation where many times she asked us to tell her what our son was saying because she couldn't understand him that she will likely be recommending that he does not need any Speech and Language support......and the PT saying she only needs to determine if he is OK to get up and down the stairs etc. so he doesn't get hurt at school.....sigh...but I will wait for the official report before I get excited) and I anticipate this won't be smooth or easy.  We have also been investigating private school options who unlike the public schools have been more than happy to have us observe the classes and meet the teachers. 



    Good Luck and I would be happy to answer any questions but it seems like the process does vary by school district and individuals involved. 


     

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