Help needed on recess-related issue!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2003
Help needed on recess-related issue!
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 9:50am
Hi all,

My 5.5 y.o. ds started his 1st day of Kindergarten last Friday in an "inclusion" classroom. We have his IEP meeting tomorrow, and I need insights and suggestions, as among the issues I feel need to be addressed is a sensory modulation issue relative to temperature. Nate experiences temperatures (ambient, water, food) as much hotter than you or I. With that in mind, we're currently in West Central Louisiana, it's August, and the heat index has been over 105 degrees most of the last month, it seems (for the military, this "heatcat 5" means all non-essential outside activity is STOPPED). The playground at school doesn't have a stitch of natural shade; the ONLY shade is a large covered pavilion; however, the children aren't allowed to use it by choice, only at teacher discretion. Yesterday my little guy was weepily begging me not to make him wear a white school shirt again; I was utterly confused until I figured out that in his mind, he believed THAT'S why his teacher made him go outside for recess! He really is seriously affected by this modulation issue, it's not an, "oooh, it's so hot out today!" kind of thing but way over the top as I'm sure will ring a bell with someone out there. Can you all offer me suggestions of what you think would be reasonable to ask for in terms of helping him with this problem relative to the IEP? Obviously, this will be a problem only for a matter of about 7-8 weeks, maybe less, but a very real and intense issue during that time. Please help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 10:42am
Firmly request that your child be allowed to play in the shaded area. Explain to the instructor that it is in her best interest not only legally but it will make her day go smoother with the kid. I hope the point gets across.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 11:32am
Beyond your son, it seems in that kind of heat the school as a whole should allow any child who requests it to either stay inside or in the shade. That is just dangerously hot and darn abusive for them to make any child play out in the sun in that kind of heat. I hope they are providing lots of water before some poor kid gets dehydrated and heat stroke.

I understand your concerns with your son and how it is exponentially worse for him, but I would have a problem with any one of my kids (NT and AS) being forced to stay out in that. Even in the 90's I do take my kids out but I make sure they have plenty to drink and opportunity for shade.

I would ask your IEP team and explain to them the issue for your son in particular. I hope that accomplishes what you need. If not start asking around with other parents. I bet there are more that would be concerned and it is always louder to make a stink in numbers. Really something should be done as a school policy before some child gets serviously ill from that heat. If a group of parents doesn't persuade the school a trip to the local media I bet would. We always have a section on the local news for things like that. I hope you wouldn't have to go that far, but I really feel for all children that is just not OK.

If the military stops unneccessary outside activities for those tough guy adults, why do we make our kids go out in it?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 6:44pm
Do you know who goes outside with your son at recess? At my son's school, the parents cover recess in order to give the teachers a break. We do recess and lunch. I'm only asking because, practically speaking, if this is the case with your son, then what ever accomidations are decide upon, you need to make sure everyone who needs to know does know.

I'm in the middle of a very simmilar issue. I'm getting musicians ear plugs for my son, 6, 1st, CAPD. I want him to wear them both in the cafiteria and at recess. So I am going to call every lunch/recess volunteer to make sure they know it is allowed, and that he gets to choose if he waers them or not. Also that they aren't toys!

In order to get this approved, I went straight to the principal, who knows Liam has issues, and told her exactly what I wanted. In my case that worked like a charm. If it gets too overwhelming for Liam, he is allowed to go back into the classroom, or if there isn't someone there, or the teacher has reasons for him not to be there, then he can go to the nurses office at recess/lunch.