Best state for special ed services?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by ZoomZoomZOOM, May 25, 2010.

  1. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    May 25, 2010

    My husband and I are already thinking about retirement (in 15 years or so) and have decided to move out of IL. Special ed services suck here and we want our son taken care of after we pass. When I say that services suck here, I mean that there's a list approx 17k deep for group homes, and that's for a group home that is barely adequate. We also went to a trust seminar where the guy basically told us Illinois was #47 on the list of "states with best resources for kids with disabilities." :( Problem is, he didn't tell us what #1 was! I'm wondering if it's CA. Does anyone know?? I tried to google it but couldn't even find the list this guy was talking about.
     
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  3. Missy9779

    Missy9779 New Member

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    May 25, 2010

    Zoom Zoom Zoom.....I finally joined to be able to chat on here. I read the posts quite often because I am a life skills teacher and you all have some wonderful ideas! I teach in PA and I know that we also don't have a great funding source for group homes. However, I will say that there are a lot of great community agencies here for adults and students with disabilities.
     
  4. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    May 25, 2010

    :welcome: Missy - glad to have you! My city has two pretty good orgs for kids with disabilities. I'm just looking for the best of the best, I guess.
     
  5. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 25, 2010

  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    May 25, 2010

    Unrelated, but for mental health care, NJ is one of the top states:
    http://www.nmha.org/go/state-ranking

    Ranking on states + DC for medicaid services for people with disabilities:
    http://medicaid.ucp.org/map.php

    Illinois is #48 (Only Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi are worse)

    Best is Arizona, then Vermont, and then New Hampshire.

    Illinois facts = http://medicaid.ucp.org/stats.php?state=IL

    California Facts = http://medicaid.ucp.org/stats.php?state=CA

    California is #5

    Hm. My state (NJ) is #24. That sounds about right :p

    They rank stuff like:
    Percent in Large State Facilities (16+ residents)
    Number of Large State Facilities
    Residents at Large State Facilities

    Along with safety and quality

    And how big the waiting lists are (In NJ, the waiting list is 4649 whereas in CA it is nothing) for residential services.

    Special needs services blog post - http://wachbrit.typepad.com/special_needs_planning/2006/03/statebystate_be.html
     
  7. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    May 25, 2010

    NJ is lightyears behind other states for special education, merely because of the attitude that out of district placements are better than in-district placements (because they "cost" more). The public schools don't want the kids because they've been sent out of district for years, and it's impossible to get them to change their minds to include them in classes, allow them on field trips, etc. This is not just my district but many districts around me.

    Guess it's all relative, but I don't think that's a good attitude to have. In this day and age, we should be figuring out how to better spend our education dollars and include these students within their own communities and schools.

    I don't know anything about group homes.

    We've got a pretty awesome special olympics program, though. (I might be biased, though).
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    May 25, 2010

    OOD placement in my mind is something that should be tried after a few years in a public placement (Except in the cases of moderate to severe MR). If the school is unable to fulfill the needs of a child by around third grade (and show adequate progress), I think that out of district placement should be explored.

    With me, when my parents applied to the sped preschool in my LEA, they initially offered to just send me out of district, because they didn't want to deal with all of my disabilities (At age 4, I had age equivalent motor skills of a 2 year old along with ability to verbalize as well as a two year old). My parents insisted that I be placed in the public preschool.
     
  9. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    May 25, 2010

    Thanks for all the info bros. Exactly what I was after. Arizona, eh...?
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    May 26, 2010

    The blog post highlights some important bits. Such as that you want to research the overall quality of the facilities in the state. CA might be the best in having no wait list, but they rank right in the middle at 25 for "all those served receiving protection from abuse services" whereas Arizona ranks #2.

    Look at the subranks in the page I linked to.

    Arizona spends $78,025 per resident in an Intermediate Care Facility for MR, which ranks 47th.

    The Northeast has the highest concentration of top states from looking at the chart.

    I would say NJ or CA might be good bets, as both of those states have great hospitals. (NJ has... 14 major hospital systems I believe. All of which provide incredible service)
     
  11. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

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    Jun 3, 2010

    As such things go, Nebraska isn't bad (and I write that having worked in the field of adult services for individuals with disabilities here, as well as having consulted in a number of other states). There is a caveat to that though--the state hospital (Beatrice State Developmental Center) has been and is still undergoing some major turmoil. That should be resolved in the next year or two.

    A lot will depend on your son's needs. If group home placement is likely, you'll want to look at size of group homes and areas of specialization; staff that is well-trained for the specific population served can do a much better job of meeting an individual's needs than can a generalized staff in a large generalized home.

    Similarly, look at vocational/day services: look at options for appropriate placements based on abilities and needs, whether or not they actually have a program (some states seem to rely on whatever contract work falls their way, and spend the rest of the time coloring pictures and napping), and options throughout the lifespan.

    Think about quality of life issues too--opportunities for social interaction with peers and the general public, hobbies (I don't care what anyone says, TV IS NOT A HOBBY :eek:), vacations, leisure in general.

    One option for you might be to select a few states that look good and then contact the parents' groups in those states to learn more specifics about the state and the way things work there.

    Good luck, you picked a great time to start looking--15 years will let you check things out thoroughly!

    Jim
     
  12. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jun 3, 2010

    Thanks for the feedback, Jim. I appreciate it.
     
  13. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

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    Jun 3, 2010

    You're welcome, ZoomZoomZOOM.

    Almost as a hobby, I design classes and workshops/inservices--even get to teach them occasionally! :D Currently I'm working on one with the working title of, "A Parent's Introduction to Special Ed," and another to help MDTs and IEP teams understand some of the issues with transition from school to community.

    After that, I'm going to do one to help parents with issues in long-term planning for their kids. Would you like to be one of my beta-testers?
     

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