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Finding the perfect school for kids can be a daunting prospect for some parents. One thing to bear in mind is that there is simply no such thing as the perfect school. What you should really be looking for is the perfect school for your kids: which would be a school that will meet their needs, engage them, and cater to their particular strengths and interests.

What are your expectations?


Make a list of the type of education you want your child to receive, as well as the types of values and ideals you want the school to emphasize. This can be invaluable in selecting the right school.

Look for recommendations


It's a great idea to source perspectives from parents, as well as from students attending a particular school. You can search online to find valuable information and feedback, or simply use your existing friendship networks to get an idea of who is happy with the education being provided by a particular school, and why.

Visit the school


It's difficult to get a feel for a school without actually seeing it in person. While the grand private school down the road might seem impressive, or the local public school warm and friendly, it's hard to tell whether it's right for your kids without actually taking the time to check out the grounds and facilities, and chat to the teachers and staff. Open days and working bee days are great for doing this.

Children spend so many hours at school, and changing schools can be disruptive, so it’s worth being thorough when it comes to selecting a school.

So tell us how important is that to choose a right school for your kids and discuss about childcare issues and considerations you need to take care about.
 
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Right now, our biggest consideration is that DS has autism. I need to know how the school handles children with autism.

He just started the local public preschool - our town does pre-school by lottery, but since he has autism he was given automatic admittance. I was impressed that the teachers and staff have had at least 5 meetings with us the last 3 months to make sure he fit well with the program, modifications for him were acceptable and working.

My biggest concern is that he is really intelligent - his IQ tested at 112 when he was 3 years 2 months, but since he has issues focusing, the school said that his IQ was more likely in the 140-150 range. His autism impacts mainly his social skills, and I don't want to see his education held back because of that - i.e. - if he can do math on a 3rd grade level, I don't want to see him stuck in 1st grade doing 1st grade math because he has trouble making friends. One thing I love about their preschool program - called Tools of the Mind - is that it encourages kids to learn at their own pace and learn independently while working together.

Quite frankly, this is my biggest concern. I am really happy with the public preschool/primary school, but will re-evalutate when he gets older. He may need a different middle school or high school, since they don't have quite he same environment.

I also believe that there is no one school that can offer my son everything he needs. I would consider homeschooling, but I don't want the time commitment (I would need to quit my job) and I also really believe that because of his social skills, he is much better served being in a school with his peers. I already am working with him on reading and math (beyond what he gets in school), and as he gets older I plan on continuing to work with him on whatever he's interested in - kind of like the "un-schooling" movement.
 

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I know that here, you really don't get a choice unless your child started out at that school and can finish the year if you move. For example, since I live in Castleridge, my youngest goes to the school two blocks away. If I move to Pineridge, he'd have to go to Pineridge Community School. The only time that my oldest son gets a good choice of schools is because he's autistic. I know that in Edmonton, they'll bus him to the closest Interactions Program school for free. DS7 would have to walk to school.
 

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Right now, our biggest consideration is that DS has autism. I need to know how the school handles children with autism.

He just started the local public preschool - our town does pre-school by lottery, but since he has autism he was given automatic admittance. I was impressed that the teachers and staff have had at least 5 meetings with us the last 3 months to make sure he fit well with the program, modifications for him were acceptable and working.

My biggest concern is that he is really intelligent - his IQ tested at 112 when he was 3 years 2 months, but since he has issues focusing, the school said that his IQ was more likely in the 140-150 range. His autism impacts mainly his social skills, and I don't want to see his education held back because of that - i.e. - if he can do math on a 3rd grade level, I don't want to see him stuck in 1st grade doing 1st grade math because he has trouble making friends. One thing I love about their preschool program - called Tools of the Mind - is that it encourages kids to learn at their own pace and learn independently while working together.

Quite frankly, this is my biggest concern. I am really happy with the public preschool/primary school, but will re-evalutate when he gets older. He may need a different middle school or high school, since they don't have quite he same environment.

I also believe that there is no one school that can offer my son everything he needs. I would consider homeschooling, but I don't want the time commitment (I would need to quit my job) and I also really believe that because of his social skills, he is much better served being in a school with his peers. I already am working with him on reading and math (beyond what he gets in school), and as he gets older I plan on continuing to work with him on whatever he's interested in - kind of like the "un-schooling" movement.
I would check into applied behavioral therapy for your son. Contact both your local and national autism organizations. They have oooooodles of information on everything dealing with therapies both at home and at school.

If you want to work with him at home, there's a fantastic program that's used for kids with autism that my son had before. I know that IntlMom recommended something like that a while ago and it's a pretty good program. The name has slipped my mind and I'm sure if I go through all of DS12's IPP reports, I can find something about it.
 
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I would check into applied behavioral therapy for your son. Contact both your local and national autism organizations. They have oooooodles of information on everything dealing with therapies both at home and at school.

If you want to work with him at home, there's a fantastic program that's used for kids with autism that my son had before. I know that IntlMom recommended something like that a while ago and it's a pretty good program. The name has slipped my mind and I'm sure if I go through all of DS12's IPP reports, I can find something about it.

Thanks! I'm looking into a lot of options. I really like that the Tool of the Mind program was supported by a lot of special education teachers who see that it has a lot to offer autistic children.

As far as ABA - he does have 1 hour a week at preschool with the Austism specialist, and she uses mostly ABA techniques. He was just diagnosed this summer, and his case isn't very severe. He's already made really huge gains since going to preschool, so we've kind of decided we just want to leave things where they are for now. We may decide in the future to see additional therapy on our own, but it's so wonderful just to see all the gains he's made in the last few months, I don't want to interfere with that!
 
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