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Old 01-10-2012, 12:11 PM
 
49 posts, read 79,504 times
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We have the opportunity to move to the new Walter Reed this summer. We could choose to live in Fairfax County in Virginia or Montgomery County in Maryland. Our son is eight and fairly severely autistic. One of the primary reasons for moving is that my son might be able to have better services in the public or private schools than he gets here in TX. Anyone have an opinion regarding which county would be better (I think I already know the answer to this) and/or which specific schools might be good (or which to avoid)? Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:24 PM
 
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Both school systems are good but I would recommend Montgomery since you are moving to Walter Reed (commuting between Fairfax and Montgomery Counties sucks). You might need to tell us what your budget is since the COL is a bit higher than what you are use to in TX.

I was in special ed (not for autism though) and having gone through MCPS and graduating, there were lots of services catering to the needs of those w/ disabilities that I saw.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:48 PM
 
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Montgomery County's public school system has services for children with autism. I have heard mostly good things about them, but I don't know if those services are full-day. There are non-public schools as well -- Ivymount and Kennedy Krieger -- which are located in the county. Ivymount's primary (maybe only) focus is autism. Krieger is based in Baltimore but has a satellite school for autism in Rockville. I have heard fewer (and mixed) reviews of Fairfax County's services for autistic children. I heard stories about Fairfax parents attending parent information sessions at Ivymount. But then, I have heard that Fairfax has more or better non-public special ed schools. For Maryland, see the link (non-public special ed schools) below. I am not pushing for non-public over public (I have a special needs child in a non-public school), but you have to decide what is best for your child based on his needs. For instance, consider his behavioral and academic needs, his social needs, sensory needs, etc. Some schools cater towards high-functioning children, others don't want to deal with severe behavioral problems. Good luck in your search.The Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities | Promoting Quality Services for Children and Youth with Disabilities
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:48 PM
 
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I don't agree MC, hides there children and teens with disabilities its so true everything is separate.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Arnold, MD
132 posts, read 227,126 times
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It depends on how big the school is. Usually most public schools have a class called "Functional Life Skills," which is a class for students with intellectual disabilities. Most of students in the FSL program graduate around age 21, because they can learn more over time and prepare better for college (not all students do though, it depends how severe their disability is). In my county, (Anne Arundel County), the high schools have sports for the special education students called "Unified Tennis," or "Unified Bowling," or "Unified Bocce." They practice with general education students as a team and compete against other high schools' teams too. The high school I will begin teaching at this fall also has a program called "Best Buddies," where general education students get paired with a special needs student. They meet together during a specific time in school, and hang out. They also hang out outside of school. It is a very good program to unify general education students with the special education students. I'm pretty sure a lot of Montgomery County and Fairfax County middle and high schools will have the program too. You can probably find out online. So I would say any public school in either county could give any special education student quality education and experience depending on the extra programs. As the above poster mentioned, some public schools only have the FSL class they're required to have and have no additional programs for their special education students which leads to them not being seen that often in school by their general education peers.

However, if your child is not a Functional Life Skills student, but is going to be in general education classes, there are still many programs and services a public school can offer for them. Most public schools have co-taught and daily classes for students with learning disabilities to accommodate their needs or students that need extra help. There are also things like IEP's and 504's which are goals the Special Education department at the school will set for your child to help them with school if they ever need help.
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