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Abu Dhabi Woman
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desertdune

School For Children With Special Needs?

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Hi everyone !

I am presently vacationing in Dubai and will be visiting Abu Dhabi as well . My husband has a long term work assignment in Abu Dhabi and I'll be joining him with our son around March next year . I have never stayed outside the states except for vacations and I'm a bit apprehensive especially since our 4 year old is autistic . Are there any good schools for children with special needs ?

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Desert dune, I was hoping some of the moms with special needs children would respond to your question, but I think they just have missed the post. I would think long and hard before moving here with a special needs child. I have a daughter with what I consider to be relatively minor struggles in math and getting support has been challenging. The parents I know with special needs children face schools that have extremely limited ability to cater to this population. I would be surprised to learn any of the schools here could realistically meet your sons needs. The ones who would be willing to try might require a dedicated shadow teacher (salary paid for out of your pocket on top of school fees). If your child needs true, significant support, do a good bit of homework on whether schools here will even consider letting him in before you commit to/make a move. As most are not equipped to handle it, most simply don't admit children who fall into many special needs categories. Hope that helps and sorry my news isn't better... Sigh.

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My little girl has special needs (physical disabilities) and I would definitely think twice about moving here or doing lots of research if you do. Dubai is better than Abu Dhabi but here in AD especially, resources are very scarce and there is no automatic 'system' to help guide you for the best options for your child. You really are 'alone' so to speak. There are parent-led support groups and FB groups etc to give assistance but nothing official. As Me says above, if you require a shadow teacher (as we will) you will most probably have to source and pay for one yourself. Also, depending on where your child is on the spectrum you may have difficulty getting him into any sort of mainstream school. There are a couple of special needs schools but I'm not sure how much of an option they are. Other parents of autistic children may be able to help you out with their experiences. Sorry again that it's not a very positive response, but it is a realistic one.

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Ditto what BritNic and MEintheME have said. My mums ex boss (he was an ex-high school principal) moved here with his family including an Autistic son a couple of years ago. He soon discovered much to their dismay that there was not the support/infrastructure here in schools for his son. They returned home. To date, I do not believe this situation has changed. Sorry to be another negative poster... Best wishes

Edited by Khalifa Kiwi

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My son is 7 and dyslexic, and we're contemplating the move. If we'd be willing to pay for extra support are there any American schools that tend to be more willing to work with you? 

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