special schools

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ready2run, May 29, 2011.

  1. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    what do you think? my difficult child is not doing well in traditional school. he is only in SK so he starts grade one next year but in the last two years he has only just started to grasp how to write his name and count. he does not sit in class and won't participate in classroom activities other than to disrupt them. basically, even with an ea and an iep he is not really advancing and i don't think he'll be able to handle the next grades because of not being willing/able to sit in the class environment other than for fun things. i am thinking of putting him into a Special Education school. the school takes kids anywhere from adhd to severly disabled children. they sort them pretty much by needs and they each work at their pace. there is one adult for every three children in the classroom and on top of that the school has therapists available pretty much everyday, they have sensory rooms and specialized programs for each child with things like play therapy and they have all kinds of different sensory tools i can not afford. i think this school is a great idea and may be the answer to alot of our problems where difficult child tends to become very violent and his current teacher/ea have stated that they are afraid of him and afraid for the safety of himself and his classmates. i have yet to visit this school but have heard mixed reviews. i know places like this have been shut down left right and center with society pushing to mainstream kids no matter what proclaiming it to be a good thing. i have spoken to only 2 people who have their kids there and they both think it's a great school. they also take precautions with things like transportation. every adult in the school takes the bus and is on the bus when they start picking up the kids. this is good as difficult child has a hard time with the bus as well.
    i am just looking for opinions. is any one other than me all for having 'special' schools? not to segregate the children but to give them extras the normal schools don't have readily available. does anyone have their kid in one of these schools?
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Have you had a chance to look at the school and talk to the staff? My son goes to an alternative school in our district and it's been great for him! He is there only in the afternoon and attends his regular school in the mornings. I teach and I am all for inclusion of Special Education children in the regular classroom, however, some times some students need a different environment to best meet their needs.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    From what you say, it sounds as if putting your son in the special school where he will get tailor-made help is the best thing to do for his future well-being and educational success.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    in all things difficult child, follow your gut. Go and visit the school both scheduled and unscheduled. Make sure you have plenty of time to go and sit in on several classrooms you think your son might benefit from. Go into the cafeteria at lunch time and see how many adults are around when the kids are having this unstructured time. Find out how they handle behavioral infractions and emotional meltdowns.

    Investigate how they compare with state academic standards.

    No place is perfect, but it might be a better fit than a traditional school. Keep you mind and your options open.

    Good luck.

  5. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Hi Ready,
    This is such a difficult situation. Yes there has been a big push to keep kids mainstreamed-in fact I was the Special Education. consultant for the first school to go full inclusion in our state. I had come from teaching a self-contained classroom of children with behavioral and learning disabilities at a "cluster" school (which means there is a school within a school-several spec. ed. classrooms"). My concern was that they had no positive role models-"weird bouncing off weird". Also that they were so segregated and made to feel weird.

    However-after over 10 years trying to get worn out regular education teachers to support kids with more severe needs (imagine 30 kids plus 3 or 4 with real issues), working hours and hours myself, begging the district for resources and support, I thought mainstreaming was worse for kids with more severe disabilities. I had to get out of special education because i could not do the job and feel efficacious-I couldn't tell parents the truth about resources etc. I am now at a district sponcered charter school and because of our science focus, we attract many children on the spectrum as well as ADHD kids. I now use my skills in a regular classroom. Because we ar small and the kids are older (6-12th grade) I have some success.

    You must visit the school and choose what your" mama-gut" says will be the best for your child. A good start in a special education setting may be the ticket. You will not be stuck there should you feel it is time for the mainstream. I would also wonder what was out there for middle school and high school-if there isn't a special setting I would be wondering how he will be transitioned. I would want to know how they deal with social skills training. What training they have in this. Only a few programs and methods really have a good track record. I would want to know pupil to teacher ratio-if it is too high, no setting will do what it needs to do. Teachers cannot function well when they are octupuses the whole day(common issue in the U.S). After the last years experience, you may need a place for you both where there is understanding and he can get specific help. I wish you luck and peace in your decision. Hugs!