Sue Keasler, M.S. ed. PreK classroom teacher of at-risk students

by Sue Keasler
(East Alton, IL USA)

I am a teacher of at-risk 3-5 year olds in the public school setting. This is my 20th year, and I am both fascinated and baffled by SPD & autism. It truly is a passion of mine to get as much info as I can on it because my classroom is loaded with I'd say 50% of kids who exhibit sensory 'issues'& I have a child (3 years) with autism.

I told my principal just today, that if I could take a sabbatical or get some intensive training as a classroom teacher and then be able to pass that on to student teachers and other teaching peers, I would LOVE it! Between the SPD things we see and the social-emotional piece that is making our kindergarten prep extremely difficult for our children, there has to be more training and orientation into the world of teaching and understanding these children w/ SPD & autism.

I have been to a couple of great workshops on Sensory Processing and have some great material, but I need more time to be able to develop my classroom into what needs to be in order to meet all the needs of the children in my class. I do not want the full OT/PT certification, but rather I'm looking for great info and support for the general ed teacher.

The SPD things happening in my room that my kids bring in make each day very challenging, but also, never boring! If we could all understand what these kiddos need, share it with their parents, and pass it on to the next school/grade level, I think we could make these kids lives' a bit better - and also make the classroom a richer learning environment! It would even make things a bit calmer & make the learning more impressionable.

Thanks for letting me share my passion for my little friends...

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Jan 08, 2009
from one mom to you the teachers
by: Anonymous

I want to thank you for making a difference in any childs life, you become our heroes again and again. I cant imagine trying to do the job you all do in a classroom. One on one can be a struggle for most of us working with our own SPD kids, then you throw a whole bunch of kids in a room and each child becomes your focus for hours every day, HOW BIG OF HERO YOU ARE TO US THANK YOU

Jan 08, 2009
One teacher to another
by: Carolyn

I am a Special Needs teacher for elementary students. Most of my students came from classrooms similar to yours. My biggest problem is the lack of communication between schools and teachers. I often know very little about students I receive from early childhood. I may or may not get to see Dr. reports and normally get to hear about IQ scores and disabilities.

This is my 5th year teaching Special needs students and every year I learn something new. I also have a 5 year old son who started Kindergarten this year. He has a late July birthday and we felt he was somewhat immature for Kindergarten but were hopeful that it would work out for him.

Now that we are halfway through the year he has been having behavior problems almost since day 1. I came across this website and am convinced that he suffers from SPD. I believe it is mild but it helps to explain his mood swings and his dislike for group activities.

I mentioned it to the Dr and he seem to think it was ADHD. He wanted him screened for this but he has to be at least 6 and I am not totally convinced this is the problem. We plan to have him screened for SPD but have to pay out of own pocket for the screening and any therapy they decide on.

Now that I find it hitting closer to home I see how it affects children. I just wish the school district would offer more training. Their solution is to push off on to OTs who come to the classroom maybe once every other week.

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