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Old 07-10-2010, 02:22 PM
 
2 posts, read 23,823 times
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Please help!! We just moved to Atlanta 2 months ago and will be buying a house soon. Our son, 3 years old, has recently been diagnosed with Autism (he is highly functional) and we are trying to identify elementary schools with good special ed programs in Atlanta.
Even though our son is 3 now and will probably attend private preschool and pre-K, we need to decide where to buy a house very soon, hence, THE URGENCY to identify good elementary schools.

We are interested in East Cobb, Alpharetta or Gwinett. It will help a lot if somebody can name schools with good special ed programs in any of these areas or any other area in Atlanta.

We are new in Atlanta and we are a bit lost and we really want to give the best possible education to our autistic son. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Caterina
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 4,919,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caterinacapps View Post
Please help!! We just moved to Atlanta 2 months ago and will be buying a house soon. Our son, 3 years old, has recently been diagnosed with Autism (he is highly functional) and we are trying to identify elementary schools with good special ed programs in Atlanta.
Even though our son is 3 now and will probably attend private preschool and pre-K, we need to decide where to buy a house very soon, hence, THE URGENCY to identify good elementary schools.

We are interested in East Cobb, Alpharetta or Gwinett. It will help a lot if somebody can name schools with good special ed programs in any of these areas or any other area in Atlanta.

We are new in Atlanta and we are a bit lost and we really want to give the best possible education to our autistic son. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Caterina
Hi Caterina,

I know there are several high functioning autistic kids at Murdock in East Cobb. I know three of the families and all seem to be satisfied and they do seem to get an awful lot of services. I have heard good things about Tritt as well. Make sure you have a very clear diagnosis to facilitate an IEP. If you don't it won't be easy.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: ATL with a side of Chicago
3,622 posts, read 5,059,567 times
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I have a teenager with Asperger's, and we've had good results with the Cherokee County school system for elementary school - they have a central location for kids who are beyond what their normal school is - Mountain Road Elementary. My son was transferred there from Arnold Mill, where he had been mainstreamed with horrible results. Mountain Road was excellent, and the students there are all very understanding toward the special needs kids.

We now live in East Cobb, and both Hightower Trail Middle School and Pope Highschool have been wonderful. I don't know anything about the elementary schools, although I attended Murdock as a child. My son is now at Fitzhugh Lee in the Haven Academy in Smyrna, because, although Pope was WONDERFUL in doing what they could for him, they just didn't have the proper resources to help him progress academically. Once he is brought up to speed at Fitzhugh Lee, he will be transitioned back to Pope.

We did have to hire an education attorney to sit in with us at IEP meetings for a while, because we wanted to make sure that everything possible was being done for my son. It's a lot of work advocating for your child, no matter where you decide to go.

Good luck!
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:53 PM
 
Location: NE Atlanta suburbs
472 posts, read 744,082 times
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Our son has Asperger's also. He attended Fort Daniel Elementary in Dacula (Gwinnett County) and their resource teachers there are amazing. I could not have asked for better. He really loved his school.

When we moved to this area almost two years ago, they were really on the ball getting his IEP from his old school, meeting with us within a week of being here, and getting him on the best individual plan for him. He really excelled and did a complete 180 from his old school. This past year, he was on honor roll all year and was named star student.

He will be attending Osborne Middle in the fall. I hope he has as much success there as he did at Fort Daniel.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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Thanks for all the advice! Just few more questions. KADAY, can you clarify what a clear diagnosis is for IEP purposes? I will have a written diagnosis from the developmental pediatrician who evaluated my son. Do I need anything else?

NEEMY 14, do you think I should hire an attorney for the IEP meeting no matter what or did you feel the need to hire one because of your particular situation?

Thanks
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:49 PM
 
Location: ATL with a side of Chicago
3,622 posts, read 5,059,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caterinacapps View Post

NEEMY 14, do you think I should hire an attorney for the IEP meeting no matter what or did you feel the need to hire one because of your particular situation?

Thanks
Mine was situational. I had just moved from Cherokee Co to East Cobb, and at the time, without naming names, a member of the Hightower Trail special needs staff was very difficult to work with, and her apathetic attitude was having an impact on my son's education. So I hired an attorney to sit in with us, and challenge her during IEP meetings (of course, they had to have their own attorney sit in, as well). The next year, that particular staff member was replaced, and the new one was absolutely wonderful, and we had no further problems.

So, no, you won't need to hire an attorney as a preemptive measure, but if you feel your child is not getting an appropriate IEP, and the school is not doing everything they can, then it's time to look into legal representation. Nothing makes a school listen like an attorney! And if you do end up needing a good attorney, I can definitely recommend one. ;-)
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:35 AM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 4,919,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caterinacapps View Post
Thanks for all the advice! Just few more questions. KADAY, can you clarify what a clear diagnosis is for IEP purposes? I will have a written diagnosis from the developmental pediatrician who evaluated my son. Do I need anything else?

NEEMY 14, do you think I should hire an attorney for the IEP meeting no matter what or did you feel the need to hire one because of your particular situation?

Thanks
My child has a language based learning disability and although we had done a lot of outside testing (at great cost) because my child was academically successful but nowhere near her intellectual ability we were denied an IEP several times (even though we have a neurological diagnosis as well). We hired an attorney and lost our case (again at great expense). One of the families I am familiar with at our school has a son who is both extremely gifted and autistic and has gotten services from the get go. So, I am fairly certain Austism is treated differently for whatever reason. The school system will do their own testing. Again I am not really sure how Autism is evaluated but if your child can show success in the classroom, you may have a more difficult time securing services. So the more evidence you can collect on your own, the better.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:14 PM
 
Location: NE Atlanta suburbs
472 posts, read 744,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaday View Post
My child has a language based learning disability and although we had done a lot of outside testing (at great cost) because my child was academically successful but nowhere near her intellectual ability we were denied an IEP several times (even though we have a neurological diagnosis as well). We hired an attorney and lost our case (again at great expense). One of the families I am familiar with at our school has a son who is both extremely gifted and autistic and has gotten services from the get go. So, I am fairly certain Austism is treated differently for whatever reason. The school system will do their own testing. Again I am not really sure how Autism is evaluated but if your child can show success in the classroom, you may have a more difficult time securing services. So the more evidence you can collect on your own, the better.
Any disabilities (autism, dyslexia, etc) should be treated with an IEP, no matter if the child is successful in the classroom or not.

I've never heard of a language based learning disability (interesting), is there a diagnosis for it or does it have a name? How did you realize your child was not performing at his/her intellectual ability? Was there IQ testing or something involved?
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:58 PM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 4,919,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcm2010 View Post
Any disabilities (autism, dyslexia, etc) should be treated with an IEP, no matter if the child is successful in the classroom or not.

I've never heard of a language based learning disability (interesting), is there a diagnosis for it or does it have a name? How did you realize your child was not performing at his/her intellectual ability? Was there IQ testing or something involved?
Dyslexia is a langauage based learning disability. We learned about her disability through some randon OT testing done in kindergarten. Private testing confirmed dyslexia (3 separate testing occasions) and showed an IQ well above 130. Also any math test (cogats, crct Iowas) her math score is always perfect...not a single error. She does read...but it is like watching someone lift a 300 pound weight. Sadly such a bright kid was denied services and also denied access to the gifted program. I watched her spirit be totally crushed. Georgia public schools only have to make sure you can pass...they are not obligated to make sure you reach your potential.

Last edited by kaday; 07-12-2010 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: NE Atlanta suburbs
472 posts, read 744,082 times
Reputation: 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaday View Post
Dyslexia is a langauage based learning disability. We learned about her disability through some randon OT testing done in kindergarten. Private testing confirmed dyslexia (3 separate testing occasions) and showed an IQ well above 130. Also any math test (cogats, crct Iowas) her math score is always perfect...not a single error. She does read...but it is like watching someone lift a 300 pound weight. Sadly such a bright kid was denied services and also denied access to the gifted program. I watched her spirit be totally crushed. Georgia public schools only have to make sure you can pass...they are not obligated to make sure you reach your potential.
Wow, how incredibly sad.

Do you think it has something to do with your school district?

My son was passing all subjects (high C/low B average) even before he was put on an IEP, but even now still has all general ed classes with extra resources available to him. Now, not only does he excel, but he loves school/learning and homework is not the nightmare it used to be. We went from one of the worst school districts in the state (Peach County) to one of the best (Gwinnett).


Maybe you're right with the autism spectrum being handled differently, although that's not fair.

Hope your daughter gets the help she does deserve.
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