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Transitioning into kinder with Special Needs


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karlakahler September 26, 2012


My son was diagnosed with Verbal Apraxia (although he is now completely verbal) and Sensory Processing Disorder. He currently has a minor social and emotional delay and a MAJOR fine motor delay. He struggles with transitions and I'm worried about his transition from his low teacher to student ratio preschool to a public Kinder program with a huge class size. Can any of you tell me your expereinces with transitioning to kindergarten? Did anyone get any help with this transition thru an IEP?

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MagnetMom September 28, 2012


Hi karlakahler,

Does your son already receive services from occupational therapy or some other professional through LAUSD? I know parents with kids having special needs say it's important to speak up early--and often to get the services you need at the beginning of any transition.

If he already has an IEP, the programs will carry over. It'll be important to choose a school with strong support of his needs--both with the itinerants who come through the school and the class time instruction.

Contact the schools you are interested in early. The way the principal and the assistant principal in charge of IEPs respond will be a huge influence on where you want to send him.

My daughter's elementary is an incredibly strong elementary--so strong it rivals Balboa magnet. The big difference is the school also is very welcoming to special needs kids--both in the classroom and with additional support. Other schools don't always embrace (though they should) that type of culture.

Good luck, and let us know what you find out.

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karlakahler October 1, 2012


Yes, he already receives OT for fine motor delay, but his IEP team seems to down play everything. In fact, they told me that he should be in SAS classes for kindergarten!!
He's smart, but he also has some significant delays. I'm worried they will attemtp to discharge him when he is 6 and not give us any support in the transition to kinder.
BTW, do you mind me asking what school your child goes to? Or do you know any other school that deals with gifted AND special needs students really well?

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MagnetMom October 2, 2012


My daughter attended elementary in Granada Hills, so it's a bit far if you're over the hill. Her school was Van Gogh, and they continue to do amazing things.

Chime is another one, but it's in the West Valley. They do good things with gifted kids and special needs kids in a single classroom. When they believe he can do SAS work, and you're concerned about delays, I wonder if that's the type of program he would thrive in. But I know that's pretty far for over the hill.

Good luck.


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karlakahler October 3, 2012


I'm actually in Sherman Oaks so Chime is not that far for us. I've heard amazing things about it. I will make sure to apply.
Thanks for your feedback.



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