Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Inclusion-Special Ed- So many thoughts........

Rylie is in the process of being evaluated for kindergarten. Obviously, because of her age she qualifies to go to kindergarten, but the million dollar question is -where will she be placed???? I keep hearing how great our school district is and how they really work with the parents, so I won't jump the gun or start worrying yet. I know that inclusion is the goal. I want Rylie to ride the regular bus. I want Rylie to go to a regular kindergarten classroom with a one on one aide. And, I want her to go to our home school(The school where her big sister goes). All five schools in our district are wonderful schools. If I didn't have other children it wouldn't even matter to me what school she went to, because like I said, they are all really great. I am afraid "they" are going to tell me that "they" think Rylie's needs will be better met at a school, other then our home school. I've also heard some things thrown out there like, maybe Rylie can go to art class and gym class with the reg. ed kids and then special ed kindergarten. Isn't the home school suppose to accommodate Rylie's needs or am I dreaming? Is inclusion always best? Does anybody reading this have a kid who only does special ed? I know I'm just rambling on. I have so many thoughts going through my head, and I just want to be 100% prepared for the IEP. I want what is best for Rylie, but I'm not sure what that is anymore. I'm afraid I'm going to make a mistake that I'll regret. I could even keep her in pre school another year, but something tells me It's really time to move on. Well, I would appreciate any advice or thoughts.


Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

Gabi is in a special needs classroom and is pulled for "specials" which is art, PE, lunch, etc.. She has an aide while she is in a general ed. classroom. For Gabi, inclusion (meaning all day in a general ed classroom) is not a good idea. She would drown! Really. I wish it weren't true, but Gabi is in 2nd grade and can barely write her name. She knows a bunch of stuff and surprises me all the time, but she doesn't know the things she needs to function with her typical peers. If I had forced inclusion on her she would have hated school.

With that said, that does not mean inclusion is not an option for Rylie. You know her strengths and weaknesses and the therapists and teachers can help you determine what would be best for her if you need help.

My suggestion is to allow her room to grow without overwhelming her wherever that may be. If she is capable of handling a general ed. class, then you should push for it, but only do it based on her needs not what we as parents wish our child could do. KWIM??? I hope that helps.

RK said...

I'm not there yet, and we have a few years, but I can tell you that in our area if we're still here at that time, I will not be going for full inclusion. I'm more interested in her doing well and enjoying her time, and at least with what I know now, that would mean special ed for most and gen ed for a few, which would be fine with me. But it's hard to say this far out....Shannon had good advice, and I'm sure you'll make a choice that is best for Rylie. You know your school system and your daughter, and I'm sure she'll do great.

Chris said...

Are there any other children with Ds in your district? If there are, maybe you can talk to their parents to see what their impressions are of the schools, inclusion, special ed classes.

Each child is different. I don't think there is any right answer to your questions. You need to decide where you think Rylie would excel, but hey what do I know, my child with Ds can't even crawl yet.

I do think about John going to school and about inclusion. One question I wonder about with John is who would be his peers if he is not in a general education classroom. In our elementary school, the majority of children in the special ed classroom have autism; a few are non verbal. Judging on how social he is now; I'm not sure John would do well in that type of setting. I think he would enjoy being with "typical" kids more. Of course, it is too soon for me to really judge where John will be when he is five.

You should absolutely push for what YOU think is best for your daughter. Also, from what I've heard, you should not go to your IEP alone. Take an advocate or another parent who has been through the process.

Just remember, you know Rylie better than anyone. Trust your instincts and don't be afraid to fight for what you want, what you believe is best for Rylie.

Steve said...

This is a very interesting post. My daughter with DS will be 5 this summer and the schools wants to do some evaluations befroe K next year. At this point we are pushing for her to be in a typical classroom. I think, and our experience has been it is always easier to pull back then to get more.

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