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Monday, July 10, 2017

Best NYC School Districts

In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  Autism parents have a surprisingly hard time finding out what schools are best for autistic children.  Why? IEPs are confidential.  Therefore special ed parents have a hard time identifying and reaching one another.  There are other organizational barriers as well:

First, parents might be leery of drawing public attention to their children's disabilities. In the case of high-functioning autism, the other kids will probably notice a difference without necessarily knowing the label.  Once the label is public, however, the child might be subject to more bullying.

Second, special ed parents might be reluctant to share information with one another.  Those who get a "good" IEP might worry that others will want the same deal and create a "run on the bank."

Third, organizing takes time, which is one thing that the parents of autistic kids and other special-needs students do not have.

Fourth, special needs are diverse.  The things that paraplegic kids need (e.g., wheelchair ramps) are totally different from autistic kids need (aides, communications devices).  A dollar that goes to one need is a dollar not available to another.  Even within the autism spectrum, there are diverse needs that might make it hard for parents to form a community of interest.

In this light, this blog post about the 7 Best School Districts in New York City for Autism is most unusual.
If you want to make sure that you will have plenty of schools which offer programs for children with autism in your district, take a look at this list of the best school districts in New York City for autism. New York City is divided into five boroughs and 32 geographic districts. Each district has its own superintendent and receives guidance from a council made up of parents and local representatives. There are around 750 attendance zones and families with children often choose where to buy an apartment according to desirable zones and districts. Clara Hemphill, the editor of a website Inside Schoolswhich provides details and statistics on every public school in New York City, stated that there was an enrollment boom in the most desirable school districts such as District 15 and District 2 and it declined in undesirable districts such as District 5 and District 16. Anyhow, New York City is generally a great place for children with special needs, including those with autism spectrum disorder. There are many great summer camps in the area and you can see the ones we recommend on our list of 10 best summer camps in New York for children with special needs.