Shelly Todd

by Shelly Todd
(Northwood, NH)

I have a question for other 5 year old is starting public kindergarten in a week. I have done all I can think of to make the year start well including writing the teacher a letter explaining some of his triggers, what he looks like if he is getting overstimulated, etc. No one really seems to care and they won't put SPD in his IEP since it "isn't a category" here in NH - last year was a nightmare. He would do well "hold it together" at school and make our home life miserable even with a sensory diet, etc. I can't go thru another year like that. Any advice for a frustrated mom?

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Apr 10, 2013
by: Melanie

You may be able to use "Emotional Disturbance" on the IEP with a diagnosis. If the school is willing to work with you, there could be biult in times for stress relief and regulation. A counselors office could be used that has clay and other techniques available to create release, also a safe quiet place to talk. The special ed room could also be used if that is therapeutic for the child, especially around music time and other over stimulating times of the day, and towards the end to assist with success at home as well. If there is a park or something to let him exercise on the way home that may also assist with the meltdowns. No solid answers, it is all trial and error with expected times of frustration. Take care of of yourself to be stronger for him! Good Luck!

Aug 27, 2010
seeing a doctor
by: Shelly Todd

I finally got in touch with his old OT and she gave us some great advice. We are taking him (paying out of pocket) to a pediatric psychologist to get a "real diagnosis" (I guess the neurologist and specialist aren't enough). The doc will then write us a medical directive to present to the school at an IEP meeting. If they then still refuse to meet his SPD/ anxiety needs we will have a strong leg to stand on to go to court. I just hate having to do all this when all I am asking for is some observation and some very easy modifications - when did being aware become such a problem for teachers? That is all I am asking for! Thanks for all your posts...I feel better just knowing we are not the only family out there dealing with issues at home.

Aug 25, 2010
Wondering the same thing...
by: Monica Garza-Vickery

We are dealing with the same thing. Our little guy just started kinder on Monday. We decided to hold him back a year as he would have been a VERY young kindergartner last year and just turned 6 three weeks ago. He does qualify for speech and had attended speech class as an early childhood intervention program when he was 4. And he will attend speech classes now. The SLP seems to be very interested in SPD and wants to include info about in-class accommodations in our ARD meeting next week. For the time being (before the meeting) I decided to make a cardstock sheet with a letter written as if it were from him and on the other side it had a cartoon drawing of a boy and had little bubbles of facts about him and his triggers. I walked the sheets into each of his teachers, homeroom, music (a big trigger is people singing), PE, speech, counselor, and cafeteria assistants. Everyone seems to LOVE getting this info about Liam.

I am wondering too, as you are, how to stop the "after school meltdowns". He also seems to hold it together for school time and really seems to love it, but from the moment we go to pick him up, he is VERY angry and none of the sensory diet things have helped. Let us know if you have come up with anything to help. We are REALLY trying to figure this out. If he keeps it up I'm thinking we are going to need to homeschool again. We can't have this miserable home life!

Aug 25, 2010
loud & clear
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your post. Our 5 year old son (with no formal diagnosis) experiences sensory processing issues as well. Since he qualifies for Speech Therapy, he has an IEP at school. The frustration is that the IEP recognizes Speech, but not Occupational Therapy, which I believe is equally if not more important! We requested an appointment with the director of the Special Education department as well as with his Speech Teacher and talked about our concerns, gave them concrete examples of what to watch for, etc.

During his 4-K experience last year, we were lucky enough to have a Speech Therapist who had a lot of over-lapping experience with other students with different needs to include SPD, so she was able to recognize some of his organic challenges that she was happy to address in the classroom. A couple of these challenges presented as: chewing on clothing, thrashing his body into the pillows upon entering the speech room, silent to whispering in class with little eye connection, playing on the periphery of other children, etc.

We have the same experience with any "transition" time but most intensely once he gets home from a session of school. I have tried a variety of techniques, but his sensory needs vary day to day, so it is hard to gauge what type of day it is going to be. Hence, this leaves the rest of us pensive and ready to tackle about anything.

I have little advice, but to keep talking and keep asking questions until you feel you are being heard. Since you already mentioned a sensory diet, I'm sure you are on the right track to doing everything you can to be preventive.

Let us know what your success are, so we can learn too! Best of luck.

Aug 22, 2010
by: Bonnie

They put "school anxiety" for my son's IEP.
Hope that helps.

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