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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ask Amanda - Which school is best for my child??

Shelley's question: Hi I just found this blog via your comment on DSA Keeping up with DS. I have a blog - would love your opinion on 'which school' dilemma - I know there is no one way to decide which school gets the privilege of teching my twins - but looking at the 3 options - which one would you choose based on the infornation available toyou? Is the nain thing that the school WANT the child with DS?

Hmmm, this is always a tough one. But I suppose the best thing is to look at what makes transition to school a success.

A number of years ago I wrote a literature review for a study called Experiences of parents of children with special needs transitioning from early childhood to school. I also helped analyse some of the information that came from parents.

This study and the research that I did for the literature review suggested that a smooth and successful transition to school involved the following:
- There was regular and positive communication between the families and the school.
- There was a good understanding of the child's needs during the transition process.

Some research also suggests that a child's adjustment to school is made much easier and successful if the school, teacher and early intervention or preschool staff work together and support each other as well as the child.

I also remember that there were quite a number of parents who felt that the school wanting or at least being willing to make adjustments for the child was a significant factor in which school they chose.

So I suppose the short answer is... go to the school where you as well as your child will be supported in the process of adjusting to school. It might be said that the attitudes and supportiveness of the school staff and culture outweighs in importance the school's available finances and facilities.

I hope that helps in your decision-making.

If any other parent has suggestions or experiences to share on this, please do so....


Shelley May 7, 2009 at 9:13 PM  

Thanks Amanda. That makes sense. I am slowly getting to the point where I think I can make the best decision based on reasonable information. You never truly know till your there I guess.

Amanda May 7, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

Yes - it's a difficult one. But trust your instincts.

Hope all goes well!


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