Best Elementary / Middle Special Education Programs?

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We read lots about bad SPED programs in Chicago but now here's a chance to talk about good ones.  The mom of a 10 year old boy writes in that she's moving to Chicago and is looking for a strong special education program for her son, who's been diagnoses with Asperger's, a form of autism. 

What are the schools considered to have the best programs, despite the cuts and the craziness from OSS? 

Parents, teachers, community members -- help this mom out if you can.


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  • To paraphrase the only real advice my son's SPED attorney can give anymore: Stay out of Chicago.

    Sorry that is not much help, but there is no guarantee that OSS will even acknowledge that your child has autism.

    My son came into the district with an IEP of 1800 minutes. Without even meeting him, let alone evaluating him, the casemanager reduced it to 750 -- yup, not even half. Six+ years of horror followed, culminating in what may be my son's last week of school -- this week -- at least until I have a job elsewhere.

    But Im sounding off. Maybe Rod Estvan or a parent of an autistic child has some better news.

  • good comment -- thanks -- didn't aspergergs just get reclassified as autism spectrum in the new DSM? wonder if that will increase or decrease diagnoses and services those kids get in CPS or elsewhere.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I think they just began the review process for the next DSM. I doubt it will happen, though, because there are too many active parents already fighting that.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Any news about Hope Institute? They took over the old Spaulding building. I heard they work with Autistic children.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Hope Institute Learning Academy (HILA) has seen a decrease in administrative issues with the arrival of a new principal last month. My friends have a son there and they are quite pleased.

  • In reply to Cheesehead:

    We are currently with Hope and are trying to get out. They have my son in a program for children with behavioral issues when he has autism! I am trying to get him out but they claim they are following the IEP because it is sun by a special ed teacher. Its a very restricted environment where he is seeing other children screm and hit things while being put in a corner blocked by filing cabinets. So instead of us working on helping him, they are putting him in this room for the last month of the year. I would NOT reccommend this school to anyone.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    I forgot to mention that I live on the South Side and that, I have heard, the North Side has a lot more to offer students with special needs. I dont know, but I will say, stay clear of the South Side.

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