Dominic’s in 5th grade. He’ll be 11 years old in February.
Academically, he is in the second half of Kindergarten. I confirmed with his SPED teacher the other day via phone that he’s approaching first grade work. This is huge progress.
Developmentally, based on conversations with his private OT and ST, he’s around age 5. He prefers to play with younger kids than with his age group. That’s okay. There are some things he does that a 5 year old wouldn’t but he is no where near 10 developmentally.
So what am I getting at?
Well – we’ve been bouncing around the concept of middle school and are going to propose he repeat 5th grade. Our SPED teacher is coordinating a meeting with the middle school SPED teacher and we will be talking about his program and how it would look implemented at a middle school level. I believe we would be able to make the argument that his least restrictive environment will be elementary for another year. The argument we face is that there’re more electives / resources at the middle school level. I’m not sure if our meeting will be before or after the holiday break.
So we will see what happens. Regardless, we will do what is best for him. I do not think the place for a child doing 1st grade work is middle school. I believe that emotional maturity follows intellectual maturity - and we've got a long haul ahead.
I have reached out to an education attorney to clarify the law, should it come to that. I do know that he gets services until he's 21 under IDEA.