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Best place to raise an autistic child.

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 11:17 AM
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We are looking at starting over in a new location for the sake of our 5yr old autistic child.  My husband is going to retire from the military and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to settle in an area that will be optimal for our son on as many levels as possible.  From childhood and on into his adult years.  The area we live in now (Shreveport/Bossier City, LA) is lacking in the resources to help Samuel meet his full potential.  Once he becomes an adult and if he is able to become independent in life but needs to rely on public transportation to get around, then he is going to have to relocate to a new area and we won't be available as a support system to him when he is first starting out.  And, if he isn't able to become that independent and possibly needs the assistance of a group home, then this isn't the area we want him to be stuck in.  We understand that ultimately the area he lives in as an adult will be up to him (we hope), but we don't want to be living in an area were he is forced out of necessity to have to leave home.  Do you all understand what I'm saying?  I hope this post is making sense.

Here is a list of things we are looking at:

quality of education/autistic support systems within the public schools

Therapy resources (Speech, OT, ABA, etc...)

Medical Community (Developmental Pediatricians, child psychologists...)

Transportation infrastructure.  Do the roads have sidewalks, bike lanes, reliable bus/rail service. (Once our son gets older we would like for him to be able to be as independent as he can be.  Even if he's unable to drive a car.)

Quality of life in the local area.  (Museums, theater, the outdoors and so on.)

A few areas we have considered are the Denver/Colorado Springs area and Portland.  However, we would like to hear about other areas as well.  We have never lived on the east coast and are not familiar with that region much at all.  Can you mom's offer us some advice and feedback? 



~JEN~ family car

by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 11:17 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Liz11884
by Member on Jun. 9, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Hi, just wanted to say good luck, I'm sure this is a monumental decision for your family. I live in the Mid- Hudson Valley Region of NY ( an hour from Albany, 90 minutes from NYC) and have to say I love it here. There are numerous schools that specialize in autism (Children's Annex of Kingston, Children's Annex of Ellenville, Anderson Center for Autism- though people have been put off by that school, and numerous other special ed. schools that employ ABA, RDI and TEACCH). Also its just a beautiful area with numerous parks and a has a strong autistic support/advocacy community. Good luck, let me know if you're ever interested in knowing more!

MommyJanice44
by Head Admin on Jun. 9, 2009 at 2:37 PM

 I am not sure about what other states have . I do no that in California they have a lot of Dan Doctors . There is a huge state loss in the funds for the Disabled .  I would love to tell you to move  here . Don't do it . They have nothing in regards to helping children on the Spectrum ... I guess what my answer for you is where not to move . Good luck in finding a State that has the best options for your child . I think that is just awesome that you are looking to buy a home that better help you sons needs in the future . What a good Mommy and Daddy .. 

   

mamatware
by Bronze Member on Jun. 9, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I live in southwest missouri, Springfield specifically.  We have excellent resources here, except for medical care. Their really aren't any children's specialists here that can handle anymore than bandaid application.  But keep your mind open is the best I can tell you, we go to Kansas City (3 hours away) for Robby's doctors, we go about every 3 months, if you are looking for "perfect" you are probably never going to find it.  I can tell you that here in Springfield we have minor league baseball, city bus system, a lot of different service agencies-even ones that could possibly bring services to your son rather than him go to them-ie instead of group home placement he could recieve an ADL (activities of daily living) aid.  We have multiple agencies that can help with job placement and a sheltered workshop here.  You have most of the "big city" stuff and then some, but in a smaller area.   

Katie911
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 3:30 PM

We have lived in SW Kansas forever.  All three of our children were born here.  Granted the ideal services are in Kansas City and Wichita. But my husbands job and our primary income is here.  So we drive to the bigger cities.  The schools were not ideal at first, but we have convinced them they should be and have had no complaints for two years.  I am not sure you'll ever find the perfect place.  But as long as you are happy and satified with your son's services then I say go for it.  You are braver than I.

djs-mom
by Member on Jun. 10, 2009 at 9:00 AM


I am not    sure what area you live in but we received the best services in Santa Clara, Ca that we could ever imagine...within one week of calling the school we were in PPCD,  speech 3 times a week, OT, and ABA. I am not sure what services you are having problems getting but I stand up for the Santa Clara ISD 100%.We only moved as I had to take care of a family member and living in Texas I now know what no help is like.

Quoting MommyJanice44:

 I am not sure about what other states have . I do no that in California they have a lot of Dan Doctors . There is a huge state loss in the funds for the Disabled .  I would love to tell you to move  here . Don't do it . They have nothing in regards to helping children on the Spectrum ... I guess what my answer for you is where not to move . Good luck in finding a State that has the best options for your child . I think that is just awesome that you are looking to buy a home that better help you sons needs in the future . What a good Mommy and Daddy .. 

   


PJSMOMMIE
by Member on Jun. 11, 2009 at 7:41 AM

im in the foothills of the catskills about 2 1/2 to 3 hours south of albany in a very small town. but the support we get from our friends and others for our son is amazing ... he goes to a public school, where they treat him no diffrent then kids with out special needs. and they have great thearapists in school and out... depending on how old your lil one is there is early intervention 0 to 3 years and 3 to 5 years and they are amazing i dont know what i would have done with out them. its absoultly beautiful here, all year round, and many things you can do in cooperstown there is the baseball hall of fame, soccer hall of fame in oneonta, there are many reinactments, just a beautiful place for kids to grow up

Quoting Liz11884:

Hi, just wanted to say good luck, I'm sure this is a monumental decision for your family. I live in the Mid- Hudson Valley Region of NY ( an hour from Albany, 90 minutes from NYC) and have to say I love it here. There are numerous schools that specialize in autism (Children's Annex of Kingston, Children's Annex of Ellenville, Anderson Center for Autism- though people have been put off by that school, and numerous other special ed. schools that employ ABA, RDI and TEACCH). Also its just a beautiful area with numerous parks and a has a strong autistic support/advocacy community. Good luck, let me know if you're ever interested in knowing more!



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nvillon25
by Member on Jun. 11, 2009 at 8:20 AM

I live at Fort Bragg, NC which is right between Spring Lake and Fayetteville, NC (about an hour S of Raleigh) and see so many resources in this area for autistic children. ABA therapies, speech therapy pediatric neurologists, developmental pediatricians, etc. Granted that we are a military family but even talking to people who aren't military that live in the area say that this area has a very large concentration of autistic children.

Currently our son goes to the post elementary school and is bussed there and back everyday. They are also providing him with transportation to and from ESY this year. Even those who separate from the military end up staying in this area to continue receiving their current services.  There is also UNC Duke about an hour from here that has a great concentration of specialists for autism. When my husband separates from the military we are planning to stay in this area for our son. I love this area and the support and resources that I receive from the families in the Autism Society of North Carolina.

This area is great because you are anywhere between 3 and 4 hours from North Carolina beaches as well as Myrtle Beach, NC. There are also several activities going on in the Fayetteville area for children. There are two places here in Fayetteville that offer an enormous room of inflatable bounce houses, slides, and activities for children called Monkey Joes and Jumping Time. This area is very children oriented and there are TONS of things for children. There is a bus system that runs all over Fayetteville as well as Spring Lake. There are several military history museums, art museums as well as the a venue that hosts many concerts and childrens activities. It is also a very military friendly community. If you need any additional information don't hesitate to contact me! We just moved here from Fort Campbell and the services we receive here compared to the state of Tennessee are phenomenal.

Nikki

These websites should give you some information about the local activities and resources in the area:

Fayetteville, NC             www.VisitFayettevilleNC.com

Creative Consultants       www.CreativeConsultantsNC.com (Jennifer Haddock , BCAB; Denise Freeman, BCABA)

Priorities ABA, PLLC     www.PrioritiesABA.com  (Apple Boyce, BCBA)

Need Speech, Inc.            www.needspeechinc.com

Fayetteville TEACCH Center   http://www.teacch.com/regionalcenters/fayetteville/welcome.html  

Autism Answers                www.myautismanswers.org

Autism Society of North Carolina      www.autismcc.org

North Carolina Public Schools          www.ncpublicschools.org/ec

 

gstaley
by Member on Jun. 11, 2009 at 8:31 AM

Thanks as that heads up because we have been looking to move NC as 1st of the year even though, my DH is separating from the Navy in October.

Quoting nvillon25:

I live in Fayetteville, North Carolina (about an hour S of Raleigh) and see so many resources in this area for autistic children. From ABA therapies to numerous amounts of speech therapy and even neurologists. Granted that we are a military family but even talking to people who aren't military that live in the area say that this area has a very large concentration of autistic children. Currently our son goes to the post elementary school and is bussed there and back everyday. They are also providing him with transportation to and from ESY this year. Even those who separate from the military end up staying in this area to continue receiving the good services. There is also UNC Duke about an hour from here that has a great concentration of specialists for autism. When my husband separates from the military we are planning to stay in this area for our son. I love this area and the support and resources that I receive from the families in the Autism Society of North Carolina.


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disneymom314
by Member on Jun. 11, 2009 at 8:47 AM


Quoting nvillon25:

I live in Fayetteville, North Carolina (about an hour S of Raleigh) and see so many resources in this area for autistic children. From ABA therapies to numerous amounts of speech therapy and even neurologists. Granted that we are a military family but even talking to people who aren't military that live in the area say that this area has a very large concentration of autistic children. Currently our son goes to the post elementary school and is bussed there and back everyday. They are also providing him with transportation to and from ESY this year. Even those who separate from the military end up staying in this area to continue receiving the good services. There is also UNC Duke about an hour from here that has a great concentration of specialists for autism. When my husband separates from the military we are planning to stay in this area for our son. I love this area and the support and resources that I receive from the families in the Autism Society of North Carolina.

I agree with this poster. We moved from NC to TN for work, but I really miss the Raleigh area of NC for the services that were available to my son. There are many programs out there for Autistic children, camps, services through the school district, some of the best doctors in the country, and a beautiful area (in some parts, like suburb type areas). Also there is a ton to do out there from museums to parks and lakes. There are several universities there too which have beautiful areas to walk and sometimes offer things too. Good Luck with your choice and your move. I'm having a hard time in my new area, and we don't know what we are going to do for our son yet, as we left so many resources behind that they don't have here. I really miss NC for all those reasons.

dewey
by Member on Jun. 11, 2009 at 9:38 AM

I can tell you where not to move South Florida.  The schools are horrible and you have to fight for any type of accommodation in the schools.

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