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My daughter is 3 and the school district here offers a blended preschool for kids with disabilities as well as so-called "normal" kids. My daughter belongs to the latter group. Does anyone have experience with these blended classrooms and if they are beneficial for kids without special needs? What do you think?

Thanks for all of the replies! I just wanted to clarify a couple things for those who might have mis-understood my original post...
--My daughter is not a SN child. She's considered "typical."
--The classroom has one teacher and two additional staff. The students will consist of 5 SN kids and 12-15 typically developing peers.
--I LOVE the idea of teaching my daughter tolerance of ALL other kids, and I can't find any reason why it wouldn't be an awesome class. I was just curious if anyone had anything to add-good or bad-- that I might have overlooked.

Thanks for all the replies, and we registered her to begin classes in the fall this year!! (Now all I have to worry about is getting her completely potty-trained by then! Haha)
by on May. 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Replies (41-50):
by Member on May. 21, 2012 at 7:50 AM

My son is special needs and goes to a preschool like that. I think it's great because the "normal" kids serve as role models. Kids mimic their peers and if he sees them not having huge meltdowns over things he is likely to imitate.

by LoriAnn on May. 21, 2012 at 8:02 AM

My son goes to special ed preschool (speech) at one our locate elemtray school and it was only kids with special needs there were able to go to the school but then last year they decide to let those who didn't have special needs to alos be able to go to school with them and I think it's a great idea because every child with or with out special should be able to play and learn together.

by on May. 21, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Our preschool is a 50/50 split of kids with IEPs & typical development. Both of mine started with an IEP. There are a wide range of SN at our preschool. I think it benefits all of them.

Milo was for speech only. He has since completed all of his goals & will go to K next year IEP free. I never really thought of him as a SN child. He has a variety of friends, is really prepared for K & has been in a really great program for 2yrs.

Jareth is more complex. He has sensory sensitivities, anxiety disorders, a history of self injury, social/emotional delays. He may always have an IEP. We don't know. He has a whole team of specialists, a list of meds & we've spent countless hours in a variety of therapies. Being around his peer with the guidance of his specially trained teacher & extra aides in the room has made a big difference this year. He wasn't initially included in the classroom. We did 4 weeks of weekly 1hr visits (itinerate services) because of his anxiety disorder before he was integrated into the classroom. We had a great playdate with the first friend he made yesterday.  He's one of the typical kids.

For my boys, a classroom with typically developing peers was the least restrictive environment. It gave them the best opportunity to develop. That's not the case for all kids. I can definitely see where the PP's son needs to be in a medically fragile classroom environment. I used to volunteer in one in high school.

by on May. 21, 2012 at 8:13 AM

I think it's a great idea!

Especially today with all the bullying amongst children and teens. We need to teach all of out kids that everybody is equal, and just because somebody may have a disability doesn't make them any different from anybody else.

by on May. 21, 2012 at 8:20 AM

by on May. 21, 2012 at 8:37 AM
I think it's wonderful..
by Member on May. 21, 2012 at 8:50 AM

My special needs son is in the classroom environment your describing. It is working out great. He started talking and now has a best friend in class.

by on May. 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM
Yes my dd is in one, we only have one preschool, but I think its great. She goes to school with a boy with muscular dystrophy, when my ds was little ( and now in grade school), he goes to school with a girl with turners syndrome. I say go for it.
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by on May. 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM

My sons school is very good about this. They have blended classes.  One little girl wasn't "special needs", she had diabetes.  She wore a pump.  She was able to do a show and tell about it and what she had to have the nurse in the classroom so often.  I thought it was awesome ans a great way to show the kids we are all different.  She just put it right out there and no problems with the kids.  I want my son in a blended class.  

Different note - When my son see some one who is disabled or wheelchair bound, he will ask me what happened to them.  I tell him to be polite and go ask them.  He usually doesn't, but I do tell him he has to stop staring at the person and just go ask.  You never know why someone it the way they are.  

by on May. 21, 2012 at 9:08 AM

My son is 19 yrs old and has cerebral palsy and delays (on a pre-school/toddler level) and  have activities and classes with children of "normal" and it benefits all and the other kids love it and over the years I have seen him grow with having the benefit and also the other kids grow in empathy, compassion, and caring and patience--I do feel it is extremely beneficial!!

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