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Autistic Class

Question:
My child started kindergarten in an all autistic class. I know there are several pros and cons of this. What are things I can look out for, positive and negative? He will be using the cafeteria after the first 2 months.

My Opinion:
My rambling ideas:

1.Do the school people and teachers listen to the parents and consider their ideas and recommendations??

2.Do the teachers treat him like a child that has difficulties, or as some sort of lesser animal?? Do they believe he can improve, and is worth their efforts, or that he will be a nothing for his life??

3.Does he like to go most of the time, does he regress when he is home, or any other behaviors that would indicate he is either bored, too stressed, or not being treated well??

4.Does he come home with new stims or other behaviors that he is learning from the other kids that the teachers donít seem to be attempting to re-direct??

5.Is he progressing, staying the same, or regressing?? Does the program seem to be just babysitting??

6.What is the teaching method, ABA, floortime, etc?? Does this meet your idea of what he should be receiving??

7.Are the other kids progressing too?? Do the teachers care about all of them?? Are the teachers happy to see the kids, affectionate (within limits), or are they just putting in their time until their pension??

8.Are the other kids basically at his developmental level or higher, or are they lower, non-verbal, etc, so he doesnít have much to model for higher-level behaviors??

9.Are they working toward inclusion as a goal, or are these kids all basically written-off to remain in this type of class until age 18?

10.Are you happy with his IEP, or do you want to see some changes??

11.Are you encouraged by the teachers and other school staff to visit and even participate in the classroom activities, or are you discouraged, indicating they might have something to hide??

12.What do the other parents with kids in that class feel about the class and teachers/aides??

13.Are there other kids in your district that are receiving different/better/more services because their mothers fought for them?? Would you like those services for your child??

14.You said this is a new program. Are the teachers fully trained, or trainees?? They may not be too experienced, but should still be qualified and have some experience. Is there an experienced person to oversee the entire program??

15.What services were provided in the district before this program began?? Are those services still offered, and if so, are they better for your child than where he is currently placed??

16.What is the student/teacher ratio?? Is it low enough that the kids can all get enough individual attention??

17.Are separate services such as OT and speech provided by the same teachers, or by different ones?? Is it done on a "pull-out" basis, and if so, does your child handle transitions well enough that several pull-outs donít disrupt his day so much that he isnít handling any of it very well??

18.Do the other kids treat your son (and everyone else) okay, or are there bullies, etc?? Are shy or non-social kids encouraged and helped to participate in social activities??

19.When they start using the cafeteria, will they still be assisted by their teachers and aides?? Will they go with all the other kids (probably way too many kids for most AS kids to try to function with at the same time) or will they go just their class, or will it be a type of "inclusion" with a few typical classes for age-appropriate interactions?? Will they go with other kindergarten kids, or older kids, or all ages of kids??

20.What other types of interactions (playground, etc) are provided with typical kids, for modeling typical behavior and inclusion?? Is it "free-play" or structured, and is it supervised by more than just playground monitors??


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