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Old 11-10-2007, 06:29 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,932 times
Reputation: 12

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Anyone know anything about primary grade schools in Santa Rosa or Okaloosa counties? Relocating in Spring 2008 with Autistic child who will be in 2nd grade. Currently in self-contained classroom. High-functioning, Verbal, PDD-NOS/ADHD--behavior & social skills biggest challenges. Any feedback (negative or positive) regarding experiences with Special Needs kids within these 2 counties would be very much appreciated. We're considering Gulf Breeze/Navarre but would consider any other areas near Eglin AFB with good reputation for working with Autistic children. Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:02 PM
 
266 posts, read 1,086,069 times
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Are you relocating to Eglin or Hurlburt? The bases are only 15 miles apart but which base you are located on makes a big difference in the commute time from various communities. I would not recommend commuting from Gulf Breeze to either Hurlburt or Eglin. That would be a minimum of an hour commute assuming the traffic is moving and there are no accidents. Navarre to Hurlburt is about 20 minutes and Navarre to Eglin is 45 minutes. The only route to travel from the Navarre area to either Hurlburt or Eglin is on Hwy 98 so there aren't any good alternatives if there is a back-up unless you go all the way up to I-10 and circle around.

Florida schools are not that great but Okaloosa and Santa Rosa are two of the best school systems in the state. Okaloosa is ranked #1 and Santa Rosa is ranked #6. Both districts have a fairly small student body which gives the students more time with the teachers. We used to live in Navarre and my daughter attended school in Santa Rosa. We currently live in Fort Walton Beach and my kids attend school in Okaloosa.

Both districts have a pretty good program for exceptional student education (ESE). It is my understanding that they prefer to mainstream children as much as possible. The only children who are in separate classes are those that require the most assistance.
Personally I liked the school in Navarre a bit better than the school they attend now but my issues are more about management than education.

The major universities in Florida have a state run Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). Those centers work with the various school districts to achieve optimum programs for autistic students. The CARD center affiliated with the districts on the panhandle is located at Florida State. If you contact them they will be more than happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you have as well as direct you to appropriate resources. Here is their website: Center for Autism and Related Disabilities

Here is the site for Santa Rosa's ESE department:
Exceptional Student Education Home

Here is the site for Okaloosa's ESE department:
Exceptional Student Education
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:14 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,872 times
Reputation: 10
Default Unhappy in Okaloosa County Schools

Good Morning. I can only hope that you are still checking in on this post. We currently reside in Okaloosa county with our six year old child with special needs. My daughter is in kindergarten but has been in the public school system here since for the past three years. Our experience has been that while the schools are rated #1 and may be good for "typical" children, they are insufficient for children with special needs. I am a very involved mother who advocates for her child and have been met with much resistance from the school and the district when requesting more services for my daughter.

I must disagree with the previous poster who states that the schools here prefer to mainstream. When developing my daughter's IEP before kindergarten, mainstreaming was not an option the school was willing to consider. Through six IEP meetings and at our insistence they finally agreed to it and it has been a wonderful experience for our daughter. It is my opinion that they want all of our special children in separate classrooms and offer as little services as they can get away with. (I have seen children with severe speech needs only receive speech once a week because their parents aren't involved enough to know. )

There are plenty more instances of trouble we have had with the schools but I don't want to bore you with the details of my experiences. I will just say that we are considering moving somewhere else so that my daughter can receive the education she deserves. My advice would be to anyone coming to this area NOT to move into Okaloosa county schools with a special needs child.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: florida
443 posts, read 1,063,803 times
Reputation: 110
Default Family assistance center

I would call the Family readiness and assistance center on base and they can give you more info.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Gonzales, LA
6 posts, read 16,298 times
Reputation: 10
Default Follow-up?

I'm not sure if you still actively look at this post, but I was wondering how everything turned out with the school search? My son and I will be moving to the panhandle next summer and he is 8 with Asperger's and possible CAPD. I'm also trying to find a good school, as well as a good pediatrician and psychiatrist. We are wanting to live in Niceville, but anywhere between there and Pensacola would be fine as long as the health care professionals and schools are good. Currently we live in Naples, FL, and I'm trying to do as much research as I can before I have to go up there. Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:45 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,439 times
Reputation: 13
I would like some assistance if possible. My wife and I both are active duty and will be relocating to Eglin AFB in December. We have a 13 year old and there are really no concerns with her. The concern I have is with our 3 year old who has mild/moderate cerebral palsy. Need to know as much information as possible about the local areas, schools, and ability to care for her. We are currently in Vegas and the physical, occupational, and speech therapy has been amazing. Nevaeh gets numerous therapies per week. She started pre-school two weeks ago and seems to be doing well. Any information you may provide will assist us in our relocation location, etc. We want to live near the area where our daughter will receive the best care. Driving time to us is secondary to the care our little one will receive.

Thanks - Charles Stuart
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:26 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,359 times
Reputation: 12
Default EFMP Coordinator

Good Morning! I am the Exceptional Family Member Coordinator at Eglin AFB Airman and Family Readiness Center. I have lived in Okaloosa County for 18 years and have a special needs son. If I can be of any assistance to our families that are relocating to this area please feel free to contact me at (850)882-9060.

v/r
Michelle Dent
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:35 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,236 times
Reputation: 10
Default EFMP Coordinator - Hurlburt Field

I am the EFMP Coordinator for Hurlburt Field. I would be happy to assist families with any concerns. Feel free to call the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 850-884-5441.

v/r,

Ruthy Srun
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:01 PM
 
99 posts, read 93,203 times
Reputation: 65
Default Autism services near Eglin AFB and/or Okaloosa and Walton Counties (Florida)

Emerald Coast Autism Center in Niceville, FL:
- Non-profit school and therapy center for children
- All services based in Applied Bahavior Analysis (ABA) protocols
- Accepts TRICARE, Blue Cross/Shield and numerous other insurance carriers, McCay Scholarship, and other payment options
- Scholarships available
- Provides speach therapy services on site
- Director is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
Phone: 850-279-3000
Emerald Coast Autism Center




Brilliant Minds in Destin FL:
- Non-profit therapy center
- Provides ABA-based therapy for children
- Accepts TRICARE
- Director is also a BCBA
Phone: 850-837-1200
Brilliant Minds - Destin. FL
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Florida
1 posts, read 4,009 times
Reputation: 10
Default ABA Therapy, Okaloosa & Walton Counties

Hi, I am a BCBA and I provide ABA services in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Please feel free to call me if you are still in need of services. I would be happy to help in anyway that I can. 850-622-1204
Peyton Cook, MS BCBA
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