Might be removed from preschool program - and, need advice for next year please.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pattyb, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. pattyb

    pattyb New Member

    Hi all. You can see my first post here: http://www.conductdisorders.com/com...-hand-posturing-rigid-finger-positions.46455/

    DS's main struggles are behavioral right now. He is 4 years old and in part time preschool. He's had a variety of 'phases' since about 18 months mostly including intense meltdowns, some obsessive behaviors, and the main phase right now is defiance and aggression, impulsive aggression, refusal to participate in things, etc. We work with a psychologist and a behavioral therapist. He actually does really well with the rewards / token system the therapist set up. He is a little behind academically and socially, he has some sensory issues, and we're on a wait list right now for Occupational Therapist (OT). He was diagnosed with mood disorder a while back. Autism has been ruled out by several specialists but he does still seem to show some autistic 'features' as people have called it.

    Anyway the issue is at school, he's at a private preschool (which is in a public school outside our district) where he was at the year before. But his behaviors have been much more intense recently with hitting/biting/kicking and he is on the verge of being removed from the program. The behavior therapist has been there to show them how to implement the behavior plan but unless she is there every day, they aren't able to handle the behaviors. We can't really afford to hire her or someone to be there each day. We had tried the public school preschool option here at the beginning of this year hoping he'd get services, but he didn't, and the program was unacceptable which is why we went back to this current school where they offer a wonderful program. We could go back to the public school here now because the behaviors are worse and they would see the need for services (and I would insist on it) but at this point I am not willing to put him through another change. If he gets removed from the current school, we will plan to wait until the fall and do as much as we can at home until then. The special education preschool program is self-contained and many have said this would not be a good fit for him.

    So here's my main question. He's a young 4 in this 4-year-old preschool. He could go to kindergarten next year but I think everyone who has worked with him would agree he is not ready and would benefit from the extra year. He also already puts a lot of pressure on himself as is obsessive about doing things just right (and with all the other kids writing letters and their names, etc., and him hardly able to draw any letters at all, it is a real struggle for him and I imagine that would be even harder in kindergarten). But, we have to move a year from this summer, so we could enroll him in the new school district in kindergarten the following year too, and then he'd have two years of kindergarten. I have talked to both districts and that would be allowed. The reasons I think it might be a good idea are that the school he could go to in the public school district is a great school, and my understanding is Special Education services are more streamlined in the K-12 grades. There is also no public preschool option for a 'young 5' in the district anyway - so not sure what choice we'd have in the district for him to get services/support in the classroom otherwise. I've also heard that for kids with special needs, it can help to have two years in kindy because they can try to master some of the academic skills and be able to focus on the social skills the next year (something like that??). But again, my main concerns with it are the pressure (emotional/academic/social/etc.) on him and the fact that it's full-day only and we probably wouldn't choose that if we chose a preschool program (probably 3 to 5 half-days).

    I hope this all makes sense - thanks so much for any info or advice!! :)
  2. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    In a way, your son reminds me of V. I actually just pulled mine out of preschool because it was simply not working for him. They did not understand his needs, and unlike yours, V will withdraw and go into his own bubble. He was not learning anything and it created A LOT of stress on him (and me as a consequence).
    I don't regret it at all, although it's only been 2 weeks so still early. Will he learn better at home? I don't know yet. But he is so happy and relaxed. His issues are still there, but at least we enjoy each others company.
    I completely understand your struggle in planning for Kindergarten. The million options and scenarios...
    I am currently fighting to het V services, and if you feel your son cannot/will not function without extra help: you need to fight as well.
    Make a file with all of the past evaluation trough private doctors, his past and current diagnosis, obtain letters from professionals working with him. Build your case and learn about IEP and service criteria in your state (states go by federal guidelines but have their own wording. make sure you understand what it means in your son's case). And do a formal school evaluation request if you have not done it yet. That is: certified return receipt letter to the Special Education department.
    It is hard to know if it would be better to wait an extra year or do 2 years of K or homeschool him for now... We just don't have a crystal ball to know what is will work or not. And sometimes, it also is hard to know when to say "ok, that's not working, let's change direction". Only you can make that call. It also depends on your family life and structure: do you work full time? Do you stay home? Do you have a husband or SO or other family members to help you? Is there other siblings? etc.
  3. Confused

    Confused Guest

    I agree with ktllc, keep all records from everywhere. Keep searching for services. I am not familiar with your situation, just know you have my support.