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Primary & Secondary Education This forum is for parents to discuss issues related to their children's education and AD/HD.

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  #1  
Old 05-21-09, 02:41 PM
YDY3Bao YDY3Bao is offline
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Question Which school should we choose?

We are in the process of selecting a school for DS this year when he enters kindergarten. He has been diagnosed with ADD (inattentive type), and is currently receiving speech/language therapy for receptive language issues and is also in a private social skills group because of pragmatic language deficits. We went private because the county stated that his academic skills were within the average range and, thus, did not warrant services. Our intuition was that we needed his language issues addressed as he has a noticeable difficulty finding words and because he has difficulty structuring conversation. He is highly active, very sweet and outgoing, but has a somewhat quirky personality. Socially, he is somewhat immature. DS is more a hands-on learner.

Below are the three options we are considering. We would love any input from parents who have had similar experiences.

(1). Private School with a Progressive Approach Ė DS is currently at pre-K of this school. We like the campus. We like it is not academically oriented, lots of recess time, the more hands-on learning environment. We are worried, however, about whether DS is capable of the individual direction necessary to thrive in the environment. We are concerned that he is at a disadvantage vis-ŗ-vis other students because of his language issues since this school is more child directed play. DS also need lots of teacher redirection. We donít know if this school is experienced in encouraging children like our DS. Ok, we are confused about this school. We like the lots of recess time, small class size, hands-on learning environment. But in the pre-K year, we had some difficulties in coming up a plan with the teachers to help DS. Under our suggestion, we are communicating with the teachers through a daily log. We feel the teachers are not giving DS enough help on social skills and programmatic language. DS hasnít make any friendship with any kids in the last year. We are not sure DS should stay one more year to see how things are going to work out, or should we just leave.

(2). Specialized Private School Ė We found a school which only admits children who are not quality for special education and donít seem to fit the mainstream, such kids need extra help on certain areas, like minor sensor disorder, fine motor skill, programmatic language/social delay, etc. They donít admit children who fall to the autism spectrum. From all that we hear, they are extremely adept at integrating the social/language therapy in the school environment. We also feel the teachers may better understand/appreciate children like our DS and would be better able to boost his self-esteem. Our primary concerns involve only one recess time a day, the small size of the class, and whether he would find enough similar children to make friends. Its facilities are smaller than DSís current school. The consultant of his social skill group recommend this school. I toured the school. But I didnít feel the one kindergarten teacher was warm, she seemed a little harsh. The children there donít seem very energetic and smiling. Thatís only 10 minutes tour. I could get a wrong impression.

(3). Public School with IEP or 504 Plan - The teachers would have a lot of experience. Our concern is less recess time and a large class. But we like the neighborhood school feeling, it could be easier to arrange play dates, and easier for DS to meet some kids whom he can click with. We are concerned that the emphasis on academics may take away from our DS addressing his language deficits. Our home school is one of the top elementary schools in our county. It's very academic oriented. The class size will be 1:25.

Sorry. Itís long. We look forward to any and all opinions. Thank you!!
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Old 05-21-09, 04:33 PM
MGDAD MGDAD is offline
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Re: Which school should we choose?

He is in preschool? And you already have an ADD innattentive diagnosis? That is pretty surprising.

Besides that I would go for option 1. Small calss size is the only way that the teachers will have enough time to give your child the attention he needs. For option 2, go with your gut feeling that the teacher is too harsh. For option 3, public schools dont have a small enough class size for the teacher to properly deal with kids that need extra attention. They are also not necessarily that experienced with the issues of ADHD anyway.
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Old 05-22-09, 12:25 PM
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Re: Which school should we choose?

I can say that the public school system can work if you are willing to make sure your child gets all the services he needs. The class size may be big, but maybe he qualifies to have a teacher in the classroom just for him. Public schools can work, but you really have to let the teachers and staff know what your child needs, even if there is an IEP.
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Old 05-22-09, 04:37 PM
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Re: Which school should we choose?

YDY,

Can you tell us how you got your child diagnosed? What behaviors caused him to be diagnosed with ADHD. Thanks.
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Old 06-03-09, 11:52 AM
YDY3Bao YDY3Bao is offline
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Question Re: Which school should we choose?

WE went to our county first. They evaluated DS. The result showed he was deplayed, but not serious enough to qualify the service. (You need to be more than 25% delayed).
Then we went to a private agency. They did an intensive evaluation on DS. We called our county again. They did another evaluation on DS to confirm the report from the private agency. With both reports ready, we just had a meeting with our home elementary school last week. DS got IEP with 45 mins/week speech theray, 45 mins/week social skill group, and classroom accommodations.

We've decided not to go to the second school in my OP. We visited another private specialized school ("M") last week. We had good impression of the school. The children there seem just normal kids. The current K class has all boys. The children were active, engaged in the circle time. The teachers seem very experienced, caring and patient. They already have 3 girls and 5 boys enrolled for the fall. The class has two teachers.

Currently, we're trying to make a decision on two schools:
1. the school "M": is it good( or bad) for DS surrounded by other children similar to him, who need lots of redirection from the teacher, who are speech delayed?? In the mean time, DS will see other kids just like him, won't feel stand out, it maybe easiery for him to build friendshop with other kids.

2. home school with IEP: DS will meet a wide range of children. The class size is quite big, around 25:1 ratio.

I appreciated any input to help us to make a decision.
Thank you!
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Old 06-03-09, 05:52 PM
mctavish23 mctavish23 is offline
 

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Re: Which school should we choose?

Please check out this excellent research based book :

How To Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD by Sandra Rief,MA (Jossey-Bass)

It should help.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)
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Old 06-03-09, 07:49 PM
Justtess Justtess is offline
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Re: Which school should we choose?

YDY-- have you looked at Greatschools website? They try to give you as much statistical data to compare schools. It also has a section where parents can post their comments about the school.

I didn't particularly look for a specific school for my dx son, however, after his positive experience (compared to 2 other schools he was enrolled in) I did what I could to keep him in this district. I think he felt most comfortable because there were other students like him and the teachers did not mind redirecting. Traditional ridgid schools tend to give him a horrible school experience.

Good luck on your decision.
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