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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

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Joined: Mar 08, 2008
Posts: 9
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Posted Mar 08, 2008 at 8:19:32 PM
Subject: New person

Hi all! I am new to this forum. My name is Michelle and I am mom to almost 7 year old b/g twins. We live in suburban NY. My son has a variety of LDs but his initial diagnosis was Sensory Integration Dysfunction, including fine motor weakness. He was first evaluated just before his 4th birthday. He began working with an OT a few times per week.

James was placed in a self contained class for kindergarten, as we felt the small class size would be the best environment for him. They place no more then 12 students in the class. The other alternatives were inclusion (which in our school district is about 19 students), or mainstream with 90 minutes of resource room. He still remains in this same self contained class this year for first grade. The teacher has remained the same, but the make up of the class has changed considerably from last year to this year. Oh, and let me not fail to mention that the diagnosis of ADHD came along last year. After confirming that this was actually ADHD with 3 doctors, we began medicating James with a low dose of Methylin Oral Solution. The improvement we and his teachers have seen has been tremendous. He is able to sit still and stay focused which is thrilling for him. His self esteem was getting quite bruised

The good news is that there has been progress made, but it has also become very clear that we are dealing with much more then SID. Even with the increased ability to focus, James is really struggling to grasp the basic concepts of learning. Letter and number recognition are escaping him. He is better able to decipher a letter by its sound then by looking at it. His OT has done 3 visual tests on him and it appears that although his vision is good, his eyes are still not doing just what they should. Hello Visual Processing Disorder!

Well, I think I have dragged this introduction post on long enough. I apologize to those who have managed to read this far.

Thanks!
Michelle

Michelle

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Mar 09, 2008 12:26:31 PM

Welcome Michelle!

My daughter's name is Michelle.

Can you tell me more specifically what you mean when you said that the makeup of the self contained class has changed considerably? I know that kids move on and new kids come into a class, especially when you have multi grades in the same classroom.

We observed a couple of classes in our district for our daughter. One of the classes seemed moderately ok, although there were no girls in the class which would have been devastating for her, we fear that the kids who were the most normal would be the ones moving on and the new kids coming in would have been more severe and lower functioning. That's what we are most afraid of. Then we will not be able to move her back to the general ed classroom. I know how severe the kids can get because of the lower functioning kids we have observed at some of the classrooms we observed.

Kathryn

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twinzmommie
Joined Mar 08, 2008
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Posted:Mar 09, 2008 7:11:18 PM

Quote Kathryn:

Welcome Michelle!
we fear that the kids who were the most normal would be the ones moving on and the new kids coming in would have been more severe and lower functioning.

Quote Kathryn:

Kathryn

Hi Kathryn,

Our son was actually one of the more 'functioning' kids when he began in the self contained class. He would likely still be considered to be so now, even though all but one other child from last year still remain in self contained this year.

Last year the make up of his class was 5 kindergartners, 1 first grader and 3 2nd graders. The one first grader was placed out of district for this year, the 3 2nd graders moved on to another school building for 3rd grade and 3 of the other kindergartners were placed in inclusion for this year. That one other child is likely going to be moved into inclusion for next year also.

When I said that the make up of the class changes from year to year I am basically saying that if the goal of the self contained class is for the students to eventually move into the mainstream or other appropriate program (as this is the goal in our school district) then there will be different children with different needs coming in and out of the class each year.

This year, the self contained class is made up of my son and one other first grade boy and 7 kindergartners. I believe my son is the only child in the class that has not been given the dx of being on the Autistic spectrum. The children vary in their level of functioning.

Outside of james not have more appropriate children to model after, I have been happy with the level of academic support he has received. However, now that it has become increasingly more clear that James' main issues are not so much SID any longer, but significant processing disorder and what I would say is a severe case of dyslexia, my husband and I feel that this class is not the appropriate placement for him. We have our CSE meeting on the 26th and we are very curious to know whether or not the committee agrees with us. The sticky part is that their is not currently a multisensory class in place in our school district. Hmmmm????

Michelle

Michelle

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
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Posted:Mar 10, 2008 5:21:25 PM

I am very curious to see what happens at your next meeting. I asked our resource specialist if we could move her back to a mainstream classroom if we were not satisfied and I was told that if we were not happy with the self contained class we could call another meeting to discuss moving her back to a mainstream classroom. I then told the RSP "You did not answer my question. I want to know if WE can unilaterally move her back to a mainstream classroom if we were not satisfied" and she then said "Well.... no... it has to be a team decision." So, we are sticking with what we are happy with for fear that we would not be able to change it back later. But she really doesn't fit in with the SDC kids in our class anyway. She is behind by 1-2 grade levels in reading and math and writing where others (in 5th grade) are not reading at all. She is much higher functioning, but the program we are in right now is most likely costing the district more money because they are paying an aid to work with her 2 hrs/day as opposed to putting her in a classroom that already exists and by the way, there is no cap on class size. They told me they "try" to keep it under 12, but our class had 15 last year and another one has 17 this year and still another one had 16 this year. I'd say they aren't trying very hard to keep it to a smaller class size.

Kathryn

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twinzmommie
Joined Mar 08, 2008
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Posted:Mar 10, 2008 7:04:40 PM


I'd say they aren't trying very hard to keep it to a smaller class size.

Kathryn[/quote]

The fact that they have so many kids with special learning needs is telling me that they do not have enough special ed programs available to the children in the district.

I am really anxious to see what happens at my meeting as well.

Michelle

Michelle

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
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Posted:Mar 10, 2008 10:33:08 PM

I think they try to put as many kids into these classes as possible because opening up another classroom means a lot more money. We have 15000 kids in the district K-12 and only a handful of schools even have an SDC, so I don't think they have an outrageous # of special ed students, but what I think happens is that they do not intervene early enough, nor do they provide the right types of therapy or program for the kids. They deny kids from special ed until they are so severe and behind then they put them into the SDC through high school. They don't do any real remediation with them either in terms of dealing with their deficits. Their way of teaching these kids is "to the best of their abilities" but they do not try to change their abilities.

Just one person's opinion.
Kathryn

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twinzmommie
Joined Mar 08, 2008
Posts: 9

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Posted:Mar 11, 2008 3:35:15 PM

<<Their way of teaching these kids is "to the best of their abilities" but they do not try to change their abilities.>>

This is my frustration too. I know that in spite of my sons learning challenges, he is loaded with potential. His teacher agrees. I feel like we both know he belongs in an intensive full day multi-sensory program, but I would be shocked if she were to openly make this recommendation at our CSE meeting. The sooner he gets into one the better. Therefore, that is what I am prepared to ask for at my CSE meeting. There is a really great private school (The Windward School) not too far away, but I am not going to kid myself into thinking they will go for that on their dime. I still want it on the record that that is where I believe he should be.

Wish me luck!

Michelle

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
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Posted:Mar 12, 2008 1:59:20 PM

I know what you mean. I was told about a great program in another public school, but it's in another district and they wouldn't even entertain the idea. When I mentioned it they laughed at me. They said "You don't get to go to another district" stating that they had an appropriate program within our district. So, even though it's not really appropriate they say it is and they're off the hook. In the meantime, they continue to offer this noncategorical class saying it is appropriate. The bottom line is they don't have an appropriate program for my daughter so they just stick her in a spot that is open and say it's appropriate. AND I might note that the program specialist who is saying which program to put her in, has never even met my daughter! That's what pisses me off. It's simply an opening and it's a one size fits all type solution.

Good luck at getting them to keep a straight face and definitely push for what you want because they will never offer it on their own.

Kathryn

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