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  • Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

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    Old 12-07-2004, 06:47 AM   #1
    KBM
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    Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

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    Hi..........I am new to the message board and I am hoping there are some people out there that might have some information for me that might stear me in the right direction.

    I presently live in Brooklyn, New York and am looking to move to New Jersey. My older daughter Kristen has Down Syndrome, she is 14 years old. I have two other children 10 and 5 years old.

    I am aware that things are very different from New York when it comes to services for people with disabilities. I am getting a strong sense that she will be waiting a long time on a waiting list for all the things she has here in New York. One of my main concerns is where the best place to move for Kristen will be as well as good schools for my other two children.

    She will most likely go to a vocational school rather than a High School. Anyone from Monmouth County or Middlesex Country that has any info that would be helpful. I know my other two children will fit in where ever we go but I would like Kristen to have some recreational activities and have things to do other than school.

    Hope we are doing the right thing by moving.............would like to hear from others that live in New Jersey and have disabled children and have gone down that road. It would be a plus if you live in Monmouth County or Middlesex County. Thanks!

    Last edited by KBM; 12-07-2004 at 06:48 AM.

     
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    Old 12-10-2004, 12:26 PM   #2
    LondonZ
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    I lived in Southern NJ and there was a very good school "St. John of God" My parents tried to get my brother in the school but he was not toilet trained at that time and did not qualify. The school had an excelled reputation at that time, for being a very good school for retarded children. My parents were very disappointed that my brother did not get in but we worked on toilet training him so that eventually he could attend that school.. I don't know if they have branches of the school in north Jersey.

     
    Old 12-10-2004, 01:08 PM   #3
    KBM
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Thanks for your repley I will surely keep the name "St. John of God" in my mind. How long ago was this? You didn't say how old your brother was.

     
    Old 12-24-2004, 03:37 AM   #4
    Jensmom
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Hi:

    My daughter is now 23 years old but we lived in NJ for 4 years while she was 14 - 18. She attended ECLC which is located in Chatham. There is also a branch of this school up in Bergen county. We were VERY pleased with the school and her progress there. She had the opportunity to do many school activities, basketball, cheerleading, afterschool activities as well as work experiences. It is a school totally for disabled kids. NJ is different than NY in that they have free standing schools for the disabled. I might suggest that you visit this school, they are very open to talking with you about if this is the right place for your daughter. Then when you look for a house, you just need to check with the school district and see if the "send" children to ECLC. You don't have to live in Chatham to have your daughter attend school there. Also if you ask the folks at ECLC about specific towns, they will let you know if they have other students from there. It is a bit confusing initially. It was the best choice we ever made for Jennifer, I was very sad when we had to leave that area.

    Also, NJ special olympics has many many activities for our kids. Make sure you locate your county reps and get her involved in that as well. Jen made many good friends through special olympics.

    Let me know if I can be of further help to you. We loved NJ!
    Sarah

     
    Old 12-26-2004, 12:46 PM   #5
    LondonZ
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    My brother died in 1966 he was 8 years old at the time. I believe the school is still there and has a very good reputation as far as I know. I hope you find a good school in the area you are moving.

     
    Old 01-02-2005, 06:15 PM   #6
    yort44
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Not sure if you were looking for a full inclusive environment or not, but assuming you were--

    The best choices for a full-inclusion environment (same class, not special classes) for public schools in NJ based on our research (from the last few years) are:

    Clinton Township
    East Hanover
    Howell
    Cherry Hill
    Montclair
    Belvidere
    Westfield
    Metuchen
    ECLC (Chatham--specialty school)

    Stay away from***:

    Sayreville
    Jackson
    Monroe
    Holmdel (great for your other kids though)

    **this is going back a few years, but these townships basically requested we NOT move to their town as our special child would be bused outside of district.

    FYI--NJ is dead last in rankings (including DC and PR) when it comes to full inclusion of special children (Vermont, Colorado and Maryland are tops), but overall it is definitely improving.

    After 2 years of research, we ended up in Clinton Township as we found it to be best. A catch-22 unfortunately, as everyone else did too and now the district is quite burdened.

    All info of course, just my opinion. Good luck.

     
    Old 01-06-2005, 06:48 AM   #7
    KBM
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Thanks Jensmom for your information. Just curious what does the initials ECLC stand for? Unfortunately Chatham (happens to be where my cousin lives) and Bergen County are very far from where we are looking to move. It seems we are leaning towards Manalapan or Freehold township which is in Monmouth County. For the last 12 years she has been traveling to schools that are not near us. We want to avoid that from happening at our new home. However, being that it has been some time ago I will call to find out if they possibly opened up a branch in Monmouth County or at least closer than Bergen. Again thanks for the info and just let me know what ECLC stands for. It might be helpful when I'm trying to get the phone number. Thanks!

    Last edited by KBM; 01-06-2005 at 06:50 AM.

     
    Old 01-06-2005, 07:12 AM   #8
    KBM
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Hi Yort44 and thanks for your information. My daughter is not in an inclusion program. She functions within the moderate to mild range. She has benefited greatly from being in that type of class. She presently, for the last 3+ years has been learning functional academics and life skills along with training in several different jobs.
    She has been in regular public schools since 5 but in special ed classes.Thanks again!

     
    Old 01-07-2005, 10:11 PM   #9
    yort44
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Here's the website for the ECLC School in Chatham.

    Good luck.

    http://www.eclcofnj.org

     
    Old 01-17-2005, 08:09 AM   #10
    kellyp9989
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Hi, my name is Kelly and I live in South Jersey. My daughter will be 13 the end of this month and she has downsyndrome. She goes to St John of God. It is a wonderful school. I have to say that NJ really takes care of disabled children. I also have 2 other children one that is 14 and a 10 yr old. I am new to this site. If you need any other information maybe I can help you. My husband and I were thinking about moving to Fla, but we were afraid they wouldnt offer what we have here in NJ. I hear that NJ is one of the best states that really takes care of our children.

     
    Old 01-22-2005, 12:46 PM   #11
    yort44
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Kelly.

    I'm very happy that you've had very good experiences in NJ. While NJ does offer a good Special Education program, the problem is that they are for the most part separated from the main student body. While this may help them by keeping them within their intellectual peer group, unfortunately, it doesn't bode well for the very important other part of the educational experience--social skills with all peers and their ability to assimilate into a "main stream", real world environment. Lastly, it doesn't give the "typical" child the ability to learn that our special children really are children first, and special second. That's why inclusion ("main streaming") offers so many benefits to the child, from social acceptance to the joy of learning side by side with their classmates, albeit an altered curriculum on the same topic (ex--class may hear a story and do a book report and the main streamed child will have to list the animals that they've heard).

    Below is a copy of a report that I had done a few years back that listed each state in terms of acceptance of inclusive education. If you'd like to know where NJ ranks, it may be quickest to start at the end.

    Good luck
    yort44

    Rank Rank Inclusion Score Inclusion Score



    2 1 Vermont 2.68 3.06

    1 2 Massachusetts 2.88 2.94

    3 3 Wyoming 2.25 2.34

    4 4 Idaho 1.84 1.87

    17 5 Montana 1.43 1.85

    16 6 Minnesota 1.45 1.78

    8 7 Kentucky 1.71 1.77

    39 8 Texas 1.07 1.76

    15 9 Washington 1.51 1.75

    7 10 Nebraska 1.71 1.74

    6 11 Arkansas 1.71 1.70

    5 12 New Hampshire 1.72 1.66

    10 13 Iowa 1.59 1.59

    12 14 Oklahoma 1.55 1.56

    9 15 North Carolina 1.60 1.55

    13 16 South Dakota 1.55 1.54

    11 17 Maine 1.59 1.53

    21 18 Oregon 1.40 1.49

    31 19 Georgia 1.24 1.48

    20 20 Alaska 1.42 1.48

    22 21 North Dakota 1.38 1.47

    18 22 Alabama 1.42 1.44

    14 23 Tennessee 1.52 1.40

    19 24 South Carolina 1.42 1.37

    26 25 Wisconsin 1.30 1.31

    23 26 Utah 1.38 1.31

    25 27 New Mexico 1.36 1.31

    27 28 Puerto Rico 1.29 1.30

    9 29 Mississippi 1.26 1.28

    30 30 Colorado 1.25 1.27

    32 31 Hawaii 1.21 1.25

    28 32 Delaware 1.27 1.25

    24 33 West Virginia 1.38 1.23

    34 34 Virginia 1.20 1.22

    33 35 Kansas 1.21 1.21

    37 36 Pennsylvania 1.09 1.17

    36 37 Ohio 1.11 1.15

    43 38 Connecticut 1.01 1.07

    35 39 Arizona 1.12 1.06

    40 40 Missouri 1.05 1.05

    42 41 Indiana 1.03 1.03

    41 42 Michigan 1.05 .99

    45 43 Louisiana .92 .95

    38 44 Nevada 1.08 .95

    46 45 Rhode Island .88 .91

    44 46 California .97 .90

    48 47 Florida .84 .88

    50 48 Maryland .81 .83

    49 49 Illinois .81 .82

    47 50 D.C. .86 .76

    51 51 New York .73 .73

    52 52 New Jersey .58 .55

     
    Old 01-22-2005, 04:44 PM   #12
    KBM
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    Re: Daugher has DS / Moving to New Jersey

    Hi Kelly........Your are the second person to mention St. John of God. What county is it in? How far south do you live? Sounds like a great school. I am especially happy to hear how happy you are in New Jersey. What you said about wanting to move to "Florida" but were afraid that they wouldn't have all that New Jersey offers her..............thats how I felt/feel about New Jersey. When I started getting information I actually got very depressed because it seemed so different from New York. A 14 page booklet I received from someone was the most disturbing to me. The booklet is entitled "New and Expanded Options for New Jersey's Consumers with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families. All in all this was the information that threw me into a depression for a week or so. I get some services in my home now for her through "Medicaid Waiver". Would not be able to afford to pay for the services she has in the home and services she receives at local centers. One person I spoke to I believe at the DDD said there is no waiver program at this time. Does your daughter receive any additional services? Look foward to hearing from you.............Karen

     
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