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Old 03-14-2019, 07:46 AM
 
28 posts, read 43,646 times
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Hello,

I did a search but figured I'd post for something more current. We are currently in NY and I'm starting to do research on relocating in a couple of years. One of the areas we are looking at is the Tampa area. We have family and friends that live in Tampa itself and also family in Pinellas county. I would like some feedback on how the services are for autism in the area, or if there is one county over another that is known for better services. At the time we move my son will be 12 years old and is considered lower functioning, and is non verbal. Do they have small self contained classrooms, or specific schools for autistic children? Is there a long waiting list for medicaid? How are adult programs (thinking long term).? Any feedback you can provide would be appreciated, thank you!
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
3,529 posts, read 3,652,330 times
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Originally Posted by LusterLeaf View Post
Hello,

I did a search but figured I'd post for something more current. We are currently in NY and I'm starting to do research on relocating in a couple of years. One of the areas we are looking at is the Tampa area. We have family and friends that live in Tampa itself and also family in Pinellas county. I would like some feedback on how the services are for autism in the area, or if there is one county over another that is known for better services. At the time we move my son will be 12 years old and is considered lower functioning, and is non verbal. Do they have small self contained classrooms, or specific schools for autistic children? Is there a long waiting list for medicaid? How are adult programs (thinking long term).? Any feedback you can provide would be appreciated, thank you!
No self contained classrooms in the regular schools, it's all inclusion. You want self contained you'll have to try to enroll them in a charter or other school, depending on the county. The counties around here went to inclusion years ago under the pretense of, well, inclusion. As someone who was deeply involved in this at the time with a local school district, I saw it as a veiled scam to keep Federal monies but spread them around into the general population by feigning "inclusion". Just my $0.02.

Pepin Academy in Tampa is good. I believe there are a couple of charter schools that deal directly with students in the autistic spectrum.

Adult programs are grossly overburdened and have significant waiting lists. Can't comment on the Medicaid aspect as I'm not familiar with it.

Consider that when I was in the education business, our favorite response was, "Thank goodness there's Alabama and Mississippi!" Think about it. Education here is in major shambles and people are exiting it in droves.

RM
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:46 AM
 
5,397 posts, read 6,873,186 times
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I am a PT in NY. Every family I knew who had a special needs kid who went to FL moved back to NY. Remember NY spends more on Medicaid than any other state, that is why taxes are so high.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:02 PM
 
5,556 posts, read 5,025,984 times
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Originally Posted by NSHL10 View Post
I am a PT in NY. Every family I knew who had a special needs kid who went to FL moved back to NY. Remember NY spends more on Medicaid than any other state, that is why taxes are so high.
Thank you for your straightforward response to the OP. We see inquiries all the time on the Florida boards regarding services for special needs children. Not all states are equal in this regard, and it is important that people realize that Florida might not be the best place to move to if someone has a child with special needs. The child comes first, no matter what. If they are doing well in the environment in which they are currently located, don't uproot them. For an autistic child, this would be especially cruel.

There was one poster in the Florida forums who posted a while back that he found the services for his children to be better where he was living in Florida than where he came from, but I can't recall where he was living or where he came from. I think he was dealing with a child or children who had learning disabilities, but he didn't mention autism. And of course, there are different levels of autism, some mild, some more severe. The OP sounds as if they are dealing with a more severe case.
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