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Raising Special Needs Kids Raising Special Needs Kids

School and Therapy Balance?? How do you choose??

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Ok, my 3 SN kiddos (5.5 years old in Kinder next year) have received several recent developmental diagnosis, and each addition causes a need for new services.  We are officially at the point where they need more therapies and school hours than I can fit in a day/week.  And I'm having a hard time saying I am going to 'deny' them anything they need, but there are 3 of them, and that is triple the time commitment on 1 parent when the therapies can not all be done at one time or even one location.  So, my question as many of you have to juggle therapies and schooling too.  If you can't get all your child's therapy needs met on their IEP/school time.  How do you choose between education and therapies?  Which is more important?  How do you pick?  I can't get the schools to provide all they need (as in may be physical need over educational need), and I can't get some critical therapies without committing to travel/therapy time at 5 hours a day, 5 days a week (and they still need more therapies than just that one which would not leave much time for school).  I can't figure out where my priority lies, and what is truly critical as they all are.  Any suggestions?  What do you ladies do? 

by on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM
Replies (21-27):
Bluecalm
by Silver Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 8:31 PM
1 mom liked this
As of tomorrow the kids will have 4 therapies a week together and the speech therapist would like me to add OT. I homeschool and it eats up my instruction time, can't imagine if they were in school. We have 3 of the therapies in one morning which helps.
Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 11:29 PM
1 mom liked this

Nope, not rural at all, big University in town as well.  Some small towns in the state actually have better special ed programs, but not the close ones!!  Yes, it is a widely used and highly effective therapy, yet here we sit.  There are several of us parents that want it.

Quoting jjamom: Wow, you have a small school system compared to ours. We have 12 high schools alone, and all of the feeder schools. Still, I can't imagine why they can't offer more current therapies when so many kids need it and it is a well-known and widely accepted therapy. Are you very rural? I know from some other people I have talked to, it is sometimes harder to get people to fill the positions in more rural areas. Good luck, I really hope you can figure it all out to benefit all if your kids! But, if there is something you just can't do, you can't beat yourself up over it either. You are a great mom! Quoting Momof4AEMW: My school district is very behind in special needs.  And yes, there are plenty that would benefit and plenty of parents tht want it.  We have 11 elementary, 3 middle, and 2 high schools.  Plenty!!  They do stuff like PECS, loose versions of floortime, picture schedules, sensory breaks (depending on the teacher).  I don't even know what all, but we've tried a lot over the years and no big clicks with little one.  Brother has done ok this year and last, but is loosing his amazing teacher, so next year is going to be a struggle too if we don't mix something up.  Quoting jjamom: Yeah, that is definitely a dilemma. I'm kind of surprised that within an entire school system they don't have someone who does ABA therapy. So many kids would qualify, I'm sure. What do they suggest? Have they given you any ideas? Quoting Momof4AEMW: We have no ABA in town, period.  I'd have to drive them an hour each way, each day for it.  No one in state does in home ABA (I know so many others that do!).  School, no.  I would have to go to court.  Littles just is not making progress well, what if this is the method she needs and I don't try.  But what a jumble to make it happen.  My son would benefit too, but would be worse for him to not have the peers/consistent school setting.  I'm just stuck and do not know what to do! Quoting jjamom: Wow, yeah missing every day until noon is probably going to be a big problem. I don't know much about ABA therapy, but have always wondered why it is so intensive (every day) and how kids and parents work that all out. I do think some areas have therapists who come out to your home to do ABA therapy, so that probably helps make it more feasible for some families. I don't know what to tell you, I truly don't know how you do it as it is! They don't offer anything like that through the school? Quoting Momof4AEMW: Yea, I understand that.  It is kind of how we have it set now.  But if I want to let the 2 kids try ABA, I would literally have to take them out of school until noon each and every day, plus still fit in outside OT and Speech in the afternoon time that would be left at school.  It's just a mess, and I'm not sure what is more important/beneficial for them.  Quoting jjamom: Alex gets some therapies in school, but he gets private speech therapy and private feeding therapy each on e a week. Luckily there is an SLP who works late hours at the feeding clinic, so we see her at 5 pm. Private speech is about 30-40 mins away, so I take Alex out if school at 2:30 (dismissal is 3:05) every Monday for that. Although I think he could benefit from private OT and PT as well, I just don't think I could swing adding another therapy or two into the mix with the other kids. It is really difficult as it is right now with the other kids activities trying to coordinate everything. We missed feeding therapy on Tues, in fact, b/c my DH is out if town and my DD had a lacrosse game from 4-5 and we have to leave between 4 and 4:15 for feeding therapy at 5 and then don't get home until between 6:30 and 7:00. I can't be in two places at once! So, in a nutshell, if I feel a therapy is essential (like his private speech) I will take him out if school for it. We have done that since preschool, so when he transitioned to K, I didn't ask, I just told them we would be doing that. No one has ever given me a hard time, but it is only the last 1/2 hour once a week.      

 

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Apr. 11, 2014 at 7:41 AM
1 mom liked this

Hugs mama! You're an amazing mom, and I can't imagine juggling my load x3.  I am in awe of you and how you manage your time with all your babies, including your oldest who isn't SN.  I have a lot of respect for you.  I really do.

For Brady's first year of special ed preschool, he only went 2 days/week until I could work him up to going 5 days/week.  But, even at 5 days/week, it was only half day school...from 12:40-3:40.  So, we were still able to let him have his morning therapy 5 mornings/week.  He does great with it now.  

IF he weren't going to a private school next year for Autistic kids and were going to public school instead, we'd be in the same boat as you being that he needs PT 1x/week, OT/Feeding 2x/week, Speech 1x/week, and ABA 3x/week.  All of those are very difficult to manage once he would start full day school which is from 8:30-2:30.  ABA sessions are 2 hours.  He would be burnt out really quick, and I'd have to cut back on some of the therapy in order to not overwhelm him.  Since his new private school is ABA based, he won't get private ABA anymore once he starts there...mainly b/c my insurance won't pay for the ABA school AND ABA sessions.  Make sense?  So, it kind of takes care of the problem for us.  

So, for next year, Brady will go to school 8:30-2:30 M-F, he will have Speech every other Monday at 4:00; OT/Feeding 2 afternoons/week and PT 1 afternoon/week.  I will combine one OT session with  PT, so he will only be going to therapy 3 afternoons/week.  

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Makes sense.  I'm glad you can get the ABA in school like that.  And it's great you can get his other therapies outside of school hours.  That's awesome! 

Quoting darbyakeep45:

Hugs mama! You're an amazing mom, and I can't imagine juggling my load x3.  I am in awe of you and how you manage your time with all your babies, including your oldest who isn't SN.  I have a lot of respect for you.  I really do.

For Brady's first year of special ed preschool, he only went 2 days/week until I could work him up to going 5 days/week.  But, even at 5 days/week, it was only half day school...from 12:40-3:40.  So, we were still able to let him have his morning therapy 5 mornings/week.  He does great with it now.  

IF he weren't going to a private school next year for Autistic kids and were going to public school instead, we'd be in the same boat as you being that he needs PT 1x/week, OT/Feeding 2x/week, Speech 1x/week, and ABA 3x/week.  All of those are very difficult to manage once he would start full day school which is from 8:30-2:30.  ABA sessions are 2 hours.  He would be burnt out really quick, and I'd have to cut back on some of the therapy in order to not overwhelm him.  Since his new private school is ABA based, he won't get private ABA anymore once he starts there...mainly b/c my insurance won't pay for the ABA school AND ABA sessions.  Make sense?  So, it kind of takes care of the problem for us.  

So, for next year, Brady will go to school 8:30-2:30 M-F, he will have Speech every other Monday at 4:00; OT/Feeding 2 afternoons/week and PT 1 afternoon/week.  I will combine one OT session with  PT, so he will only be going to therapy 3 afternoons/week.  

 

trio8707
by Bronze Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 9:05 AM
1 mom liked this

We do our therapies after school, with therapists hired that come to our home.  Only for PT we travel to the therapist, and hippotherapy (obviously- don't have a big enough yard to own a horse LOL).  Speech, OT, feeding, and auditory therapists all come to the home.

Pecuellar
by on Apr. 11, 2014 at 9:47 AM
1 mom liked this

 The will not tell you, but your kid is not required to go to school the entire time.  My son started PS 6 years ago and has never stayed past noon (he is a 2nd grader now).  In the afternnons my nanny takes him to Physical and Occupational therapy (priviate) while the other children are in school.

THe therapy Outside school is 1000 X better than what the school provides so I think this is better for him and his doctor agrees.  THe school receives less money so they are not happy and I don't care. 

I also know moms whose kids go only 3 or 4 days a week.  THey are required to make individual IEPS, but they never really consider the kid, just how they can make them fit into the schools plans. 

If therapy is far maybe the kids can have rotating days off?

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Apr. 11, 2014 at 11:37 AM

That's great you have that option.  Sounds like a good schedule. 

Quoting trio8707:

We do our therapies after school, with therapists hired that come to our home.  Only for PT we travel to the therapist, and hippotherapy (obviously- don't have a big enough yard to own a horse LOL).  Speech, OT, feeding, and auditory therapists all come to the home.

 

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