We toured some classrooms today!

We toured two classrooms and peeked into a third.  Both classrooms were substantially separate classrooms.  We saw one of them last year and rejected it and the other was set up exactly like the second classroom we rejected last year!  So that was productive.  The third classroom was an integrated classroom which we just peeked into, we had seen that one before as well. 

I had told Duhdee I was not going to get into discussions about placement today.  I failed.  Heh.  I was emotional but I was not angry.  If she had not kept tossing in comments about how these classrooms would be less distracting which “we are all concerned about, his distractability,” I might have been able to hold my tongue. 

I reminded her that WE  (Duhdee and I “we”) are not as concerned about his distractability so much as his unaddressed sensory needs and the fact that his sensory needs are the same regardless of the classroom.  That WE are not comfortable changing his placement until they’ve provided him with the support that he was entitled to last year.  That WE are primarily concerned with meeting those sensory needs and maintaining the integrated placement.

It really does seem that we (team “we”) are not even close to being on the same page.  Oh and (HAHA!) she tried to claim that giving him access to a chewy tube last year was meeting his sensory needs.  Even though it was used reactively and not proactively.  Even though we had to FIGHT with his teacher to let him have it and that they definitely did try to restrict it.  Her goal is to eliminate it which is NOT on his IEP and, realistically, not likely to happen.  Monkey appears to be one of those kids with FX with very strong oral sensory needs.

So, after hearing our reaction to the classrooms, she has ONE more classroom to show us tomorrow.  *Twitch*

Their plan now is to have him split time between the two placements…I’m not sure that I’m making that part clear since I’m really focusing on the amount of time he’d be substantially separate.  They want him to be in both a substantially separate classroom and an integrated classroom (some of the time.)  So far the schedules are so different that Monkey would effectively be in a substantially separate classroom for almost the entire time if you include all his pull outs for services and exclude snack and recess.  So his period of actual learning time with typical peers would be very, very limited and we’d be adding in another transition…and you all know how the kids love transitions!

Oh, and, the classroom that they want him in…is considered “transitionary” so the goal is for those kids to move into an integrated classroom.  Sounds great except that they don’t always (we know of one little boy who was put into a transitional classroom last fall and ended the year there) and there is no criteria.  The kids move when the teachers feel they are ready.  I guess we just need to trust their judgement on that…and if that were the case…we’d have been there last year, lol.  I guess we’re just not trusting enough 😉

4 thoughts on “We toured some classrooms today!

  • September 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    trust is a hard thing to have when it come to our special little ones. Shoot…parents of “normal” kids have trust issues. It’ll be okay. Trust your gut and you should be fine 🙂

  • September 29, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    The classroom situation you describe is exactly the one now enjoyed by my 8-year-old son — essentially a separate classroom with just three other kids, but he mixes in with mainstream classes here and there throughout the week.

    We consider this to be more or less ideal. We don’t see the point of him joining a real third-grade classroom when he can’t add 0+1. Now, every Fragile X kid is different so what’s right for us may not be right for you, but I think I’m missing out on what is so wrong about this.

  • September 29, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I think at the 3rd grade level this very well might be an ideal solution. But he’s still in preschool, he can paint, sign along to songs, glue buttons on paper and play with toys, etc. which is a very large part of what they do.

    This could be the only time in his life when he’s capable of actually doing what all the other kids in the class are doing (with proper supports) though I’m not entirely ready to buy into that b/c I do not want to limit him yet 🙂

    As he gets older he will fall more behind and then I think it will be very appropriate for him to be in a less inclusive setting.

  • September 29, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    We don’t have any preschool programs that are exclusively for special ed. Although it is considered a developmental preschool, and it’s in the school, they open it up to “average” peers as well so that the children with special needs have role models to emulate. At least that’s the way it was just a couple of years ago. I’ll be finding out in February if that’s changed or not. Don’t back down; he’s too young to be completely separated from the mainstream.


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