Thursday, January 23, 2014

Denied Entry

In Ellie's PPCD (preschool) setting at the local elementary school, she is in a classroom with one teacher, one aide, and 11 other children all with special needs.  She has some exposure to typically developing peers when the Pre-K class visits Ellie's class for various activities.

For the past two summers, Ellie has attended a private preschool during the summer.  Each summer I have watched her thrive socially.  She loved this place.  I loved this place.  I thought that they loved her. 



This past week, I contacted the preschool to get her enrolled for the upcoming summer.  They politely refused to take her back this year.  I am devastated.  I feel defeated.  I feel as though everything has been an upward battle.

Their reasoning: they are not able to provide they type of supervision that she needs.  They are not equipped to handle special needs.  Why the sudden change?  Ellie started this school before she turned two.  She has always been placed in a slightly younger class to account for her developmental age rather than chronological age.  This year, she would be 4.5 years-old.  She would be placed with the 3yo group.  The 3 yo group has a much larger student-to-teacher ratio and the rooms contain toys with smaller parts.  The owner and teacher recalled how much Ellie loved to put stuff in her mouth.  How much she chews on the crayons and paint brushes.  They refused to listen to me when I told them that she has greatly improved with the sensory oral seeking behaviors in the last 5 months.  That's right, it has been 5 months since they have seen her.  They have not seen how far she has come.  How much she has changed.  How she STOPPED mouthing objects.  Yes, I understand their reasoning.  They are worried that she will choke in a classroom with less 1:1 care and with smaller items.  I understand that.  Yet, I am sad.  Part of me thinks that they just "don't want to deal with it" and the mouthing is their excuse.  Denied.



Ellie's teacher is trying to get Ellie approved for ESY (extended school year).  This is both a good thing and yet a not-so-great thing.  Yes, I think it is good that she can get services over the summer and yet, it is only 2 hours a day, 5-6 weeks out of the entire summer.  There isn't a strong routine and again she would miss out on spending time with typical peers.  It is a viable option if we are not able to find her a more traditional preschool setting for the summer.



Currently, I have found two preschools that provide classes over the summer that would like to have Ellie in their 3-4 yo class.   I have appointments to tour each facility next week so that I can see if one of them is a good fit for her.  They both have their good points and bad points.  One is significantly cheaper with a larger student:teacher ratio, while the other one is pricier, has less students per teacher, but has a long waiting list.  

I am hoping to have something lined up for her this spring.  Ellie needs some type of program to keep her active, engaged with other children, and to help reduce her risk for regression.  


23 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry about this new development. And frankly it does suck! I think it stinks that they would deny her the chance to interact with typical peers because of something that she can't control. It smells of discrimination and that's awful. Do you know if they receive any state or federal assistance for children who go there? If they do, they legally can't keep her out and you could fight it that way. On the other hand, I probably wouldn't want to send her to a place where it seems clear that they don't want her anymore.

    I hope you find something for her for the summer. I completely agree that our kiddos, especially at these young ages, need to keep up some semblance of routine. Owen typically gets 6 weeks of ESY in a similar classroom setting to what he is in during the school year. We won't know until probably his birthday in May as to whether he'll be offered it this summer, but I suspect he will.

    Hugs, Mama Bear!

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    1. Stephanie, they are a private based preschool. Sadly, I think that they realized Ellie needed more attention than what they were willing or able to give so they made the oral stuff an excuse. They took her the first year no question. Then last year they voiced a concern about the mouthing. Said they do it as a trial. It ended up not being an issue last year for the teacher. In fact, the teacher loved her so much that she decided to return to teaching SpecEd. The thing is, Ellie STOPPED mouthing completely since the start of the Adderall. She doesn't even use a chewy anymore! Their concerns are unfounded.

      I had a conference with her PPCD teacher and ST today. They told me they wanted to write a note to this school hoping that their opinion would say them, but I said don't bother. They [the private summer school] clearly don't' want her. They are pushing for ESY but advised me that she would get more out of a private preschool than ESY.

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  2. Anna, I have just gotten back into reading blogs and was sad to find this update. It is hard when you love a place so much. I almost wanted to beg to see if an exception could be made at the one we had gone to when K was 4. She did a private based class 3 days a week and public school two days a week in a self contained class. It was perfection for us! We didn't get to go back the next year as it was going to be faster paced and thry didn't feel she would keep up. They told me if I wanted a private aide to work with her, I could pay for it and she could stay at the school. That didn't happen. Anna, I just wanted to say how sad I am for you and Ellie. I hope you will find one of the other places to be a perfect fit for her. I just had a conversation with the local YMCA about this upcoming summer. Katie has gone to my work based daycare for the past two summers. They only take newborn to age 5. k will be 6 this summer. It has been an excellent fit, so I am worried about what will happen this summer. My worked based daycare is run by the Y too, so I am hopeful something can be worked out, whether it be a one on one at the regular Y program or her being allowed to go to my work daycare.

    I hope you will have a great update for us soon. BTW--Can we hook up on FB? Big hugs. Everything has a way of working out.

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    1. Donna, it sounds like so many changes for Miss Katie. I do hope that the YMCA can work something out. Sometimes I feel like all we do is fight and fight and fight. Does it feel that way to you? Yes, friend me on FB (Anna Theurer). I don't know your last name so not sure how to find you!

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    2. Nevermind, I found you! Friend request sent

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  3. You know this breaks my heart. I hope you find a nice fit for her so that she can enjoy her summer and not lose out on her services.

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    1. I am still pissed off about what happened to your little girl and the hippo therapy! Seriously, it is supposed to be a program for SNs!!!! Ellie's isn't so while it upsets me, I am not as angry as I am about the letter you got.

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  4. Makes me want to cry. You know we are struggling with our own school issues, so this makes me tear up. How can they just say "no" to our kids?! Hugs to you and Ellie. Hoping an even better option opens their doors to you. ❤️

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    1. Angle, I just want to scream when I read your posts! I am SO ANGRY! I keep thinking that this is not legal. That they are breaking a part of Wright's law or something--with regards to Coop. Right to be educated at home school or something along those lines. . . .

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  5. Maybe the private preschool is just being cautious? It might be worth going back with the offered letter from Ellie's regular school? After all, she was happy there and it might be worth swallowing your pride and fighting for her to attend?

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  6. I hit publish when I meant to preview, and I apologize as my comment comes off as harsh. Not the same but I had to convince a preschool to keep my child as her separation anxiety was near to ruining the morning drop off for the whole class. It turned out all right in the end, I knew it was the best place for her, and i had to prioritize her education over my feelings.

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    1. Not harsh at all! I spoke with them twice to attempt to argue my case. They were not willing to hear my out-she would interrupt me as I would try to explain that she isn't mouthing anymore and would just fixate on the choking. It was as though she already made the decision before I even called to re-enroll her. That they decided she required too much work and the mouthing was her excuse. It is a great school. She loves it. Yet, it feels like a lost cause to me. . . that they just don't want her and if that is the case, I don't want her in that type of environment. . . maybe it is and maybe it isn't. I will look into these other two places first as they seem really receptive and excited to have her. I rather send her to a place that welcomes her. . . .

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    2. I might take the teachers up on their letter just in case :)

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  7. It shouldn't be this hard, should it? Hugs!

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  8. Hi Anna, I'm sorry to hear this. I don't comment very often any more but read your posts regularly.

    Sue H.

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    1. Hi Sue! Been meaning to email you. I have this huge post on my darling Tabby but I just havent' been able to click publish. Do you hear anything about our "kids"? I don't :-(

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    2. Anna, I get some updates but not much. I do have something to share that might be of interest so I'll try to email you this week. I have so much regret that I didn't do more before all the changes happened to help certain little ones get out. ugh. We need to email! Ellie is looking so fabulous with her new medication.

      Sue

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  9. Oh my. What a terrible decision that preschool made. It is nice that her current preschool and ST wanted to write notes to vouch on her behalf; but you're right - why bother? When they couldn't even meet you half-way to discuss the ways she has changed in the past 5 months it's obvious you would be dealing w/a place that didn't really want to have her there and that's never a good feeling. I'm sorry this happened to you; to Ellie. It's so unfair that private places can discriminate on dx like that; yet they wouldn't be allowed to discriminate for any other factors.
    It's a good sign that these other 2 preschools are open to having her there and I hope one of them turns out to be the better place for Ellie.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! I am hopefully about these two places. They didn't seem to think her having Ds or being nonverbal was a big deal. They both invited me to tour the place and to discuss which class would be the best placement for her. They both seemed eager. You are right, it was obvious to me that her old place really didn't want her there and that is not a good feeling or a good situation.

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  10. Oh, I'm so sorry. I cried for you when you posted it on FB. I hate that private schools don't see the benefits for both atypical and typical students. Good luck with the other two!!

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    1. Thanks! I am pretty sure that they are breaking the ADA based off of the packets that I have received from the other preschool. I just don't feel like fighting it. You know? I am angry, but I don't want my little girl going to a school where they don't really want her.

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  11. Ahhh hang in there momma- This sucks and I got emotional just thinking about it happening in coming years for my little one...

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    1. I am hoping that it doesn't happen to little Pip!

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