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Old 02-24-2007, 02:18 PM
jwr jwr started this thread
 
1 posts, read 8,033 times
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My wife is being recruited by a company in New Orleans. We currently live in Los Angeles County. Our 12 year old has a diagnosis of autism. Our 8 year old has expressive/receptive language issues. Is anyone on this board dealing with kids with special needs and can tell me what school districts are better (e.g., do anything about, aren’t openly hostile) at dealing with special education issues? Are there any good private schools that enroll kids with these needs?

They are both currently receiving speech therapy. Elder also received reading therapy and social skills therapy. He’s been placed in a private school at district expense. Younger is also receiving reading therapy at school in the resource room. So we are going to need to find replacement therapies. Any ideas here would be great.

Given the cost of living differential, we are not ruling out the possiblity of simply bypassing the school system and cobbling together a private or home school program, so anyone I would love to hear from anyone who might have done this as well.

In addition, if someone would be willing to talk more generally about life in New Orleans, I’d appreciate it. I’ve lived in California since 1968, except for 4 years living in New York City while at college, so this is a big step for all of us.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:16 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,756 posts, read 3,360,183 times
Reputation: 3046
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwr View Post
My wife is being recruited by a company in New Orleans. We currently live in Los Angeles County. Our 12 year old has a diagnosis of autism. Our 8 year old has expressive/receptive language issues. Is anyone on this board dealing with kids with special needs and can tell me what school districts are better (e.g., do anything about, aren’t openly hostile) at dealing with special education issues? Are there any good private schools that enroll kids with these needs?

They are both currently receiving speech therapy. Elder also received reading therapy and social skills therapy. He’s been placed in a private school at district expense. Younger is also receiving reading therapy at school in the resource room. So we are going to need to find replacement therapies. Any ideas here would be great.

Given the cost of living differential, we are not ruling out the possiblity of simply bypassing the school system and cobbling together a private or home school program, so anyone I would love to hear from anyone who might have done this as well.

In addition, if someone would be willing to talk more generally about life in New Orleans, I’d appreciate it. I’ve lived in California since 1968, except for 4 years living in New York City while at college, so this is a big step for all of us.
Hi. I am living in Metairie (a suburb), a mile or two from the infamous 17th St. Canal that divides Metairie from New Orleans. That's one of the canals that gave way and flooded New Orleans after Katrina.

I don't have an autistic kid, so I really don't know what to say on that issue. Maybe someone else will know.

I have a friend whose house in Lakeview took on 13' of water. They are trying to rebuild and move back, but their big problem is that they can't get their kids into the magnet schools in Orleans Parish (New Orleans). They are on a waiting list, and living further out in Luling while they wait. I am thinking that if her gifted kids are having trouble getting re-admitted, then special needs kids from out of town might have obstacles as well - - but I don't really know that.

New Orleans is a highly Catholic area. Good private schools in New Orleans other than the Catholic schools and other parochial schools are hard to find. People that I know who are not religious and want private schooling, send their kids to Catholic schools. Public schools in New Orleans are bad, though the magnet schools are better.

Public schools are supposed to be better on the North Shore (Mandeville, Covington, and so on). The commute is a bear during rush hour, but a lot of people with kids choose to live up there.

To be honest I am hesitant to recommend moving here at all right now. Have you visited since the storm? We are not "back to normal". Fewer than half of New Orleans residents have returned, and a substantial proportion of those who have are considering leaving. Right now, at my work we are finding it impossible to hire qualified scientists and engineers from out of town. Nobody wants to move here, even those who are right out of school. We did not have that problem before Katrina. Part of the problem is finding housing. I own my own home, but I found that my overall (non-housing) cost of living was about 140%-150% what it was before Katrina. It may not seem high coming from your area, but it is higher than you might think. Rents were even more inflated, but are beginning to come down slowly.

I don't want to dissuade you, but I would strongly urge you to visit for a week before you move, if you have not done so already. Bring your kids, rent a car, and drive around the city - - not just in the few undamaged areas like the French Quarter and CBD, but all over town, to see what you are getting into. I would be very surprised if you still wanted to move here, but if you do, then welcome.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Last edited by NOLA2SGF; 02-24-2007 at 03:32 PM..
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 91,640,061 times
Reputation: 39991
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwr View Post
My wife is being recruited by a company in New Orleans. We currently live in Los Angeles County. Our 12 year old has a diagnosis of autism. Our 8 year old has expressive/receptive language issues. Is anyone on this board dealing with kids with special needs and can tell me what school districts are better (e.g., do anything about, aren’t openly hostile) at dealing with special education issues? Are there any good private schools that enroll kids with these needs?

They are both currently receiving speech therapy. Elder also received reading therapy and social skills therapy. He’s been placed in a private school at district expense. Younger is also receiving reading therapy at school in the resource room. So we are going to need to find replacement therapies. Any ideas here would be great.

Given the cost of living differential, we are not ruling out the possiblity of simply bypassing the school system and cobbling together a private or home school program, so anyone I would love to hear from anyone who might have done this as well.

In addition, if someone would be willing to talk more generally about life in New Orleans, I’d appreciate it. I’ve lived in California since 1968, except for 4 years living in New York City while at college, so this is a big step for all of us.
As much as I love Louisiana, I too have to dissaude you from moving there for you kids sakes. Even before Katrina the educational system in Louisiana was one of the worst in the nation. Since the storm things are only worse. There is a real lack of services, both medical and educationally, for kids without serious issues, much less kids with special needs. I highly doubt you would find the kind of situation your kids need anyone near New Orleans right now. New Orleans is just not the place for families these days. For single people or couples without kids, I'd say "go for it". The people in La. are wonderful, the food supurb. Just don't relocate with your kids with special needs folks - you will not find the services you need and your kids will suffer. Sorry to be so brutally honest and disappoint anyone.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:32 PM
 
1 posts, read 7,961 times
Reputation: 10
Default Possible Relocation

I live in Uptown New Orleans (near Tulane University) and have a 2-year-old with special needs. While it's true that as a whole the public schools, even before Katrina, had issues I think it really depends on where you live AND how diligent you are in making sure you're getting what your children need. I have had a very good experience with Louisiana's Early Intervention Program. Although I'm not investigating grade schools yet I have heard about St. George's in Uptown that has small mixed classes (3 special needs children, 3 typical kids, 3 gifted children--I think that's the make up) so that may be something to look into. I have to warn you that it's fairly expensive.

Our family moved to N.O. from Boston three years ago (after spending 5 years in Orange County, CA and San Francisco) and we LOVE this city. I can't tell you how many family-friendly activities there are to enjoy along with the richness of the culture and the warmth and friendliness of the people who live here.

In terms of doing your homework to determine if this relocation is right for you one organization you might want to contact is "Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans" (fhfgno.org). They are a resource center for families of individuals with disabilities and might be able to help you weigh the pros and cons.

Best of luck to you!

Last edited by bella3335; 02-27-2007 at 11:41 PM.. Reason: More info to add
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:01 PM
 
3 posts, read 23,335 times
Reputation: 11
Smile Move to Louisiana

New Orleans may still be in a mess but you can come over to the Northshore of New Orleans. I live in Western St Tammany and we have very little crime, some of the best schools and only 45 minutes to New Orleans. It's beautiful over here, trees, birds, peace and quite. We had some wind damage from the storm but most of it is repaired. The best place to live is Mandeville, Abita Springs, Covington and Madisonville. If you need more information email me and I can help you.
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:13 PM
 
3 posts, read 23,335 times
Reputation: 11
Default St. Tammany Schools

For information about the St. Tammany Parish Public School System,
you may call the numbers that follow:

Area Code (985)


Central School Board Office
892-2276
646-4900
898-3267
Covington

Fax

Superintendent
898-3214
Covington

Administration
898-3261
Covington

Business
898-3277
Covington

Bus Transportation
898-3374
646-4967
Covington
Slidell

Curriculum and Instruction Office
898-3257
Covington

Information Technology
898-3239
Covington

Employment
898-3254
Covington

Public Information
898-3297
Covington

School Attendance Boundaries
898-3370
646-4917
Covington
Slidell

School Registration
898-3370
646-4917
Covington
Slidell

Section 504 898-6446 Covington
Special Education
898-3311
646-4946
Covington
Slidell
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:28 PM
 
12 posts, read 43,680 times
Reputation: 13
If you are planning on working in New Orleans, I would say, given your children's disabilities, that the St. Tammany Parish public school system would be your very best shot. I would stay away from the Orleans and Jefferson Parish public school systems. There are some Catholic schools in Jefferson Parish who offer good special-ed programs, such as St. Francis Xavier in Old Metairie, as well as St. Angela. However, non-denominational private schools in the Greater New Orleans area as a rule do not serve special needs. There are terrific programs at Children's Hospital (such as speech therapy) that you may be able to recieve.

Overall, the programs and assistance are on their way back. People are on their way back. There are parts of the city that are still in ruins, to be sure. Is it an insufferable place? Absolutely NOT. New Orleans is *still* a beautiful city, still a place I am proud to be a part of. There are plenty of things for your children to do -- aquarium, zoo, kids museum, parks, recreation, entertainment. You won't find people as warm and as friendly as New Orleanians anywhere else in the country. You also won't find food as good or entertainment as good, either! =)

For a calm quality of life? My recommendation is the Mandeville/Covington/Madisonville area. It is back (and has been for quite some time) to 100% normal, bustling (yet still a little southern "sleepiness") capacity. I live in that area, and we have everything one would need to function happily daily. And yes, while our housing prices HAVE gone up, they are certainly not as high as you face in LA County!!! The cost of living is cheap, too!

HTH,
Amy
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:16 PM
 
530 posts, read 2,472,086 times
Reputation: 328
Hi JWR, my family and I lived in River Ridge (Metairie) Our daughter is 11 and mentally and physically handicapped. We had her enrolled in the Jefferson Parish School system since kindergarten. I have to be honest with you. The school systems in NOLA are not great. Our 13yo son was enrolled in a private school. We had to leave after Katrina and one of the driving forces was the lack of adequate care and therapy for our daughter. We moved to Denver and are extremely pleased here. If you would like, you can send me a private message by clicking on my name on this post and I can answer more specific questions for you. Bottom line, now is really not the best time to move to NOLA (after Katrina) with children with special needs.

Last edited by Micktooth; 03-14-2007 at 09:56 PM..
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Old 05-14-2007, 09:57 AM
 
1 posts, read 7,359 times
Reputation: 10
Default Possible relocation to new orleans

Dear Jr. Member:

My Name is Moderator cut: PLEASE don't put your personal info on a public forum - a problem waiting to happen! and I reside in the New Orleans Area. I was reading your post and I stongly advise you not to relocate to New Orleans. I have a 4 year old son with Autism, and there are no public schools in the city that could help your daughter. My husband and I are in the process of leaving the city for that reason.

If you chose to come to Louisiana, my advice would be to relocate to any other parish outside of Orleans because you will find schools to accommodate your daughter.


Personal info edited by moderator

Last edited by Sam I Am; 02-05-2008 at 04:22 AM..
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:26 AM
 
530 posts, read 2,472,086 times
Reputation: 328
Hang in there. We were in a similar place with our daughter. We moved and we are very happy. You will find that there are many areas out there with special services that are better than we ever had in NOLA.

Last edited by Sam I Am; 02-05-2008 at 04:23 AM.. Reason: edited out personal info
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