If you are looking to enroll your special needs preschooler in a child care program, you may be wondering if you should enroll him or her in a special needs-focused preschool or if you should enroll him/her in an inclusive program. There are any number of reasons why a parent might choose one type of preschool child care program over the other. However, there are some very valid reasons why you would and should choose the special-needs-only program for your child.
1. The Teachers in a Special Needs Preschool Program Are Better-Qualified
While daycare and preschool teachers as a whole receive some training in special needs, the teachers that specialize in special needs classrooms and teaching are better qualified to understand and care for your child. Many of the electives and specialization classes these teachers take helps them understand the overall development of students with autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, Tourette's and many other developmental, neurological and psychological disorders. In some special needs-focused centers, the teachers have more than a two-year degree and are required to have a four-year degree in child development and/or teaching before they are hired.
2. There Is Additional Classroom Help for Your Child
Many special needs preschool programs have extra teachers, teacher's aides and/or paraprofessionals in every classroom of a special needs preschool/child care. This allows for more one-on-one time with each child in the program to help him or her focus on gaining new skills and strengths and maintain the ones they already have. It also builds in an extra layer of security for the teachers and the children because the teachers are witnesses to anything that happens to the children and can protect the children from unexpected behaviors or events.
3. If Your Child Has a Lot of Behavior Issues, The Special Needs Classroom Is Better All Around
Additionally, if you know that your preschooler already has some very challenging behaviors, it may be best to place him or her in a smaller classroom where there are fewer people/children and less stimulus than an inclusive program with abled peers. Whenever your child needs a break, there are also built-in supports in these classrooms and programs that will allow your child some time alone in a quiet corner of the room away from the rest of the kids. Some centers even hire occupational and physical therapists so that early intervention therapy can begin before your child enters elementary school and the transition to elementary school is smoother.
For further assistance, contact local preschool professionals, such as those from Wooden Shoe Pre-School & Pre-Kindergarten.Share