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Old 05-13-2009, 09:29 PM
2 posts, read 6,797 times
Reputation: 10


I am moving, this summer, back to Orlando from Venice, FL to complete my degree at UCF. While I have lived in the area twice (once in Dr. Phillips and once in Celebration), I am still very unfamiliar with the east side of the area. I absolutely need to be close to 528 and desire a neighborhood on the safe, clean side. I have pinpointed Lake Nona as an option but I don't want to make the mistake of overlooking other desirable areas that may be less expensive. Any advice?

My children, especially my son, are the biggest deciding factor in where I move. Does anyone have any opinions on Moss Park Elementary (the assigned school for Eagle Creek) or Northlake School (Lake Nona)? What about any private, special schools nearby for exceptional children?

I have three children, ages 5, 9 and 11. My youngest will start kindergarten, my middle daughter is used to Montessori school and is CRUSHED about having to go back to public (it was free here but I couldn't find a free one in Orlando), and my son is mentally handicapped and will require not only a great ESE program (public or private), but one in which I will not have to worry about his safety or a lot of "mean" kids (ha...I know it's hard to guage but children can be very cruel and some schools are rougher than others). He is moving onto the middle school level this fall and, while he is a completely average looking, normal, and extremely social and happy child, he has a severe educational disability (autism coupled with a new secondary diagnosis of "intelectually disabled"), and he has absolutely NO MEANS of self-advocacy. He would go with any adult, scary or otherwise; he cannot say "NO" to anyone, he is subject to being manipulated and bullied (he was beaten up by a 2nd grader literally half his size this year). We are in the process of teaching him to make an "angry" face for defensive purposes. It's not going too well. His short-term memory is also non-existent so he gets lost a lot and needs someone to be with him (his IEP now reflects the need for his own aide).

So, is anyone familiar with the schools in the east side of the area? Any recommendations on excellent public AND private elementary and middle schools? My son has the McKay scholarship but my other two don't, so I cannot afford private for them.

I need a super-clean, safe neighborhood and any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:36 PM
42 posts, read 240,014 times
Reputation: 30
Default Same boat


I recently moved to the area and have been trying to find the same info. I can only say that I love the information this forum has for everything but this subject. They don't seem to have a lot to say on the subject of schools for children with disabilities.

Through the Orange County Schools website I found a parents program that seems to be sponsored by UCF CARD. I don't know if your son is on the autism scale but if so it might be a starting place for you. I filled out their form and had someone contact me - I'm now waiting to recieve some info in the mail.

Good luck - i'll be watching this post and hopefully you'll be able to get the info and we can both benefit

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:56 PM
2 posts, read 6,797 times
Reputation: 10
Default Schools

Thanks for you reply I, too, noticed the lack of infomation out there for parents regarding special school information.

I am familiar with CARD but have yet to really utilize their services...perhaps until now

He used to be "autism-PDD" and now it's "autsim-autism"...(I love how they confuse us with all the different variations..ha). Now, though, after a most recent evaluation, our current school board added "intectually disabled" and changed him from EMH to TMH. This basically wipes out any hope I had for academic education--they say we should concentrate on "functional life skills" because of his age. I really do not want to see him be pushed from grade to grade, without ever learning to read or write, just to get a "special diploma" and a referral to the nearest facility for disabled adults. I understand his disability is permanent (he has other issues unrelated to autism--a cruel coincidence)and that he will probably never be able to live a typical life, but I really want to try EVERY POSSIBLE setting before giving up on academics entirely. So far, after some digging, I found that the ABC School is a nice possibility for children with autism. I have yet to go there but I have spoken to them a couple of times and they were more than helpful. They aren't cheap (21K per year), but if your child's matrix score is 255, the McKay will cover 19K of that. My son is at 254 so it's a bit less but still affordable.

I have found that the matrix score on the IEP is the key to finding out how much will be covered by McKay and, ironically, the higher the number the better financially (255 is the highest).

I'll keep checking back here, as well, and hopefully one of us will get some more information sometime soon
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:50 AM
2 posts, read 4,852 times
Reputation: 10
Hello, my name is Paula and my little girl is Autistic I'm having a hard time to find shools for her, she is 5 years old and I'm lookingfor a good school in Orange Caunty Public or Private.
Please if somebody have information it will be a bless.
Thanks so much!!
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