New to teaching...special needs child

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by annetxa, May 29, 2010.

  1. annetxa

    annetxa Rookie

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    May 29, 2010

    I just started teaching preschool and had a question about a certain child. Since I am new to the center, I am co-teaching with another teacher for the first 90 days and was told that there is one child in the classroom that is currently having problems learning. Even though they suspect a possible learning disability, they can't do anything about it because the parent doesn't acknowledge that there may be a problem. Is this true? Is our hands tied from helping this child before entering kindergarten?
     
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  3. HappyLearning

    HappyLearning Rookie

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    May 29, 2010

    That depends quite a bit on your school and your state... and also on how persistent you are. Most importantly, make sure your intentions are very clear to the parent that you only want to set up the child for sucess in kindergarten, providing him/her with whatever could give him a head start- and not labeling the child as slow or special or delayed.

    I'm in a Head Start school right now and there are a number of different ways that we "catch" kids with suspected dissabilities. (Like you, we know our kids who could use some help, but someitmes the parents need more convincing than that) All our kids recieve developmental screenings at the beginning of the year, and if they score below a certain range, they are recommended for further assessments from specialists at the ESD. It's also part of the school's standards to have different specialists (mental health counselors, behavioral counselors, developmental specialists, etc) come periodically and observe in the classes, and they sometimes pick out children they think could be helped by some special services.

    If you have some concrete data or specialists' recommedations you can present to parents, sometimes that may help them to be willing to consent to further testing. It could maybe even be data like, "the class average on a letter identification test is 18 but Johnny's score was 2 in September, 2 in December and is still 2 in May, we'd like to see what sort of services might help him". Invite the parents to volunteer in the classroom, maybe they will see the gap between their child and his/her peers. Display student work, again they may see a gap. ...Or they may not! Admitting your child has some special needs is incredibly HARD! Keep your relationship positive with that parent, reminding them how much you enjoy and support their child. Unfortunately, some times your hards are tied if the parent continues to refuse to consent to testing. But you may have laid the ground work that will ease the blow if his/her kindergarten teacher insists on special services. So often in preschool, we sow the seeds and till the ground, but we are not always the ones who get to see the harvest.
     

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