Would you enroll your child in a preK or K class that...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Aug 16, 2014

    Both of my children attended preschool and primary school in classes like you describe. The difference is in the numbers. The ratio was one special needs child to every five typical children. At the preschool level the cap was 15 students. At the primary level the cap was 20.

    During first grade there was a boy with autism in my daughter's class. He had a bit of a temper and would throw fits. If he threw a fit he was immediately removed from the room. This boy loved Elmo. I remember my daughter talking about how proud she was of him when he earned a lot of Elmo's during the day. Evidently, he could earn Elmo magnets to use later for a small reward. It just sounded funny when she talked about this boy and his Elmo's!

    Both of my children learned that learning and life are not easy for everyone. They know everyone is different and that some things are easier for some people while others really struggle.
     
  2. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2014

    Truthfully, seeing the preK kids in mybuilding walk down the hallway or in assemblies, you'd be hard pressed to identify which sweeties are the special needs children....I'd go observe any program you are considering.
    In the case of your described preK, if the 'typically developing' kids are role models in terms of social skills, play, that's one matter. If they are role models for kids who are violently acting out, that's quite another.:2cents:
     
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Aug 16, 2014

    Everyone should remember that special needs is a vast designation. You could be talking about kids with no speech, those with physical limitations but bright minds, students who may have been preemies, who simply have slight delays that may be corrected before leaving elementary school. The preconception is that these are all kids with "bad" needs, tons of delays, and unsavory characters that may contaminate the "reg ed kids." I agree that one of the nice things about these classes is the small class size with trained aides that make this a desirable opportunity. Just a view from the cheap seats, but I do know a thing or two about what those classes can look like - I volunteered and worked in those classes, as my intro into education. I don't mean to imply that the members here think this is a bad idea, but it is a concept that lies at the heart of any controversy, IMHO. :whistle:
     
  4. olivecoffee

    olivecoffee Companion

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    Aug 16, 2014

    My son is in one of these preschool programs for a developmental delay. I absolutely love it, and if my daughter turned 3 before August 31st, I would have enrolled her as a peer.

    This preschool program, in my local district, is run by the district and only teachers who have master's in early childhood and/or special education can teach these classes. We have a big need for it here, so we have two dedicated facilities for early childhood programs and many elementary schools have an early childhood SPED classroom.

    I've interned in these programs and I'll be student teaching one in October. We don't necessarily call the typically developing children "role models," mostly "peers." I feel that all children in the classroom, whether they are special needs or typically developing, receive amazingly differentiated instruction to help them academically. Play is huge, even though the hours are only 3 hours in the AM or PM. Social and self-help skills are the primary focus in our ECSE classrooms.

    There are some instances where it's the typically developing child who is on a behavior plan! Many teachers wouldn't know at a glance who is typically developing and who is not unless the SPED child has an obvious special need, such as Down's syndrome.

    I love these programs and it has done wonders for my boy.
     
  5. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2014

    As a teacher in an inclusion preschool classroom, I have mixed feelings about programs like this. When I first started teaching, our classrooms were made of 50% typical and 50% with an IEP. It was a great model to have typical students modeling appropriate language and behavior, and typical students participated in a full school readiness curriculum and learned about acceptance. Over past years, the regulation that kept us at 50% with IEPs was done away with. This year, I'll have 18 students in my classroom, 17 with IEPs. I'll have 1 typical student. In a classroom with moderate/severe needs. Last year I had 4 typical students. All the preschool classrooms in my district look just like this. While I love what I do, every year I feel like the typical students get the short end of the stick because I am so overwhelmed with students on visual work schedules, frequent gtube feedings, positioning in adaptive seating, etc...

    I know the original poster was talking about something a little different, but I think preschool programs with an inclusion program that promotes typical peer role models should also be able to ensure appropriate learning for those students.
     
  6. olivecoffee

    olivecoffee Companion

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    Aug 16, 2014

    Yikes, that is a lot! Our district caps ECSE classes at 15. Often times, there are 7-8 special needs and the rest are typically developing. We have two para's in the room to help. There are specialists that come into the room for various reasons. Some SLPs stay for an entire day, so there's always extra help. Sometimes we'll have 4 adults (3 paras, 1 teacher), so I haven't seen it that bad where the typically developing students get the short end of the stick..
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Aug 17, 2014

    Cassie, my two youngest kids did a similar program to what you describe. They were called "peer models" and the special needs students varied in their disabilities and severity. They enjoyed the program from what I remember. I enjoyed the extra attention my kids received because of the extra aides and teachers they had in the classrooms because of the special education students.
     
  8. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Sep 4, 2014

    I teach in a developmental preschool program. The peer models (typically developing) pay a monthly fee. We do not have universal preschool so the classes are not 50/50. The peer models do not count to class totals. A friend of mine had her daughter as a peer model and liked the program. My niece is now a peer model (not in my room). She loves it. She is bright and loves to interact with others. She will turn 5 too late for kinder so we hope to do the program for two years.

    I think the program is a good idea but wish we had universal prek. I like how (when appropriate) related services like speech/physical and occupational therapies are done as a class with the therapists and teacher working together.

    Advantage: promotes diversity. Here the peer models are to have clear speech.
    Disadvantages: $$for peer model since there is not universal prek. Numbers can get high without added para support. Over/under stimualtion for both groups. Peer not an appropriate model or has poor attendance.
     

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