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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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monkeybean
monkeybean writes:
please look up Paula Kluth. she is an author and an inclusion specialist.....
also, as a mom of a son with Auatism, it took 9 years to get a correct diagnosis, and if i hadn't sontinued to advocate on his behalf at school, he would not have receoved any support. As frustratin as it is, keep your focus as your child, and know, that if you do not advocate,  no one will......good luck :)
> 60 days ago

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fast-Olympio
fast-Olympio writes:
Having him tested by your PMD would be a great start.
> 60 days ago

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mammak
mammak writes:
Look at the Monarch School in Houston, Tx.  We moved there and it was the best thing we ever did.  We are not alone.  There are people from all over the US and a few from other countries.
> 60 days ago

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sorbonne
sorbonne writes:
This may come late in your search; however, our school The Asperger Connection School has both a regular day school program in Eastern North Carolina & a virtual school for learning at home.
We are seeing amazing growth in the students-both academically and socially.
Best Wishes inn your journey.

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aspiesmom2
aspiesmom2 writes:
my son is 27 now and went thru the psyco ed program, it was awful, He has finished 2 yrs of technical school.  I fought the system all the way. It took alot of work and several children fell thru the cracks in his class.  If I had to do it over again I would scream and yell to all the news people to come see what the time out room and the classes consisted of in most cases, it was insane.  With the help of some dedicated teachers and one special principal he had 3 great years.  Middle school was a joke, in the gym under the basketball court next to the band room, ADHD  kids are you kidding.. Its too late for us but not for you. Its not right to treat kids this way. They need a equal chance and special needs met for all of them. Get mad just don't put up with it, we have rights and the more that is known about these special classes and the way most are treated would stop if enought parents knew what is going on in the class room. Time out room was so cruel,hours he and others spent locked up in that nasty closet, this was in the early 90's and  he was in K-6th grade in a trailer that was dirty and treated as the crazies of the school. Write letters to the state superintendent and all the news papers.  I hate to say it but it might someones life.. how many of these children died as a result of bullying or teasing. Some did not return after summer and were placed in juvenile centers far worse. Educators are paid well and some just plain do not care what happens and only want the problem to just go away. As more autistic children are reporting to school things may have improved some. I think it needs to be shouted from the roof tops and news papers and televisions, the inhumane treatment these children are suffering and we are just thinking this is the normal and accepting it like a herd of animals going to slaughter.  Go to school and have meetings know what is going on with the day meet the teachers, let them know you are watching and take notes taperecord all meetings, bring your supporters grandparents, let them know you are mad as hell and not going to take this anymore..
Thank God my son made it but school was torture everyday except like I mentioned the few good years we had the kind teachers and that took alot of work on all parents and everyone to get it to that point.. Middle school was a disaster. I lost all my energy and nearly my sanity and job to keep it going, no one could believe it was happening in todays society but it is..its like Oliver Twist in the orphanage I just want some more sir,  they just want and deserve a nice normal education. The state of Georgia should be ashamed of what has happened to some of the children schooled in the Psycho Educational program,,it resembled Cool Hand Luke,, yall raise some cane and pitch a fit and get your kids what they deserve..
It seems overwhelming to a parent to have to fight so hard for their child.
> 60 days ago

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oh-boy
oh-boy writes:
I am so sorry to hear about the treatment that your child has endured. What part of GA do you live in? Are all the GA schools like this? I am contemplating moving to Atlanta, and have a child with special needs. I do live in the Chicago area, the suburbs of Glenview, IL. They have a great program here called www.nssed.org. but the cost of living here as a single parent is very high. But the program is free and wonderful. I love it and my son loves it as well. You just have to stay in the districts of the Special Education District. Please write back if you are considering moving here. :)
> 60 days ago

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JacquelineP70
JacquelineP70 writes:
You need to consider moving to Maryland, Howard County to be specific.  It is one of the best school districts in the country and their services for special needs are fantastic.  I have personal experience with my son and I have been very satisfied.  I also feel like I have input in every decision.
> 60 days ago

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Nicole1234567890
Nicole12345... writes:
I empathize with you wholeheartedly. I'm not sure if this is an old question, I don't have time to read all the given answers. I live in Canada, and actually moved to a new province 2 years ago in hopes to secure more services for my son. There is nothing, nada here in Saskatchewan. I believe it is because of funding, lack of trained professionals etc. My son is almost 12 years old. He has not been diagnosed. He is high functioning. He is at the peak of probably being diagnosed with anxiety disorder, undoubtedly caused by a lack of empathy, understanding, and knowledge from his teachers at school. Last year I blessedly managed to transfer him from public school to private. I clean the school in exchange for him to attend. While they don't acknowledge his inabilities, it is still a giant leap from what he had to endure in public school. Two days ago, he was prescribed antidepressants for anxiety. I misunderstood the physician, I thought the prescription was for a pill to be taken when needed to calm him down. I will not give my son antidepressants for something that can be prevented with a little understanding and empathy. I am making plans to move to another province. My research says, that B.C. and Ontario, have more support. I'm skeptical, but I will do anything in my power to secure a future for my child. Statistics in the past said that 1 in 10,000 children were born on the autistic spectrum. Presently, statistics say 1 in 167. Our governments may not be on board now, but they sure as heck will have to be soon.
In the meantime, parents all over the world should get together as one, if they are not going to provide help then we should do it ourselves. I myself, have studied, via the net, plus having my son to learn from. I can bet you I know as much as someone who has a degree. I bet there are more like me in the thousands.
God bless everyone.
> 60 days ago

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vadad
vadad writes:
Hi,
We have an Aspergers child and have had such a terrible experience with the public school system that we are pulling him out.  Half the staff doesn't care and half care, but have no background or training to know what to do when our son needs them most.  We are so incensed and frustrated that we are having the whole mess reviewed by a lawyer.  Chicago will have a lot of options for you, but cost of living is high, weather sucks, and traffic is horrific (we lived there 10 years).  Hampton Roads VA has a school called Chesapeake Bay Academy - this is where we are sending our son: http://www.cba-va.org/  Virginia is a beautiful state, affordable, good weather, nice people, and this school has provided support to us in our public school struggles.  If anything, the website may be helpful.  Good luck :)
> 60 days ago

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autismactivistmom
autismactiv... writes:
Your are not alone---the federal government is investigating the treatment of children with disabilities in the state of GA:

In response to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s complaint, Federal Education Officials are looking into the GNETs programs. They have asked for our help.

Specifically, they are seeking to talk with parents, families, or students who have had experiences in the GNETS (Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support) programs during onsite visits. As you probably know, the GNETs are a public-funded, segregated statewide system of “schools” for students with Autism or Emotional Behavioral Disorders. There are about 5000 students in these placements.

Federal Education Officials wish to hear family’s stories. They want to interview families by phone BEFORE the visit that has had a student either attend one of these placements or narrowly escape one of these placements. They are visiting:

1. Burrell Program (Carroll, Coweta, Heard, Meriwether, and Troup Counties; Carrollton City)

2. Heartland Program (Bleckley, Dodge, Laurens, Montgomery, Pulaski, Telfair, Treutlen, Wheeler, and Wilcox Counties; Dublin City)

3. Woodall Program (Chattahoochee, Clay, Harris, Muscogee, Quitman, Randolph, Stewart and Talbot Counties)

4. Alpine Program (Banks, Dawson, Franklin, Forsyth, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White Counties; Gainesville City)

5. NORTHSTAR Program (Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield Counties; Dalton City)

6. NORTHWEST Program (Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, Polk, and Walker Counties; Bremen, Calhoun, Cartersville, Chickamauga, Rome and Trion Cities)

The interviews will be completed by the week of January 21st. Additionally, they will be “visiting” the 3 programs in the South during February.

If you have any questions or I can help you in any way- do not hesitate to contact me.

Leslie K. Lipson
Staff Attorney
The Georgia Advocacy Office
One Decatur Town Center
150 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 430
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 885- 1234 or 1 (800) 537- 2329 (voice or TDD)
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GAPLSP
> 60 days ago

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Tristero
Tristero writes:
I am a special education teacher and I also have a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. I teach in Seattle, WA. Seattle has a pretty high proportion of students w/ASD diagnosis. Several years ago the Seattle School District had many SPED programs specifically devoted to students w/HFA and Asperger's Syndrome. They were, for the most part, very effective. Unfortunately our district has changed to a different delivery model and many of the elementary programs no longer exist. We do have a few middle school programs and several high school programs.

In terms of the one most important element for students w/Asperger's Syndrome to be successful in an inclusion setting I would suggest that it be that of a teacher who's first priority is to get to know the student. While this sounds obvious and rather simplistic it really entails much more. It means doing very specific things that let the student know you understand them. To me this has always been much more important than establishing structured schedules, and using social skills curricula (not that those aren't really important). If I was a parent looking for a school/class the first question I would ask the SPED teacher is "how do you get to know your students?" Some ways I do this are first doing the more basic things like using a parent and student questionnaire as well as a questionnaire the student uses to interview me. Self-deprivation and acting silly are also very useful. Once I know the students personal interests I get those things and ask the student to tell me and show me about it. I sometimes will have the student make an iMovie about themselves/their interests so they can share it with their teacher(s). Hope this was useful.
> 60 days ago

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SesSes
SesSes writes:
Dear Miranova - My son was diagnosed with ADHD in 1st grade. The teachers he has had since have been wonderful with him & with keeping me in the loop. At the end of 4th grade it was suggested to me by his teacher & Asst. Principal that he may have Aspergers. I had started to suspect that on my own, they just confirmed it. He will be tested 2 weeks after school starts this year. The Asst. Principal has spent her summer reading & doing other things to help her understand Autism better. We have several students in our school that are on the Autism spectrum & no seclusion room has ever been used that I am aware of! My son also has an above average IQ & the teachers in our school do everything they can to keep him challenged. I am at the school a lot helping out in another classroom & his teachers don't hesitate to send for me when they have questions or ideas about how to further help him. They also email or call on a regular basis. This is our last year at this school & I am sad to be leaving such a great support team behind.
We live in Gastonia, NC & he attends New Hope Elementary on Stowe Rd. in South Gastonia. I think you should call & talk to our AP (Mrs. Stiwalt) about any questions you have. I hope you find the right place for you & your son.
> 60 days ago

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AlexiaStar
AlexiaStar writes:
What you are talking about is called an inclusion classroom which my son was in for many years. Pros of an inclusion classroom are that they are actually in a regular class room academically equal to other students. Cons of an inclusion classroom is there are about 30 regular ed students and 4 special ed students; the entire class of regular ed knows who the 4 special ed students are, which now makes your child not equal to the rest of the class. If you are interested in inclusion ask the board of ed if they offer this in your state. There is always the option of home school which I end up choosing for my youngest child. Many states offer free online home schooling if you would like me to help you research your states home school options I would be happy to help :o)
> 60 days ago

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frybread53
frybread53 writes:
I feel for you as a mom with an Aspergers son. I am appalled that you are having such a hard time. I have had some similar experiences here in NY. I believe there is a problem everywhere's. However, my experience pales in comparison with yours. No where's in NY would you find that type of "treatment" for children with disabilities esp. this one. Since I've moved to this school district in the Fingerlakes, they have done miracles for me, advocated and pulled strings that others wouldn't. They see what I see. I have also had the support from his pediatrician. Those so called "rooms." You would not find in NY and there are doctors and clinics everywhere for Aspergers, some more than others and some more recognized than others and that is where you begin to run into trouble when you hit NYS bureaucracy. A lot of red tape here. The change in the DSM IV is not helping either since it does exactly the opposite of what it was intended to do. Overall, I'd say get out of Georgia fast. This is so sad. It's already a struggle to get through everyday and keep your sanity.
> 60 days ago

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Aspergermaw
Aspergermaw writes:
I am having the same problem My son is in an EBD classroom with teachers who do not understand him and provoke him into fleeing the classroom for help and justice. I was told he would have to be in the system for a full year to qualify for a voucher to get help  with a private school. I am so frustrated that special ed teachers do not even study aspergers or even read about the students they are teaching
> 60 days ago

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scottinatl
scottinatl writes:
You are placing your hopes and you will be disappointed. Where are you located in Georgia? I have aspy kid and I do not have these issues. What you are describing sounds like a GNATS school or a restrictive environment. No matter where you go, any public school will only take so much of the behavior issues, but they are required to provide your child with the least restrictive environment. You need to contact the superintendent of schools and the special needs director for your school district and rework his IEP to be resource classes and classes with co-teaching. He also needs to have a BIP. you also need therapy. I don't know your situation but go get help. I am in DeKalb County and the resources here are like anywhere else--you have to lay out a reason, get documentation that cannot be refuted, and follow-up, follow-up, and escalate. To the State if need be. Moving to Chicago will leave you disappointed. They are union and don't give a crap.

Good luck. Get a lawyer if you need to in order to write the IEP and make sure the school district follows the law in providing him services. If they are unable to provide services, you can transfer to another school that can.
> 60 days ago

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Meggm
Meggm writes:
I live in Connecticut and they have done a good job.  I was in Florida and that was a disaster.  Connecticut is not perfect, but the town I live in would never not follow an IEP.  My cousins daughter has Aspergers and she loves her school.  If possible you should consider Connecticut.  Fairfield County is expensive, but you can find much more affordable areas further away from New York.  The information and advice I have received would have never happened in Florida. Hang in there, I know it is hard to uproot your family, but if you feel your area is not helping your son you are probably right.  It is so hard to be a parent, hang in there!
> 60 days ago

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skab
skab writes:
I do not know your financial means, or where in GA you are or the age of your child.  I would recommend an Educational Attorney first, and there are some good schools in Alpharetta Ga, Also Massachussets has good programs.
> 60 days ago

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Sandi770
Sandi770 writes:
I currently live in GA - Gwinnett County.  We took our daughter out of public school in 5th grade because of bullying.  She has mild aspergers and sensory disorder.  The kids labeled her a "weirdo."  She developed depression.

She has good grades and you wouldn't really know she has aspergers, except she talks a lot and doesn't get social cues when people aren't interested.

I found a part homeschool school that has been great for her.  They attend on Tues, Th, and Fri.

It's called Dacula Classical Academy.  Some of the teachers will also tutor a whole subject if necessary.

It's not that expensive since it is part school/part homeschool.

Unfortunately we will be moving but it's not because of the school.  The teachers there are very understanding.

Hope this helps.
> 60 days ago

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SummerDK
SummerDK writes:
I have read some of the post on here but not all so if this has already been mentioned my apologies, recently I found this book called "the Asperkids secret book of social rules" the hand book of not-so-obvious social guidelines for tweens and teens with asperger syndrome, by Jennifer Cook O'Toole    this book is amazing! I wish I would have had it years ago.  My son is reading it now (so am I) and it has helped us both understand SO much.  The author has Aspergers herself, married a man with Aspergers and has children with Aspergers, this book is written by someone who has lived with Aspergers and its an insight you simply cannot get from someone who has just "studied" it. The book is about $12 and worth every cent.   I know this post must just look like a plug for this book but I assure you its not, I have no connection what so ever with it other then it has helped me so much.
> 60 days ago

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