Best School District for Special Education in Pre-School?

Hello,

I was hoping to hear some feedback about how well different local school districts have provided  preschool services for young children with autism or developmental delay/learning disabilities. We currently live in Oakland and would prefer to stay close by but are willing to move. 
 

The background: My 2-year old was recently diagnosed with Stage 1 autism spectrum disorder. We are tentatively covered for some services via Kaiser and are in the Early Start program through the regional center. However he may age out of the Early Start in the fall and we have been concerned about the level of care rationing and bureaucracy with Kaiser. We understand that after age 3 we may need to rely more on our school district.

Any advice, warnings or recommendations are welcome (autism-specific or not), particularly from folks who have experience with putting together an IEP in the area. Thank you!

Parent Replies

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I'm a bit biased because haha I work there, but I'm a big believer in berkeley unified's public preschool program. It's a partnership between the school district and the state, so you have highly qualified, unionized teachers. It's fully inclusive, so children with IEPs are either placed in the general education classrooms or in small classrooms taught by special education teachers which also have typically developing kids in them. You have to be a berkeley resident to get special education services there tho.

Good luck!