Monday, November 3, 2014

School Changes

Max has some big school changes coming in the next few weeks.
This decision was one Will and I had to make with tons of thought, research and of course prayer.
We want to give Max access to the best education for him.  We want him to learn and grow in an environment that will nurture him. We are just like any other parent, we want the best for our child.  I think being a teacher has really opened my eyes to realize that children all learn VERY differently.  And my child is no exception.  And as his parent I want to make sure I am putting him in a school that will help him reach his own potential.

Currently Max is at Sunrise Pre-school in Provo.  It has been great for him.  But he needs more.  We have noticed growth but we have also noticed a plateau in his learning.  His teacher talked to me two weeks ago and she agrees.  Sunrise is a school for children with developmental delays.  They don't specialize in Autism.  They don't do some of the proven therapies that would help Max thrive.
Will and I started researching and finding out about our options.
Last year we put Max on the waiting list for a program called Giant Steps. And I honestly forgot about it because I was told that he might never get in.  The waiting list was very long.
Giant Steps is a preschool for Autistic children.  The main school is in Orem, but they started an extension program for 12 students in Provo.  And fortunately for Max there is a spot open!  We have a home visit to see if Max would be a good fit.  Giant Steps is an intense program.  He would go to school 4 days a week for 6 hours.  This is a lot of school, but it is also a lot of therapy that Will and I couldn't provide at home.  This program is also free and the state of Utah provides funding for the program.

Another option is a school called Clear Horizons.  It is a Private School in Orem specifically built for Autistic Children Pre-school to 17 years old.  We went on a tour on Friday and Will and I were very impressed.  They have a new Principal and he seems to be great at his job.  The facility is beautiful and Max would benefit from all of the technology, tools, and sensory rooms that the school provides.  The hard part is that it is a private school and therefore it has a tuition.  The tuition is expensive and not something we have in our budget right now, but we are hoping that in the future we can get Max into Clear Horizons.

I want to write more about the different therapies in another post.

These therapies include:
  • Principals of Learning and Behavior Modification such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • Attending Leveling (taken from “Getting Ready to Learn” model) and Curriculum Progress
  • Principals of Greenspan’s FloorTime/DIR
  • Basic principles of TEACCH (picture schedules)
  • Alternative Communication Methods such as simple Sign Language or the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Social Stories
But right now we are praying a lot and figuring out the best place for Max.

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