Wednesday, March 9, 2016

kindergarten transition is making me stress

I've been stuck home all week because of sick kids. Liv had double pink eye, Mads ended up with some sort of weird puke/cold type thing, and now Gabe is home sick with a fever and related symptoms.  It's 70 degrees outside and I'm stuck inside, watching Kate and Mim Mim (stab me, please-their voices are the absolute worst).


I start a new job tonight, at a local brewery. I'm super excited about it, for a couple of reasons. First-beer. I mean, really. Second-they close at a reasonable time so no more working until 3am for me. I'm too old to be staying up until almost dawn.

Not getting enough sleep exacerbates my anxiety, and we all know that doesn't need to happen. I already have enough trouble keeping my brain chemistry in line, and I'm sick of having to fight against myself just to get through each day.


Liv is in preschool an extra year right now, which our county calls a preschool exception year. Basically, her IEP team thought she would benefit from an additional year of the special ed preschool program, and this year it's a reverse inclusion class. Six kids with IEPs, six typical kids. She freaking LOVES going to school.

Loves it. It's been awesome.

Now, though, I'm kind of freaking out. Her kindergarten transition meeting is in a few weeks and I seriously have no idea what to do with her next year. She has so many options, and I honestly don't know what's best.


1. Self contained class.
Smaller class size, special education teacher. Only...some of the kids have cognitive disabilities and Liv doesn't, and I'm concerned that she'll stop trying as hard. She's SO determined to do well, and she's just got such a great attitude about doing things. She believes in herself.

2. Full inclusion with pull-out.
In a typical class with 25 other kids. She's still a wobbly kid, and doesn't run or jump and walks super slowly. She's very space defensive because she knows she's unstable, and she wouldn't have any sort of aide.

Her PT thinks she'll do great with full inclusion because she IS so capable, but I worry. Will she be able to keep up? She can't even open her own lunch containers sometimes, and needs help with things like taking the top off a yogurt. She can't write, at all, not even her own name. Her fine motor skills are still really, really behind.

But I also don't want her to be feeling like she doesn't need to work hard to move forward.


I seriously can't stop thinking about this entire thing.


Midwayedancer said...

Special ed teacher here. I say take the plunge and go for full inclusion. In kindergarten and 1st especially there is such a range of abilities in kids who show up to school for the first time, the teachers are used to differentiating and assisting. If you felt like it was the wrong choice, you could always have her pulled out more.

Plus, actually the law says that you should start with the default of inclusion and then work your way to a more restrictive settings. I would just be super explicit about your concerns and have them documented in the IEP ("Will need assistance in the lunch room opening containers" "Will need assistance in the classroom unzipping bookbag" "Hand held assistance during fire drills" or whatever.)

Charbelle4 said...

The above comment is awesome! Time flies! I can't get over the fact that Maddie is going to be 5 this year! I'm excited about your new job I think it sounds awesome!!! I'm going to Asheville in May for a "brew cruise" I'll let you know if it's something I think you would like.