Parent to Parent: Transition into Kindergarten
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From LD Matters
Just over a year ago, we became aware that our four year old son might have difficulty participating in a regular kindergarten classroom. Thankfully, we were participating in a cooperative preschool which valued the different learning styles of children. In that environment we were able to appreciate and enjoy the richness of Luke's individuality, as well as begin to understand the road ahead of us.
Emotionally the "transition" time for us began when the preschool teacher suggested that we contact the school district to have Luke assessed by the Early Intervention Team. We had always felt that our son was a very unique child, but we had not realized that he would need some specific interventions in order to succeed in a regular classroom when the time came.
Assessment results indicated Luke's need for special education services to develop expressive communication and large motor skills, so he began receiving Speech Therapy and Physical Therapy through the school district. These services have proved tremendously valuable in developing necessary skills and increasing Luke's confidence.
An equally profound impact on his success, however, came from the support provided by the quality preschool which believed in inclusiveness. Here the expertise of the parent and the advice of seasoned professionals were welcomed. The school allowed our son a safe and familiar testing ground for developing new skills.
In addition, the Early Intervention Team from our school district and Luke's preschool teachers worked together with us to develop additional goals in the areas of social skills, self-management, and participation in large groups.
Although he is delayed in expressive language, Luke is a strong visual learner, so we have made numerous books and posters to provide him with visual schedules. At age five, he reads at about the third grade level and writes his own stories. Luke loves people, and he loves to learn. Together with the Early Intervention Team and his teachers, we will continue to set the stage for this very bright and very sensitive little boy so that he can thrive in a regular public school kindergarten.
Because Luke needs a tremendous amount of preparation for change, we will complete the following activities with him to help with the transition from preschool to kindergarten at the public school:
"Parent to Parent" welcomes ideas and strategies which parents have found to be successful. Please submit your ideas to: LD Matters - Parent to Parent, Schwab Foundation for Learning, 1650 South Amphlett Blvd., Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94402 or fax them to (650) 655-2411. Include your name, address, and telephone number: Schwab Foundation for Learning reserves the right to edit material to meet space and content needs.
From LD Matters Fall 1997
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