How effective is special education in public schools?

Chandrika - posted on 09/28/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a 4&1/2 year old son who has some speech issues. He talks a lot, but cannot pronounce some sounds. I got him evaluated with the school district and he was found to have mild or significant delay in many areas. Now, I am very reluctant to believe that he has more problems than just speech... He seemed to behave in a very silly manner during the testing and refused to reply to many of the questions. He is like that sometimes even with me. Even if he knows something, he may reply wrongly. Like how we would if we encountered a trick question :-) He was having fun though and trying to make the evaluators laugh at his silly antics etc.
My son can spend hours making up stories in his imaginary world, But tries to avoid any activity which would need him to use his brains or hand skills(atleast at home)., like puzzles, or board games (counting), or building tracks, LEGO, coloring etc
He is going to the special Pre-K program, where the teacher tells me, that he is doing good. My worry is that I don't know what is the problem with my son... Who would give me a diagnosis if any exists ... Didnt get one from a Ped. Neurologist...(just said some vitamins and activities like swimming or soccer would help)
How can I get more detailed information about how he functions at school ? He won't tell me anything about school...Except that he seems happy to go every morning.
On the whole, I am worried that I am not doing enough to give him help because I don't know what kind of help he needs...

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Louise - posted on 09/28/2010

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It sounds to me like your son is between needing specialist help and a one to one tutor. If you think there is more than just speech delay then you need to take him back to the doctors and demand he see a behavioural therapist who will be able to guide you on these matters. Some children like to hide there problems with using silly behaviour to disguise there problems as it takes the pressure off them. Maybe you need to approach the problem in a different way and go and talk to the school and express your concerns. They should be providing progress reports to his speech therapist so ask to see his file. If they know you are a proactive parent they are more inclined to work with you.

Lisa - posted on 09/28/2010

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You should be getting reports regularly from the school along wtih having a monthly or quarterly meeting with his teacher(s) and therapist(s) at school. I have a 3 year old who had speech delays due to not being able to hear until she was 2 1/2 and attends early education through the school district. Every monday there is a weekly summary of the previous week. What they worked on, what new words or sounds that were said, motor skills observed, etc. along with any other notes they think would be important to us. We also receive a monthly report that lists her goals and how she is progressing in reaching those goals.

As far as a diagnosis, he may not need one. When my daughter was evaluated for trying to be in the early education program, she needed to have a deficit in three areas of her life and we graded her deficits in speech, social, and self-help (she wasn't potty trained yet). In Wisconsin, that was the only way in which she would qualify for the program.

I wouldn't worry too much about having a formal diagnosis and focus on the positive things that your son is accomplishing in school. And if you're not getting reports, ask the teacher to send one or ask for a monthly meeting.

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Sophia - posted on 09/20/2012

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ASK FOR A MEETING WITH THE TEAM THAT CARE'S FOR YOUR CHILD AT SCHOOL. ASK TO SEE THE WORK HE DOES IN CLASS... ASK IF HE IS KEEPING UP WITH HIS PEERS IN CLASSWORK... ASK WHAT CAN YOU DO AT HOME TO FEEL MORE LIKE A PART OF THE SCHOOL TEAM.

Chandrika - posted on 09/28/2010

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Thanks for the response. I wasn't educated here so didn't know how things function here. I think I will ask for weekly and montly updates.. The speech therapist sends in some info about what to work on at home...

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