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

Transition from PreK to Elementary

Posted by on Jan. 5, 2014 at 10:40 PM
  • 9 Replies

A lot of you have children in elementary or beyond, so can you tell me what the 'transition' process was like for you moving your children from one school to the other.  I'm not meaning how did your child do with the transition, I 'm wondering about the actual process.  My 3 little kids are moving next fall, and since 2 of them have pretty complex needs the new school has contacted me about beginning discussions, even though actual transition meetings will begin around March after their 3 year testing is done.  I personally want to see the Sped program, meet teachers if possible, etc.  I'm just not sure what to expect, what things I should ask.  It's so different than when my no 10 year old NT child went 6 years ago.  Thanks ladies!

by on Jan. 5, 2014 at 10:40 PM
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Owl_Feather
by Member on Jan. 5, 2014 at 10:58 PM

 my son was lucky because i school (a pubic school) has a pre-k. It's lottery-based too! I jumped for joy when we got the acceptance letter. He had anxiety for about a week in pre-k then did just fine. He has done amazing in kindergarten so far. Many of the classmates know he is a little different so they help him. He has caught up a lot and the students have to be reminded by the teacher to back off lol they always want to hold his hands :)

mypbandj
by Jen on Jan. 5, 2014 at 10:59 PM
The only experiences I have are when my oldest went from preK to Kinder and then from 5th to 6th.

The first one, he was going from public to private. But since the private didn't do anything but let the public handle it (and we were switching districts) the new pubic district ppl came for a meeting to the old public school. Now that I think about it, we didn't know he was doing private kinder at that time. He was going to his neighborhood school. So we had the mtg and the IEP was written. And a few weeks before school the next yr I get a call saying he's been placed in a self contained kinder class, in a different school! I was floored. How the f*** could they make a placement decision without me!?!? They told me they didn't have resources (paras) in the regular school and yada yada. That's when I went to the private school and just started him there. All his therapies were still thru the public schools. We just did them before school.

Then for sixth grade we moved him back to public. A different district. Over the summer they invited him to get a special tour of the school and meet his teachers. We had a meeting before school to get the IEP in place. The school psych from the private school just so happened to have taken a job over where we were going so she came to the IEP meeting too. That was perfect!!

The next year he moved to middle school and later to high school. Although we never had anything more than an IEP meeting for that.
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Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Jan. 5, 2014 at 11:06 PM

That part about the placement sounds AWFUL!!  I would be beyond mad, as I'm sure were you.  I just love how they call everything a 'team' approach, yet they totally disregard what the parents want, and I'm sorry, but my opinion on the team is really the primary one that should matter.  It's my business if I make the wrong choices and mess up my kid's education.  Give me my options, and let me choose, then you the school figure out how to follow through. (ok, so I'm still mad about my other IEP/therapy issue going on).  I'm hoping these next few months dealing with this does not go bad. 

Quoting mypbandj: The only experiences I have are when my oldest went from preK to Kinder and then from 5th to 6th.

The first one, he was going from public to private. But since the private didn't do anything but let the public handle it (and we were switching districts) the new pubic district ppl came for a meeting to the old public school. Now that I think about it, we didn't know he was doing private kinder at that time. He was going to his neighborhood school. So we had the mtg and the IEP was written. And a few weeks before school the next yr I get a call saying he's been placed in a self contained kinder class, in a different school! I was floored. How the f*** could they make a placement decision without me!?!? They told me they didn't have resources (paras) in the regular school and yada yada. That's when I went to the private school and just started him there. All his therapies were still thru the public schools. We just did them before school.

Then for sixth grade we moved him back to public. A different district. Over the summer they invited him to get a special tour of the school and meet his teachers. We had a meeting before school to get the IEP in place. The school psych from the private school just so happened to have taken a job over where we were going so she came to the IEP meeting too. That was perfect!!

The next year he moved to middle school and later to high school. Although we never had anything more than an IEP meeting for that.

 

mypbandj
by Jen on Jan. 5, 2014 at 11:08 PM
1 mom liked this
I know what you mean. Were part of the team yet our opinions do not matter. Don't even get me started on that. It makes me irate.

Quoting Momof4AEMW:

That part about the placement sounds AWFUL!!  I would be beyond mad, as I'm sure were you.  I just love how they call everything a 'team' approach, yet they totally disregard what the parents want, and I'm sorry, but my opinion on the team is really the primary one that should matter.  It's my business if I make the wrong choices and mess up my kid's education.  Give me my options, and let me choose, then you the school figure out how to follow through. (ok, so I'm still mad about my other IEP/therapy issue going on).  I'm hoping these next few months dealing with this does not go bad. 


Quoting mypbandj: The only experiences I have are when my oldest went from preK to Kinder and then from 5th to 6th.

The first one, he was going from public to private. But since the private didn't do anything but let the public handle it (and we were switching districts) the new pubic district ppl came for a meeting to the old public school. Now that I think about it, we didn't know he was doing private kinder at that time. He was going to his neighborhood school. So we had the mtg and the IEP was written. And a few weeks before school the next yr I get a call saying he's been placed in a self contained kinder class, in a different school! I was floored. How the f*** could they make a placement decision without me!?!? They told me they didn't have resources (paras) in the regular school and yada yada. That's when I went to the private school and just started him there. All his therapies were still thru the public schools. We just did them before school.

Then for sixth grade we moved him back to public. A different district. Over the summer they invited him to get a special tour of the school and meet his teachers. We had a meeting before school to get the IEP in place. The school psych from the private school just so happened to have taken a job over where we were going so she came to the IEP meeting too. That was perfect!!

The next year he moved to middle school and later to high school. Although we never had anything more than an IEP meeting for that.

 

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MixedCooke
by Bronze Member on Jan. 6, 2014 at 2:02 AM

mine is only 3 and I have already discussed with out local elementary and the autism group teacher.  heck my average 6 yr old cried the first 2 weeks and had to be explained that I would actually see her more than when she went to pre-school.

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jan. 6, 2014 at 5:59 AM

We will start this process in the next few months...UGH!

BKozICan
by on Jan. 6, 2014 at 6:17 AM

Our transition experience was wonderful. We have a great school district. T just transitioned this year. About this time last year, we met just for a "Hey, this is who we are and this is how everyone fits on the team" meeting. Since my older NT son had just moved from the K-2 school to the 3-5 school, I knew everyone in the room except the special education classroom teacher. The school chose to accept the Age 3-5 evaluation and asked if that was okay with us--we said yes.

Between December and May, we chatted a few times with the Director of Special Ed and the different specialists visited his preschool class. In May, we set his IEP and the district pushed the Age 3-5 to continue services over the summer--he wasn't officially on the rolls of the school district until August 10.

Honestly, as far as meeting everyone, good luck. My son is mainstreamed 80% (1/2 day K and he is in the special room just 1/2 hour) and has an aide the rest of the time. They have a "para pool" that they draw from, so every day he has different aides throughout the day--in case one is out, the kiddos aren't affected quite as badly and they get used to more people. Generally my son works with three paras throughout the week, although all the pool have been with him by now. I have met two of them through helping in the classroom and from pickup and dropoff. The rest I know because they are back-to-work moms of older kids who I knew anyway. The Sp.Ed. teacher is willing to send me daily updates if I request it, but I am fine with she and I touching base about once a week--I am at his school every morning and afternoon to drop him off and pick him up, so immediate issues are dealt with in person, right away.

Our experience has been wonderful because we have a wonderful school district. We are small (approx. 100 kids per grade in the entire district!) and many of the same professionals work with the kids the entire time they are in the school system (all 13 grades). There were just three special education students transitioning in this school year and one of them was just speech. There is a vested interest in getting them mainstreamed and hitting hard on therapy early on in the child's school career. EVERY STUDENT, not just Sp.Ed. meets in small groups with a reading specialist and a math specialist outside the classroom, so even the students in special education room part time don't really "stand out." There is also a lot of peer modeling, so there are some NT students in the Sp.Ed. room at any given time.

BDSMI
by on Jan. 6, 2014 at 6:42 AM

Each school district is a little different--one district where we moved from elementary to middle school we sat down with both his old resources teachers and new resources teachers and hammered out a schedule that worked for everyone and they shared different teaching stratergies--downside is that once we moved to middle school they basically ignored his IEP because in Ohio we have open enrollment and the school took to many special needs kids and did not have the resources to do so.  Basically they put my son with the HIGH SCHOOL resource teacher NOT the middle school resource teacher so he was with kids three to four years older than him---we are know in a different school district and they are preparing him to move from middle school to high school--he has been over to the high school and toured it met his "new" teacher and we are discussing how to make the transition as easy as possible.  Hoping for a smoother transition!

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jan. 6, 2014 at 7:55 AM

 We've always been in the same school district...but definitely pay the school a visit!

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