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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Extensive early intervention or mainstream, what would you do?

Posted by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 2:02 AM
  • 20 Replies
Hi Mums, my name is Andrea and my adorable 4 year old has recently been diagnosed with autism. He has only been able to manage around 2 or 3 hours at a time at kindy. He has now been asked to join a special class where they will focus on the skills he needs to hopefully join the mainstream in a couple of years. He also now qualifies to get a level 3 teachers aid for his current class who can work one on one with Nathan alongside the other children. He has learned so much in his original class, he has been using a lot of new words and there has been a real improvement with his behaviour. His current teacher is amazing and would happily keep him in her class. He had his first day in the new education support class on Friday and has hardly used any words since then, and has been squealing which he hasn't done in months. He has been rubbing up against my tummy nonstop which is something he had slowed down on until now. I am worried he will go backwards in this new class, even though the program sounds great. I just want to do what is best for him Any advice would be appreciated. Warm regards, Andrea.
by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 2:02 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lucasmadre
by Kari on Jun. 15, 2013 at 8:09 AM

My son has always had extra help (pulled from class for special ed) but I believe in mainstream. Being exposed and working along side their peers helps all children learn social skills that can't be taught. I think it also gives him the chance to excel and work to their highest potential. I would go for the aide without a doubt. I have watched several children progress wonderfully this way including my son...good luck with your choice. Follow your instincts. All I can tell you for sure is an aide makes a huge difference in a childs anxiety level and ability to keep up with the class. XO

Mistygirl
by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 8:13 AM

My son was put into an autism program through the school at first, the class size was eight children, it did hima world of good, by the next year, he was ready for a mainstream classroom with support from a para. I think that you should give the special classroom a chance and see where it takes him, it really could help him cope better in a mainstream class. Good luck to ou and your precious boy.

VioletsMomTown
by Robyn on Jun. 15, 2013 at 5:48 PM

They removed all the special classes from schools in Canada, its all mainstream now. My daughter is in 5 and in junior kindergarten with an aide. She does wonderful there. I think its better to see peer modeling from neurotypical kids, because she picks up on stuff and then repeats it. If my daughter was in a class with just kids with autism then she'd be coming home with a bunch of other kids habits, I can imagine.

Violet's Mom



heathers5500
by Bronze Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Main stream! My DS was in a special needs class for 2 years and he was mainstreamed into regular preschool last fall and is going into regular kindergarten in the fall.

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jun. 15, 2013 at 6:34 PM

 Mainstream as much as you can...being around their typical peers is SOOOOOO important! My son has a 1:1 aide and he's mainstreamed with pull out resource room for Math. Its not perfect but works for now for us...I know each kid is different and the plan should suit their needs but mainstream and possible therapies during the down times in class would be great.

and WELCOME here!!!!  =)

Gloria1025
by Bronze Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM

I think if you read your post you answer your own question.  He was doing well, his teacher was willing to work with him, he was making progress etc. in his regular class.  He is regressing and showing negative behaviors in the new class.  My advice is listen to your son.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with the new class, it just sounds like your son is telling you it is not working for him. 

emarin77
by Silver Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 6:44 PM

I would ask what would the differences between both either staying where he is or this new special class.  What happens if he stays where he is and him future compared to this special class.  Why is one place better then the other?  These questions need to be asked to the teachers/program no later then the next IEP meeting.

Monkeymama930
by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 7:57 PM
Can u do both? I have a little autistic boy who was special classes all last year and we wanted to mainstream him, well his parents are a little worried so we came up with the idea half day special class room half day mainstream kindergareten with an aid and of course I will keep a close eye on him. And seeing how he does he can go full mainstream if he does well. Is that an option?
KatyTylersMom
by Silver Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 8:32 PM
2 moms liked this

I think it matters why they are suggesting the special education class setting - is he failing to progress in some way in his regular class?  Is he disrupting the class?  Does he need more support than the one teacher can offer?  Basically what has happened that is making the school suggest a different placement for your son? 

There are many wonderful things about special education classes, particularly at the pre-k and kindergarden level.  They can really stress social skills, model social interactions CONSTANTLY, drill and rehearse social scripts for how to behave and respond in social situations with other kids, work on speech therapy goals daily without having to be pulled out of class, use more visual schedules and prompts for your indivudial child so that he can learn the routine in a way that makes more sense to HIM, and basically give him much more attention in a 2:1 or 3:1 student to teacher/aide ratio setting.

My daughter is 4.5 and very high functioning, my son is just turned 3 and is much more challenged with his language and communication.  Both will be attending the same early-intervention preschool but in different classes with different levels of support.  My daughter's class looks like a regular preschool class except that the social interactions are modeled endlessly, the phrase "and your language here is ....." is used a lot to help model the correct social responses (so my Katy wants to play she says "hey girl, do you want to play?" and the teacher says 'Oh Katy good job asking her to play but you forgot her name!  Your language is 'Hey Ashley, do you want to play?" etc.) and they really work on being able to focus and participate in group activities, share, take turns, transition from one activity to another, do pretend play, etc. For my son his class will be more based on visual schedules, visual prompts, 2:1 and 1:1 interactions with teachers and peers, learning how to play with toys functionally (one does not simply spin the wheels on the car, one takes it and drives it to the store and then can pretend to buy things etc.) using his language to communicate his wants/needs, and then the usual 3 year old stuff - colors, shapes, ABC's, sharing, transitioning, etc. 

Then again if he is learning well in his current class, is not a disruption (any more than your average 4 year old), and just needs more support then maybe an 1:1 aide might be a good solution.  This is expensive and so the school may be trying to save some money there by not bringing that up as an option.  You would need to consider the social level and communication level of the kids in his potential special ed class - some can be very high functioning to the point of being hard to tell apart from the general education classes - it all depends on the students he would be paired with.  Many special ed classes have recess and lunch with the gen ed kids as well and they purposefully help the kids interact with their "normal" peers during those times. 

MomOfOneCoolKid
by Gold Member on Jun. 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

 


Quoting VioletsMomTown:

They removed all the special classes from schools in Canada, its all mainstream now. My daughter is in 5 and in junior kindergarten with an aide. She does wonderful there. I think its better to see peer modeling from neurotypical kids, because she picks up on stuff and then repeats it. If my daughter was in a class with just kids with autism then she'd be coming home with a bunch of other kids habits, I can imagine.


 I thought that would be the case too for my son, but it turned out to be really good for him.

Although, if I had my choice I would do a typical setting with an ABA assistant for him.

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