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Old 01-16-2010, 02:41 PM
 
84 posts, read 63,575 times
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Default Any school districts good for mild LD issues (ADD)?

My son is going into 2nd grade next year and we've recently begun thinking about maybe relocating. Here in NJ, DS has gotten a great education starting from preschool that's helped with his distractibility. He's a really smart kid but has speech and OT special services to help with his ADD and keep him on task. No meds have been recommended. So far, it's working so well. It's been a fight, sometimes, to advocate for him and get him the services that help him to excel and I'm wondering what the child study teams are like in the Atlanta/Roswell, etc. areas and how the schools deal with mild learning disabilities. Here, the kids are all integrated and services are given without any disruption to the learning process.

We're looking to spend between 400-500K for a house in a community. We also have a 5 yo daughter who doesn't seem to have any learning issues so far.

Any suggestions? I've thought about private schools but I hate to have this ADD define him since he wants to be in a regular school like DD. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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It sounds like you have an ideal situation for your son. Your experience here may or may not be as good and potentially will vary greatly in quality from year to year. Most schools will use mostly pull out for what are called supportive services like OT and speech. In GA, school speech therapists have huge case loads and generally see kids in groups. OTs are often transient serving multiple schools. Special ed teachers are in high demand, there aren't enough of them and so the quality isn't always there.

As a parent of a child with mild learning disabilities, I find (found) that those are the students that fall the most through the cracks. I know many parents here who feel that way.

If it is a fight there, expect the fight to be even harder here. We have this silly Response to Intervention (google it) program here, though if your child has an IEP it will be transferable. If your child is being served under a 504, that will transfer as well.

There are private schools (like St. Francis) that serve a variety of students but most don't have the support services included in the tuition, rather you pay extra for them.

I am curious why you might want to move. Do you have job(s) already lined up?
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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Default Thanks

No job but we're open to moving. The weather and cost of living close to NYC has made moving south appealing. Our house is worth over 500K but it's almost 40 years old. We renovated the inside 10 yrs ago and it's in dire need of updating on the outside as well as sprucing up again on the inside. No laundry room, no mud room, no storage, etc. I know the grass always looks greener but DS may inquire about opportunities farther south at his upcoming review at work.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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Are houses selling in NJ?

Anyway, I would work into your decision making process the fact that you may want private school one day -- there are obviously schools that specialize in LDs but there are also schools that serve typical students but have specialized programs for kids with LDs. The best ones are pricey though.

One other thing to consider (and I have no idea if it is different where you are), educational spending is shrinking here and so are services. Class sizes are increasing and I think we are at least two years from any real relief.

good luck!
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:31 PM
 
Location: a warmer place
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Georgia is ranked 49th in the nation for special education services. As long as your child is passing or making adequate progress obtaining an IEP is almost impossible. We tryed for a year and a half for our dyslexic child and though we had mountains of evidence to support her diagnosis, we were unable to get any services at all for her. Ditto on the speech services. I don't want to mock GA schools as they have served my other child very well. But I would not count on services here unless you have an existing IEP. And even then I'd wonder about next year.

We gave up the fight pulled our child out this year and put her in a private school. It was a very good decision.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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My son was older, than yours, entering high school when we moved to North Fulton, but his IEP was accepted without any difficulty on our part, and he received excellent support.

I think you need to research, pick your school system with care, and, as others have mentioned, bring an IEP with you.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:57 AM
 
Location: North Fulton, GA
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If you are used to New Jersey sped services be prepared for a major shock no matter which public school district you choose. Your high property taxes in NJ are going to programs such as these. I would factor in the possibility that you may end up paying for private school tuition in Atlanta, before you decide to move.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:21 AM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,509 posts, read 3,233,612 times
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I probably want to add to my previous post that we had lived in NJ and Massachusetts prior to Georgia. My child started off in NJ Early Intervention. In Mass she received services through the public schools. She has a neurological diagnosis. The dyslexia was a surprise but she never received any services in GA prior to the diagnosis even though her speech, PT and OT testing put her at a year behind or more. My child is also highly gifted I only mention this because you mentioned your child is very bright. That is the kiss of death for an IEP here in GA. Even though it is very commonly known that a learning difference and giftedness go hand in hand more times than not......we were denied any assistance at all levels. We actually hired an advocate to navigate the system, we did not want our child to go to a special school. In the end it came down to what was in her best interests....so we gave up the fight. Please please please consider all your possibilites and investigate school systems before you make any decisions. I can give you the name and website of the advocate we used...there is very good information there. Send me a direct message if you'd like the link.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,205 posts, read 4,022,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roxyrn View Post
If you are used to New Jersey sped services be prepared for a major shock no matter which public school district you choose. Your high property taxes in NJ are going to programs such as these. I would factor in the possibility that you may end up paying for private school tuition in Atlanta, before you decide to move.
Excellent point.

Moving to a lower-tax regime may not be financially beneficial if you have to personally fund needed services that were provided through tax dollars in the higher-tax state.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:14 AM
 
84 posts, read 63,575 times
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Default Thanks all

We're at least a year or two away from making a move. DH doesn't have a job in ATL and I'm considering going back to grad school for a program that will take two years. I just research things like crazy and want to prepare myself since moving from NJ would be a major upheaval for me. I'm not impulsive at all. It took me a year to find the right rescue dog for us!

I appreciate the tips and will really look into school systems more than anything. We're also getting cuts here as the governor who's been bumped out is planning on slashing millions in school budgets. I'm wondering what DS is going to get here next year anyway. I think he'll do fine but he's a kid who loves school (he just loves to be with his friends) and I never wanted him to not enjoy school because he's fallen behind. So, time will tell. I know what people seem to find as the best school systems in ATL areas but I just have to make sure they're the best fit for my kids. Just like here, there's a public school that was rated very well in national scores but I heard from early intervention that they really just cater to gift and talented. So, they're great for the kids who fit the mold but don't have much to offer anyone else.

I'll just be checking back over time and see how it pans out. Thanks again!
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