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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:14 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,950 times
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We are considering moving from Maine to Melbourne Area some time next year. However, our biggest concern is our 10 yo son has Asperger's (highly functioning Autism) we are looking for information on the Special Ed programs in the area. Public school for him is out, he needs a very strict routine. Right now he has 9 kids in his class and 4 to 5 teachers, this is really the type of setting he needs. He also receives OT and a one on one aid in the home after school as after school daycare is not possible for him. Any insight/knowledge with this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:07 PM
 
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I asked a teacher who specializes in autism...although not the same as Aspergers, I thought she might know special education resources. She said to check into Incredible Horizons in Melboune. Also, a brand new school for special needs was started recently in Merritt Island. Also, she mentioned there was a great college internship program for older kids with Aspergers called the Brevard Center in Melborne that provides help with functioning at the post-secondary level and independent living. If anything, call them...they should know about what is available in Brevard for younger Aspergers. Good luck. It is a great environment here...I hope it works out for you.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,143 posts, read 1,721,572 times
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Default Considering your move

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJsmom View Post
We are considering moving from Maine to Melbourne Area some time next year. However, our biggest concern is our 10 yo son has Asperger's (highly functioning Autism) we are looking for information on the Special Ed programs in the area. Public school for him is out, he needs a very strict routine. Right now he has 9 kids in his class and 4 to 5 teachers, this is really the type of setting he needs. He also receives OT and a one on one aid in the home after school as after school daycare is not possible for him. Any insight/knowledge with this would be greatly appreciated.
I have been a special education teacher for many years in Pennsylvania. I have explored the special education programs in Florida, as I am close to retiring in Pennsylvania. Admittedly, I know nothing about programs in Maine from which I can compare, but I can tell you a little about the Florida schools in comparison to PA. Florida public schools are grossly underfunded, and special education is no exception. In Florida overall, it appears almost like a "warehousing" effect in schools.... get the greatest volume of students through the system at the absolute lowest cost. There may be pockets throughout the state of exceptions, but I was unable to find any examples. There may also be the private school alternative, but this may be cost prohibitive.

My 15 year old child has Aspergers, and I have to be honest with you, he has been in a regular class/regular public school since kindergarten. He does receive some supports from special education personnel in some of his classes. Inclusion appears to be the direction being taken by many public schools in my region, and it has been most successful for the students that I teach, as well as, my own child. We even have an inclusion program for the autistic (with more severe needs) in most of our schools. The biggest question that you must ask yourself is ... How can my child blend with the rest of his/her peers or society if isolated from them?

People are not relocating to Florida because of the schools... weather appears to be the greatest draw. You will be in an ongoing, uphill battle to find the specialized services that your child may need educationally if you choose to relocate here. Good luck!
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:10 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,950 times
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Thanks for the information and the input.
Unfortunately elderly parents would be the reason we are considering the relocation. I would love to believe in the possibility of mainstreaming our son but his life skills alone prohibit this from being a reality. He just turned 11 and has life skills of a 3 to 4 year old and social skills that are about the same. Academically he has an IQ in the 130's with the processing IQ of 76. It's going to be a long hard road for him no matter where we live I just wish we didn't have to make this choice.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,143 posts, read 1,721,572 times
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Default The toughest decisions

Your decision is not an easy one, and I do not envy you for all the tough choices that you need to make. I hope that I am wrong, but it seems that unless your child has the ongoing support and structure, you will be dealing with issues at home that you could never imagine. The right school and program are an absolute necessity for his sanity, as well as your own.

That being said, any intensive/therapeutic program for a special education child is exceedingly expensive. Public schools in Florida have exceptionally tight and restrictive budgets throughout most of the state.... it could conceivably cost a district as much to educate your child as it would for 15 - 20 other students. The schools just are not funded to work that way.

In my state, there have been many court cases challenging the implications of IDEA. Florida is in its infancy in terms of providing the services for their special needs population. You will need to educate yourself (as well as, secure an education law attorney) to assert his rights, if he will receive a public education. It may be an uphill and very stressful ordeal for your family, but you may not be left with a choice.

The very best of luck!
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Old 01-22-2008, 03:55 PM
 
1,775 posts, read 5,503,922 times
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I have a child in special education though not with the needs of your child but i can give you input on my daughter who is blind and attending public school. She is the only one blind in her school and the school system has provided her with all her needs as far as specialized equipment for printing braille, textbooks in braille, OT, PT and speech therapy. She has 3 kids in her class with other needs and also 1 or 2 aids in the classroom as well. It's my understanding that the schools are overcrowded in the bigger cities. We are moving to NH this summer for her to start high school up there with her cousins and so far they too are doing quite well to prepare for her. In comparison, she will be attending high school with 650 kids vs 1500 kids here in FL just to give you a perspective of how many kids are in the schools down here. Do i think the schools could have done more for her here? I think they could have.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:05 AM
 
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I, too, have a similiar situation. I am a single mom with 2 kids who wants to move back to Florida because I cannot afford to buy anything in NH and because their Dad lives in Melbourne. I worry because my youngest is 4 and has just been coded with learning disabilities, he is now receiving speech/language services here in Milford. I know he will need these services for many years to come. Maybe Florida isn't right for us when it comes to the public school system. My biggest fear is that my son doesn't get what he NEEDS when it comes to his education, especially now in his early years.
I am also wondering if anyone knows where I can turn for questions I have in regards to my sons rights while we are still in NH. If he now has an IEP, and the small town I live in has no room for him in the 2 kindergarten classes that they offer, what are my rights?
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,143 posts, read 1,721,572 times
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Default Your special education rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by K & Ks mom View Post
I, too, have a similiar situation. I am a single mom with 2 kids who wants to move back to Florida because I cannot afford to buy anything in NH and because their Dad lives in Melbourne. I worry because my youngest is 4 and has just been coded with learning disabilities, he is now receiving speech/language services here in Milford. I know he will need these services for many years to come. Maybe Florida isn't right for us when it comes to the public school system. My biggest fear is that my son doesn't get what he NEEDS when it comes to his education, especially now in his early years.
I am also wondering if anyone knows where I can turn for questions I have in regards to my sons rights while we are still in NH. If he now has an IEP, and the small town I live in has no room for him in the 2 kindergarten classes that they offer, what are my rights?
Threaten to take the district to due process. There are a number of parent advocacy groups that will help to advise you through the process. Each time that you have an IEP, you are given "Procedural Safeguards" booklet that outlines the steps that you can take to assure that your child's rights are being met. The "Gaskins Agreement" (where parents sued a school district for excluding a special education child in circumstances similar to yours) is now a part of the IEP process in Pa., but I am unsure if this is a federal statute.

IDEA is federal legislation that is the basis of many state education department regulations. It is to guarantee the rights of the disabled.... a very powerful law that ties federal funding to compliance of civil rights. Schools cannot deny your child his/her rights to appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Therefore, if your district tells you that a service that your child needs educationally is not available, you can request a due process hearing.

Prepare yourself, know your child's rights, and realize that the legislation is very strongly on the side of your child. Securing or speaking with an educational law attorney will make the task appear less daunting. Check into the disability rights organizations in your state... they are amazingly knowledgeable and supportive. The very best of luck!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:55 PM
 
8 posts, read 8,926 times
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Does anyone know of the Deveraux school in Viero? Any feedback would be appreciatted. It looks like they specialize in children up to age 22 with Autism and Aspberger's.
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