Monday, March 26, 2012


WOW!!! I haven't written anything here for a week! It's not that nothing has been happening -- it's just that it's been pretty quiet around here.

We just learned when we are going to make a "final decision" on Ballerina's kindergarten placement (late May). Last month, we discussed our options and decided to hold off making a decision until the end of the school year to see how she does as her teachers institute a couple of changes in the way they address her. She has started attending the kindergarten in her school for an hour or so each morning. While she is there, she is expected to behave like the other students in the classroom. She is expected to listen and to raise her hand when she wants to talk. And when she talks, she is expected to answer the specific questions. They are placing more demands on her to see how she handles the load. And they have instituted a "token" system -- when she behaves, she earns tokens. And then, at the end of the day, she can trade in her tokens for computer time, dress-up time, and time in front of the mirror.

So far, in general, we're seeing quite a bit of success. She has had a bad day or two, but in general, she's taken to the change in routine and thrived. And everyone is entitled to a bad day from time to time. And I'm thrilled that this has been so successful.

But I'm still worried about what's going to happen next year. I almost wish this wasn't quite as successful....if it doesn't work, they won't try to put her in a typical kindergarten classroom but into the Early Learning Center and then we can work on this next year. With this success, it's more likely that they will feel that our best option will be a mainstream classroom. And I have my doubts. I think she will be successful on most days. But what about when she has a bad day? Now they can remove her from the kindergarten classroom and prepare to start fresh the next day. But if she's not in the Early Learning Center, I'm not sure what they can do about it because they won't have anywhere to send her.

I know how this sounds. But it's accurate....I want her to have the learning center as a safety net. If she is placed there, she can use the resources available in that room to help her when things start to fall apart. We can use them for one year to help her make this transition. The CAPP program is one-on-one. It is considered one of the more intensive programs, and this is why I was told last year that she wouldn't be ready to enter a diploma bound program when she left preschool (see the article I wrote on SPD Blogger Network). I still would like to see her have a chance to acclimate to the school and then take the time to integrate into the typical classroom, which means placing her in the Early Learning Center. I want to see her thrive. And I believe the best way to make that happen is to give her one more year in a special education classroom.

Only one question remains.......who in that room is going to agree with me at the end of the school year.

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