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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Starting school next year - or not??

    DD has Aspergers with rather severe SPD. She will be 5 in Jan, so due to start prep term 1, 2013, but can be put off till 2014 at the latest.

    I'm in two minds about sending her next year. On the one hand, she is sooo bored at home and academically could deal with grade 2 right now! But emotionally and socially, she's of course way behind her kindy friends.

    The school she'll be going to is a very small country school of about 40 kids. Only 3 class groups - prep & 1 together in one classroom, 2 & 3 & 4 in another, and 5 & 6 together. So the composite class system would allow her to more easily skip ahead in certain areas, but the very small class size means more focussed help with her shortcomings.

    Any advice from AS parents who have already started school??

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    Wow, given the school environment you've explained, i would deffinatly send her!! The more social interaction she can gain the better and that school sounds brilliant!!
    My girl started in EI (early intervention), and is now doing prep in the SEU. Next yr she'll be in yr 1 SEU in a state school.
    Its amazing how far these kids can come when they're with peers

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    I guess i'm just a bit protective of her

    One thing i am rather concerned about is that because it is such a tiny school, they very regularly interact with the other 6 small schools in the district. So sporting events, swimming, and other special programs (like the 6 week ski program) would see her suddenly thrown in with up to a hundred other kids. When i was a kid, I went to one of the other schools in the district, so i know exactly what it was like - and even me, being NT, i found those days overwhelming!

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    My DS1 with aspergers was 5 before he started school, i had the same hesitations, as he waas only diagnosed a few months before school started and he really did not bode well in the daycare environment. He's very smart, but the daycare was too chaotic for him. He actually is thriving at school, he's very focused and attentive to what the teacher says, he's now in grade one, has come out of his shell so so much, he's come leaps and bounds since starting school. It's been a pretty smooth transition, the only things we need to work on is his food aversions and him not liking to eat in front of people, he gets pretty anxious about it, but he's coping really well. I hope your little one goes ok, you may just be surprised. Really the worst that could happen is if she repeats prep, or our school even discussed letting him have one day off a week or something like that. I also would sometimes just let him stay at home if he was too exhausted or overwhelmed, but i've been very surprised how well he's coped. Goodluck, but i understand your reservations

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    steel magnolia  (08-10-2012)

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    Hi just shiny

    just Thought I would quickly pop in and add that I work in a school exactly like you have described. If your dd qualifies for funding (and I expect she would do so) I think you will usually find an aide will be employed to help her deal with the social and even academic advancement aspects of school. Of course this all depends on the school and prin and budget etc, but from my experience the aide would usually spend maximum time with the child for who they were emloyed to help, therefore creating a more comfortable and familiar environment.

    Have you discussed this with the prin at all?

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    Is she in an ECDP this year? What do her current ECDP, kindy or childcare teachers say?

    I was anxious about my son (Aspergers) starting prep next year but as he turns 5 in November his current ECDP teachers aswell as the Head of spec ed at his school for next year were all concerned he would be far too old if we kept him back for a whole year (he would then be 6 yrs 2mnths). SO based on how well he's doing in child care and ECDP and the fact he will already be one of the older kids in prep we decided to start him next year.

    Make sure you have an appointment with the HOSE at the school to discuss adjustments that can and should be made (eg ill be asking for sensory breaks, more time allowed to eat his food, That he NOT be pressured to eat if he doesn't want to (previous food aversion I do not want resurfacing), that his feet touch firmly on the ground when hes sat at his desk (appropriate desk height), and that his teacher is as briefed on stuttering strategies etc.

    How it will all pan out, only time will tell. Good luck!

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    Great tips, thanks

    Unfortunately, this is all being organised long distance, since we are planning an interstate move over xmas. There is a chance we could move next month, but i have to plan on the strong possibility that our first visit to the school will be on term 1 day 1! I won't meet with the principal or tour the school at all or have DD do prep transition. It's all making me very nervous!!!!

    But i'm not a complete stranger there. Most of the students are children of people i went to school with. The woman in the front office is an old family friend. I don't know the principal, and i don't know my way around the new buildings (the whole place burnt down during the 09 bushfires and so it's all brand new) but i am confident that any issues such as sensory breaks and other special needs can hopefully be smoothed out early on. My old high school bestie has twin boys who will be in grade 1, so same classroom with DD. I might arrange some regular playdates over xmas so she has some familiar faces.

    I hope we move early, as i want her to have the best possible start, not just thrown in the deep end!


 

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