Can anyone help me know what help is offered for my 5 year old with Autism
We are relocating next month to STT. We are in California, where my son with Autism has an aid as well as Occupational Therapy. Can anyone tell me what services are offered on the island? He is high functioning, but needs redirection often, something I am not sure will go over well without an aid or at least teachers who deal with this often and understand the disorder. I can't reach anyone by email or phone that can give me a direct answer as of yet.
I talked to the nicest woman at Antilles that said they do have some kids with special needs, none who have a full time aid. He could deal with that, if the teacher can deal with assisting him more than the other kids part of the time, if he needs redirection.
Any input would be very appreciated.
Moving here with a child with special needs is a crap shoot. I would have suggested a 2-3 week pre-move visit when you had time to explore all your options, but you're moving in less than a month. IMO, private school is going to be a must, at least for this child. And even then, I don't think you will find the same level of service you had in the US. Only you can decide if this will be sufficient for your child.
Bring all your kids school records and you should be able to get them into school pretty quickly.
As a teacher and a parent of a student on the autism spectrum(Aspergers) I have some experience with your concerns. Unfortunately, the news is not very encouraging if you want to hear the TRUTH about services for students with disabilities in the VI. Although more highly regarded by the general public, most private schools usually do not have the personnel to accommodate specials needs. If your child has an IEP, the public school system is required to provide services.
The special education department has a backlog of cases and often is lacking in personnel. In fact, for the sake of expediency I had to have my testing done at my own expense stateside. Then armed with my paperwork I battled my way through the system from grade 1-12 to make sure all of my child's needs were met. (Knowledge is power) Of course, I must add that my situation was a few years ago (my child has just completed college).
Over the pass few years, it seems that there has been an awakening on the topic of autism and the related spectrum disorders here in the VI. The university even holds yearly conferences on autism to raise awareness of those in the special education field as well as all interested community members.
The State office of special education can be reached at 340 774-4399, they are the ones who would be responsible for assisting you. I hope this has been somewhat helpful.
This topic speaks to me. I have the same questions asutfin. I would love to move to St. Thomas but my concern more important than any other is social services for a person with a disability. My son is older--he will be 21. He has developmental disabilities and needs supportive programs throughout his life. I'm living on Long Island NY and my son is in the greatest career development program Nassau County has to offer. NY has a whole offers amazing Vocational and Educational programs for people with disabilities. I moved to Long Island from Queens NY because of the opportunities. My fear is my son will not have the same opportunities for supported employment and housing (group home?) day programs, etc. on VI. He is quite independent but still needs some assistance in the community. Is there anyone out there on VI with a child or adult son or daughter with a disability? Good Luck asutfin!!!! Thank you so much for bringing attention to this topic.
Try these contact numbers.
?For more information on the Virgin Islands Autism Network and Parent Support Groups, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 626-3330 Gerri Hanna: email@example.com or 692-1919.
The events are co- sponsored by V.I. Association of Psychologists (CEUs offered (full day attendance required)"