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Old 08-14-2007, 10:35 AM
 
160 posts, read 880,788 times
Reputation: 123

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We are considering a move from Socal to Colorado. My husband works for Boeing and we have been applying to various jobs in the state. My 4 yr old son has a mild form of asperger's syndrome and we have been advised to hire a "shadow" to help him through his difficulties in school with focussing and socialization. I am wondering if anyone can tell me how are the services in either the Denver area or Colorado Springs area for children with special needs. He also will need some occupational therapy, speech and social skills training. If anyone has any experience with this as related to the public school system, I would appreciate hearing from you. We will base our decision to move on the level of services available to us in the area. Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:22 AM
 
2 posts, read 14,159 times
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Thumbs down help for autistic children

If you are considering coming to Colorado springs with your autistic child plese think twice. Colorado is rated 48 out of 50 states for help for autistic children the services are very behind. I was extremely disappointed in the services out here coming from california. IT should of been a clue to me when you'd email school districts and get little to no info on the help for autistic children. WE had a big fight with district 11 with our (Iep). It can with a lot of fighting and tears on my side. Now I'm a little happier but not completely. THe teacher told us she didn't understand autism and to me that was a big red flag so I have settle with the only reason why my son is in the preschool system in district 11 is for social skills and to be around other kids. And don't believe what you here parents (DISTRICT 20) IS NOT THE BEST WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING AUTISTIC KIDS . THEY ONLY HAVE 2 SCHOOLS WITH PROGRAMS FOR AUTISTIC KIDS AND IF YOUR CHILD CAN'T GET IN THEY CAN'T GET IN. (NICE) IF you don't have a choice and have to move here district 11 is a little bit better but not up to the standards of other states. AS far as therapies for autistic children if you come to colorado springs not much is out here 2 places for help. And if you go to the RESOURCE EXXCHANGE be prepared to get little to no help for them they have been horrible. They never return phone calls until you get angry and force them too. So PARENTS beware STAY OUT OF COLORADO IF YOU HAVE AN AUTISTIC CHILD from what I here New york is the best oklahoma and california. BUt you may want to research that a little more just to be on the safe side. All I can say is that the School district and the state of Colroado should be ashamed of them selves for the LIttle help they give Autistic children out here it's JUST NOT RIGHT
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:00 PM
 
160 posts, read 880,788 times
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Thank you for your response. So far, I have left messages with Academy 20 and Douglas County school districts. Both have gotten right back to me to discuss my son's situation. The person I spoke with at Academy 20 was the austism specialist. She advised me that the preschool teachers are trained to handle children such as my son, there are paras in the classroom and the ratios are very low. Sounded positive to me. The person I spoke with for at Douglas County district was also quite helpful and gave me the numbers for the preschool coordinator as well as the autism specialist. Both have told me that OT and speech therapies are available in the district. No mention of waits or difficulties getting into programs. They would need to assess my son's needs, which I expected. Now, I have heard nightmares from parents in every state. In fact, a parent in the school district we are in here in orange county, CA have had to hire an attorney and threaten to sue in order to get their child, who also has asperger's, services. That is not what I would call outstanding service! Also, have spoken to someone in WA....same problems. My nephew in FL had so many problems with the public schools that his parents pulled him out and put him into private school. He is now homeschooled. Bottom line is the whole country is doing a **** poor job and I am only beginning to learn how bad. I am very nervous to move out of socal, but we just cannot afford to cover financially what the public schools (and insurance) will not do for him. I was hoping that CO would save us, now not so sure.
Thank you for your comments and I would LOVE to hear from other parent's experiences. BTW, I am in touch with P2P but have not received detailed info on this subject as of yet.
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,025 posts, read 98,908,697 times
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Micktooth, who posts on the Denver forum, has a special needs child and knows a lot of resources. You can find him through a search.
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:46 PM
 
18 posts, read 78,991 times
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We have a child with Aspergers and our ongoing experience with special education in public schools is not good. Shadow are great in theory. The problem that we ran into is that if a shadow is provided, your child will be under more scrutiny in the event they have an episode that is consistent with ther diagnosis.
What seems like addtional resources to help your child will quickly be the one size fits all excuse for the school district. If the District hires an incompetent shadow and it flops, guess who's fault it is? not the shadow or school.
My child's school shadow denied him lunch and asked him to leave the cafeteria. My son took his money and left the school grounds to go get lunch. My son was taken to the ER by ambulance for a suicide attempt when he crossed a busy road. The shadow left bruises and cuts on my son ahd the school staff that filed the incident report did not document that there were any injuries.
This has since become three plus years of more attempts to falsely document information. The district's own documentation contradict's their own documetaion. ie. Prior to formal complaints. "We do not feel that this student needs a shadow. Let's attrmpt the plan that was just put into place". After formal complaint. The parents refused an emotionally disturbed placment.
The origional IEP was presented that includes the proposed schedule in high level mainstreem classes as well as a statement of parents agreed to proposal.
Later reported to the OCR that an emotionally disturbed placement was offered for the same period of time they didn't even feel like my child needed a shadow. Don't do it. Record all meetings with school, request Iand keep EP minute notes and be very careful. You are not playing on a level playing field.
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:01 PM
 
106 posts, read 391,501 times
Reputation: 38
Our plight is similar to yours. We moved out here from NorCal about 3 1/2 yrs ago and our oldest is Autistic. I can say that you will likely have mixed results, as we did.

There seems to be a lot of teacher moving around to different schools (At least in our area of Saint Vrain), this includes both the classroom teachers as well as all the special education teachers. This has caused us some issues to the point we decided to pull our kid from the "public" school and put him in a charter school.

I would suggest at least looking in to any charter schools in the area where you are thinking of moving. There seems to be a different level of commitment by the staff there (and I mean admin staff, the teachers in both have proved to be good) that exceeds the normal public schools. Also there is likely to be less special education need students.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:07 PM
 
160 posts, read 880,788 times
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Thank you both for your comments. I have considered charter schools, but don't they generally have a waiting list? Is it difficult to get a child into them?
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,025 posts, read 98,908,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow42 View Post
Thank you both for your comments. I have considered charter schools, but don't they generally have a waiting list? Is it difficult to get a child into them?
They usually choose their students by lottery. In the Boulder Valley School District, the lottery is done every year, no waiting list is held over from year to year. However, if you get in to a charter school, it becomes your home school and you are guaranteed a spot as long as you wish or until the child "ages out", e.g. in an elementary charter, becomes a middle school student. I don't know how they handle openings during the school year. Be aware, b/c there are fewer special ed students at some of these charters, they have fewer resources for those kids.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:48 AM
 
2 posts, read 14,159 times
Reputation: 14
Default dont believe what you hEAR

did she tell you they have only 2 schools in district 20 that handle austic kids? probably not yeah she told you what you wanted to hear but did you ask her other question? like how did the teacher and the paraprofessionals get there training? do they keep a log book and have reguler meeting with the parents to keep track of the progress of the kids. do not belive the hype. The school district 20 is no better they are just as behind as the rest. If I would of know what I was getting my self into I would of never had moved here. But if you don't want to listen to a waring from a parent who has had nothing but problems than that's up to you. we have recently found out the school district 38 has a better program than 20 or 11 . Preschool runs for a longer duration they keep a log book and they have a school that really focuses on what they need. call then and talk to them too. Call all the school district out here don't just believe the crap about district 20. Get in dept and really ask questions. Is you child already in school in california? Just stay out of district 11 whatever you do. The other day I had a very bad experience with the special education coordinator I asked her if we could start up a log book for the teacher and the para professionals she got defensive with me told me to talk to his teacher and said my son had improved a lot during the summer. HE DID . she hasn't even talked to us or has seen him all summer. My son has regressed he started acting more autistic than ever because autistic children need to be in school even during summer time and they school districts out here will not allow it unless their is due cause of regression have they talked to me about how he did this summer NO. She didn't want to talk to me she just walked away from ME quickly. BAD BAD BAD

Last edited by andreaworley; 08-30-2007 at 07:49 AM.. Reason: SPELING
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:05 PM
 
160 posts, read 880,788 times
Reputation: 123
My child is in a private preschool in SoCal. They are pretty good, and do their best. I have also initiated the paperwork for an IEP, so I should be hearing from the district soon as schools open next week. I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate experiences. Honestly, I have heard them everywhere (ie: from many people in different states). We are hoping that living in a more affordable area will allow us to pay for those services that are lacking in the school districts. Am I being naive? This is all new to me and so am just learning about all this stuff. We are looking in other states as well, but really want to come to CO. It really seems like a nice place to raise our young boys. I have actually spoken to a gentleman in the Douglas school district near Denver. He also told me that if we moved to COS, that Academy 20 is the only district he would recommend in that area. It is great to call the school districts, but they are not going to tell me that their services are terrible and not to move there! Thanks for all of your posts.
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