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US with child with ASD?

(11 Posts)
Buttercup2926 Tue 23-Jun-15 13:01:01

Does anyone have any advice on moving to the west coast of the US with a child who is high functioning on the spectrum. We have a job offer to move but worried about services. Will an NHS diagnosis be accepted or will we need to go through a new process? Any info on services would be gratefully received. Thanks.

tomatodizzymum Tue 23-Jun-15 13:33:00

It should be accepted. Contact the school board for the county you are going to. There will be a special needs department and speak to the co-ordinater. It might be called the Exceptional Student Education dept. but it varies from state to state and from school board to school board to be honest. You should be able to get all the information and contact emails from the school board website.

Chances are your child will need to see the psychologist and have a special education plan drawn up. Not to be re-diagnosed though. It's been years since I worked in the US though, so someone might know more than me. Might help if you say which state too, as I said, it varies.

Buttercup2926 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:43:15

Thank you for that. The state is not definite yet but will possibly be Washington in the Seattle area.

fatowl Tue 23-Jun-15 14:45:20

I've no experience personally but my friend whose ds10 was diagnosed in Asia with AS moved to the U.S. Two years ago and she says it was the best thing they could have done for him, he is flourishing there, with plenty of Specialist staff where she had to fight a lot for everything in Adia

tomatodizzymum Tue 23-Jun-15 17:31:35

Contact a couple of Seattle school districts and they can tell you the procedure. It will probably just be the same as a child moving in from out of state. It will be no biggie and like fatowl said, the US is one of the best places for special needs education. Better than the UK in my experience.

mathanxiety Wed 24-Jun-15 01:16:19

You should figure out what Districts are the best for SN provision and then try to find somewhere to live within one of those Districts.

A School District is like a catchment area that enforces its residence requirement very rigorously. Where public schools are concerned, children cannot attend outside of their own District, so it pays to find the best one that will suit your needs. OTOH, when you have located a District that looks promising, they are obliged to provide appropriate services for you and for you.

I would do a lot of googling and research online. There are probably many local ASD parents' groups where posters would have the lowdown on better SN Districts. Not all Districts are created equal, since property taxes in each one contribute to the funding of the schools.

AlpacaMyBags Wed 24-Jun-15 02:27:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Laptopwieldingharpy Wed 24-Jun-15 05:56:30

here is something that might reassure you

Autismspeaks is a great resource. Go to the homepage and browse through

Buttercup2926 Wed 24-Jun-15 16:11:06

Thank you very much for all the replies, the info is much appreciated. It all sounds quite hopeful. I've got contact details for a few schools districts and I'm going to email them to check what their policies are. It was such a long, difficult road to get a diagnosis here and the battle for services is still ongoing. The thought of doing it again in a new country seems quite overwhelming but from the sounds of it there may be more services available in the US.

AcrossthePond55 Wed 24-Jun-15 16:18:58

In some areas it is possible to attend a school outside your school boundary if it can be proven that school's services are demonstrably better suited for your child's needs. It's called an 'inter- or intra-district transfer'. Be sure you ask if it's allowed when you ask about services.

mathanxiety Wed 24-Jun-15 18:44:29

That is true but such provision is often a faff to arrange. I have a friend whose child attends a private therapeutic centre instead of the Special Ed provision at the local high school or the usual alternative service providers the district offers. It is paid for by the school district, but it took them a long time to prove the necessity, as there is money involved.

I also know people who lived in a poorer school district who moved to a far smaller home in the one I live in just in order to avail of good SN provision for one of their children -- think moving from a 4 bedroom house with a garden to a poky three bedroom third floor walkup apartment surrounded by a carpark.

You are better off finding a district whose SN programmes are well regarded and doing your utmost to find somewhere to live within that School District. Be aware that your child may need SN provision in high school too, so be careful that the high school district your child would be in is also well regarded.

I suspect school districts will provide their own diagnosis and placement/IEP write up, but this should be done as a matter of course and you will not have to bang on doors or write begging letters. I had DD4 assessed for dyslexia just by filling out a form I printed off the elementary school district's site, and at the time DD4 was attending a private school.

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