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Old 11-28-2011, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,398,559 times
Reputation: 1920

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OP... I believe people are honestly trying to advise on what they believe will be best for your family. Research the Oak Hills district to determine what they have to offer. The benefits will be a much closer and shorter commute for the hubby, more family time together, and an all around better quality of life. If you have to augment in the short term with therapists to assist with your young son, at least you will not be doubling the expense with an undesirable and costly commute. Of course you have to determine whether these schools offer what you forsee long term.

We are all pulling for you to find a circumstance which will be beneficial to all of you, the other 4 kids and your special need. The majority of us have never been faced with such a situation, therefore we can only offer advice from afar. Your situation tugs at us, and we are trying to find a workable solution.

I am hopeful some respondents with situations closer to yours will come forward and offer some concrete advice and recommendations. So far I have not seen that, but hopefully they are out there and will participate.

God bless you in your quest.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:14 PM
 
14 posts, read 15,136 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you all for the very considerate replies. I acknowledge that I am overly sensitive about what we are facing, coupled with a daunting task of researching the various areas while being so far away.

Overall, I'm sure the majority of schools are great, just trying to find the best fit for us.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I have a lot more research and phone calls to make!
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:30 AM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,962,865 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfmom5 View Post
I posted my last response before seeing this comment. This is one reason that I don't like to even ask questions on forums like this because somehow it always gets personal and people have their judgements. While I can appreciate your opinion, I would like you to see it from a slightly different perspective.

We had a healthy, robust, typically developing child, he was up to date on his vaccines and he still contracted a rare form of bacterial meningitis at the age of 18 months. As a result, he completely lost his hearing in both ears. Then a few months later, he started displaying signs of autism spectrum. This has been a heart wrenching last two years for us. When you are placed with these circumstances, you have tough choices to make. If we could just love the issues out of him, he would be healed by now, if quality play time would make things all better, he would've been all better months and months ago.
As much as I would love to be an audiologist, auditory/verbal therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, behavior specialist and the list goes on, I'm not. We do our absolute best, but there is a real need for qualified specialists to be a part of a little one's life that has special needs.
So, the tough choice came in my husband commuting 90 minutes each way to work or me continuing to drive 90 minutes each way to mulitiple (3-4x a week) dr. appts., therapy, etc. That was a huge disruption to family life as well.
I am asking for advice/feedback on our future relocation decisions, not judgement on our current work/home/commute situation.
I am confident that there are most likely more areas than Mason that would be a good fit for us, but again that was my starting point as there are so many positive reviews of their schools and their Early Childhood Center. The Loveland Early Childhood Center has mixed reviews and so far that is all I am seeing for the Sycamore District. However, there may be more options that I am not aware of.
I apologize that this is so long and I know it sounds defensive, but the mama bear came out a little.
Again, I appreciate the feedback on school district/early intervention issues.
Thanks!
I think people posting to this thread really do have (a) sympathy for your situation and (b) the best interests of your family at heart. We're just a very opinionated bunch. I believe the underlying message is that if you're living in the Cincinnati area your problems won't necessarily just disappear, but the issues may be a lot easier to manage than they have been where you are now. That you probably won't have to settle for the same level of difficulty, unless you make choices that result in that.

My neighbor's granddaughter is in middle school in the Oak Hills district. This is an extended family very committed to the parochial school educational system and their standards are pretty high. They're very happy with the education she's getting. Anecdotal, but still interesting.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,398,559 times
Reputation: 1920
sfmom5... Your comments made me inquire more deeply into what our local school district offers. So I went to our local school website, and particularly the Mason Early Childhood Center.

I was aware it houses the kingergarden and 1st grade. What I was not aware of is the Pre-K program, ages 3 to 5 is geared to 60% involvement of children with established learning disabilities. The other 40% is made up of what they term typically developing children, chosen by lottery, and who must pay a tuition charge. This is something I was not aware of and why I can see you started with your school search concentrated here. Thanks for making me learn more about my own town.

I and others have recommended you research what Oak Hills has to offer. But also hold them to the highest standards. I recall your comment that you will not let 45 minutes stand between you and so-so versus excellent results. A great attitude. Best wishes in your continued inquiries.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
171 posts, read 295,620 times
Reputation: 116
kjbrill - that's a standard practice in Ohio. Lebanon has it as well. The children with disabilites are free, and the other kids have to pay. Very standard, nothing special about Mason on that one. They are mandated to have it. Here's a writeup I found on the Lebanon one (not advocating Lebanon schools by any means, but wanted to make everyone aware that the services are across the board, not only in Mason).

Lebanon City Schools provides specialized instruction for preschoolers identified with a disability as required by federal and state laws and regulations. The focus of the preschool program is to meet the educational needs of children according to each Individualized Education Plan (IEP) while providing the children with a curriculum that meets the Early Learning Program Guidelines and the Early Learning Content Standards.
Warren County Educational Service Center (WCESC) is contracted to provide a continuum of services which range from itinerant to classroom-based services, including but not limited to, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. The preschool classroom runs two and a half hours a day (AM and PM sessions) four days a week at Louisa Wright Early Childhood Center, as well as a collaborative classroom at the Warren County Career Center Learning Lab. Typical children serve as peer models. The school district also works with Warren County Early Learning Centers, which operates Head Start and Early Learning Initiative (ELI) programs. Additionally, Lebanon City Schools works with Help Me Grow in transitioning children from early intervention services to preschool.

So, basically, any area you live in within Ohio is going to cover your preschool for a child with a disability. It's all part of Ohio Help Me Grow. Mason is great, and I'm not saying not to live there, just wanted to make you aware that it's not a Mason only service.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,398,559 times
Reputation: 1920
Jen35... Did not try to intimate it was limited to Mason. The question really boils down to who is conducting only the state mandated requirements, how successful are the results, and who is going beyond the state mandate to provide a truely effective program. Obviously I can't say, as I am too far removed. The best responses would be from those actively involved in the programs.

I know you are an advocate of Wyoming. So how effective is their program?
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
171 posts, read 295,620 times
Reputation: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Jen35... Did not try to intimate it was limited to Mason. The question really boils down to who is conducting only the state mandated requirements, how successful are the results, and who is going beyond the state mandate to provide a truely effective program. Obviously I can't say, as I am too far removed. The best responses would be from those actively involved in the programs.

I know you are an advocate of Wyoming. So how effective is their program?
Don't know. I dont have a child with special needs. If the OP is interested in Wyoming, she should call Wyoming City Schools and Hamilton County.

All I was stating is that Ohio is mandated to cover preschool education of children with disabilities. The best people to check with are those who run the program. Everything else is just us guessing. Again, my friends that have children with special needs, all point to Sycamore as the best district.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,398,559 times
Reputation: 1920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen35 View Post
Don't know. I dont have a child with special needs. If the OP is interested in Wyoming, she should call Wyoming City Schools and Hamilton County.

All I was stating is that Ohio is mandated to cover preschool education of children with disabilities. The best people to check with are those who run the program. Everything else is just us guessing. Again, my friends that have children with special needs, all point to Sycamore as the best district.
I understand that. If you know people who have children with special needs, please have them DM the OP concerning their experiences. First hand knowledge should be the best. This person has definite concerns and we need to find a way to help them. Speculation is just not enough. We need someone to reach out to them and say this is what I have experienced and why I believe it will be good for you.
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