Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Just thought I’d remind those POLPs getting ready for Kindergarten enrollment for next year— start preparing NOW for school.

Whether it’s IEPs or 504’s that you will need for next year, you should meet with the staff and/or administration now to handle the accessibility and inclusion issues. It can take a while for everything to be set in place for your child. As an LP POLP, who is highly organized and diligent about getting everything ready for school for my child, it still took the school 9 months to get everything in place. And I met with every person from the teacher to the principal, to the director of special education, and the ADA committee building compliance person. Yes, there can be such bureaucracy. Every single month, I reviewed things with them. But, things get in the way like budget cuts, communication breakdown, red tape, etc.

If you can help speed things up with the process:

Playground

The Kettler Bike are cool because they are sturdy and adjustable. We found that you can even cut the tubing a bit and drill another hole or two into the seat adjustment to fit an LP.

The Mini Kick Scooter is great too because it has this lean-and-steer mechanism that helps kids steer it easier. The scooter is super light and easy to carry. We bought our son a helmet even though he only travels 20 feet a minute. It helps the school administration know he’s safe.

Lunchtime/Snacktime

You know, at first, I really fought this idea of sitting at another table.  But then, I realized the other options looked ridiculous or unsafe. Other options such as:

  1. Not using anything and he would have to squat on the bench and hunch over the table to eat;
  2. Ordering an expensive up-down chair. Though, I see the benefit of this with more medically fragile LPs like OI’s. There is an LP 7 yo. w/ OI that uses an up-down chair and it is best for his safety.

Other kids require separate seating due to their food allergies. So, I eventually gave in and agreed for our son to get a picnic table through the district’s low-incidence funds. He sits with a friend or two on the bench and it’s so cute that some fight to sit at the picnic table.  He feels part of the class instead of ostracized.

LP’s and Backpacks

Students these days are asked to carry around an excessive number of heavy books every day. Thankfully, this is not a concern so early in elementary school. However a rolling backpack is always a great idea and is much easier for a dwarf child’s back.

We have heard of some schools explicitly prohibiting rolling backpacks, but our local school has never expressed any concern. Hopefully the acceptance of rolling backpacks, especially at the elementary school level, will increase over time. They’re great for both dwarf and non-dwarf children.

Potty/Bathroom Time

As suggested by other POLPs, we got two of these Potty Stools through low-incidence funds as well.

One stays at the nurses station, in case he really needs help that day. The other stays in a designated bathroom stall for him.  The school district lowered the door latch and they installed an automatic soap dispenser. At first, he used a small soap pump. The faucet was changed to motion-activated version.  We also discussed with the school the possibility of changing the faucets to a version with paddle and wristblade handles.

And most importantly, a seat reducer is attached to the toilet so our son or anyone else needing assistance has it available at all times.

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