Collin's IEP is set for 2/6 and we are trying to decide what the best placement is for him.
Collin will be 7 on 2/1 and is in school all day. He has regular Kindergarten in the morning with 1 hour of pull out time w/ a special ed teacher...basically 1 on 1. Then, he goes to lunch and stays for a TITLE 1 Kindergarten enrichment program in the afternoon.
Collin is doing ok with his acedemics. He is not as far a long as I would like but, we are getting there. He does not know his alphabet but can tell you what sounds the letters make. We are working on counting to 10 but he gets stuck with the 3 and 4 but once you help him with that he can do the rest up to 10 on his own. Colors...are a different story. Both the teachers and I think he may be color blind...and that's no joke. He knows most of his shapes.
Since we did not start Collin in Kindergarten until he was 6 I am not sure what to do. I know he would benefit from another year of Kindergarten but this would put him as an 8 year old 1st grader. I don't know if this would be a problem or not. Plus his sister will start Kindergarten next year and I want to make sure she has her own school experience even though she is really really good with him.
Here is my opinion about repeating grades. Take it for what it's worth....
Your child can only be in school until they are 21 years old. If they are 6 and just starting kindergarten, they will not have much room for repeating other grades later on, when you might feel it's really necessary. So, you have to be very careful and think Waaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead with this one, because after age 18 or so, those last couple of years working on independent living skills and job skills are very very important (and very much free while they're in school). Some areas of the country you have to pay to have them in vocational rehab programs once they're out of high school.
Repeating grades like 1st and 2nd is sometimes more prodcutive than repeating kindergarten. Some kids really need more time getting some of the early reading and math skills down before moving onto 3rd grade. But, depending upon their age, and where their birthday falls, they won't have room to repeat those grades if they repeat Kindergarten. The social skills in 1st grade are very similar to those needed in Kindergarten. It might be a better idea to repeat that instead.
Last Edit: Jan 18, 2007 14:51:07 GMT -5 by lespring
Post by momofrussell on Jan 18, 2007 15:33:46 GMT -5
I would think about the pros and cons of both sides of it Connie. What truly would he gain from kindy that he couldn't work on in 1st.. and visa versa. I know we want our kids to be "ready" for the next grade, always...but sometimes there are things they will have to be accomodated and learned in the next grade too. Are you thinking of holding him back purely on the academic reasons? Or for the social reasons? Or both?
I know this is a tough one. We held Russell back in EC an extra year because he hadn't had alot of consistancy and was needing another year of EC... so he too didn't start kindy until he was six. Now, due to his class type I don't feel the need to hold him back.. but Russell isn't included like Collin.
Adrienne, wife of Kevin, mom of Regan 19, Russell (DS, Autism, Visually Impaired) 14 and Reece 11.
Clarice went into kindergarten at 4. She wasn't five until mid-October. We did fight to keep her in pre-school, but her district wasn't willing to pay the county for the special pre-school anymore. I asked about repeating kindergarten. We were advised against it for the reason of using that repeat option later for an extra year of living skills in high school, or some other time when it became apparent that the extra year would really boost skills. Clarice has no academics with the regular classes. She's too easily distracted. As she enters fourth grade, we're beginning to look at her having some academics like history with a lower grade. She's small enough to fit in. She didn't learn her alphabet until 2nd grade, and she can't count up to 50 accurately, but that's why she has the IEP to meet her needs!
This is an interesting thread for me, too, because I am thinking of keeping Cole in kindergarten for two years, too. I know the arguement about having the extra years in school at the end of his education, rather than spending them now,and Cole will be 5 1/2 when he starts kinder. If he were a typical boy, I might even consider holding him out (but not necessarily repeating), just due to the fact that he has a late spring birthday and boys often mature more slowly anyway. But, if I just hold him out (rather than have him repeat), I don't know what to do with him for that extra year. The developmental preschool that he attends is funded by the district, who won't pay for another year, and it is full anyway, even if we could afford to fund it ourselves. A private preschool wouldn't have the therapy supports and we'd end up paying for it ourselves, too.
Cole has a little sister at home, too, who is quite ready for kindergarten (or at least thinks she is!), but I kind of see that as an advantage. I too, want her to have her own experience in kinder but I don't think we'd take anything away from her by putting them in the same year, as long as they were in different classes. (The school has 3-4 sections of kinder each year.) It seems like I've heard enough nightmare stories from parents who found out all the other kids were doing "x" at school, yet they never got notice of it because the teacher didn't think the child was 'capable' or cared anything about the activity, so didn't include them. I kind of like having her as a safeguard to make sure he gets included in everything that he should be included in. And I don't feel like that would be to the detriment of my daughter.
It is a fine line, for sure, and I want to make sure we're making the right decision. I guess when it comes down to it, I agree with A. that an extra year of kinder isn't going to catch him up or make a huge difference down the road, but I am leaning toward this for my own peace of mind, knowing that there will be an extra set of eyes looking out for him. (Not that I'm suggesting she should be her brother's keeper, but just a little bit of a safety net.)
I will be curious to hear the other suggestions/ideas and stories.
Kristin mom to: Cole (ds) 4.19.02 Campbell 4.24.03 Cameron 3.01.95
My oldest (non ds) repeated K. He has a May birthday and was/is immature. I really didn't want him to go to first grade until we had some of the foundations down pat. I felt without the foundations, nothing else will stick. Cory grew leaps and bounds his second year of K. For Cory it was one of the best decisions we could have made.
I agree with A, you'll have to weigh the pro's and con's. For us, thinking about it was so tough. Once we made the decision, we just felt it was right and the pressure went away.
Good Luck Dawn
Mom to Cory (12), Gracie (10) and Jake (5 and has DS)
Connie, We might have talked about this in the past, but I'm not sure!
I had a friend from college who was a teacher, and she encouraged me (way back when Michael was 5......and he had a late JULY birthday) to wait till just after he turned SIX to start kindergarten. It worked out very well for him. So, when EMILY was in preschool, we decided to just go with that same approach with her. She went to pre-kindergarten an extra year, and then went to a private kindy with only 8 kids just after she turned six. It was an awesome experience for her, and she learned a lot. But, when it was time for her to move on to 1st grade and it was determined that she would go to our neighborhood school, I asked if she could do kindergarten again.....knowing there was likely to be a big difference in the whole atmosphere of a class with 8 versus a kindy class of 26!! If she was going to struggle with the larger class size, I wanted her to do it in a class that was relatively easier for her......like kindy; since she had already done that. I thought having her start out firmly in kindergarten would help her to be accepted better, and that would carry through for years. I hope that makes sense.
I totally understand the aspect of only having till age 21 years of age for the students to be in public school. But, one thing that was important for us was this: After she started kindergarten in the neighborhood school, I wanted her to go all the way through the years with the same kids.....rather than having to do a grade over again and sort of get "left behind" the other kids. That has had a lot to do with my concern about possibly holding her back in the 8th grade rather than going on to high school next year. (Different topic, different post.....but something to think about)
So............Emily started her 2nd year of kindy just days after turning 7. She is going to enter high school just days after she turns 16. Interesting point.........she'll have only one full year after graduation for the "post graduate" class. I've heard it is awesome. Too bad we don't all live in Michigan! Someone recently posted that students in Michigan can go to public school till age 26!!!!!!
John just turned 8 and is in first grade, so he turned 7 in the middle of kindergarten just like your Collin. He did great in K, and while he is learning a lot in first grade, the other kids are really getting far ahead of him now. I am not sure what is going to be recommended for next year, but unless he makes tremendous progress in the next few months, first grade may be repeated. He is fully included, all day, only occassionally seeing the spec. ed teacher when the rest of the class is working on things way over his head. He just hasn't learned to read, really read this year, and can't see him going on the second without this skill. He is very close, sounds out nicely, but just can't put it all together. First grade is a really tough year academically so I just don't know what you should do. Also the benefits of the social stuff have been huge this year, he has learned so much from the expectations of the other kids. Good luck!
Carolyn- Pete (DH)Elizabeth 16, Bridget 15, Peter 12, John 9(DS)
**Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. **
We chose to repeat 1st grade not Kindy. I know a lot of peole who have repeated Kindy and were very happy with their decision. I didn't feel like Kallie needed more of Kindy cause she had met the goals needed to go to the next grade. But let me tell you 1st grade was a REAL EYE OPENER! She struggled through that first year but now she is repeating it and doing much better at it the second time around. I agree with Leah though and you have to be careful chosing what grades you want to repeat. Good luck with your decision, let us know how your meeting goes!
Laura started Kindergarten at age 5, just a few weeks before her 6th birthday. We also dealt with the decision of having her repeat K, or move on to 1st grade. Although it is a hugely individual decision, Laura's K teacher recommended she move on to 1st grade. She said that she was pleased with Laura's academic progress, no, she wasn't doing all the K work, however was doing mostly K work. She wasn't worried about her academic progress as much, because as she put it "that is what the IEP is for, to help determine academic progress". Her main reason for Laura moving on was maturity and behavioral. She felt that Laura had grown so much in those areas, that repeating K would be a hinderance. She said that Laura would be spending the year with kids that were, for the most part, 5 years old, some would have just turned 5 before starting K. Some of the kids would have never been in any organized educational setting before, and she was very worried what impact that would have on Laura. She was worried about regression in these areas. She made the point that one reason for having Laura in the regular classroom was peer modeling, and wanted Laura to have the appropriate setting for that. After much worry, debate, etc., we sent Laura on to 1st grade. She did very well, she did repeat 1st grade, and ultimately, for Laura, this was the best decision.
Man, after 15 years, I am still looking for some kind of owner's manual.
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2007 8:27:54 GMT -5 by laurasmom
Sharon Wife of Mike and Mom of Laura, (20, DS) and Kelly (16)
We kept Chris back in the first grade due to maturity mostly. He was 5 and 1/2 when he started Kindy. Just my thoughts and I knows its hard to know what the right thing to do is, so much soul searching and all...
But my thoughts are if you are going to keep them back do it in the very early years, easier on the child. Least thats how I think bout it
Best of Luck with your decision, I know its not an easy one.
Hi Connie Boy, Collin and my son Colby sound so much alike. I recently had my first team mtg. In K (not IEP) and foud out all of olbys frmal evals were so outdated and not even done the way they do them in elementary school. The whole team school psych., speech, OT, and ect. will begin testing Colby once the all hve had a chance to really observe him in both his inlcusion class and his special ed class. They all seem very "onboard" with finding out were to even begin with him, they need a baseline to set goals and see were he is at. Anyways I haven't really given enugh thought to keeping Colby back in K I just automatically thougt he would. He sounds like hes pretty much on the same academic level as Collin. In fact I just yesterday got his report card from his inclusion class base without any of his supports and it doesn't look very good. He got alot of E's(expriencing difficulies) All in academic areas. So I don't know wha I'm going to do either. His IEP is next week so I'll bring this situation up. my initial thoughts were that Colby should have more of an academic foundaton (ABC's, counting and such) before moving on and tackling bigger things. I guess he still has time to prove me wrong. jenn
I think with boys its a bit easier to make this decision. Usually boys mature a bit later than girls...you wouldn't want a girl to be so old that she is beginning her period in second grade...as we moms of older girls know. Also from talking with my friends who have adult guys with DS...it seems like the boys also tended to mature socially at a somewhat slower rate...but...they do all catch up.
I have a friend whose son is Emily's age. He didn't have DS...but is DD ...and pretty capable.. but he remained in kindergarten until he was almost 9...then...there were problems with the school system...some who felt he should then be moved up and skip a grade to be included in a more socially correct setting closer to his age...and also those who felt if he had to remain so long in kindy...that perhaps he didn't belong with others at all. It turned out to be a big dilemma for his family...but he eventually moved on and stayed with the kids he started first grade with and graduated at 22.
I tend to agree with those who say that probably everything can be taught to him in a first grade setting. I like the idea of kids being with kids within a year or so of their age gradewise. And I bet by the time YOU get to HS...they will have the post secondary experience all figured out and you would hate to miss getting in on this transition experience because your son was too old...but only YOU can make this decision and you know what you are up against better than any of us here.
Connie...sorry I didnt see this post sooner. I have it all figured out for you. I kow you guys go snowmobiling in Michigan in the winter and it is fairly close to where you live soooooooooooooooo.... you hold him back in kdg or do as I did with Chase, he did half da kdg and half day ist grade, it worked well for him but that year I had awesome teachers for him, things didt go to the dogs until his first ful year of first grade with a different teacher sigghh, but that is another story. Anywayssss, you neednt worry because you can send him to michigan schools once he is ready for the post high school life skills training and ummmm (hint hint) he can do it in my school, oh yes that's right! I live in Michigan ....the ONLY STATE IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES CAN ATTEND SCHOOL UNTIL AGE 26!!!!! Sooooooo you allll, never fear if your kiddos dont get it done by age 21, send them to me, I will hug them love them, kiss them feed them teach them and send them back at 26, oh....but I do NOT want them until they are 21......LOL!!!! And I dont mean to brag but if anyone gets to Michigan, you really need to come check out my school, we rock 8-)LOLOLOLOL Does that sounds like bragging a bit? It is, I work hard because I expect each one to be what I would want for Chase, as independent as possible with daily life skills, job skills to their ability, transportation skills to their ability, independent skills to their ability and if they so choose college skills to their ability, yes we have a college close by that works with some of our students and to top it off, we have a awesome training school they can go to, it is like a college campus where they can stay and attend and learn a trade!!! And as long as they are under 26, it is free. Michigan may have no jobs for us, it may be cold as a deep freeze but for schools for our young adults.............. it kicks major butt!!!!! ;D hugs, Robin Chasemans Mom
Mom of Chase (DS) and Zachary....they give me strength to believe in myself
Connie i'm so gad Robin brought this topic up again. How did Collins IEP go. We had Colby's and after reading all the posts I kind of went in to the mtg. with the I don't want him to be kept back in K just in case he needs that year to be held back in later grades. I have to say, it wasn't what my gut was telling me. The teachers pretty much agreed wth me. Nothing was set in stone, his IEP has to be revisited March 17 because all of his testing should be complete. Meanwhile I contacted the special ed coordinator in my town and told her how I felt about repeating K or moving ahead. She told me hopefully she'll know more at the next mtg. but she's trying to get a k/1st grade program set up for next year.So Colby will go to the K class for academic stuff then go with 1st grade for social like gym, music, art ect. Who knows what else. The special ed coordinator also told me not to worry about high school because our community college offer an awesome life skills/daily living program. In fact spoke to a mom that has an adopted son with DS in the same school as my son a couple grades ahead he repeated K then she wanted him to repeat 2nd they were telling her no and she had to raise a little bit of a stink but he ended up repeated 2nd too. This women also has a biological son w/DS who's in his 20's and she swears by keeping back in the younger grades and pushing them through in the higher ones and getting them in these college programs. So now thats what I'm going with at this time... ALSO Colbys special ed teacher who was wonderful just went on maternity leave. The teacher taking over is not so great so I almost feel like he's losing three months time. Jenn