Transition to Grade 1

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After two years of kindergarten, where are we now with Johnny? We decided to change Johnny’s status from Regular Classroom with Indirect Support to a Special Education Class With Partial Integration. Why the change?  The designation doesn’t really give the complete picture.  Johnny is registered as being in an ISP Autism Classroom for kids Grade 1-3 (an ISP Room is an Intensive Support Room.) but he spends 80%-90% of his day in Regular Grade 1 Classroom with dedicated EA and rest of time in ISP Room receiving coaching re: social or regulation piece.  Up until end of December 2013, Johnny was the only child in the ISP room but now there are 2 other children with him. The premise is to teach skills at an early age to lead to full inclusion with limited or no support when they are older.  An EA (Educational Assistant) is attached to ISP room and only helps ISP room children. The idea is to give targeted and individualized help according to the student’s needs.  There are ME Classrooms (Multi-Exceptionality) classrooms as well but this is the first geared to Autism.

How is Johnny doing? Very well. He decided on his own that he needed a cubby with his name on it in the Grade 1 classroom which for us means he truly feels part of the group. The teacher had given him his own desk with his name on it but because he is on the special education class list his stuff was being stored in that room. When Johnny came back from Christmas holidays he asked that he have his own cubby in the Grade 1 classroom. He is doing so well that the French teacher went to the Principal asking why he is not coming to her class for french with his classmates. Grade 1 teacher and ISP room teacher felt it would over load him too much but French teacher disagreed. She said he’s high functioning and let’s presume competence and give him a chance to try and her an opportunity to try and teach him.

Next Steps:

Short term to make sure iPad is being utilized in classroom to help Johnny move forward
push for more speech therapy at school because its effecting him learning phonetics if he can’t make certain sounds.
push for him to do more things independently
inclusion is working so well that he has buddies who have volunteered to help him but they help him too much:)

Concerns?:

Presumed Competence.  We want to make sure Johnny learns  all core concepts. We don’t want his work to be modified too much and only in such a way that he can learn in everything in the way he prefers to learn or is better suited to him.

Over all we are very happy with Johnny’s progress and placement because he is happy going to school and is learning.  Now if only we could martial all the bureaucratic resources from school to school board to step up and add more apps to his school iPad.  That’s another story for another time….

*Art work graphic Credit ~ http://freedesignfile.com

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