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Old 01-29-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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We have the opportunity to move our four year-old daughter with special needs (mainly sensory) from a private preschool into the public sector which may have better services. Which particular towns and school districts would be best to consider relocating to: Wellesley, Needham, Newton or Weston(last choice)? Which would have on-site O.T. and speech svcs. and the best SPED Budget?
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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It really depends on her specific needs. I'd recommend speaking with the superintendent's office in each of those four towns to find out not just what resources they have in their community but in each of their elementary schools, as it could vary depending on which district you're in.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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Thanks for taking the time to answer.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola116 View Post
We have the opportunity to move our four year-old daughter with special needs (mainly sensory) from a private preschool into the public sector...

What does that mean? Don't you always have the opportunity to choose public or private schools?
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gf2020 View Post
What does that mean? Don't you always have the opportunity to choose public or private schools?
Well I guess you are right everyone has a choice but not everyone can move for various reasons. We are entertaining a move but are in a special situation. We are much older parents of a young child who are established and in fact close to retirement. Nothing is keeping us in this town and although we have a very good school system here it is not quite as good as the above-mentioned towns (at least in theory that's what we are trying to sort out). Unfortunately excellent public school districts often come comes with a price and many can't afford to live in the Wellesley and Westons of this part of the state. At least your money doesn't go nearly as far as some other towns but you can always find an affordable home if you look hard enough. I had my heart set on private school for my daughter but I think having on-site services might be beneficial for numerous reasons. In our case it is not really about the money as we could afford private services.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:59 AM
 
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Although I don't live in Boston yet, I have been researching the special education programs in each district because our family is moving there this summer and we have an autistic child. I have checked into the districts you mentioned above and they all appear to have good special education programs and I've heard good things about each of those districts from different parents. You can contact the SPED director in those districts and find out what programs they offer. I have heard that some districts won't talk to you unless you actually live there first, but it's worth a shot. It seems that getting any information about this topic is like pulling teeth. You get bits and pieces here and there, but never a really solid answer. I joined a message board on yahoo called commonbonds, it's a Boston based group for families who have children on the spectrum or with ASD. There are some very knowledgeable and helpful ladies in the group and they may be able to answer with their own experiences a little better. It has helped me tremendously.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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Thanks Leigh for your reply. Yes it is a fairly daunting task trying to find this information out. There are privacy issues and often parents of special needs children have been treated so poorly that It is hard for them to trust outsiders. Nonetheless I would prefer to speak with the parents. When you call the schools or SPED Programs you will get a biased view. I was successful in contacing one of the PAC Groups of one of these towns and I recieved a very nice response. However as you alluded to in your reply, I was not allowed to join because I was not yet a resident of that town. It is a little bit of a catch-22 situation. You want to find out about that town before moving there but can't join a common group until you are already a resident. Thanks for the tip on that website I will check it out!!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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Leigh, I'm not sure if you settled on a town yet but you might try the New England Center for Children in Southboro & see if they can provide advice. Although they're a private education center, I'm sure they must have had students transition in/out of public schools nearby & have a sense of which ones have strong resources for children with autism.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kmann-sherborn View Post
Leigh, I'm not sure if you settled on a town yet but you might try the New England Center for Children in Southboro & see if they can provide advice. Although they're a private education center, I'm sure they must have had students transition in/out of public schools nearby & have a sense of which ones have strong resources for children with autism.
That is exactly what I am going to do! I am looking at Southborough, Northborough and Sudbury because they all contract with NECC. I realize that my son may be too severe to go to regular kindergarten with the other kids next year, but I think I'm headed in the right direction with regard to his particular needs. I'm planning my next trip to Boston in 2 weeks and I will be checking out those towns in particular. He currently attends a private ABA school and I would like to stay with that as we have seen so much progress in such a short period of time.
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