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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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I am considering a move to the Brevard County area. I have 4 kids aged 7-14. One has mild autism. I am a teacher. What I am wanting to know is in general, how are the schools, especially in regards to special education programs? Also, how difficult is it to get a teaching job? I have 22 years experience. We are coming from a very small county on the Georgia coast which fancies itself as a resort area, so things like housing, gas, and food are very expensive compared to what I've seen in Brevard. I have a cousin who lives there and she is very positive, but I am wanting some other opinions. Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:27 AM
 
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I am considering moving to Brevard County but I'm scared! I have two boys who are autistic, One severe and the other aspbergers but now with other mental health issues. Does any one know what services for autistic teens are like in this area? I have advocated and fought for my boys to get them all the services they have now,( We live in Massachusetts currently) Our lives are very hectic and chaotic to say the least, so I'm searching for a simpler more laid back lifestyle. My boys love the beach, they don't partake in sports or have a social life. I'm it, and will do anything just to bring one more smile to their day. I realize it's all give and take and you can't always have everything at once but if anyone has any info on what towns in Florida provide the best school and health services, it would be much appreciatted! Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:05 AM
 
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I don't have experience with the school system yet, either. I recently moved to Brevard and am also a teacher. I've not started looking for a teaching position and may not since I'm staying home with our toddler who is handicapped. I can tell you that the birth - three program - Early Steps is not the best by far. It takes MONTHS to get assessed and finally get services. I was shocked that a program that promotes early intervention can operate they way it does. There is a general attitude in this area of "yeah, we don't have that and we don't care." I can't get Miraflex glasses anywhere in the entire county and NO ONE will even order them. They don't offer so I ask and they try to push me off on someone else. Our only option for glasses is to order them by mail from our old city or to pay out of pocket (over $300) to get them in Orlando. I would HIGHLY reconsider moving here if your kids have special needs. This place is not set up at all for handicapped children. Specialists are not easy to find and any "good" doctors have waiting lists or are not accepting new patients at all.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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Default Special needs services in Florida

Wow, that's horrible! I think it's tough all over to get much needed services out of any school district, especially when they have to pay for it, but at least it is achievable in Mass. Back in 2003, we lived in Boca, and services were very poor by comparison, so back to mass we returned. My youngest son resides in a private school for autism, well in one of their group homes. The school is excellent but it took years and years of constant battling with his district school to get him there. Sad, really. I guess I was hoping that 10 yrs later, there was some part of florida that woke up! What about health insurance and SSI benefits? I suppose that home services are totally out of the question!.....Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:44 PM
 
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We don't qualify for ssi due to our income. The cutoff is somewhere around $30k per year and we make more than that. When our daughter is 18 she will be able to get ssi. Our health insurance is the same but finding services is the issue in Brevard. I've begged my husband for us to move for the sake of our daughter. I've head that MA is has good support for disabled people. I've also heard that about Wisconsin. I know there are cuts everywhere and that things won't be easy anywhere. I'm more frustrated with the Melbourne attitude that we see here and the limited medical providers. I can't get over not being able to get glasses anywhere in the county! Maybe for what you need you'll be able to have more luck. I just know a small part of the system and have been disappointed. I'm used to living in a large city where everything was easily available and it's like pulling teeth to get anything here. I pray everyday that we can leave.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:20 PM
 
6 posts, read 12,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luluteach View Post
I am considering a move to the Brevard County area. I have 4 kids aged 7-14. One has mild autism. I am a teacher. What I am wanting to know is in general, how are the schools, especially in regards to special education programs? Also, how difficult is it to get a teaching job? I have 22 years experience. We are coming from a very small county on the Georgia coast which fancies itself as a resort area, so things like housing, gas, and food are very expensive compared to what I've seen in Brevard. I have a cousin who lives there and she is very positive, but I am wanting some other opinions. Thanks!
The schools here are decent; we have NASA and many other tech companies here. I would imagine that the special ed programs are much better than the rest of the state as well. Getting a teaching job in Brevard is quite easy. With your experience, you should have no problems getting a teaching job. I don't know your budget, but the best area in Brevard is beachside (Satellite beach). With 4 kids, this would probably be expensive. Cheaper, more family-oriented areas include Viera, and Bayside Lakes in Palm Bay. There's a new High School that opened in Palm Bay called Heritage High; it probably has a good special ed program.

Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:52 PM
 
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It's funny and bizarre how we naturally think that a good school system would be the way to go for special need services but they are separate. Once upon a time , I moved to Boca because they had superior school system but it was not the case for special needs services. My boys are autistic and have severe needs. It takes a person or a family in a position of wealth or power to have an autistic child, for the services to be rendered by others, otherwise it's just pure hell! I am still searching .........
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:57 PM
 
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I feel your frustration! I'm so sorry that you're going through this, it shouldn't be like this!
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:11 AM
 
96 posts, read 180,348 times
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I totally agree with you about special ed not always being "good" in the wealthier, "better" schools. As a teacher I have seen that first hand. I don't want to turn you away from Brevard, but we're just having a very difficult time of it. And a previous poster mentioned all of the high tech jobs. I think that's why I'm having such a hard time understanding what is happening here. If there are so many highly paid engineers then why aren't things better? People who have transferred to my husband's company from out of state have noticed similar things as we have. It's just a strange place. I've been told this this year the beachside schools have low class sizes for special ed, but Palm Bay schools have very large classes. That worries me. We don't/won't live in Palm Bay, but in any school setting I"ve been in previously units have been shifted around to even things out. And actually, I think most Palm Bay schools are title one which might enable the class sizes to be even lower. My hope is to get the Mackay scholarship for my daughter and shop, shop, shop for schools and pray we find a good setting for her. It's hard to really know what is available for your children until you're actually "in the system" and have started the ball rolling, however it might help to call the school district and see if you can get ahold of someone who will take time to listen. Good luck. There are good things about being here, but when you feel like your child can't get what's needed it hurts.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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Do you think "Charter" schools would be better? And do you know of any private schools that focus on Autism? Do you feel the status quo for special needs services are consistent through out all of Florida, or any better in other areas?
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