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lcullen
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02 Jul 2013, 10:20 am

We live in the North East. My 16 year old has spent 2 very difficult years in mainstream HS with lots of support. I am fearful once out and without support he will not have the tools he needs. I don't feel this "individual" program is working. Any suggestions for alternate schools?



Ettina
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02 Jul 2013, 10:34 am

Well, I don't know how to advise you about choosing a high school if you do switch, but here's some thoughts about opther options:

Firstly, have you talked with his school about planning for the transition into adult life? You could express your concerns about how much support he's receiving and how he'd handle that support being removed. The school should be trying to come up with a smooth transition plan, instead of giving him total support and then suddenly yanking it away when he graduates.

Secondly, talk to autism or DD support organizations in your area about what kind of provisions they have for supporting young adults of your son's functioning level who have just graduated. Depending on his skill level, it may not be realistic to expect him to have the skills he needs by 18, even if his school does their best to teach him. Some autistics aren't ready to be fully independent until their mid to late twenties, if ever. (If undiagnosed and untreated, many of these later-developers end up homeless or in psych wards. But appropriate support in early adulthood can prevent that.)



DW_a_mom
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02 Jul 2013, 4:57 pm

I am curious as to what the issues are that have made the past two years "difficult." Some issues come from developmental delays, some from permanent differences, and some from structural rubrics in the education system that may not mimic real life, etc. I have a 16 year old son so I feel like I have some sense of where your child could/should be at, and I have plenty of complaints about the education system of my own, but it would take a book to write all the angles that are jumping through my brain when you mention "high school," "education," and "preparing for life." So, knowing what the key issues have been would help me narrow it down and hopefully know where to point you.


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Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).


luna12
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03 Jul 2013, 7:44 pm

I have a 16 yo PDDNOS myself as we'll as a 19yo Aspie.
My sons have been in private spec needs schools, so I have seen a few HS programs.
Each and every transition program I've seen is garbage, outdated and inappropriate.
The basic formula is that the school district, which is responsible for the transition plan BTW-not the school itself, has these decades old "arrangements" with certain agencies and very year they fill their spots with SN kids from a few schools. These positions are mostly janitorial and at best an old fashioned page. (It's so ancient they still have it listed that way)
So basically your totally unique child with a hard fought IEP gets a low skill set, low instruction model to get placed into. It's so generic and basic that, guess what! It's appropriate for everyone!!
I don't care where you are, it's everywhere. I've seen them and I've sat in the meeting for kids that created them. Want to learn how a system works, volunteer for it and the first day you're not sick to your stomach quit b/c you've learned it all.
Having said that your child was formally mainstreamed, I assume then you're looking for a 15:1 which is the HS ratio. In NYC, Legacy is prob the best-extremely hard to get into. In NJ you want Community HS hands down the best placement I have ever seen, and I have seen them all. When we went there my husband turned to me and asked "are you sure this is a SN school?"
We live in NY and my son goes to Community. But if you've been at this dance for as long as we have then I'm sure you can pull it off.

Good luck
Roni



lcullen
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17 Jul 2013, 3:41 pm

I am looking into a transition program at Chapel Hill New Haven CT. If the school recommends my son will be covered till age 21 does that mean they will have to pay as well? It's insanely expensive. The school has relations with "tech" schools but my son is not interested at all.