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rmknig
rmknig asks:
Q:

Recently moved to USA from UK for 3-4 years. How to help visually impaired 4 yr old daughter learn and keep abreast of her peers ready for return to uk?

Appreciate your help. As per her peers, from age 3 my daughter attended school in Wales, UK. She has Nystagmus (visual impairment). She attended one of the highest ranking state schools in UK (think it would be like a public blue ribbon school in USA) and had qualified visual impaired teacher come to class each day to give her 1 to 1 tuition (again this was provided by the state ie paid for via my taxes). My husband's employers asked us to relocate here to PA, USA (and lovely it is too). As there did not seem to be any public schools that take 3 year olds in the area, our daughter attends a reputable private school. I was shocked to discover that despite attending 9am-3pm that the school only have about 90 mins of learning opportunity per day (the remainder is spent eating, sleeping, washing hands and on the playground). In the UK 5 out of the 6 hours would involve learning opportunities. As a result her progress is slow and she begs me for homework every night. I'm concerned on return to UK in 3-4 yrs she'll be massively behind peers (v. likely as we placed our 8 yr old into 3rd grade with her peers and find the syllabus/learning opportunities are those she covered 2 yeas ago in Wales, she is unchallenged, bored & underachieving as a result.  How do I get school to provide more learning opportunities and 1 to 1 for my 4 yr old? How do I find out about special needs provision. Is the state obliged to provide special needs teachers free? How does the system work here? :)
In Topics: School and Academics, Learning issues and special needs, Special needs
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Louiseasl
Sep 29, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

Welcome to the United States!  I hope the information below will provide you with some assistance.

 
 To find out about special needs provisions please contact the local public school in your area and ask for the vision specialist or special education department to connect with you.

Many programs in the US integrate play as a form of learning academics.  The homework given to a preschooler is usually one of reading with parents and also incidental learning.  

However, we do provide some hands on learning here on Education.com at this section: http://www.education.com/worksheets/preschool/

Here is a link to help you on all kinds of information about preschool: http://www.education.com/grade/preschool/



Lastly, this website may be of assistance: http://www.afb.org/section.aspx?FolderID=3&SectionID=44&TopicID=189&DocumentID=1344

Please feel free to share your concerns with the school staff.

Best wishes,

Louise Sattler, Psychologist

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Additional Answers (7)

rmknig
rmknig writes:
Many thanks Louise I really appreciate your help and will follow up ASAP on Monday.
> 60 days ago

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rmknig
rmknig writes:
Thanks Louise. I spoke to the counselor at my elder daughter's school who gave me contact with IU 1. I have met them with my daughter for evaluation and they are doing a report and plan for her. Kind Regards R
> 60 days ago

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rmknig
rmknig writes:
Super thank you so much Debbie xR
> 60 days ago

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JamielaIsmail
JamielaIsmail , Teacher writes:
Hello there,
If you are a stay at home mom, then I would suggest that you spend some time with home schooling. The visual impairment does require some more time when learning. You can enlarge the wonderful worksheets that this website offers and use these as a stepping stone to her learning. Perceptual stimulation comes after all the physical - gross and fine motor skills are established. I'm not sure how the systems work in the States, but here in South Africa, we have assistants who see to the needs of those learners.  However, you can speak to the headmaster/mistress at the school/teacher and ask for more advanced homework. I wish you well.
> 60 days ago

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Mrs.Wilhelm
Mrs.Wilhelm writes:
If your child has a disability, she will qualify for Early Childhood Special Education. The public school system is obligated to serve your daughter as public schools are to seek out children with special needs in their districts. The district will provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine qualification for services. An educational team including parents would determine necessary assessments and services. Services have to be such that will the child to benefit from their education.
> 60 days ago

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rmknig
rmknig writes:
Thanks Jamiela and Mrs Wilhelm. When we moved to USA from Wales UK the plan was for me to start employment searches after settling. I have now had to accept that the education and the special needs support my girls get in the USA are nowhere near as good as what we had in the UK, it's about 30 years behind. There are some really nice worksheets on the website that I'm now using with my youngest who is 6.

She now knows 11 sight words. I have the Oxford reading tree books and am typing up the text into a larger and better font to stick in the books (the UK 6 teacher did all this in their fantastic library).

Also been checking out the following websites twinkl and sparklebox.
Have quickly become a laminating master and putting info sheets at table level. Stringing sight words (each letter the size of a page) across the room.
> 60 days ago

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JamielaIsmail
JamielaIsmail , Teacher writes:
Hello there
Well done.  I must admit that it takes a while to settle in, but with a set time to do activities in the day makes the children look forward to it.  It also provides good bonding time.  Sparkle box is a good site to use too.
Keep up the good work with your children.  There is nothing like you teaching them the basics and more.
Have a good day ahead.
> 60 days ago

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