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miranova
miranova asks:
Q:

What are the best schools for Aspergers Syndrome and Sensory Integration Disorder?

I'm desperate to move somewhere that offers real school services. We have had a horrible experience where we live in GA. I am in the process of filing a complaint with the state.  My son has Aspergers and Sensory Integration Disorder. He ended up in an all day self contained psycho educational class because he was incorrectly labeled as "EBD" and, the school failed to follow his IEP etc. They have a "seclusion" room they can be locked in if needed. Thats not the type of environment for a child like mine (or any?). Here they say there are no other options. They seriously told me depression and meltdowns are not typical of Aspergers. ????  I give up on living here, I know moving won't fix things and I know I can push for things, but I need to move to a larger area with more supports and hope for better results.

I've looked at schools in the Chicago area. There are a lot of Autism therapeutic schools there, here there are none. I'm not sure if that would be good for him, or promoting inclusion would be at this point Or how to figure that out! He says he wants to be in a "normal" class, but I'm not sure he could handle it. Ideally, I'd say he needs a small class with similar peers and regular ed peers. The school board won't tell you where you should move, of course, and it's so hard to figure it out on your own. I appreciate any advice.

thanks
In Topics: Autism & Aspergers Syndrome
> 60 days ago

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michaelbartone
michaelbart... writes:
I first want to commend you on being an advocate for your son. He needs a champion in his corner, and he will learn from you how be his own best advocate. As a former teacher in Dekalb County I know exactly what type of schools you are talking about. I have been in meetings about sending students to these schools. One year one of my students did go, and it was not an easy or flippant decision.

I know you have concerns about this school and his diagnosis. From my experience placing a student in this school or any special education program takes a long time. There has to be a lot of documentation and many interventions used before one is placed in special education program or the a psycho somatic school. That being said, I would suggest you talk with the district's special education coordinator to get a better understanding of why your son was labeled EBD. You might also want to ask them about the history and intention of psycho somatic schools. If that doesn't clear up some questions for you, then I would contact the state department of education and their special education department. This person should be able to be of assistance as well. Here is the link for the state of Georgia: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ci_exceptional.aspx

Finally, it sounds like you have done your homework looking into schools for your son. You will have to make sure these schools are a good fit for your son and his diagnosis.

I wish you the best in what you choose. As a former Georgian and former educator there, I would note not to give up hope on the schools there. Finally, if you are in the  Atlanta I would contact Emory University and the school of public health http://www.sph.emory.edu/index.php. They might be able to help you as well! Again, best to you and your son!
> 60 days ago

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miranova
miranova writes:
Thank you for your response. I didn't go into a lot of details about the current situation. My son was labeled "EBD" in SC before we moved here. At that time Aspergers was not considered a disability in the *state* and there was no spectrum for special education purposes. When we moved here the next year, I had planned on getting it changed since there was no support of an emotional problem in the two evaluations that had been done and GA had the ASD category for eligibility. However, they pressured me to put him into the psychoed class from the very first IEP meeting we had. I did not agree, and they said they'd "give it a try". His IEP transfered & was accepted as 3 hours of resource/day, I found out a month and a half later that he was only getting 1.5/day. He finally had a meltdown (perhaps this wouldn't have happened had he gotten another 1.5 hr break that day. They suspended him pending a tribunal hearing. He had gotten upset when kids were accusing him of cheating at a game at the end of the day during testing week (stressful time always) and tried to run from the room and his reg ed teacher grabbed him. He was supposed to remove himself to the resource room  as a safe place, but his teacher was excused from our IEP meeting after a few minutes and she had no clue what to do. When she grabbed and held him, he fought to get away. This is also listed on his IEP. I really would like to find a way to hang a "do not touch me" sign around his neck.... anyways we went to the hearing where he was found guilty regardless of all the things they did wrong.  We had an IEP meeting following and the only option that was given was to send him back to the exact same class (the teachers did not want him, I didn't trust them, and he was socially devestated) or into the psychoeducational. So he went from 1.5 hrs/day academic resource to all day self-contained.

I finally had him re-evaluated in this county last year and the results supported his Aspergers diagnosis, and we added this to his eligibility. However, they insist on keeping "EBD" as his main. They say that "depression and meltdowns" are not typical of Aspergers kids.  ??? Which is just incorrect. On old testing from SC that we used to get him services one test showed negative emotions typical of AS kids (anxiety, withdrawal, atypicallity, aggression, and depression) but they say depression is not.  They have also done other things, but those aren't my main concerns. They don't want to change EBD because it keeps him in this psychoed class. He has five different diagnosis of AS.

I am filing a complaint and have already talked to someone in the state doe. She seemed quite concerned about a number of my issues (some violations that I didn't mention too).
> 60 days ago

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MikeysMommy
MikeysMommy writes:
may I ask how old your son is?

We have a 6 yr old who was just diagnosed as ASD ~Aspergers Syndrome, ODD/OCD/ADHD in October. So far his school ehre has been very supportive . WE are fortunate to live in a small town where the k-12 school is welcoming. And 2 yrs ago another child who is severly/ low functioning Autisic paved the way for him a bit.  SO far we have had a mainly positive response and cooperative attitude for mthe staff and teachers. But he does have meltdowns and there have been issues with him striking out.

The Autism Team from the ESU will ve at his school on the 20th to set his services. His IQ is 124 and he is academically doing very very well.
Our problems are in the areas of PE & art. Music class was an issue until the teacher decided to choose music that had fewer sharp or loud segments in it.  PE has improved since he has been allowed alternate manner of playing  games and activities. Like Jump rope sent him into a tizzy. he was fearful of the rope coming at his face, an the coordination was lacking. So he was tripping on the rope which embarrassed him. SO now an aid swings it in circles on the floor and he jumps over it there. He can see it, it's not threatening to hit his face.

Art class is a real frustration he does not like to touch crayons or things that are messy. And seems to lack an artisic eye. But he loves trains... have him draw trains all day and he is happy.

A few things I as a mom have done that seem to help greatly are:

1. I have placed him on the Autism/ADHD glutenfree/Casien free diet.

His teachers say they have seen a 50% reduction in his melt downs.
Now the Medical community is split  on the value of such a diet.
But I see it this way as mom. His gut feels betterm the circles are gone from his eyes, he has fewer *accidents*. This tells me he feels better. And when we feel better we all are less grumpy & touchy.
SO why not a child? Is it not easier to be tolarant and cooperative when we are well versus when we have a flu or bug?
SO you might try this if you have not.

2. I insist on having a lay out of the week so I can attempt to prepare him for changes in his regular routine. Routine is paramount with my son. The smallest change, even a 5 minute reduction of time can send him off.  I find if I can talk to him in advance most of the time we get thru the changes w/o major dosruptions.
Thou the last fewdays before holiday break sent him over the edge.
Considering keeping him home the last 3 days next December.


3. I found that classical music had a calming effect on him if you can play it before it over escalates. SO I boughtan epad for him and had his sister load his favorite symphonies and Baroque music and he is allowed to listen when the class is noisy or he is getting frustrated.
THey are also establishing a *quiet cubby* so he can isolate himself when he feels he needs too.

It's not all sunshine and roses but I an fortunate that the school had been very cooperative and supportive.
I think this is primarily due to the Principal who has a huge heart, open mind and is the mom of a special needs child herself.
> 60 days ago

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channingsmom
channingsmom writes:
What school system are you in?  I am having a difficult time also with the EXACT same problem.  Let me know; maybe we can at least support one another.
> 60 days ago

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branomom
branomom writes:
Hello,

We live in ga and our going thur a stressful time.  Our son is
16yrs old and has asbergers high functioning autism. He sometimes has outbursts at school. He is on respitol and stratarra.  We to have been looking into other schools in other states. Ohio has one called summitt academy.  It is geared toward kids with autism and adhd.  The tuition is only 176.00 for books and supplies. They do still have to take the Ohio grad test but the math only goes to 10th grade.  

My husband travels and Ohio is where our family is, but hes not
sure he can live anywhere.  Im not sure what we will decide, But look into this school. www. summitacademy.com
Good Luck and let me know what ya think thanks
> 60 days ago

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MacGirl1985
MacGirl1985 writes:
In Alpharetta, GA, there is a wonderful school called The Lionheart school.  The Lionheart School is a non-profit organization serving the needs of children on the autism spectrum.
> 60 days ago

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mom3x
mom3x writes:
This sounds very familiar.  I also live in GA.  When my asp. son was in 1st grade we really hit a brick wall after a major explosion.  (IEP was not being followed at that time.)  We ended up with an attorney.  My son received his own paraparo for a while.  The school system created an on grade level EBD class to meet his needs (and several other children benefited from this).  He gradually transitioned out of this class.  He is now a Jr. at a Science & Engineering Magnet school and doing Great.  He receives 1 hour per week of sp. ed. services.  I attribute the strong advocacy, constant intervention, well written IEPs, and parental insistant of school follow through.  What was one time a very tense relationship with the education department, is now a very smooth team effort with all being proud of his success.  The asst superintendent recently asked if we would be willing to do a human interest story for the newspaper.  Hang in there and ADVOCATE, don't give up, success is very much within reach, but it may be a very difficult journey.

Parent to Parent of GA has the parent training institute contract, however I have not found them to be very helpful.
Resources:
> 60 days ago

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lynngoodman
lynngoodman writes:
I live in Florida and the schools here are not much help.  I have paid over $20,000 out of pocket to get my son ABA therapy.   My son has a high-functioning form of Autism; possibly Aspergers.

My son attends a regulat VPK (pre K) with a full-time shadow (college student studying ABA).  I pay out of pocket for the shadow.  Insurance pays nothing for Austism and/or developmental delay diagnoses.  We've had a successful year.  The opportunites my son received by being with typical kids are unbelievable.

The school board wants to put my son in a public low-functioning ESE class for kindergarten.  This is not fair to my son.  I asked what he would learn and they told me he would be in a safe environment.

I will probably utilize the McKay Scholarship and place him in a private school that will allow the shadows.  I've had a couple of schools tell me I can use the leftover scholarship money to pay for the shadows.  So it's possible I will only have to pay about $3,000 -$4,000 for the year.

My son has made tremendous progress thanks to the ABA therapy.  I feel it would be an injustice to take that away from him.  The School Board will not allow the shadows into public school only school board employees.

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chevinsea
chevinsea writes:
Ohio?  Well its NOT Summit Academy!  My son has Aspergers and he attended Summit in YOungstown Ohio for a year.  It was horrible.  The teachers are great but the kids are a nightmare.  Most of the students are from the inner city and come with alot of problems.   IF you want your kid in a "getto" school, well this would be the best choice!  We know homeschool with Ohio Connections Academy and love it.  Let me add that my son had attended 11 schools before we came to this decision. He is going into 9th grade.
> 60 days ago

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wmyluv
wmyluv writes:
I live in Virginia and have had my son who has Aspergers and ADHD in both private and public schools.  He did fine with the IEP in place and with me working at his elementary schools; but when he reached 6th grade and had to go to middle school, everything fell apart.  With changing classes, crowded hallways and the bullies who pick on anyone who is different, he only lasted 7 weeks.  So after 6 meetings with all the teachers, counselor and principal and only getting promises that we could come up with a solution, I withdrew him, quit my job and am now homeschooling him.  He was very negative, withdrawn and cried every day (this is a child that tests in the twelfth grade level and has made straight A's all of his school years).  After 6 months of home instruction, I have a happy child again.  It's tough financially, but the rewards that come with having my child relaxed and adjusted to a safe routine (and learning again) is worth it.  With all of the budget cuts to the schools these days, I don't see how they can afford to have special programs for our kids and working in  the school system, I saw a lot of burnt out teachers who cared but just didn't have the energy to keep up with all of the demands.  I think us parents know our children and honestly can teach them better when it gets to this point.
> 60 days ago

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Lis47
Lis47 writes:
Hi - we live in Canada, so things are quite different here, and vary from province to province. Our 6 Yr old high-functioning autism/aspie is in a private Montessori school here. He completed kindergarten there and will be in grade 1 this year. It is a quiet, consistent, small school. The principal is very supportive. We have a 1:1 aide full time. We had to pay for her last year but this year the Govt pays.

I would suggest 2 things to look for: 1) a school that is supportive to your son's needs and doesn't just try to blame him for his ASD which as we all know escalates the anxiety and undesirable behavior . And 2) a school that is fairly 'low key' with numbers of kids with real behavioral issues (not aspies) - as the ASD kid will quickly pick up on the lousy/ unwanted behavior and then you have even more problems!! Our aspies can't deciphr which behaviours to emulate and which to steer clear of!

Apparently Montessori isn't great for everyone but ours is an accredited school with high standards and has other ASD kids.
> 60 days ago

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Karate~mom
Karate~mom writes:
Well I don't know about the best schools persay, but here in OR our schools have really helped my son, daughter, and my best friends boy, cope with such in school with ASD. My daughter has been on an IEP since K through now 5th, and son since 3 to high school, as to he can pretty much excuse himself when anxiety occurs. But they public schools were so much more help then private here with helping with ASD. My kids were never excluded,screamed at, sent away, they were  just tought or had games in a way they can cope with. My gf's son is so high on the spectrum that he has 7 different people looking after him each day to avoid meltdowns and help him learn as hes highly brillant but no social skills. Hes never been locked up, just been excused to go read, or help out teachers when situations have occured from tweeking out as they say. They know not to touch him, grab him or talk to him without using a firm but soft voice and eye contact, it really helps. I could go on and on, but ive found that taking out dyes, gluten and giving individual focal sports like tae kwon do has helped with social skills and out bursts, hopefully you will find the right school to make your child fell wanted.
> 60 days ago

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Ellynn
Ellynn writes:
I have a child with both high functioning Autism diagnosis and ADHD/OCD/Tourette's diagnosis depending on which well respected doc we see.  We are in th ePhiladelphia suburbs and had a successful kindergarten year with a full time aid, but the  public school would not provide an aide for 1 st grade.  After hiring an attorney, we finally got her into the Vanguard School in Malvern.  we have been there a year and it is wonderful.  they are ready to handle tantrums, they have a very good reward system in the AM and PM, they have small classes and they are providing the enrichment in math and reading that the public school did not.  she receives OT and social skills  weekly.  she was the youngest girl in the school last year, but now there are 3 girls in her class!  Most everyone at the school has been sent by districts that did not have services for the students. It was tough getting there ,but worth it.  Now we may have to move, and I am petrified.  It might be Maryland and I have researched Montgomery co schools.  It seems like a good program, but the cost of housing is so high, we would pay at least 300,000 more for an equivalent house there.  Another option is Atlanta.  This has me more scared.  Where are the good private schools?  I am scared to make her suffer through a difficult school year at a public school.  she was also diagnosed with PANDAS (autoimmune disorder triggered by strep) last year and treated at children's hospital of Philadelphia ( I can't say enough wonderful things about that hospital.) Is anyone in Atlanta diagnosing and treating kids for PANDAS?  does any insurance pay for it? I am near tears just thinking about all she suffered through last year before we found Vanguard.
> 60 days ago

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Ttencie22
Ttencie22 writes:
Yale School, Cherry Hill NJ
> 60 days ago

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BBigmomma
BBigmomma writes:
I have sent you a message in your inbox.  I hope you find the information helpful or if you would like further support feel free to message me. :)
> 60 days ago

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CloverleafTeach
CloverleafT... writes:
Hi!
I am so sorry to hear about your horrible experience. Depression and meltdowns are definitely typical of Aspergers and typical of any child who is not getting what they need at school. I am a teacher of a new start up private special needs school in Atlanta (The Cloverleaf School) and have spoken with and helped many parents in your same position.  We support children with Aspergers, ADHD, autism and other learning differences. We have a low teacher to student ratio, teach social skills and equip our students with the tools they will need to navigate their world.  Here is our website and a link to our story.

www.cloverleafschool.org

http://cloverleafschool.org/our-approach/our-story

Even if we are not the fit you are looking for, we would love to help you find the right resources for your child.  Please give us a call or an email with any questions that you may have!
> 60 days ago

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taz37
taz37 writes:
I also am a parent to a high functioning autistic child. I heard there was a private school in Panama City, Fl just for children with autism (Bacot academy). We took our 4 year old son there, and are hoping that they will take him at 5. We too are having trouble with the public sector in Florida. Best of luck.
> 60 days ago

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taz37
taz37 writes:
I am also the parent to a high functioning autistic child. I heard that there was  a private school in Panama City, Fl just for children with autism, or on the spectrum (Bacot academy). We took our 4 year old son there and are hoping that they will be able to take him at 5. Also some private schools will take autistic children with the mckay scholarship.
> 60 days ago

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larnotes
larnotes writes:
Dear Desperate-to-move,
I live in Ohio with an Asperger son and husband.  Although I am a Music Educator, my concentration has been Education for AS students.  I have been very impressed with the programs that have come out of Columbus Ohio; in particular Ohio State University.  Here is one link for a program that my son has gone through for you to take a look at.

http://www.aspirationsohio.org/html/contact.html

Furthermore, OSU (Ohio State) has a program for AS students to attend that helps them make the transition from High School to college.  It is most impressive.

Here is another website that comes out of Columbus http://wosu.org/autism/  designed to help autistic along the spectrum.  In particular, check out the "Educational Resources" under "Explore WOSU."  You will see one name come up a lot in all of these; Jeff Siegel - currently we are working to start a piano instruction program for students in Aspirations.  Here is another website:  http://www.oneplaceforspecialneeds.com/resources_local/resource_local_details.html?ID=1614  and still another:  http://milestones.org/adult_services.htm#Education  

Please give these programs a look at.  From my educational perspective, the resources here are quite excellent; but I know many of these people and I know their dedication levels as well as their success.  Check out Columbus Ohio.

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Hmarilou
Hmarilou writes:
My child was just diagnosed with Aspbergers Sydrome.  What supportive services does Wyandott have to help my child.  He has been able to keep up academicly but of course he has some abnormal behavial and "thinking" problems.  I don't want him just "put" in a special ed class. He needs help designed just for him. Can you help.
> 60 days ago

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