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Old 12-12-2009, 06:57 AM
Location: west of Milwaukee, Wi
105 posts, read 297,669 times
Reputation: 127


We are a family of three...adult son with Down's Syndrome...from the midwest, and are considering a potential transfer. I have a few (probably off the wall) questions....

Special Needs Services: I already contacted the DVR in the state; and the Down's Syndrome association, and know that I have to settle on a city before I can do much. Is there any other general information I should know regarding this? His needs are simple..a sheltered workshop or a job coach would be required. Are there such work environments in the general area of Aurora (I'm thinking South end?)Centennial, or possibly Littleton?

Food....in the Atlas, it mentions regional foods for all states, you know, like Chicago Style Pizza, BBQ for southern states, fish fry's or Brats for Wisconsin, etc. For Colorado..it mentions....cantelope.
While I'm sure it is stunning, isn't there any other foods that are just uniquely special? Regional or just good local restaurants? Anything that you locals always recommend to new-comers or visitors?

Also, I love to cook, especially baking of cookies, and saw another post that discussed difficulties getting the recipes right ....what kind of changes should I expect, in general, regarding cooking?

Travel: We like to spend weekends doing short trips to places of cultural interest and train depots (hobby of my husband's). I particularly like New Mexico, - in particular Taos and Santa Fe areas (looks to be about a 5.5 hour drive?). If anyone could share their favorite areas/sites and how long to get here, I would be grateful. I also would be interested in the roads to these areas..I'm a little fearful (well, maybe a LOT) when on steep, narrow, nothing to stop you from falling off the edge, type mountain roads! And yes, I am well aware that the Rockies are the predominant feature in Colorado! So, I'd learn to deal with it, but would like to know what to expect!

I know these are not the normal "where should I live" questions, but thanks in advance for any input!

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Old 12-12-2009, 11:54 AM
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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You need to think seriously about how Colorado's government funding issues may affect services available for your child, both at the state and local level. Colorado barely missed being on the "worst 10" list for governmental fiscal issues--it was ranked 11th. Unfortunately, those problems are likely to stay well-entrenched in Colorado because most of government's spending and budgetary restrictions are buried in the State Constitution where they can be nearly impossible to change--and also tend to be very inflexible in tough economic times.

Colorado has some great mountain country--well, at least that of it that is not overdeveloped and overrun--but most of the best places are found the farther one gets away from the Front Range metroplexes. That means enduring the time, cost, and often horrendous traffic to get to them. You've also already answered your own question--if you don't like or are fearful of mountain driving, then Colorado probably isn't for you. Those types of roads are a fact of life here--and, if you expect to enjoy the mountain recreation that is a key attraction in Colorado--you have to deal with those kinds of roads. Period.

As for Colorado-specific foods, probably the closest thing to "native" here is the Mexican food found in the southern part of Colorado--which is really "New Mexican" food similar to what is found in northern New Mexico. Colorado does produce great beef, potatoes, fruit (when you can find it--development is doing its best to kill off what is left of the Colorado fruit industry), sweet corn (Olathe Sweet is the best in the country), and those wonderful Rocky Ford watermelons and cantaloupes (there again, Front Range city water grabs are doing their best to kill off that ag industry in Colorado). Colorado is also a top producer of wheat, pinto beans, and barley.

Yes, baking recipes do have to be adjusted. The main feature of high altitude cooking is that water boils at a lower temperature here compared to areas closer to sea level.

Finally--at the risk of ticking off people--as a suburbia-hater, I find that Aurora is absolutely the poster child of everything that a city can possibly do wrong in planning for a long-term livable city. It is also a water hog that has probably done more damage to agriculture and wetlands in Colorado with its thirst for water (mostly for lawn irrigation) than any other Colorado municipality. I loathe it and consider it an absolute blemish on the state of Colorado. And if anyone presses me on that issue farther, I will tell them how I really feel about that dump.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:12 PM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,962 posts, read 98,795,031 times
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Regarding baking, cookies don't need as much adjustment as other recipes, e.g. cakes. Drop cookies tend to spread more. You can find high altitude cooking adjustments on the Colorado Extension Service website.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:14 PM
20,305 posts, read 37,790,850 times
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Originally Posted by catfeathers View Post
Hi.... We are a family of three...adult son with Down's Syndrome...from the midwest, and are considering a potential transfer. I have a few (probably off the wall) questions.... snip .... "Catfeathers"
Great post. Much of the area is affordable, the places you mention are fine, but I've no info on the special needs topic. North Aurora (near Denver) can be a bit spotty in areas, but south Aurora is quite the nice suburb, as are the other areas mentioned. Coast to coast, urban sprawl and suburbanization are what they are, for better or worse, so choose whatever works for you.

Good food here, much of it Mexican style. Bison, Elk and other items show up in a number of restaurants. Further south in the state you go the more Mexican food is available; some of those families have been here for many generations, before COLO was even a state.

There are places up in the mountains that have steep dropoffs, but all of the areas you mentioned are here on the flats, east of the mountains. IMO, the Denver metro generally sits is a bowl, and is 20+miles east of the mountains. Most main roads through the mountains are fine, don't sweat it. The Rocky Mountains are really only in the middle third of the state, the eastern third is gently rolling or flat grassland prairie, you cannot tell it apart from Kansas until you're a hundred miles west of the Kansas border. The western third of the state is very dry and desert-like, similar to parts of Utah. You get a lot to pick from here.

Littleton has a small old-town area with a station on the Light Rail Line. The routes of the line are worth checking out.

There are a lot of nice areas up around Boulder too, in the Louisville, Superior area, with excellent bus service between Boulder and Denver.

Is there a specific job location that is driving your search?
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:32 PM
Location: west of Milwaukee, Wi
105 posts, read 297,669 times
Reputation: 127
"Yes" to the specific job location, but I don't have the exact address as of yet.
Once I do, I'll be back with even more questions!
Thanks for the replies so far...they are very helpful.
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