Tap Posted July 25, 2012 Share Posted July 25, 2012 (edited) First, let me say that I apologize in advance for offending anyone with this question. I have typed and retyped this same question over the past few months and reconsidered posting it, but I can't reconcile this question in my own mind, so I need some help. I don't want to offend anyone with sn kids, but I still need to ask. Second, I want people to understand that I have a gifted student (ds17) and my 5yo is PDD-NOS (likely Aspergers), GAD, SPD and ADHD. I do understand the side of the argument from the special needs students point of view (both having the most advanced student in a typical program and the lowest functioning). I would prefer to not have the sn students needs overwhelm this conversation. Here is the real question: DD13 attends an amazing private school. She will be in 8th grade in the fall, which is the highest grade the school offers. I would like to see her stay one final year, but I have a problem. Last year, there were 12 kids in her combined 7-8th grade class. 2 of the students were special needs. One has Aspergers, most apparent by a lack of social skills, constant interrupting (off topic/inappropriate topics) and arguing. The other student is diagnosed Oppositional Defiant Disorder...self explanatory. Both of the students work below grade level and the school works with each family to meet the students needs (an amazing aspect of the school). I know the details of the kids conditions due to my own conversations with the parents and dd13s accounts of situations that have occurred. Here is my issue. This class next year, will have 7 students total for the 2 grades combined (more students could enroll but it is unlikely to be more than 1or 2). 2 of the 7, will be these two SN students returning. DD is very compassionate and tries to work with them, but she is still 13 and wants to have a typical school day. She has a good freind for years, who has Aspergers and a sister with Aspergers. She understands the uniqueness of each person's issues and is really forgiving on the social issues. If anyone in the school 'gets it', it is dd13. We are trying to decide if we shoul re-enroll her for fall or not. Last year, it was hard for her on days when she had to work on projects with one of the SN kids, and then come home and deal with her sister too. If it was just at school OR just at home, she would be fine..it is the double whammy that does her in. She feels like she can't just relax sometimes and be a regular kid. She is always having to make accommodations, forgiving (her feelings still get hurt even if she understands they aren't trying to hurt her intentionally), explaining and arguing (both kids are very negative and like to argue constantly). Last year, this issue was occasional and I didn't think twice about it. There were more students that were on grade level to offer balance. BUT this year, there will be so few neurotypical students, that I worry about this ratio. I worry about the lack of grade level collaboration. This school does a lot of group work, and when almost 30% of the students are below grade level, I worry about that affecting her work. I really wonder if she will be properly prepared to do 9th grade level work the following year. A few details that I didn't know where to put. The reason enrollment is low is a fluke. Last year half of the class graduated and there is only one student moving up in to 7th grade. One student is leaving the school and that drops it to 6 students enrolling for fall. Since the school stops at 8th grade, it isn't common for students to start the school in 7/8th grade. I know all classrooms have SN kids of varying abilies and issues and I support that 100% (both gifted and delayed). I realize that I will not know what students are in any other school we choose to send her to. My sole concern it the high ratio at this school next year, and the lack of friends/balance on the neurotypical side. Any thoughts on this? Even if you want to call me names and think I am horrible to think this way....maybe I do just need a reality check. ETA: answering a question that has came up: What dd wants: She was happily homeschooled until 6th grade when she started this school. We have at least 5 private school options that we can afford (many more that we can't-- large city). I will not consider public as an option for 8th grade. Her choices, in her order of preference 1. try public (I won't allow this one), 2. switch to a private that goes thru highschool 3. stay where she is. 4. come back home. Edited July 25, 2012 by Tap, tap, tap Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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