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Old 05-27-2023, 04:07 PM
71 Monte Carlo 71 Monte Carlo is offline
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Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education  
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So my wife and I are at a crossroads in life, it's time to move. I have no family left in my homestate of Connecticut, my wife really only has her Mother here. My family and most of my friends have all relocated for a variety of reasons over the last 5 years. Taxes have doubled in the last few years and are going up again. Churches are closing left and right. Along with that crime is out of control. Not an ideal place to raise a young daughter, especially one that is on the spectrum and untill just a few months ago, was completely non-verbal.

My wife and I started talking about eventually moving 10 years ago, at that time priorities were of course a little different and much simpler. Work, climate, and crime, and getting away from some politics. With a child, especially one that will be going into a special education program, that along with a neighborhood full of kids were they can ride their bikes and play outside is huge.

It has become a hard truth that it's hard to really know how a school system performs without actually talking to someone who is directly involved. Every school raves about what they offer but the reality is usually quite different. There are numerous interweb places that give OPINIONS but I've learned to take those with a big grain of salt. Here in CT most of these places are raved about, but talk to actual parents and many moved because this highly rated and raved about school was actually anything but. These are parents that were not sideline "let the school figure it out" people, but people that were willing and did invest as much time as possible and owning responsibility for their child's success or failure.

So, what can you tell me about your own stories of success, frustration, failure, relocation, sleepless nights?

We just listed our home and it will be sold and closed on Mid August. Till then we're taking family trips to various areas to see and talk to as many folks in the area to try and find our next forever home. Our daughter turns 4 in Sept.

Thanks in advance for sharing what you can.

Last edited by 71 Monte Carlo; 05-27-2023 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 05-27-2023, 05:31 PM
sureshotbob sureshotbob is offline
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Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education  
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71 Monte Carlo I'm from Plymouth Ct. and have a 6year old special needs grandson.
My grandson has Autism and cerebral palsy.
He is non verbal and wheel chair bound .He attends school and has special needs teachers that really care and help him with physical therapy.
He is picked up and dropped of in a handicap bus.
A very good friend just retired as a counselor and she told us if needed we could have him transferred to another school for better services at the towns cost.
But at this time we feel the school he is attending is very good as he really enjoys going.

Last edited by sureshotbob; 05-27-2023 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 05-27-2023, 06:05 PM
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Depending on the specialized services needed, I'd consider in home support and education. From what I have seen, very few areas have services that are appropriate for such kids. The reality is many places are based on "cookie cutter" service options when you need a big "ala carte" menu. I suspect that if you find a place that matches the needs of your youngster, the costs will be staggering. The work also eats teachers like a wood chipper as most places are under staff and over populated with the kids.

The odds are that the places with resources are going to be otherwise unappealing due to taxes and proximity to large urban areas.
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Old 05-27-2023, 06:14 PM
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My own experience has been that the wealthier districts (high paying jobs,expensive homes) generally have far better public schools and services available because of the tax base and the typical resident having a better education than average.So do what we did and wrangle your way in lol
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Old 05-27-2023, 06:44 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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Special needs ed/care can be highly variable in effectiveness, almost regardless of the alleged quality of the school system. Post 3 raised some of the issues. Then there's the issue of what might be the content of the curriculum. We have some really interesting difference of opinions in a couple of counties in VA.
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Old 05-27-2023, 07:17 PM
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I help homeschool the two grandsons that live under my roof. The youngest, JR (10), has Asberger's. He requires a bit more attention and patience but he eventually arrives at his answers by non-formulaic routes. He just took his state end of semester exams and passed them all.

There is an array of help networks and support groups for the learning disabled out there whether they are home schooled or otherwise.

The two most powerful tools that a parent must employ are love and understanding both of which you seem to already possess.

I wish you all the best on this journey.
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Old 05-27-2023, 07:35 PM
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School systems vary greatly across the country and often within the individual states. Shelby County Schools (Memphis) absolutely sucks. That led several of the smaller cities in Shelby County to start their own school districts which are a thousand times better.
My city, Bartlett, started their own school system. My daughter-in-law is the Special Education Coordinator at one of our middle schools. I know for a fact that she bends over backwards to do everything she can for her students. The kids love her and actively seek her out if they have problems.
Bear in mind that not every place is like that. I'd suggest looking at nice middle sized cities of about 50 to 75K population which have their own school system. That gives them enough money for good schools without suffering the problems of big cities.
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Old 05-27-2023, 08:44 PM
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I worked 16 years in Sp. Ed. K through 12. The kids get some wonderful care. The enemy is the admin. Money grubbing punks in most cases. Home school if at all possible. Good luck.
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Old 05-27-2023, 08:50 PM
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Here in Texas, suburban school districts usually are better, for some of the reasons noted above. There are also increasing numbers of small private schools that are specifically set up to serve special needs kids.

As a child psychologist I have worked with lots of kids and families in these situations. One school sometimes canít do it all or forever so moving to a large enough area to have options I think is a good move.

Your child is fortunate to have two parents who love him or her and will work to see that their needs are met as much as possible.
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Old 05-28-2023, 09:10 AM
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Look just north of you in Massachusetts, consistently rated as the best K-12 schools in America.
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Old 05-28-2023, 10:03 AM
71 Monte Carlo 71 Monte Carlo is offline
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Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education Question for the folks on here with children/grandchildren/etc in special education  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladder13 View Post
Look just north of you in Massachusetts, consistently rated as the best K-12 schools in America.
Like I said, I no longer look at ratings, I try and talk to parents. CT schools are highly Rated but they lack in a LOT of resources. Money gets pumped in and wasted on red tape and extra admin costs rather than more teachers and more aids. We're hiring teachers with no credentials as longs as they are willing to abide by the state approved script.

Plus there are a number of reasons why not wanting to stay around CT, MA, NY, NJ, RI, etc. This is a Gun forum. I won't say anything else.
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Old 05-28-2023, 11:03 AM
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I spent 13 of the last (2007-2021) as a Special Ed Math teacher at a local High School. My experience:
1) Every student gets an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) upon entry. Teachers are tasked with this on top of regular duties (along with annual meetings, "progress monitoring" and availability as "case manager". This leads to "mass production mentality" unless we want to stay until dark. We care but we want to go home too.
2) Every student gets "accommodations" which means content should be delivered in the most productive manner for that particular student. There is NEVER modification of content.
3) Try not to blame the teachers/school if progress is not "optimal." With "full inclusion" comes 20 different levels of function in a 30 student classroom. "Class size limitation" went out the window way back.
4) MOST IMPORTANT: Be involved with your child's education, "the squeaky wheel" concept is absolutely the way to improve your child's outcomes. Don't be a PITA but let everybody know you want to be an active, supportive, enthusiastic participant in your child's educational experience. Best of luck. Joe
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Old 05-28-2023, 11:30 AM
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Apparently you want to leave the north east. Where are you looking to go to?
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Old 05-28-2023, 12:12 PM
71 Monte Carlo 71 Monte Carlo is offline
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Quote:
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Apparently you want to leave the north east. Where are you looking to go to?
In a perfect world some place in SC since that's where my Mom is and tends to have a mild "winter".



Right now we're looking around and considering Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, SC, NC, Virginia, maybe Pennsylvania. A few other states may be open but wife doesn't want to move past Indiana.
Education and Family neighborhoods are a huge part of the puzzle, but finding work is also kind of important. I've done everything related to manufacturing from running basic assembly machines to setting up CNCs and Injection Molding Presses, been Quality Manager, Continuous Improvement Manager, and Production Supervisor/Planner. I've also taught on the side as a private music teacher the last 25 years. When I've gotten laid off because the company got bought and sold teaching music has kept me from drowning.



My wife is an Opera Singer, Music Director, and private music teacher.


Lot of things to consider, education is huge and I'm pliable in what i'll do for work, but if we can't work and provide a stable home for the family than we have to look elsewhere. A few people have suggested homeschool with a hired tutor aide but we're really hoping to get her into a school for some much needed social acclimation. We have her in 2 music classes, gymnastics, and she goes to a children's museum at least once a week, along with daily trips to one of the parks.
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Old 05-28-2023, 12:13 PM
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It doesn't really matter. This won't be a popular opinion, but other than avoiding abuse, it won't matter with a profoundly disabled kid.

Plenty of paperwork, meetings and interventions will take place. But the end result is more often than not a low ability kid who is still unable to meet basic competencies after lots of time, money and effort have been wasted on trying to achieve a nearly impossible task.

IEPs are really indivualized excuse plans in most cases. Parents want their low ability/disabled kids mainstreamed with normal kids. Typically this means a kid who can't socialize with the normal students, causes disruptions in class and they become further ostracized.
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Old 05-28-2023, 12:48 PM
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I strongly advise against moving to Las Vegas. Special needs teachers are a scarce commodity around here and grossly overworked. Burnout is the norm. I suspect this is the case in many (most?) school districts.
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Old 05-28-2023, 02:50 PM
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I understand the desire to get her into a conventional school setting for socialization. That is not a small issue. I have known folks who did a mix of home and school education/activities to try to balance that out. There is an LE agency here that has hired a large number of recruits in the last 10 years who were home schooled. While good at some things, they are limited in people skills and lack some of the resilience/wisdom that comes from resisting the bad ideas of idiot friends. Instead of bad judgments at 14-15 that will buff out, they happen at 23 or so, and ...
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Old 05-29-2023, 07:58 PM
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I know 2 families that moved to Wisconsin because of better benefits for their child. Kids were older tho. Good luck with the search.
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Old 05-29-2023, 09:36 PM
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My experiences are from the educator side of things. I have 35+ years in education as a teacher and administrator. I also have a grown son, 43, who we diagnosed with Asperger's after he graduated. It was not was known nor understood in those days. Here are some thoughts.

Being "on the spectrum" is a wide swath and can mean many different things which translates to many different needs. Our son, as an example, was socially awkward, pretty lazy at times but yet scores in the top 10% in the world for IQ tests.

Look for schools that have low teacher to student ratio numbers.

Some schools have their own services, usually larger ones. Smaller schools often belong to a cooperative that provides support to many surrounding schools. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The needs of a student can vary from a single teacher to speech, PT, OT, technology, equipment support and more. It is VERY complicated.

Part of the problem is the system for special education students is under a great deal of pressure. More and more students are qualifying for services and fewer people are entering the field. Finding that "right sized" district would be at the top of my list. Too small and they won't have all the specialists they need. Too large and the system will be on overload.

When you start to explore different states, realize that not every state is the same and recognize the same things. The students IEP (Individual Education Plan) will be vitally important. The school they are in will send it to the receiving school but the more information you are armed with, the better when you begin to explore.

As a teacher and an administrator, I had a very low tolerance for just doing the minimum for students. I valued and expected superior effort from staff on the behalf of students. So much can be done for special needs students while I have seen some very poor examples unfortunately.

I would say that that it could be describe this way - you may not always know everything about what you are looking for but you will know it when you see it. Just don't get frustrated with the system, ask and insist, listen and make notes. Blessings on the journey!
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