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Old 03-16-2009, 10:22 PM
6 posts, read 19,252 times
Reputation: 11


I'm currently living near Chicago and will be relocating this summer. The move is unavoidable or I'd stay. Iowa is one possibility as it's closer to family (most of them in Nebraska, though I grew up there and have zero desire to live there again). I have a fifteen-year-old son (leaning toward high functioning autism, but not quite Asperger's) who will be in the 10th grade next fall. He's in one of the best possible programs I could find for him now (not mainstreamed, but in a special needs focused class that teaches life skills, etc.). I had to fight the school system here to get him into a good program (he just wasn't able to handle mainstream classes) and finally gave up and homeschooled for a couple of years. I want to be very careful about where we move, and I'm basing the decision on doing what's best for my son. The job situation is a moot point because I work online (portable career!). I would prefer a somewhat quieter area, but again, this is more about my son's needs than my personal "druthers."

Does anyone know of any great high school special needs programs? I've been trying to research this on the 'net, but haven't had much success with high schools being very specific on their websites. I'd like to be as close to Nebraska as possible, but Iowa City or somewhere around that area could work. (My son wants to move to Adair because of the wind turbines, but I'm thinking a tiny place like that may not have the best resources. I could be wrong.)

I've spent the last several years driving through Iowa on trips to visit family, and have fallen in love with it. Now it's all about just trying to find the right school. Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:11 PM
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,137,041 times
Reputation: 167
I don't know if you have seen the other thread about Asperger's, (which I know is slightly different, but similar question) but here it is: //www.city-data.com/forum/iowa/...-children.html

In that thread, a parent of a child with Asperger's recommended Iowa City schools, and I'm inclined to agree. I will admit that I don't know much about the special education programs other than that they are there, but overall the schools here are pretty outstanding, and I'm sure the district takes care of its special needs students as well. If you want more specific info, I'd contact the Special Education Dept., here is their website: Welcome to the Iowa City Community School District (http://www.iowa-city.k12.ia.us/curriculum/special_ed.html - broken link)

Also, the University of Iowa (also in Iowa City) has a program educating teachers and parents about autism and seem to have quite a bit of information about autism that they can provide. Their website is here: Regional Autism Services Program I would assume that some IC area teachers would have consulted with this group but I don't know that for a fact, again that is something you would have to ask about.

There is also the Autism Society of Iowa, which has meetings and tries to raise awareness for autism in the state - I don't know if this will help but I thought it might be of interest: The Autism Society of Iowa

I would say that overall, a larger district would probably be better, as they have more resources and larger special education programs than smaller districts. Any decent-sized city (above, say, 40K people maybe?) should have a district that could work for you, you would just have to ask them about it. I think Ames schools have a pretty good reputation as well and if you wanted to be closer to Nebraska, that might be something to look into.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:14 PM
6 posts, read 19,252 times
Reputation: 11
Hi, Thanks for the reply. I did see that thread, yes, but didn't see anything about high schools. I appreciate the information and will look into Iowa City and Ames (I hadn't even thought about Ames, though if I'm recalling the name of the town correctly a friend went to college there). Thanks so much for the links. I'll check them out.
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