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Old 05-31-2008, 03:21 PM
 
1 posts, read 10,300 times
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Default boston area schools for special needs, asperger

We are moving to the Boston area and are searching for the ideal school for our son, public or private. He is 6 years old, academically very gifted and has apergers syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder - basically, he does not socialize normally). We think a small, nurturing and supportive environment would be best (as in a private school) but don't know if any would be willing to accept special needs students. Any public schools with great support for special needs? Has anyone had a good experience with a special needs child in Boston area school? Any recommendations? (We were looking at Lexington, Newton, Brookline and Milton)
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,815 posts, read 7,535,461 times
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Don't know enough of it... but they may be able to help. Do a search on special need rights for public school...
Austism/Pdd/Asperger's Syndrome - Special Education

An unfortunate incident happened recently... making Asperger known.
Student charged with murder in fatal stabbing at suburban school - Boston.com (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/01/19/fatal_stabbing_at_lincoln_sudbury_high_school/ - broken link)

Student with Asperger Syndrome Charged in Murder : NPR

Good luck...
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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I would check out Brookline. I don't know anything about their special needs services, but they are an excellent school system, and one of the only public school districts in the state to offer gifted programs. I would look into it- I bet their special needs services are great too.
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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I interned last semester with an SLP at a private school for kids with behavioral/emotional difficulties, The Manville School, in Mission Hill (Boston) and had many students with Asperger's. I think the school is great for kids with Asperger's - they could really shine in the classroom with a very small student to teacher ratio, and were encouraged to help others who were struggling. And they have an excellent social skills group!

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the admissions process, it's a very small school, so my guess is that it's a quite a challenge.
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,413 posts, read 4,494,686 times
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The New England Center for Children (see: NECC Autism School - Autism Education for Children With Autism in New England) is regarded as a leading school of autistic children. There is also a school in East Providence, RI called the Wolf School (see: http://www.thewolfschool.org) which may be worthing investigating.

You might be surprised to learn that a public school may be the best option. There is very significant variation in the quality of special education services from school system to school system but some towns/cities have some very good programs. Overall, Mass. is pretty good compared to other states but you have to be very careful about picking your town/school system.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
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I agree 100% with Professor. public school is the best option
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:16 AM
 
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Okay ... but how does one go about figuring out what programs which communities have?
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:14 AM
 
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Check the DOE website for general information and then call the superintendent in those school systems. Next, I would ask to visit the programs and see if you can meet parents who have children in them. Some schools have special PTA or PAC groups just to help fund and also give support to parents who have children that are part of the special education programs. It would be resource to get candid information from parents.

There are other threads on this subject but the reality is, with the current fiscal situation, many programs are being cut and parents have to fight hard to get their children the services they are entitled to. The state law requires a child be educated in "the least restrictive environment". Unfortunately, that can often time translate to children being grouped together in such a fashion that individual needs are not met. When you speak to teachers and administrators, ask them for a synopsis of the financial situation of the district and how their programs have been effected and what future budget projections are predicting.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Sharon, MA
362 posts, read 813,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gswiston View Post
Okay ... but how does one go about figuring out what programs which communities have?
Research, research, research. If you look for posts by me, I've replied to similar questions more in depth previously. I would start on greatschools.net, and massachusetts DOE. I'd join SPEDWatch, and ask questions on the community forum. I'd join commonbonds and do the same. I'd interview special ed departments, review town and school financial records, etc. I'd ask about education philosophies. I'd find out how they react to your expectations for your child's education. I'd find the SPEDPAC and ask what their experience has been.

An aside to Smarty - I'm not sure why you posted that link about a child with Aspergers who killed another child. SURELY you realize that "normal" kids (ie: those withOUT neurological differences) have committed horrible crimes against others, as well? Asperger is NOT KNOWN because that child committed an act of violence. Asperger is known because we parents work tirelessly to advocate for our kids.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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Hi New to this road...My son is 6 and going into 1st grade, recently DX. with Asbergers... Does anyone have any information on the Merrimac, MA school systems OT and other services????
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