Specialized Schools

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Specialized Schools
4
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 2:41am
My son Jordan had his child study team eval the end of April. A few of the issues that became reoccuring themes are: that he has a terrible time with transitions, cannot do anything abstract without visual cues, thrives on structure and routine, and cannot handle timed testing because he obesses on how much time is left and not how much work he has to do.

He's going into 4th grade in September and has been doing fine in a mainstream classroom. One of the things the report also mentions is that he's going to have a very rough time in middle school because students are given more freedom, there's less structure and they have to change classes for each subject.

His dr. mentioned a specialized school that district could pay for (if we fight to the death for it) when he begins middle school - he doesn't need it yet. This school has very bright and very high function, yet quirky Asperger kids. They don't change classes, they create a special IEP for each of their students, they have OT, PT, Socialization Groups. A full range of services that our school district doesn't provide even though they think they do.

Does anyone have experience with a specialized school? Has the specialized school helped your child when you took him out of the public school system? Any feedback would be great.

Thanks

Leenie

Avatar for maresgood
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 5:15pm
Hi, my dd (AS & ADD) is going into 6th gr. next yr. I am already worrying about middle school. She is in a mainstream class this yr. with pullouts by the resource specialist. It took 2 yrs. & 2 IEP's just to accomplish this! I know of 1 specialized private school in San Diego (where we live), which has a variety of special ed kids & there was an article in the paper saying what a good school it was. I know of none for AS specifically. I am going to check it out & see if it takes middle school kids. I know of one other school closer to me which takes learning disabled kids but is really expensive.I haven't heard good things about this school. I am going to start research this summer because I think she will have a hard time with changing classes and adjusting to the middle school block time schedule that they have. My older dd went to this school and just graduated & did OK. My other dd is already worked up about 6th grade camp which our district has in the fall for 1 week where they go away and sleep over. She doesn't want to go & I'm not going to force her. She stresses with anything new or unfamiliar. Good luck if you decide to go with the special school. MaryAnn
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 5:59pm
Sounds like my son. My son is freaking out because school is ending and he's going to camp. There a week off between the end of school and the beginning of camp, which makes the transition that much harder. It's the same camp,the same owner, the same staff, and he's been going to since 1st grade so there shouldn't a problem but there is.

FYI - Our school district will pay for the private school but you have to get an advocate and fight and fight. The district doesn't want anyone to know about it but I belong to ASPEN, an AS support group - I think nationwide, and they know of a good advocate to fight for us who will actually win. To make our situation a little more pressing, our district is going to send 6th graders to the middle school (7th & 8th grades) starting with his year. He's already starting to stress about that. We have to start to lay the groundwork now if we want him to start in 6th grade.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 1:04pm
Mayann,

One word, Excelsior (I am 90% sure that is the one). Check that one out. Heard it is quite good for this population. If we lived closer to SD then I would be pushing for Cait to go there for sure if she needed it.

Renee

ps. we need to do the park soon.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 1:16pm
Our doctor once mentioned specialized school if Cait couldn't make it in the regular school. I have looked into all the options in our area. There are options K-12 out there. At this time most weren't the best placement or where to far away. We have been looking into a couple options. Cait is going into 4th this year as well and here that means a class size increase from 20 to 35. Plus a huge increase in work. SO this year and middle school are concerning for us.

We have the private options there (some are really good). We also have he signed up for a Independent school program (charter so it is free) where she would go 2 times and week and be homeschooled for 3 days a week. In middle school in our district they have a special program for aspie kids. It is a day class homeroom thing. She would go there first thing in the morning and have 2 class periods there where they teach social skills and organizational skills. Then they go from there to the regular classes. There is an aide available in the class when the kids need the support and that support can be extended to the other class periods.

For this year we are trying a change in schools to our local one. THere is more support available there. If that doesn't work out within the first couple months, we will switch to the homeschooling. For middle school I think we will choose as we get closer between special school, the special middle school program offered by the district or homeschool. That depends greatly on a number of factors between now and the end of 5th grade.

It is hard to make those decisions. I know. But I find it is easier knowing what the options are and having a plan. I would bet your local ASPEN chapter has a lot of info about what is available. You can also do searches on the internet. I got a lot of info that way and just keeping my eye's and ears open. I found many of the special schools in the yellow pages and I called them all. Visited a couple. Explained the exact situation and even if they weren't an appropriate school they often had some ideas and knew the other schools around.

HTH

Renee

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