I have a 4-year-old girl who has been in special ed classes for the last year due to stuttering problems. She can count to five and write her own name if she can look at the proper spelling while she's doing it; she does not know her ABC's yet. Will she be ready to enter kindergarten in the fall or should I keep her in the special ed program for another year?
Relax, mum…I don’t know where so many parents got the idea that children should know their ABC’s and how to write their names before they go to kindergarten: those are things they are expected to learn during the kindergarten year.
The teachers in the special education class she is currently attending will be able to help you make your decision about where to send her in the fall. You say she is there because of a stuttering problem, but that is not usually a sufficient reason to place a child in special ed. If, however, that is her only problem, then I would do everything I could to help her relax and to reduce anxiety when she talks to you or anyone. So forget the ABC’s and printing for a while. Instead of trying to teach these things, teach her some children’s songs—and sing them with her. People who stutter rarely if ever stutter when they sing, and singing can give her confidence. If she is in a special classroom for developmental problems in addition to the stuttering, it might be wise to delay her entrance into kindergarten for a year.
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