Preschool accommodates all children

For over 30 years, Rolling Meadow High School has been providing morning and afternoon preschool. They have children with and without disabilities in their program.

Linda Pribyl is the director of Mini Mustang Preschool.

"I have 3 year olds, 4 year olds and 5 years olds, 15 of them, and then I also have between 15 to 20 high school students, usually juniors and seniors, and most of them want to be teachers," said Pribyl.

High school students who work with preschoolers are not only required to take a few child development classes, they also are trained to work with children with special needs.

"We have some language issues, speech issues as well as attention deficit disorder, and we sit down with them and we train the teachers one on one on how to do that, how to work with them," said Pribyl.

Emily Johnson is a junior who loves working with kids. She says working with children with special needs takes a little more patience.

"You gotta take your time 'cause they need that," said Johnson.

Another student is Kristen Gierke. She is a senior and likes the challenges working with kids with disabilities.

"Because special ed is something I also want to work with, so it's a fun thing, it's really educational," Gierke said.

Although, it is a requirement for preschools to accommodate children with disabilities, parents still have concerns. Sara O'Conner's 4 1/2-year-old son Cade has sensory processing disorder.

"My concerns were that our son has a delay and that he wouldn't be able to fit into a program like a normal preschooler, and when I talked to Linda, she said that we would accommodate it," said O'Conner.

Mary Kaye Pollard's 3-year-old daughter Ann Marie just started preschool.

"Ann Marie was diagnosed with apraxia at 2 years old, and basically what that means is she has very limited intelligibility in her speech due to her brain working faster than her mouth is able to form sounds," Pollard said. "I was very concerned that she was going to have difficulty integrating with kids her own age due to her not being able to be understood as I was very scared that kids would make fun of her."

So far, Ann Marie is doing well.

"We will do whatever we can to accommodate their need," said Pribyl.

Pribyl says said it is important to have the right documentation and listen to parents.

For more information Mini-Mustang, call (847) 718-5640. You should also check out your local preschools to find out what kinds of accommodations they provide.

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