I am a director of a child care center in Maryland, serving infants through school age. We have a five-year old child in our kindergarten class with autism; she attends a special school during part of the day and then comes to us in the afternoon. FYI, the adult-child ratio for five-year olds in our state is 1 adult per fifteen children, and there are twenty children in the class with two staff. For the most part, she really is a very sweet, loving child. Most of the time, the child is okay in the classroom, too, aside from key points during the day when transitions may be bumpy (i.e., coming in from school, settling in for snack or a change in staffing as teachers go home) and we’ve been working with the family for about three months now.
Unfortunately, when there are changes in the classroom, the routine, or the staffing, her behavior *is* very hard to handle, and the teacher is very concerned about volunteer vacations trips, which takes them well outside their classroom. The teacher wants to send the family a letter requiring a relative’s presence on field trips to help. Now, regardless of the age group and composition of the class, we generally cut the adult-child ratio in half on field trips with extra volunteer chaperones for added supervision to ensure every child’s safety, but I’m hesitant to *require* extra help for this particular child on her field trips.