Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, It's ASD Time In the City
November 28, 2016 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Please cram my skull full of your experiences, info, and/or guidance about relocating from the suburbs to Philadelphia proper with my ASD/gifted/special-snowflake child. More inside.

- Wee Thumbscrew is 11 and has high-functioning ASD. He's also gifted. Both of these things are formally diagnosed. He has an IEP for both his ASD AND gifted-itude with his (public) school district (Central Bucks, FWIW).

- He's in sixth grade. He's been at his school since fifth. He kinda hates it there, although he's made a few friends in the neighborhood.

- We'll be looking to relocate to Philly proper (or as close as possible) within the next few months. We've never had to move in the middle of a school year before. We're moving because of [Reasons I Don't Wanna Discuss, But Please Know They're Non-Changeable].

- I know a LOT of Philly schools aren't great. I made a Google map of potential public/private/charter/parochial schools near our desired new location. It's here.

- Wee Thumbscrew is UNUSUALLY flexible for an ASD kid. He's pretty good about weathering transitions. But this is a reaaaally big one.

- We'll be renting, not buying, so we're flexible on our exact living location/neighborhood.

- We're not religious, but we're open to Catholic/religious schools in theory.

- My questions: 1. How DO you move into a weird, fragmented, seemingly-competitive school milieu in the middle of a school year? 2. How can I pick a school that will be a good fit for my weird, quirky little kid? 3. How can I make the transition as easy for him as possible (he's still not aware we're moving)? 4. Are private schools not an option for this year, considering we'd need financial aid and would've had to apply LAST year? 5. Are charter schools ALSO not an option, considering they operate on a lottery system? 6. Any other tips/tricks/warnings on making this move?
posted by julthumbscrew to Education (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
With regards to education, see if it's possible for him to get into J. R. Masterman to finish out middle school and possibly go through High School. It's a nationally regarded public Magnet School. Reach out to them directly and talk to the Philadelphia school district as well.
posted by SansPoint at 1:53 PM on November 28, 2016

3. How can I make the transition as easy for him as possible (he's still not aware we're moving)?

There is a large list of apps here (http://mtautism.opiconnect.org/2016/04/many-many-helpful-apps.html), some of which may help your son to prepare for the move, the idea of the move, the fear of the move and the resulting emotions.

(I have never been able to figure out hyperlinking on this site.)
posted by ITravelMontana at 5:25 PM on November 28, 2016

I'm afraid I don't know anything about most of your questions - I don't have kids, and my friends' kids are not yet school aged. I just wanted to report that I've heard positive things about Germantown Friends, and have the vague impression that it may be a more nurturing environment for a quirky kid than somewhere like Masterman, which I understand to be competitive. Again, I'm out of the loop and don't really know, but I'd nudge you to check out what the possibilities are with Friends.
posted by somedaycatlady at 10:48 PM on November 28, 2016

Sometimes private schools have openings mid-year that are hard for them to fill because people often don't want to switch their kids mid-year if they are already settled. So if you find a school you like, it is definitely worth calling to see if they have an openings.
posted by metahawk at 11:04 PM on November 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

If it were me I'd search for ASD-parent groups based in Philly on Facebook, join some and ask those parents. Those parents will know where copes best with your kid's specific difficulties, and which gifted programs are the best/most nurturing.

I'm not sure on the rest. I have 2 on the spectrum, one HF, one LF and I am living in this house, in this rainy part of the UK until I die! Lol!
posted by intergalacticvelvet at 1:58 PM on November 29, 2016

« Older Transit approved commuter mug - 12 oz. edition.   |   How "precise" is 23andme? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.