Andy is on the verge of being tossed out of preschool.
Andy loves preschool. He has no trouble seperating from me. He's very interested in the activities. He loves having friends. He has some usual 3-year-old troubles of sharing and paying attention. He's eager to learn and to be at school.
So what is the problem? Anyone else who has dealt with a "normal" preschool probably guessed it- toileting.
Many boys do not fully toilet independantly until they are four years old. Preschools don't care. Normal preschools now expect three year old children to be able to communicate effectively when they need the bathroom even during busy and interesting activities, walk into a bathroom stall by themselves, pull down their own clothes, completely void, wipe themselves effectively, pull up all clothing themselves, walk out of the stall to the sink, wash their hands, and return to the teacher waiting in the doorway, all independently- no prompts. None.
This means a child can be developmentally appropriate, even gifted, and have no where to attend school. Here, unless you can demonstrate a child has a 25% delay in something, the child cannot get into the special ed program. At age 3, 25% is a serious delay. However, even within a normal toilet-training timeline, a child is denied a "regular" program, because children must be "fully toilet-trained" as defined above. Verbal prompting through the steps of toileting is not an option. Visual prompts are not an option. The person cannot walk in and help the child unless there is another adult also in the bathroom (state law), so if the child, say, has trouble pulling up their underwear, they are not "fully toilet trained." If they have trouble focusing on tasks or pulling themselves away from tasks independently (if they need the prompt "Time for the potty!"), they are "not fully toilet trained." You can count to ten, ID all your colors, and know three letters, but you need a prompt for the potty? Sucks to be you. Get out.
Now, had I known this was the definition when I enrolled him last spring, I would have spent more OT time and more home time on these skills, instead of letting him "take his own time." All this literature about not pressuring kids to toilet train? Throw it OUT THE WINDOW. If they can't go to preschool with their peers solely due to this one weak skill, then more focus needs to be placed there, because it seems to be the one and only weakness that precludes participation in preschool absolutely. You can't wait, because you can't hold the child into an extra year of preschool. You can't place a normal 5-year-old into the 4-year-old class. You can't just stick your 3-year-old with the twos. All of the other kids have two years of preschool, some of them three, and your kid has one, guess who gets left behind? Guess who doesn't have the socialization skills and experience? Classroom skills? Andyes, there are kids who show up to kindergarden with no preschool at all, for various reasons. I've seen what becomes of them. It isn't pretty. When all the other kids are in reading group, writing their names, and standing in line, your kid gets labeled real quick- and its not a label you want the kid going through school with.