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General Discussion >> Best and Worst States for Autism Services

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New Member

Reged: 02/23/07
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More about Ohio on the list
      #384 - 02/23/07 04:08 PM

I was amazed to find Ohio listed as one of the top states for autism services because we have found that this state looks great on paper but does not turn out great in real life.

The Ohio Autism Waiver looks real good, but don't expect to get it. There is a very long waiting list, which must be renewed every year in the county where you're living. Plus, the list is based not only on how long you have been waiting but also the severity of the disability. One parent in our area was very hopeful when her child was number 23 on the list last year, but then she got a dose of reality to find that her child was number 26 this year.

The Ohio Autism Scholarship Program is something that doesn't work because the school district you live in still has to do the IEP. They don't like it when the money from their district goes to some scholarship program rather than to their school district, so there isn't a lot of cooperation. The other side of this is that there are very few schools which participate in the program, so there are not too many options for parents to use this scholarship.

We are thrilled that the Autism Society of Ohio has been able to get the state to offer specialty license plates in Ohio, but that doesn't offer us any services. We have had Autism Awareness Ribbons on our cars for many years now. I'm not putting down the Autism Society of Ohio, but after living in North Carolina and Florida I can tell you that those state autism societies gave far more support groups and advice for when dealing with unfamiliar bureaucracies.

The Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism is located in the northeastern section of the state and Ohio is a big state. This is not a state-wide program, especially for those who live in the southwestern part of the state. There is a center for autism in the southwestern part of the state, but we know from personal experience that there is a 3 month waiting list for appointments and they have stated that they are unwilling to go more than 2 counties away to provide services.

The booklet that you refer to as the comprehensive overview is a very well done booklet and before we moved to Ohio we found that on the Internet and thought that this would mean good things for us here. But it is only on paper. The booklet itself has a disclaimer ("These guidelines are not a standard of education for individuals with ASD/PDD in Ohio.") and we have found that both the school system and the MRDD system ignore most of the good things in that booklet.

Real life in Ohio is quite different from what we see on paper. I certainly hope that nobody looks at your list and decides to move to Ohio based on your number four rating.

Bob Ashburn
Dayton, Ohio

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Senior Member

Reged: 11/30/05
Posts: 69
Re: More about Ohio on the list [Re: Ashburn]
      #455 - 05/18/07 10:47 AM

AutismkKey.com received the following email today regarding Ohio:

To Whom it May Concern:

Please be advised that Ohio does not at this time have an autism specific waiver. Autism services can be obtained currently under some of the other waivers, however.

But we do have the following which adds to our autism services:

Bittersweet Farms - farmstead community for adults with autism. Offers a residential and day progarm. Works with area schools on transition. www.bittersweetfarms.org

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) - created by the Ohio General Assembly as a project of the Ohio Department of Education - Office for Exceptional Children. OCALI has spearheaded efforts to create a parent's manual, transition guidelines and regional collaboration. They are doing educational professional training and a multitude of other types of training. They are co-hosting the 2007 NATTAP Conference with the Autism Society of America. Services database, lending library, events calendar available on their webpage www.ocali.org.

Nisonger Center, Ohio State University, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities provides a wealth of services for persons with autism. http://nisonger.osu.edu/

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Childrens Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Kelly O'Leary Center is also a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities providing a wealth of services for persons with autism. http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/svc/alpha/k/pervasive-disorders/


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Reged: 05/19/07
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Re: More about Ohio on the list [Re: Administrator]
      #456 - 05/19/07 12:24 PM

Our experiences in securing appropriate services for our 11-year old son in Ohio with PDD-NOS and ADHD has been nothing short of a struggle every step of the way. As an informed parent and special education advocate, no matter what it always comes down to money. School funding is a huge issue in Ohio. Regardless of what the law says (and it is necessary to come prepared knowing your rights), the schools never offer anything that you don't demand. We've come to studying case law in order to secure the many services we have received for our son - as the school would rather pay the cost of the service than the cost of due process. My best advice if you're considering a move to Ohio is to get involved with your local SERRC (Special Education Regional Resouce Center)and the OCECD (Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities)- and KNOW THE LAW! Our kids are entitled to so much more than they actually receive - and the fight just should not be so hard! Regarding specific schools for kids with autism in the Cleveland area, The Monarch School ($60,000 per year) and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism (long waiting list) have excellent reputations, but they typically do not serve higher functioning kids.

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Reged: 12/17/07
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Re: More about Ohio on the list [Re: alh]
      #622 - 12/30/07 03:33 PM

From my experience with Ohio schools, they have a comprehensive program for children with autism which includes mainstreaming in public schools as well as having their own personal aids to make sure that they are coping without difficulty.

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