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Thread: Developmental Dyspraxia and SPD - WWYD re schooling?

  1. #1

    Default Developmental Dyspraxia and SPD - WWYD re schooling?

    So today my DS1 had a full evaluation and finally received the diagnosis of developmental dyspraxia and sensory integration disorder. We always knew he was different so we are not surprised at all. The diagnosis really fits his symptoms and behavior. His kindergarden evaluation (by different group) came that he is not ready for kinder emotionally, behaviorally and academically (again, this is not a surprise for us). We were told by several people (the evaluator today, the preschool teacher, the person who did the kinder eval) that he will not do well in public kinder - the classes are 30-32 students on one teacher. The diagnosis indicates learning disability so he needs more attention and directions. So which route will you take if you were in my shoes and why.

    1. Go to public school first - have an IEP and see how much they can accommodate him.
    2. Send him to private developmental kindergarden to help his academics and once he is ready for 1st grade decide what to do next.
    3. Start homeschooling part time (send him to private Christian school 2 a week and teach him 3 days at home)
    4. Homeschool full time
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  2. #2

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    Personally, I would do option #2. Then after a year, depending on where he is at, you can continue in private school, put him into public K, or put him into public 1st grade. It buys you time and gives him the support he needs. Would be curious what Gwenn says about this too!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tapir View Post
    Personally, I would do option #2. Then after a year, depending on where he is at, you can continue in private school, put him into public K, or put him into public 1st grade. It buys you time and gives him the support he needs. Would be curious what Gwenn says about this too!
    Thank you!!! Actually, that's the option we are leaning toward but I am really anxious to see what others think. It helps me tremendously see pros and cons to each decision and make up mind. I called 2 private schools already for tours.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

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    I vote for #2.

    It must be difficult but it's great you have a diagnosis and can help him instead of throwing him into a classroom and having him be "that kid" who can't handle it.

    Wow 32 kids/class!? I thought ours was bad with 20.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

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    We were leaning towards #1 with my girls for kindergarten, but right before school started for Keira I realized I didn't want to have to "police" the IEP and be sure the school was following it nor did I want to spend the whole year hoping we made the right choice and that she was in the right place. We didn't really have an option like your #2, but I did the next best thing which was to find a very small charter school with a 5:1 student ration at the kindergarten level which would still service her IEP. I am so glad that I did. Both girls were definitely ready for 1st grade academically, socially, emotionally, etc. Which really was a miracle considering what they were going into kindergarten like.

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  6. #6

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    I would go for #2 as well. As matter of a fact that is kind of what we are doing. We don't have any diagnosis or anything, but Paige is definitely different as well, I think she probably has some kind or sensory or sensitivity type issue but who knows. Anyway her teacher told us in the parent teacher conference that while she is a super smart little girl she does not think she is not ready emotionally or behaviorally for a public school kindergarten (not surprised). Anyway I think private school is a great option, he'll get the attention he needs while learning to work in a group setting. Then in a year you can re-evaluate.
    Last edited by Ashleen; 02-01-2013 at 05:57 PM.



  7. #7

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    Thanks all.

    Yes, our beautiful state allows up to 32 (I think) children in a classroom even in kinder. I spoke with the principal of our elementary school and she confirmed. I am also dreading how to police the IEP and I wish we had good charter schools in our district but nada. The neighboring district has 2 nice ones but one is too far the other one is lottery and out of district students get close to zero chance.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tapir View Post
    Personally, I would do option #2. Then after a year, depending on where he is at, you can continue in private school, put him into public K, or put him into public 1st grade. It buys you time and gives him the support he needs. Would be curious what Gwenn says about this too!
    ITA. Glad to hear you've got a diagnosis and can begin to move forward. I would see what kind of progress he makes and reevaluate for first grade. I would worry he won't get what he needs at public school. And that you might be stretched a little thin if you homeschooled. Best of luck, Tanya! I am sure you will make the best decision for him..

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    I would probably do option 2 as well, even though I am very in favor of home schooling. I'd be concerned that I would not be able to meet all the needs that he would have and that he might give me a harder time than he would someone else.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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    On paper I am leaning toward option #2 but honestly, I would want to know the teacher and the program, the structure of the program, and how they handled services before I really got behind it. It does sound like the best option all things being equal.

    Will he have access to services such as speech and whatever else he needs there? Will services be integrated into the classroom setting? Pull out? Frequency of services? I would look CLOSELY at how that is handled. I may be biased but I feel our public school system handles support services better than anyone else around us, public, private, or charter, with certain notable exceptions. But that certainly isn't always the case and I agree that 32 kids is ridiculous and overwhelming.

    So, a qualified vote for #2 over here from me.

    I tend not to be a fan of the private school option for kiddos like your son, reason being that private schools won't provide special ed services and you'd end up taking him to the public school anyway. Typically private school teachers have less experience with and understanding of special education needs and strategies, less willing to cooperate (they can always ask kids to leave if they don't feel they are a good fit - a good private school usually has a wait list), and then time is taken out of school to travel to the public school for services. So for that reason alone I don't like option #3.

    I have known several families in my city who have tried charter schools for their kids specifically because they had special ed needs, then ended up coming back to the public school system because they found we were more experienced and more able to accomodate the children than anything they found in a charter school. Charters vary a lot, though, and I know members on here have had great success with charters and special ed.

    Really, and this is something I feel strongly about - a good teacher is a good teacher, and a bad teacher is a bad teacher. It doesn't matter what their philosophy is, or whether they are public or private - what matters is whether they know how to teach. And you will find a range of teaching ability anywhere you go. My friend here in town sends her girls to a fancy private school and even there she had a bad teacher for one of her daughters one year. The teacher is gone now, but she still taught that full year before the school managed to get rid of her.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tapir View Post
    Personally, I would do option #2. Then after a year, depending on where he is at, you can continue in private school, put him into public K, or put him into public 1st grade. It buys you time and gives him the support he needs. Would be curious what Gwenn says about this too!
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  12. #12

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    Nearly all of my children have special needs in one way or another. My oldest is gifted so school hasn't been too much to deal with for her, and my 2nd is an average student, but all the others have had special needs. I have 5 who have had to have extensive speech therapy, 2 with sensory disorders related to Aspergers, and one with a non-specific processing disorder. They've all been diagnosed with apraxia. Tea received speech and OT starting at age 2 but we saw absolutely no progress at all for the year and a half she did it. Then in preschool she started the state funded speech therapy through the school system. Preschool was rough but I chose a smaller preK program with a higher teacher to student ratio. She still struggled immensely with sensory related issues. Still made no progress in speech. Then in kindergarten she suddenly started making fast progress in speech and progressed in other areas. Now she is in 6th grade and has been out of speech since 3rd grade and in the gifted program since 5th. I didn't start speech with Moira and Kyan until kindergarten. Moira went to a private preK and they didn't have the same resources as the public system and Kyan didn't go to preK at all. Moira did better but she still has an IEP regarding keeping her focused and organized. Kyan is in 3rd grade this year and since 1st grade has been in an inclusion classroom. This means he is in a classroom with peers but they have 2 teachers and he has special allowances for his learning disorder. He also goes to special services for his reading/writing since that's the area he struggles in and he also has speech 3 times a week. Kindergarten was really hard because it was a transition and we were working through everything with evaluations and IEPs and we started seeing progress in 1st. By 2nd with his IEP in place he was making strides. The twins both have speech delays, but Aslan has Aspergers and has developmental delays as well and sensory issues and problems with fine motor skills. We started the process in PreK and they both went into an inclusion classroom for Kindergarten so they have a higher teacher to student ratio and all the teachers they have are trained in special education so they can address their special needs. The school is fantastic with accommodations. The red tape and process is horrible, and I suggest you start it sooner rather than later. The evaluations and services can be started before enrolling in school I believe. I guess it differs in different states. Ambria doesn't necessarily qualify for inclusion. During evaluation she only tested as having a speech delay and no developmental delay. Aslan tested as having severe developmental delay, but he is more social with her around so we kept them in the same class. The teachers have said that was the right decision. That they don't depend on each other for everything and she doesn't mother him, but she is a calming influence for him. He has only had 3 meltdowns this year which is pretty good considering and they've always managed to handle it really well.

    Edited to add, I guess my vote is for option 2 but to start the IEP process as soon as possible. I was able to get Aslan and Ambria's IEPs in place before they started school which was a huge advantage over what Moira and Kyan had to go through. They didn't have IEPs when Tea started school.
    Last edited by MaryJane; 02-01-2013 at 07:55 PM.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  13. #13

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    I don't know about your specific diagnosis. I have a sil who has used a combination of public schools plus therapy at home (in their case aba therapy). If you think you son's diagnosis can be overcome in a year, then I would go with a short term approach, like a private school for a year. If this is likely a longer term scenario, then insurance paid therapy plus public schools can maximize benefit with limited cost. She also has a lot of say over which therapist nephew uses which helps. I'm certain that you will figure out a really smart approach!
    My 3 yo cuties!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryJane View Post
    They didn't have IEPs when Tea started school.
    I am very confused by this. IEPs have been part of federal law since 1975.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  15. #15

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    What do you mean by developmental kindergarten? Hos is that different than traditional kinder?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    On paper I am leaning toward option #2 but honestly, I would want to know the teacher and the program, the structure of the program, and how they handled services before I really got behind it. It does sound like the best option all things being equal.

    Will he have access to services such as speech and whatever else he needs there? Will services be integrated into the classroom setting? Pull out? Frequency of services? I would look CLOSELY at how that is handled. I may be biased but I feel our public school system handles support services better than anyone else around us, public, private, or charter, with certain notable exceptions. But that certainly isn't always the case and I agree that 32 kids is ridiculous and overwhelming.

    So, a qualified vote for #2 over here from me.

    I tend not to be a fan of the private school option for kiddos like your son, reason being that private schools won't provide special ed services and you'd end up taking him to the public school anyway. Typically private school teachers have less experience with and understanding of special education needs and strategies, less willing to cooperate (they can always ask kids to leave if they don't feel they are a good fit - a good private school usually has a wait list), and then time is taken out of school to travel to the public school for services. So for that reason alone I don't like option #3.

    I have known several families in my city who have tried charter schools for their kids specifically because they had special ed needs, then ended up coming back to the public school system because they found we were more experienced and more able to accomodate the children than anything they found in a charter school. Charters vary a lot, though, and I know members on here have had great success with charters and special ed.

    Really, and this is something I feel strongly about - a good teacher is a good teacher, and a bad teacher is a bad teacher. It doesn't matter what their philosophy is, or whether they are public or private - what matters is whether they know how to teach. And you will find a range of teaching ability anywhere you go. My friend here in town sends her girls to a fancy private school and even there she had a bad teacher for one of her daughters one year. The teacher is gone now, but she still taught that full year before the school managed to get rid of her.
    Great points. I agree that public schools have much better resources and we are going to eventually end in the public school system. However, I am seriously concerned with him being in such a large class for kinder, even if he gets speech and OT. His dyspraxia is not severe, not even moderate. His development is close to children who are 7-9 months younger than him so if we keep him for a year to work on different things, he has a better shot at managing the big classroom. He is not going to get services at the private kinder if we go with that option. We will take him to school for services or we will hire privately for a year. At this point, public school is offering us speech 2 x week and OT once a week. We can afford 1 w speech and 1 w OT if that fits the schedule better. But I know him and I agree with all the "experts" that he will get crushed in a regular classroom even if he has special services provided to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flynn08 View Post
    I don't know about your specific diagnosis. I have a sil who has used a combination of public schools plus therapy at home (in their case aba therapy). If you think you son's diagnosis can be overcome in a year, then I would go with a short term approach, like a private school for a year. If this is likely a longer term scenario, then insurance paid therapy plus public schools can maximize benefit with limited cost. She also has a lot of say over which therapist nephew uses which helps. I'm certain that you will figure out a really smart approach!
    The diagnosis is life long. It is a neurological condition but they learn how to manage it. I am afraid of him getting burned the first couple of years in public school when he is behind his peers in a large classroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    What do you mean by developmental kindergarten? Hos is that different than traditional kinder?
    Developmental kinders are those that are tailored to deal with all kinds of children and work on very many developmental tasks not just push academics. I am sure you pay accordingly. We are sending him to a developmental preschool and it costs a lot
    Last edited by tanyachap; 02-02-2013 at 12:40 AM.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I am very confused by this. IEPs have been part of federal law since 1975.
    I guess it would be more accurate to say that they weren't required for all services. She didn't have to go through this long massive evaluation process and then various tiers of intervention. She was evaluated by a therapist, obviously needed therapy and services were started immediately. With my others they had their evaluations then they had to have various levels of intervention for a set period of time before they would move on to a more advanced intervention. It took an entire year after they were evaluated as having a speech problem before they got to the tier of independent speech therapy. It is a nightmare every time.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  18. #18

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    I'm not sure, mama! But wanted to offer support! I'm glad you have an official diagnosis to work with. I think #3 sounds good. Is it a Christian school that you already have networks with through church? That may be a great source of support, and then like you said, spend half the week homeschooling him. #2 does sound great too.
    Good luck with whatever route you choose!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryJane View Post
    I guess it would be more accurate to say that they weren't required for all services. She didn't have to go through this long massive evaluation process and then various tiers of intervention. She was evaluated by a therapist, obviously needed therapy and services were started immediately. With my others they had their evaluations then they had to have various levels of intervention for a set period of time before they would move on to a more advanced intervention. It took an entire year after they were evaluated as having a speech problem before they got to the tier of independent speech therapy. It is a nightmare every time.
    Ah - Response to Intervention. That's the newer model and the idea is not to put kids on an IEP right away but to see what they can do first before providing an IEP. Without RTI the process is much faster, but RTI often leads to fixing milder problems before an IEP is even needed. Win some, you lose some! But I agree it drags things out, and it's especially frustrating in the more intense cases.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 02-02-2013 at 01:08 AM.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    I personally would investigate both school if you haven't already. If you can afford private school and they have accommodations for him I'd do it.



  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    Ah - Response to Intervention. That's the newer model and the idea is not to put kids on an IEP right away but to see what they can do first before providing an IEP. Without RTI the process is much faster, but RTI often leads to fixing milder problems before an IEP is even needed. Win some, you lose some! But I agree it drags things out, and it's especially frustrating in the more intense cases.
    If you refer him to the public school now as a preschooler, he won't have to go through the RTI process. In addition, the process of determining eligibility for special education and the development of the IEP should be faster and go smoother since he has already been evaluated.

    Since you already know how much services he would receive from the public school, have you already talked to the school district? Did they do they evaluation? If he went to the public school, wouldn't he be in an inclusion class where there would be at least 2 adults (teacher plus assistant or 2 teachers) in the class?

  22. #22

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    Hmm. It would def depend on the program, teachers etc. Public is usually more supportive of special needs.



  23. #23

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    We would have IEP meeting in April and kinder transition meeting in May. I will consider what the public school has to offer and I would go with that if they send him to transitional kinder. I don't want him in a large class even if there is an aide and he gets some services. The more I think the more inclined I am for him to skip a year so that he has an extra year to mature and master skills that are necessary. We have been reading up on his diagnosis a lot and it seems that so far whatever I did for him at home and the therapy I fought teeth and nail for him to get was right on. I am thinking if I feel he should skip a year, then I must go with my gut since it has been right all along. I can't quite explain why but I feel even if public school provides services, he would be better off having an extra year. It might change, of course.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  24. #24
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    I think waiting an extra year would be vote. For every reason you just stated. With Violet being born seven days after the cut off, I have had a lot of recent conversations about when to send the kids off to K. I keep hearing story after story about moms waiting to send their kids even if them are eligible. And in your case I think it sounds like the best option. It will give him one more year to "catch up" and feel his groove so come time the following year, you might be in a completely different boat and your options might be vastly different.

    Jeanne, mom to Dev0n (6) Isabe11e (5) and C0rbin (3.5) Vio1et (almost 2)


  25. #25

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    Option #2. No doubt about it.
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    We would have IEP meeting in April and kinder transition meeting in May. I will consider what the public school has to offer and I would go with that if they send him to transitional kinder. I don't want him in a large class even if there is an aide and he gets some services. The more I think the more inclined I am for him to skip a year so that he has an extra year to mature and master skills that are necessary. We have been reading up on his diagnosis a lot and it seems that so far whatever I did for him at home and the therapy I fought teeth and nail for him to get was right on. I am thinking if I feel he should skip a year, then I must go with my gut since it has been right all along. I can't quite explain why but I feel even if public school provides services, he would be better off having an extra year. It might change, of course.
    That extra year is very beneficial for alot of kids, even kiddos without any special needs. I think that is a great idea, esp if you work with him at home at his level and pace! My son doesn't have special needs but his birthday is Jun 28th so we did an extra year of prek and me working with him at home to give him another year to mature and not be the youngest in his class;)



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