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Need Help Finding Schools For My 5 Year Old HFA Son..

A MyAutismTeam Member

Need help finding a kindergarten for my 5 year old HFA son. I live in Kent Washington and I’m finding it hard to find public/private schools who understand kids on the spectrum. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

posted July 29, 2012
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5 replies
A MyAutismTeam Member

Kristen I have 2 boys that were both special needs- the first I was SO excited that he was able to start kindergarten I started him at 5 and nobody shared the research or advice with me that I just shared with you even though his neurologists suspected ADHD at that age already (he had severe birth trauma to his head, neck and face and his previous issues were life threatening and much more severe than just ADHD/CAPD which he's been diagnosed with both) Even though grade wise he thrived as a good student -he was constantly the behavior problem child from day one and yelled at almost daily. We had constant parent teacher meetings but unfortunately I wasn't as skilled or knowledgeable back then to know what to do- and again no good advice. He was tested by the school in the 99th percentile- tested by neurologists as gifted- but he had the focus of a flea- he was classified as gifted learning disabled but I always regretted starting him at 5 and not 6. He also was a summer baby!! This is my son Dakota's background

So I knew to start my son with apraxia at 5. Funny though -they won't necessarily tell you that. They 'may' even say you can't keep your child in preschool until 6 covered by the IEP as they did with me. Just smile and ask them to put that in writing for you. They won't put anything in writing that is against your child's federal rights. If your town school can't provide appropriate placement and therapy than you can advocate for what is called 'out of district placement' that is what we got written into my son Tanner's IEP!

Here is an interview my son Tanner gave to Kid's Enabled at 14

Both boys have done really well -but took lots of work on his part and advocating/therapy on our part -of course worth it!!

Again have these links with lots of other tips for the IEP meeting you can have to hold off kindergarten for another year and keep him in preschool with appropriate services. And tell them you are speaking with me and I'm the author of The Late Talker and I do plan on writing a book for school age and beyond at some point after we have some research on other things our group is working on:

Dealing with IEPs for a Speech Impaired Child

IEP Goals, Objectives, and Sample Letters to Teachers

The Pediatrician's Role in Development and Implementation of an Individual
Education Plan (IEP) and/or an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)

posted July 30, 2012
A MyAutismTeam Member

Hi Kristen...Good info. I so wish i could do's been on my mind for some time. Do you know of a homeschooling atmosphere where he could go w/ other children like him?
Thanks for your insight!

posted July 29, 2012
A MyAutismTeam Member

Hi lisa..thank you so much for sharing your info, especially the article on holding kids not ready for KG back. This is a fantastic resource...thank you again!

posted July 29, 2012
A MyAutismTeam Member

Outside of this group see if you can ask in as many groups as possible -or look for a local support group you can join and ask around. Also check with your son's professionals. Here is a page on the public schools and if none are appropriate you can seek what is called 'out of district placement' through the IEP- you can pull from information on advocacy here

also you 'may' want to think about holding back preschool for one more year -there is research funded by the US Dept of Education to support starting kindergarten at 6 instead -I have the study here

posted July 29, 2012
A MyAutismTeam Member

Are schools around her have some good spec ed programs and some bad but it seems none of the staff have a good insight on dealing with autism. My son who is 3 not on the add spectrum and my 16 month old who is will both be homeschooled. My son has a problem concentrating and to us and is now starting to become hyperactive and kayleigh can not engage unless it is 1 on 1 so we feel it will be best for them to stay home.

posted July 29, 2012

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