OMG!!! I am sooooo happy. (yes I know nothing is perfect, and yes there are the same negatives that would be in any program with higher needs kids but......let me be happy for a minute here! I am really mostly happy because I did not ONCE get that stomach yuck feeling while I was there, not when kids were running in the hall, not when a wagon went by, not when I asked to use the restroom so got to wander myself and saw a staff walking with a clearly agitated young man talking about how the schedule had unexpectedly changed and that would bother anyone etc. This building is an old middle school with several gyms and a large training room and sensory rooms with quite sounds, swings, etc..... And this guy who goes out and trains other districts on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and brain injury was with us the whole time. He showed us his room, which he by the way gave up his next door office because the kid my law advocate placed there needed his own space so he is taught there now and two other kids were each on a computer and had their own office areas too.... And now I am not so worried about this Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) issue because here is what this district does: He enters the program and say would be placed with this guy (who would be great for Q by the way, he recently got five stitches from one of the kids and the next day they were back at it, he would never charge a kid because his quote "how stupid would that be....it is part of his disability" and by the way he is my age and so is a dinosaur in the schools but not too close to retirement to leave before Q even leaves transition age!. My legal advocate even WANTED them to do a unilateral placement on a kid a few years ago after he shoved a broom handle INTO and THROUGH a teacher and they refused, they said, this IS the last stop anyway...that would only add problems to the kids list being in a place like that. so..... as I said, HE enters the independent district and the home district can't say which class/specific program he is in, they would start him with this guy...and I would be fine with him being the main go to guy and class for Q. AND as I was asking for and hoping..... each of the other programs are used as is appropriate and the other two kids in that class are in and out all day depending on their needs (not the one in the small office). FIRST thing he showed me was three vocational skills programs they have and within those programs there are multiple skills and jobs they can learn from cutting out things to computer programming and running a for profit coffee shop. I asked what happens if a kid doesn't maintain cleanliness or can't do a job well, he said..well that is why it is a job training program...that is why they have job coaches...etc. DUH. Then he showed me the CIP program (autism) and the sun program (very low functioning autism) and two others and that venture program I liked is not there (they are more the high functioning aspie kids but with behaviors) but the new building??? they WILL be there next year. So, there are a ton of options a range of opportunities and they also do off site training and said they would be thrilled to use the therapeutic horse back riding program site. The district teacher asked a ton of questions and at the end said to me privately, I am going to tell sp ed director and coordinator that THIS would be a perfect setting for Q and it IS much better for him than the SUN2 program at our district.....LOL!!!!! I said, ok now be an administrator for a second....what here am I not seeing, what is the down side??? She said, the distance but that she was worried about that until she thought about Q who told me yesterday, "wait, would I have a long bus ride then" I said yes "well mom, then THAT is the school I want because then I can have even more time on the bus" and I agree. It is in the same city as the main therapy center from the chain he is going to now so it is NOTHING to switch him there. I asked about transportation, can the bus drop him off at therapy instead of home on therapy days??? YES! And truth is I can get his MA to pick him up at school on those days and he could ride a van from there to home so I would not even have to go to the therapy center.....but I probably would want to some days to connect with the therapists. OK back to the school. There are FIVE therapy dogs attached to staff. Those staff go and work with kids in crisis management and daily therapy. This buidling is very old but is set up nicely. During summer they will be moving to the new building which is about five minutes away. (and from me is 30 miles away, took me 35 minutes to get home). IT is HUGE, beautiful, and even more options will move into the building when they move there. I am so beside myself over the top excited. NOTHING in my gut felt badly. This guy was telling me things about brain injury and I pretended I knew nothing...he was RIGHT about everything. He was friendly, the principal started with us but left, she was hysterical and sweet. Deal done..... I want him to go there. Will the pull the rug out??? BETTER NOT! happy dance, happy day, happy happy mommy...... oh, and no small thing, the staff is diverse, the kids are mostly kids of color and on the one hand what does that say??? but from Q's perspective.... he will LOVE that.