The South Euclid Lyndhurst preschool program housed at Rowland is designed to provide early intervention for disabled children between the ages of three and five. The children who qualify for these services are those who demonstrate significant delays in one or more areas of development. Areas of disability include physical/orthopedic impairment, speech/language delays, delays in social and/or emotional development, significant behavioral impairments, cognitive delays, visual or hearing impairments, and medically fragile children. Special education services are individualized for each child, and the children are taught through developmentally appropriate curriculum, and a multisensory approach. Support services are provided by a speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, and a school psychologist.
Each half-day class has a maximum of 16 children with one teacher and one intervention specialist assistant. Peer models are an important component of the preschool program. Within each classroom there are no more than eight students with disabilities, leaving space for eight peer models.
WHAT IS A PEER MODEL?
Peer models are non-disabled children between the ages of three and five, selected to participate within the preschool program. While benefiting from the preschool experience, these children provide peer interaction and social motivation for the preschooler with disabilities. Because all children learn not only from adults, but from watching and interacting with other children, peer models are an integral part of the preschool program. Peer relationships are important for the social and cognitive development of every child.
A peer model takes on a working role within the classroom and provides an important component of services for the student with disabilities.