Hi all! My son will be going into Kindergarten next year. We will be having his IEP meeting soon and one thing they want to know is how to get him from his classroom to his art, music, spanish,  gym and lunch. Right now in EEE he uses a wagon that his aid pulls but they want him to be more independent. The problem is all these extra classes are on the opposite side of the school and he doesnt do alot of community walking because he tires to quickly. It was brought up that maybe he needs a chair now but I don't think he does. Just looking for suggestions as I know a lot of you have been through this before! Thanks! Alissa

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Sam used a wagon a few times in pre-k, but once he got into K, he walked. The playground was pretty far, but he's walk it most of the time. There were a few occasions when he asked to be carried on the way back in, but it wasn't often. They've always had a manual chair available for his use, but he's never used it. He hates to be different. Remember that at this young age, the boys can still be gaining skills and strength. Sam tired out from walking more when he was 3 and 4 than he does now at 7½. I would highly suggest asking your son what he wants. Might just surprise you.
max is 8, we got him a convaid stroller to use when he wants it, we find it encourages him to just use his energy when he wants to, like playing on the playground instead of changing classes. i think it also helps keep him from getting shoved by accident in line or in the hallway, he is smaller than the other kids. he loves his stroller, and the other kids have no issue with it
Matthew used a wagon in kindergarten. The other kids would beg for a turn to pull Matt. Now, in first grade, he uses a scooter to go to the playground and to modular buildings for stuff like art, music, and spanish. For family outings, like the mall, we use a maclaren special needs stroller. It's kind of like an umbrella stroller for big kids.
I don't get the argument that they want him to be more independent. As far as independence, there's not much difference between being pulled in a wagon or being pushed in a stroller or chair. I'd be a little concerned about that statement. I'd want to make sure they understand DMD fully.
I can see how a chair would be easier on the teacher or aid. Matt needed help getting in and out of the wagon. Not all teachers can handle that physically. Maybe that's what they are really concerned about. The scooter (first grade) has been perfect as he can get in and out and drive himself independently.
My son is in 2nd grade and still uses a wagon. In K and first grade to encourage social interactions he would be able to pick a special friend to ride in the wagon with him. This year the class has a child that is the "special K" of the day and the special K pulls him. He doesn't use it all the time, only when needed. Next year I think we will introduce the chair, he doesn't need the scooter at school and if he had it I think he would use it more than he needed to.
Hi Alissa, Is there an elevator in his school? If not, you and your son has the right to request/more like demand to have one installed according to Disabilities Act. My Billy uses it as he needs it and at my request I have the teachers ask him daily which he wants to use-steps or elevator. He is stubborn but will use elevator when needed. Billy is recently nine. Hope this helps.
For those of you whose sons use a wagon, what is the best type for them to use in a school setting?
This is similar to the one Xavier uses, the school provides it. His is a bit larger, but it has 2 seats facing eachother and the door so that he is not having a large step to get in our out.


Tonya said:
For those of you whose sons use a wagon, what is the best type for them to use in a school setting?
WHichever means of getting around you choose for your child, make sure that it encourages them to use correct posture and have their knees prevented from splaying out, and keeps their feet as flat as possible. I know that seems odd at their young ages, but their muscles are continually growing and their bodies changing. When Justin was young, we used different things to get him around. We started noticing that when Justin started getting tired, his shoulders would slump, his back would be bowed out and his feet would droop. We had to really start paying attention to how we were getting Justin around and how he was sitting, even for short periods of time. Its never too early to start preventing these things!

I have to agree that Danelle that the idea of them pushing him to be more independent is odd. Is this because he has asked for it or because they want it?

I vote for conserving the energy for school work in the classrooms and on the playground. I also vote for it being his decision. We have a Convaid stroller (not provided by insurance. Insurance denied and that allowed us to get one from Kids Mobility Network) for Connor. The only time we insist he uses it is for the special needs bus. They have to have one set rule - chair or no chair. Because they are not allowed to lift the children, we opted for him being required to get on and off the bus by using his chair. He doesn't always like this, but we manage the best we can with him fussing about it.
I got my son a convaid chair ,they fold up,but they would just park it out in the hall and he would still walk around the class, and when they would have to go long distances to like art or music class, the teacher or the kids would take turns pushing him. I think the teacher actually assigned a different child each week that would push him and the other kids couldn't wait until it was their turn.
My son is 11 yrs.old in the 5th grade, and now has a electric chair,but he is still parking it in the hall and can walk around his class and sit in a regular desk. The electric chair was so much better when he got it, in the 3rd grade because then he could get around at recess instead of just sitting there watching everyone else run around.
Being a special ed teacher and fighting the system for my son....that 'more independant' thing sounds mysteriously aking to "we can't or don't want to afford the aid"...which is illegal! Fight for what you need! Good Luck!

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