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    #140937 - 10/21/12 05:23 AM A
    moomin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/20/12
    Posts: 178
    gone


    Edited by moomin (08/09/14 09:37 AM)
    Edit Reason: gone

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    #141083 - 10/22/12 10:27 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    Mk13 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/12
    Posts: 761
    Sounds quite a lot like my DS4.2! lol ... they are fun kids, aren't they? DS will be starting public district pre-school in a few days and I am already scared! He does have a PDD-NOS diagnosis. In terms of Asperger's ... if she really did have Asperger's or Asperger traits ... would she be placed in a different classroom or still the same one? Our public preschool is only for kids "at risk" so there is no "normal kids" class. It's kids with speech issues, developmental issues, Autisum spectrum, and other kids where they suspect future problems once they enter elementary school. Is there a reason why you would NOT want her to be evaluated for Asperger's or other disorders?

    Sorry, I don't really have any answers for you ... all I can say is I decided to just enjoy the fun quirky side of DS and not let the other things bother me too much.

    And public preschool teachers, at least in my opinion, should be able to handle this kind of behavior. If not, than it's not a place for them to be.

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    #141085 - 10/22/12 10:33 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    mnmom23 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/09
    Posts: 701
    It sounds, to me, that you have a very gifted girl who is getting nothing positive from her preschool experience. I do see that her behavior would be quite difficult to deal with in a group setting of kids who are on a more "normal" developmental track. And your daughter would certainly benefit from learning more socially appropriate ways to deal with her misfit. BUT, I don't think that they problem is really your daughter. The problem is that she's four and in a bad situation that she can't possibly be expected to adjust to on her own.

    My first thought would be that she doesn't need to be in a group learning situation now or in the near future. Since keeping her home for you or your wife to homeschool isn't an option, I like mon's suggestion of finding a nanny or someone (a homeschooled hs student, perhaps, or a recent college grad) who could be at home with her and work and play one-on-one with her for the time being. Another option would be to have an aid to go to school with her and make sure her reactions are more appropriate in the group setting, but the preschool situation may be such a misfit that this wouldn't work either. If you did have someone work with her one-on-one in a more homeschool-like situation, then they could approach group classes (e.g., Kindermusik, gymnastics, dance, science exploration classes) on a more short-term basis.

    I really do feel for you. You have an amazing little girl and it can be so hard to see those gifts helping to make it a hard trek, especially so early in the educational journey.
    _________________________
    She thought she could, so she did.

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    #141090 - 10/22/12 10:54 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: master of none]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    She certainly is quite gifted and intense gifted kids can have trouble in preschool. Often it's a matter of finding the right situation.

    Have you thought about a nanny rather than preschool to allow her to follow her own path for this last year before she enters compulsory school?

    I think you really need to get to know your daughter and watch her social interactions with peers of all ages and if things are a bit off, have her evaluated by a specialist in both giftedness and child behavior. It sounds like her behavior is preventing her from succeeding in school and must be addressed so she can be happy and know how to deal with school. It also sounds like you don't totally trust the school system psychologist to assess her so you may want to go private with that. But, it does sound like she needs some sort of intervention.



    I agree with MON on this, particularly the suggestion for seeking input from a specialist in child behavior. I especially think it's important that, whether or not you think the suggestion of Asperger's is completely ridiculous, that you have a specialist who is looking in from outside with no bias evaluate what is going on. The teachers are really in no position to guess at a diagnosis, but they are also (usually) experienced professionals who see a wide # of children and are most likely recognizing that *something* is going on that your dd could use help with. I think it's really easy for us as parents of gifted children to assume that behavior differences are due to high IQ and as a result of that miss out on help our children really do need. Please know I know this is really tough - I'm the parent of a 2e kiddo and that's where my perspective is coming from.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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    #141101 - 10/22/12 12:38 PM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Wait, but...is she a problem for you at home, or no? You say this:

    Quote:
    When left to her own devices, she is contrary, difficult, disrespectful to adults (with the exception of family), frequently seemingly "out of control" of her body, her voice, and mood (especially when overstimulated... like at swim class).


    That sounds very difficult.

    but you also say she is "generally terrific" outside of school. So are the issues limited to school, or no? That would greatly influence my reply.

    FWIW, though, my daughter was very very difficult in preschool, and was, in fact, somewhat infamous there. I thought we would have major behavioral problems in school. We have not. Although she has had a few minor clashes and had maybe 3 major meltdowns in K, in general, she's been able to rein it in and has been very well-behaved.

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    #141103 - 10/22/12 12:53 PM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Thanks for the additional background info moomin, that makes a difference in what I have to add in my response and I hope you weren't offended by anything I said in my response, not being aware of your background.

    That said, I still think it's a good idea to seek out a private evaluation. I can understand the difficulty with going through the school and the concerns you have. A private evaluation comes with no hidden agenda, and you will have the opportunity to ask more detailed questions as well as get referrals (if needed) to private providers and/or recommendations for school.

    My gut feeling is that if your dd is struggling in more than one setting (swimming lessons as well as what I think you have listed as more than one preschool setting) it's a good idea to have someone who is a professional look at what's up - no matter how incredibly well she might be doing at home and when she's focused. I have found with my own children that it's easy to compensate at home without realizing it, and home is also a very familiar place for our kids, so it can be a place where a child who is stressed out in the outside world can feel relaxed and happy and not appear to be struggling - yet that anxiety or whatever is there is still a part of what's there in your child, and jmo, but I'd want to know what's going on and find some help for my child to learn to navigate those other situations.

    It might all be simply nothing more than gifted quirks, but I'd want someone other than just me evaluating and reassuring me that is all that it is.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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    #141405 - 10/25/12 08:11 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: moomin

    We acknowledge that there is an incentive for her to find a diagnosis that draws some sort of funding for additional classroom help (generally that would be AD or ASD in our district), and that makes us uneasy...


    Any pressure from below (i.e. the teacher wants help) is often countered by pressure from above (the district's incentive to save money by not identifying children).

    It is a misconception that the federal government provides adequate funding for services for children with disabilities; the IDEA mandate has never been fully funded, leaving districts to pay their own bills. This can be a powerful disincentive for the school psychologist to identify problems; in our (wealthy) district it is still routine to see children under-identified in schools. Note: school psychologists cannot provide medical diagnosis of disability, only an educational evaluation.

    Originally Posted By: moomin
    but we increasingly feel that some of the problems that our daughter is having and actively being created by the teacher in order to force an evaluation (i.e. not structuring our daughter's behavior until she is fully invested in an inappropriate activity, then coming down like a ton of bricks).


    It is sometimes the case that parents are inadvertently offering more support than they realize, and when similar support is not offered at school, the child does worse at school than at home. This sometimes means that there is a real problem to be addressed—the disparity can come from the fact that the parents are helping the child function in ways that the teacher does not expect do do because most children of that age don't require that kind of support.

    That is, how you worded your comment ("structuring her behavior") is a flag for me that you are working very hard to keep your child on track, perhaps harder than the parents of her peers are working. To me, this says evaluate.

    I would recommend an outside evaluation (complete) with the neuropsych, in parallel with the school's evaluation. The school will be looking for educational implications only, in a fairly restricted way, and they may lack the expertise to catch some things that need addressing. You want to know precisely what's going on, both strengths and weaknesses.

    DeeDee


    Edited by DeeDee (10/25/12 08:14 AM)
    Edit Reason: word choice

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    #141420 - 10/25/12 08:54 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: DeeDee]
    epoh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/31/11
    Posts: 954
    Loc: N. Texas
    Originally Posted By: DeeDee
    Originally Posted By: moomin

    [quote=moomin] but we increasingly feel that some of the problems that our daughter is having and actively being created by the teacher in order to force an evaluation (i.e. not structuring our daughter's behavior until she is fully invested in an inappropriate activity, then coming down like a ton of bricks).


    It is sometimes the case that parents are inadvertently offering more support than they realize, and when similar support is not offered at school, the child does worse at school than at home. This sometimes means that there is a real problem to be addressed—the disparity can come from the fact that the parents are helping the child function in ways that the teacher does not expect do do because most children of that age don't require that kind of support.

    That is, how you worded your comment ("structuring her behavior") is a flag for me that you are working very hard to keep your child on track, perhaps harder than the parents of her peers are working. To me, this says evaluate.
    DeeDee


    This is very much the issue we had. DS had obvious issues we saw at home, but they were NOTHING like what was going on at school. A lot of it was because we put so much effort into how things happened at home to prevent issues...
    _________________________
    ~amy

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    #141937 - 10/31/12 12:34 PM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Originally Posted By: moomin
    She suggested that the only way to find out was to do a full evaluation so that, "We can find her a label."


    I'm wondering if playing with fairy dust is perhaps better than snorting it?

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    #141950 - 10/31/12 02:23 PM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    Mk13 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/12
    Posts: 761
    as a mom of highly sensitive children who have serious sensory issues, I would LOVE if they wanted to play with sand! I don't really see how playing with sand is a concern??? As far as I know any OT would be jumping for joy over this!

    And "one on one" is SO MUCH BETTER than parallel play!

    I think the school psychologist needs to see a psychologist!

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    #141962 - 10/31/12 07:41 PM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    islandofapples Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/11
    Posts: 332
    I only have a 23 month old, so take anything I say with a grain of salt...
    To me, it's a no brainer. I'd pull her out. Try again at a later date when she's more mature. If one of you really can't take time off from work, then I like the nanny idea. I realize you're a teacher and probably believe in the system, but I've planned to homeschool since birth and I've had some great experiences with all the homeschooled gifted kids I've met. They seem pretty happy and well-adjusted and when they're together, they just get along so well.


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    #141965 - 10/31/12 08:40 PM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    And was the psychologist not at all concerned that your daughter was running rings around her? And is clearly able to CHOOSE to behave appropriately if she thinks it's to her advantage? Things sound very bad, I am usually very much of the same mind as poster's like DeeDee saying "evaluate" and I would, privately and with someone very expert. But to me if at 4 she is that tuned in to her environment that she spotted she was being assessed, read the notes, and can just turn behavior on/off like that, well she sounds bored witless and having a wow of a time making fun for herself and hell for everyone else....

    I don't feel like I have a single useful thing to say really. But I really feel for you.

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    #141975 - 11/01/12 06:33 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    epoh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/31/11
    Posts: 954
    Loc: N. Texas
    I have one suggestion for you, that might not be super helpful. Something that helped my son (besides, a Dx, meds and therapy!) was cold, hard cash rewards. hah! A couple of months ago I bought a magnetic dry erase chore chart from Target. We put down things like 'feed the dog', 'laundry', 'clean room', 'read' (school requires 15mins a night), and then good/bad day @ school. If his chart has all the appropriate stars during the week, and no bad days at school, he earns $3. The base allowance we did is $2/week, with a $1 bonus for straight 'greens' at school. -$0.25 per missing chore, and -$0.50 for a tantrum at school. (We wanted to make it where one or two bad days didn't ruin the whole week's allowance.) Since we started this bonus $1 business a few weeks back, DS has been doing fantastic! He's saving up for some LotR legos now!

    All that was really to say, you've gotta find your child's 'currency.' In my son's case it was actual currency, but for other kids it might be trips to the aquarium, or zoo, or a new book, or whatever. But I found the chart, up on the fridge, where everyone can see it every day really helped. Your child is clearly intelligent enough to see how her actions have consequences, so try focusing on positive reinforcement and get her to help! Ask her what sort of rewards she'd like to earn.
    _________________________
    ~amy

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    #142844 - 11/14/12 03:56 PM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    This is a public school? If so, you need the book From Emotions to Advocacy, which explains your child's rights and how to protect them.

    Originally Posted By: moomin
    Another meeting. This time I was told that my daughter has pinched another student and is being flagged as a safety risk. One more incident and she will be asked to leave her school until her, "issues have been addressed."


    If your state doesn't require preschool, I believe they can legally remove your child because of behavior such as this. If preschool is required, and it's a public school, they probably can't.

    Originally Posted By: moomin
    Meanwhile, the psychologist has informed us that there is a, "seven item evaluation" that she does to establish "autism-like symptoms" and that our daughter only has to possess one of the seven characteristics in order to receive a diagnosis.


    This is a school psychologist? There is no adequate seven-item test for autism, and school psychologists are not equipped to diagnose any disorder. It is permitted for them to make an educational evaluation, but not a diagnosis. (Did you consent to have her evaluated? I am wondering.)

    If your DD were my child, I would not ignore this, because often when schools see a red flag, there really is something going on; but I would take her to the premier expert in my region to rule autism in or out. I wouldn't trust the school psychologist to do this properly, and it seems like a slipshod operation they are running.

    Originally Posted By: moomin
    She indicated the belief that, untreated, she should not be mainstreamed until her behavior has been addressed, especially as now this pinching incident makes her a physical threat.


    That's inappropriate, and it's why you need the book I mentioned. The law protects children with disabilities; they are to be educated in the least restrictive environment in which they can function. If that means your DD needs an aide, they should be doing that for her rather then segregating her from other children. Again, I don't know what the law ensures because it's preschool, but this psychologist is out of line IMO.

    DeeDee

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    #142868 - 11/15/12 07:36 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    epoh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/31/11
    Posts: 954
    Loc: N. Texas
    Just curious, where is it the psychologist thinks she should be placed? Placing autistic children (not saying your child is!) with children with behavioral problems is a recipe for disaster, especially a high functioning kid. They SHOULD remain in a mainstream situation, just with additional supports.

    I am glad you didn't authorize this guy to do any eval. Private takes longer, but you get the chance to meet the person doing the evaluation and decide if you trust them or not before going forward.
    _________________________
    ~amy

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    #142871 - 11/15/12 08:11 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    Mk13 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/12
    Posts: 761
    My younger son (2.8) sounds very much like your daughter. He is not in preschool yet, he is home with me and is very withdrawn from social situations. And for about 4 months got to being aggressive and wouldn't tolerate any children near him. He does get services from early intervention and will be getting evaluation for autism but even his therapists aren't quite convinced whether his issues are autism, high IQ or both. Either way, even with the aggression issues, the school itself is already recommending we put him IN the special ed public preschool that my older one just started. ... there are mainly kids with speech issues but some other as well. But the special ed department is strongly advocating putting kids like my son into the normal setting and if he needed a one on one aide, they would most likely provide that to get him the services he needs.

    now, to give you some hope, we have just recently in the last 2 weeks seen the aggression completely disappear! He is still disinterested in socializing but no longer cares about anyone entering his space. I believe it's due to serious dietary changes we made 4 weeks ago ... but it could also be caused by something else ... some chemical changes of sorts? ... it started in June and not it's all gone.

    so, my point is ... I would NOT let the school label my child and place in a setting where things could get possibly even worse! And I would also try to look at what may be causing all this?

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    #144482 - 12/13/12 09:16 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    W'sMama Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/09/12
    Posts: 192
    Loc: CO
    Originally Posted By: moomin

    Meanwhile my daughter is at home full time and loving it.


    Well this much at least is a good thing!

    Those "dangerous behaviors" would be funny if it all weren't so stupid.

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    #144484 - 12/13/12 09:38 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    kcab Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    Originally Posted By: moomin

    After meeting with the administrator we were informed that the school could not accommodate such a serious behavior risk in their classrooms. The teacher had noted two other dangerous behaviors during the course of the week and was proceeding with paperwork that would result in my daughter formally having services denied by the district. The behaviors?

    1) Sprinkling sand on the sidewalk, thus creating a slippage risk.

    and,

    2) Refusing the wash her hands after outside play, therefore creating a health risk at snack time.

    Wow. That teacher has serious perspective issues.
    _________________________
    kcab

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    #144489 - 12/13/12 10:57 AM Re: Advocating with local public preschool... [Re: moomin]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: moomin

    After meeting with the administrator we were informed that the school could not accommodate such a serious behavior risk in their classrooms. The teacher had noted two other dangerous behaviors during the course of the week and was proceeding with paperwork that would result in my daughter formally having services denied by the district.


    I'm a little confused by this - I understand that the school is telling you your dd can't attend the school anymore due to behavior, but I don't understand what this means: "paperwork that would result in my daughter formally having services denied by the district." Has your dd been going through an IEP eligibility process?

    Re. the behaviors you listed, I know that when they are listed by themselves with no other explanation and no list of previous behavioral issues, they sound silly and not like a reason to kick her out. But they are behaviors that have happened after previous behavioral issues - it's not just these two incidents that resulted in the action on the school's part. I also may sound like a total nutcase parent here, but there's a chance that the "handwashing" incident really *could* put another child at risk (for instance, if there is a child in the classroom with life-threatening food allergies). In any event, to be able to function in school a child does need to be able to take direction from a teacher and not just do whatever they feel like doing.

    Originally Posted By: moomin
    The administrator who chaired the meeting followed me out to my car and said, "I'm really sorry about this, but there's nothing we can do. I've observed your daughter, and I think that she'd honestly do much better with a different teacher


    This is most likely the case - another teacher might be able to handle your dd's behavior in a much better way, but there are a lot of miles in between handling and understanding what's driving behaviors, and that's where I hope you'll continue with seeking the outside evaluation by a neuropsychologist. You'll need that eval for three reasons - to support you as you advocate with the school district, to help you understand how to go about advocating with the school district, and most importantly, to understand what's up and how to help your dd.

    I am so sorry this is happening - your dd reminds me a lot of a friend of ours who is now in 4th grade. He's a high IQ kid who has had very similar behavior challenges. His mom has struggled quite a bit with school placement. FWIW, just providing him with peers in the classroom and academic challenge (he was placed in our district's HG program) didn't resolve the behavior challenges.

    Originally Posted By: moomin
    Meanwhile my daughter is at home full time and loving it.


    I'm glad she's happy for now - and I hope you're able to find a solution that will work for your family longterm -

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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