whatcha reckon?

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whatcha reckon?

Post  Jeshiko on Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:35 am

I had a very VERY brief chat with the associate principal at our local school (across the road) about Mikko starting in Feb 2013. I asked how many hours teacher aide support he would get assuming he gets ORS funding and was told that all their ORS kids go into the special ed unit.
At this point I'd really like Mikko to be mainstreamed and I *think* he could handle it. AFterall most schools don't have special ed. units so he would be mainstreamed at most other schools. BUT because they have a unit I am guessing it is much more cost effective to place him in the unit where they can have 3 kids to a teacher aide instead of hiring someone just for Mikko. Do you think I have much hope in having him there in a mainstream class? I just have a feeling that it is going to be very difficult.

It's pretty ironic really. We bought this house because of the great school and now it may be the reason we move Rolling Eyes Laughing

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Re: whatcha reckon?

Post  Jeshiko on Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:39 am

I shoudld add that the ass. princ. said we should talk it over once we know if he is going to be ORS funded but the thing is we are thinking of rennovating or moving as we need more space so I'd love to know sooner if this school is going to work out or not. It's a great school (though very big) and we love the area. There is another school he could go to but we'd need to drive there. It's not zoned though so we'd get in fine and has no special ed. unit and a smaller role. But I have this thing about living near the school - I hate driving everywhere and love to be able to walk or ride.

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Re: whatcha reckon?

Post  Kiwigem on Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:33 am

That's a tricky one... I think I would be putting some thought into what to do as well but I've also learnt that a lot can change in 15 mths, so sometimes it's easier to make decisions about what would work best closer to the time based on what you know then (oh for a crystal ball Wink )

One question I would ask the school, is how much interaction with the rest of the school does the special ed unit do? Are there some classes/activities where they combine and work together with their peers? What happens at morning tea and lunch time... are the special ed unit children playing in the main playgrounds etc?

It might work well if there was a good balance of doing good learning in the special ed unit while being well supported with interacting with other children their age too.
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Re: whatcha reckon?

Post  Jeshiko on Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:41 pm

yes those would be good things to find out more about. I am just struggling with coming up with pros of spending time in the unit for Mikko rather than for the school. Mikko generally copes well with being around other kids at preschool and is compliant when led hand over hand. He won't usually engage with out 1 on 1 help but I can't see how the unit would be better than a teacher aide.

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Re: whatcha reckon?

Post  teegee on Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:12 am

What happens if he doesn't get the ORS funding? Will they still accept him and put him in the special ed class? What do the other school plan on doing - with or without the ORS funding? Is there an opportunity to be mainstreamed in the future?

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Re: whatcha reckon?

Post  Jeshiko on Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:32 am

teegee wrote:What happens if he doesn't get the ORS funding? Will they still accept him and put him in the special ed class? What do the other school plan on doing - with or without the ORS funding? Is there an opportunity to be mainstreamed in the future?

without the ORS he would be mainstreamed but with very little support. Max. is about 1 hr teacher aide support a day.
If he was at any other school without a unit he would have a teacher aide funded with the ORS which I gather is about 3 hours a day possibly a bit more.

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Re: whatcha reckon?

Post  missbee on Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:50 am

Hmmm thats a tough one. Not sure what i would do!

What is the unit like???

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Re: whatcha reckon?

Post  Jeshiko on Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:28 am

missbee wrote:Hmmm thats a tough one. Not sure what i would do!

What is the unit like???

I think it is a really great facility. I just don't think it offers Mikko anymore than a teacher aide in a regular class would. The kids in there have a broad range of dx. There are some with autism i think but also some that are really a lot like babies in terms of dev.

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Re: whatcha reckon?

Post  Dearna on Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:32 pm

We are having a really hard time school wise at the moment and I would offer a couple of pieces of advice. Make an appointment with the school to spend some time (20-30mins) in a typical mainstream class and in the unit. Check out the volume level/visual stimulation and general environment to see how you think he would cope. Make sure you and the school are on the same page with your 'philosophy' for your son, what are your hopes and dreams for him and can the school help you meet them.Christian is a very social kid but the lunchtime break has proven WAY too much for him and I now pick him up before lunch and drop him back after the lunch playtime.Is the person you met the schools SENCO (special education needs co ordinator)? If not, you NEED to meet them as well.I met with the principal when chosing a school for Christian not the SENCO,who is our school liason, and her and I have some differing opinions on special education needs and true inclusion.
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