When Teachers Don't Understand Or Accommodate For SPD

by Carly
(Pennsylvania)

My daughter's new teacher seems to feel dubious about her SPD despite talking to her therapist. She has basically insinuated that my daughter was behind, because I was not providing her with enough experiences (e.g. can't balance on a swing, has problems steering a bike) when in actuality the complete opposite is true. She is testing out my child with light touch and loud sounds and saying well I'm not seeing anything... she's fine.


My daughter's past teachers were very inquisitive as to how they could help. How do you communicate with a teacher who doesn't seem to believe in SPD? My daughter seems to be happy with her teacher, but I'm afraid the teacher will not know what to do if she acts out in a sensory way. This is a preschool that I'm paying for. Do I keep her with a teacher I can't communicate with or do I find a new school who will be more accommodating? Thank you.

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My personal opinion? If you are PAYING for this preschool and they are not responding to you, the therapist, or your daughter's needs, then... yes! find another school. BUT, this comes with a few warnings. There are indeed many schools, teachers, professionals, etc. that have not been educated about SPD. So you will have to do some careful "interviewing" to see where the best fit will be. Also, another thing/warning to consider is... will a transition to a new school be more difficult for your daughter than what she is going through now? This is something to weigh out, only YOU can answer this.

But, I am getting more and more uncomfortable with this school given the several emails you have sent. Combining this one with the potty issues from your other post, and I feel this school may not be the best choice for your daughter... ESPECIALLY because you are PAYING for it. IF you have tried every way possible to communicate and work with them (make sure you have), with no results, THEN I would consider another school. Does the teacher have a copy of the SPD diagnosis and evaluation results? She can't deny it then, technically.

I am concerned for your daughter as you are too, I know. And it is hard for me to give you the best advice as I only have one side of the story. I don't know your daughter, your therapist, her school or her teacher, so it is hard for me to give a definitive answer. These are just my thoughts.

One question... how long is she at preschool? How many hours, how many days per week?

In a perfect world everyone interacting with our SPD kiddos would understand and work with us to help. But... sometimes we have to do the best we can with what we have. It's a difficult decision, I know.

Anyone else have additional thoughts on this and the previous potty training post for Carly?? What do YOU think? Agree? Disagree? Tell us what YOUR opinions. Submit your comments below!

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Feb 07, 2008
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I was once a preschool teacher
by: Anonymous

I would just like to say that before I became a toddler specialist I was a preschool teacher for 8 years. I hadn't even heard of SPD until I became a toddler specialist. The things that I'm learning now concerning this disorder has widely opened my eyes to children I taught during those 8 years who had major behavioral problems. I just thought the child was bad or that the parents let them get away with way too much at home.

Now I look back and I think about how those children behaved, I think if I only I knew then what I know now then I would have been more understanding of the child instead of casting them off into the category of a "bad seed". Educators are not being informed about this disorder. While going to college for Child and Family Development there was no mention of SPD in our lectures and I graduated in '05. People just don't know. I believe that if more educators are informed of this it will help a great deal with teaching and working with children who are labeled as deviant, bad, spoiled and any other names.

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