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Old 02-26-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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Hello! My mom and my two kids ( ages 4 and 5) are moving out to the Oregon Coast soon and would like some information. Where should we live where there's little to no crime,good schools,good Hospitals and stores etc. Any jobs? Are there any "bad areas" to avoid. We have never been out there and I've seen pictures of the beaches and it's so pretty. We are coming from Southern California and it sucks here. My 4 year old son has Autism so is there any kind of help out there for him such as mental health or play groups or things like that. Any other information is appreciated. My mom wants to live close to the beach and not so much in a city but not to where you'd have to drive 10 miles to the nearest Hospital or store. Thank you all so much!!!!
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:14 PM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah805 View Post
Any jobs?
No, there really aren't. The coast is the retirement belt. There is very little local economy and most people are living on fixed incomes built up from employment elsewhere. Most of the coast is quite isolated and government services are pitifully deficient. You have to be quite a self-sufficient person to live on the coast. I can't think of anyplace in the state that is less family friendly than the coast (like I said, the majority of coastal residents are over 65 years old). With your stated desire to be near services and shopping, you should look at the Willamette Valley...especially if you need special education services.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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I am a bit concerned that you are moving to a place you have never been. Has your mom at least been to any of the cities?

Please understand that the Oregon coast is beautiful, but it is NOT like California. The towns are small and strung out along the coast. They are not like CA coastal cities that I have been too which are built up. Many people have a romantic notion of what Oregon is and then move out here greatly disappointed.

I love Oregon, but you really need to visit, have a job, and talk to the school districts before you move.

The best cities in Oregon for Autism services are Portland and Eugene. You will be pretty much on your own out on the coast.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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I agree with the other two posters. If you weren't bringing kids with you, I wouldn't say anything. But you do have kids, and one who is special needs. Jobs are hard to come by anywhere in Oregon and especially the coast. The jobs that are there are pretty seasonal, too, it seems - summer being the busy season. And your mom should be aware that the Oregon coast is not like SoCal beaches. Really, a visit first would be a good idea. It's not a place you want to move to on a whim, based on pretty pictures.

I'm editing to add that Eugene is a great city for special needs families. They have all kinds of recreational and educational resources for children and adults with special needs. I have watched special needs students thrive and surpass expectations at our kids schools in Eugene. It's truly amazing the level of care they receive and the progress they are able to achieve because of it. Eugene also has nicer weather than the coast, and is only 45 minutes to an hour away so it's very easily accessible when you want to get away to the coast for the weekend.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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WOW! Well we are now thinking of moving to Salem. Anything good there???? Alot of people I've talked to out there said Eugene is hippy pot smoker town.....? So I'm not sure I want my kids around that! How is Salem? Thanks again guys
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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Salem has around 11% unemployment so unless you have some special skill work will be tough to find a job here. Eugene has a bohemian/hippie feel to it, but it is a nice city with some really good schools. Salem is more conservative, but not overly so.

I have an ASD kiddo so I can answer those questions about our local Salem-Keizer schools. At age 4 your child would be enrolled in the WESD program. I wasn't impressed when my daughter was there several years ago and pulled her out. It really is a crap shoot over there because there are some good teachers and not so good. My daughter got 15 minutes of speech therapy a week and no OT. She went to class three days a week for about two hours each time. Some parents have a good experience there. I did not. I do know that they have a new autism specialist there and have heard good things about him, so I am hoping that they have improved that program since my child was there.

There are some local support groups but not a lot. There is not a local ABA therapist in Salem if that is important to you. If your child is GFCF then the local health store, Lifesource, has all of the shelves labeled by color for GF foods. My child is not on that special diet, but my son has food allergies and is. I have been able to get whatever I need at that store.

I find the teachers at my local public school fabulous, but woefully in-equipped to help my child. The S-K school district staff lack skills in dealing with ASD kids, but this is not a reflection on the skill level of the teachers for regular kids. From what I have experienced the teachers get zero support from the administration. I love my daughter's teacher and last year and this year they have done everything I asked of them. The teachers are mostly top notch in my experience. My child is mainstreamed with an aide, which I had to hire an attorney to get. My daughter is not a behavior problem. If you child has behavioral issues, they won't be mainstreamed here, which I personally think is appropriate.

They do have an EGC (Emotional Growth Center) classrooms at some schools and these are smaller classes for kids that have behavior issues. The focus of these is less academic and more social skill oriented. Some of the higher functioning ASD kids that get easily overwhelmed in mainstream are here. The also have a Life Skills Classroom. They have one at my kids elementary and this is mostly for ASD kids. There are 12 kids in the one at their school and this is for more moderate ASD kiddos. It is very behaviorally oriented. Kids that have lots of tantrums/transition issues will go to this classroom. Then they have another classroom called the SKIP classroom which is for really low functioning kids. They have one more special needs classroom which is for kids that have academic issues and I can't remember the name of that one.

We are about 1 1/2 hours away from the coast so I wouldn't call us near the "beach." We don't call it the beach out here because that implies warmth. The coast is often cold even in the summer and only crazy people actually swim in the ocean water without a neoprene suit.

Generally speaking in Salem, the south and west Salem schools get the best school reports and tend to have the lowest crime rates. They also tend to be the more expensive areas of town. I really think you should visit, secure work, and talk with the schools before you head up. You sound like you are trying to escape but we might not be what you are looking for. I mean this last round of budget cuts, they cut $2M from the special needs budget at SK school district. The programs and schools are strapped here. You can private pay for speech therapy (which we do). The Children's Guild has OT. There is also a therapeutic HORSES program here.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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WOW alot of useful information! Well, we live here in Ca and it's really expensive out here and they are not helping my son. My 4 yr old son does have alot of behaviorial problems and temper tantrums which is related to Autism! He does have an Autism screening out here to figure out if he has Autism and what stage it's at whether it's high functioning or Aspergers or what! What town up there would you recommend? We've never been up there but have seen pictures of the place and it looks pretty there BUT things can always change. I don't wanna be in a town up there where there are alot of drug activity you know.

I know alot of people up there say bad things about Oregon and discourage everyone from CA from coming up there and I'm not too sure why......? Any ideas or suggestions on where to live would be greatly appreciated Silverfall! Thanks again for your time!!!!
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 25,896,941 times
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The Oregon Coast is a beautiful place and fun to visit but I do not think it would meet your needs. There are other towns to which you could move that would have what you are looking for that are an easy drive to the Coast that have already been mentioned here.

That would be a better compromise for your family. And it goes without saying that you will either need secured a job before you move or have a good amount of savings if you move here without having one.

Please believe that no one here is trying to discourage you just because you are from California. They are just giving you good advice so you will not regret moving to a place that does not meet your or your children's needs. If where you are living now does not meet your needs, it would be unwise to move to a place that is not an improvement on your situation.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,728 posts, read 19,311,368 times
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I'm not one of those Oregonians discouraging you to move. I'm a Wyomingite discouraging you to move... until you have some idea where you're going, why you're going there and what you're going to do once you arrive. Look at a map, for goodness sakes! Do you see any cities on the Oregon coast?

P.S. My wife is from Oregon. She says it's really pretty in Washington. They even have a nice city on the coast. Look up "Seattle."
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:47 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 14,054,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah805 View Post
WOW! Well we are now thinking of moving to Salem. Anything good there???? Alot of people I've talked to out there said Eugene is hippy pot smoker town.....? So I'm not sure I want my kids around that! How is Salem? Thanks again guys
We were told that about Eugene, too, when my husband was offered a job here. We'd never heard of Eugene. We're from Texas, and have also lived in California and Washington state. We have two kids. We were worried, too.

People make a lot of assumptions about Eugene, a lot of which are based on experiences they had here a decade or so ago. Eugene has been airing out the patchouli smell for many years, and is not much of a "hippy town" anymore. Sure there are parts that still crunch pretty loud, and the Oregon Country Fair and Fairieworlds brings a lot of the old hipsters out for a bit, perhaps the Eugene Celebration, too... but for the most part it's just a sweet, liberal, artsy, very unique college town. Lots of art. Lots of talent here. We have a Slug Queen. Come visit and check out The Saturday Market, and if it's during the Christmas season check out the Holiday Market. That will give you a good taste of Eugene. If by-chance you know anything about Austin Texas, I've found it to be similar vibe-wise. It's a lot like Austin was about 15-20 years ago before developers ruined it. Just a mecca for creative thinkers and talented people as well as for those who just enjoy nature and the outdoors and life's simple pleasures. And moss.

I don't know much about Salem. I think it's probably a lot more conservative and less fun than Eugene. And I think the schools are better in Eugene unless you do private schools. Eugene schools benefit from having the the U of O as a resource which has an excellent education department. That's why I think it's such a great place for families with special needs children.
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