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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. New here. My husband was contacted about a job opportunity and has an interview on 10/30! It came somewhat out of the blue, so we are in a bit of a state of shock. I know it's only an interview, but they reached out to him to apply for the job just last week and stated that he needed to apply via their site and they would then like to set up an interview. He applied and received an email yesterday about an interview.

So I've been trying to do some research (I'm a planner ;) ) and I'm at a little bit of a loss. We've got 3 sons, and the older two are in school already. Ages 11 and 8. They are both academically advanced, skipped a grade at their current (charter) school - we are in US - and the oldest has actually tested even higher above grade level and the younger is at or above his grade level. They are currently in 7th grade and 4th grade. Everything I see on all the school sites say they have to be a certain minimum age to be in the grade. That would put them back a grade, but they would be very very bored. Also the older boy has a diagnosis of Asperger's/mild to moderate Autism (depending on who you ask - school testers met him for one hour on an "off" day when he was distracted and had never met them before said mild to moderate and several doctors have said asperger's with adhd symptoms as well) and while he has an IEP, he is in a regular education classroom - non-rotating as the school has too many in the grade to have 3 separate rotating sections for 7th grade - and has no academic goals, only social or behavioral (frustration and anxiety based, always towards self, never others) goals. He does have the option to take the standardized test one on one with extra time (although I don't think he necessarily needs this, it's written in as an option). He has also recently started medication to help with anxiety and we are seeing alot of change in how he's handling situations at home and school.

I guess my questions are: Can they test the kids and put them in the grade they are currently in or would go into if they stayed in their current school? Meaning my 11yr old (July birthday) could stay in 7th this year, go to 8th next year (US grades) and 8 yr old (May birthday) could stay in 4th, go to 5th next year? Or would they have to go back/stay back a grade? Anybody have any experience with this? I'm not even sure if this is the right place to ask. Sorry :eek:

And since my oldest is technically special needs and has an IEP, would he even be able to go to any of the schools? or since he is in regular ed with very minimal supports would he be allowed? Any experience or point of view would be greatly appreciated! :confused:

This will definitely make a difference as to whether we would continue the process and even bother with the interview. We want to experience new things and give our sons opportunities we haven't had and that's why we are even considering this! Thanks for any help!
 

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Hi,
To be honest, I think your boys are going to struggle to reach their potential here in Dubai.
Three problems that I can see - 1) Limited number of schools here with US curriculum - especially ones that can accommodate bright children 2) Less flexible rules regarding advancing by one year 3) Very poor special needs provision.
I really think that the above would prove to be a huge barrier to moving here from your current location - especially if your boys are currently settled and being properly educated, according to their talents and special needs.
Cheers
Steve
 

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Wow. Where do I start.. I hv two teenage boys. My 9th grader has Asperges. I have been seeking schools for six months and finally in Sept not one school accepted my son , either full or they don't accommodate. My son like yours had an IEP in a mainstream school. I left two weeks ago came back to USA, hubby stayed behind with hopes of school next year

I will just give u the list of schools that have such support, u might be luckier than I am in regards to space. I'm not sure what ur budget is, but we decided the sky is the limit for our son yet we had no luck

JBS has support: approx 65,000dhs p year

DUbai American Academy: 67,000 dhs

There are some sixth form schools (UK 12 ye system) Gems Wellington Silcon oasis

If you want American schools (12 yr systems) there are only a handful. (ASD, Universal American, DAA..) Also know that every school will ask for an assessment and application fee no less than $150 each whether they get accepted or not. All UK curriculums are 13 year systems. So if your child just finished grade 6, he will be grade 7 in a 13 year system (7 more years of school)

Please visit

www.khda.gov.ae/en/

The list of practically all schools and thier ratings
Open up thier reports and look for the Special Education section on each report.

I don't want to depress you or anything, but you will definite NOT find the same support as he has in USA. But look at the lists on khda site and call them directly. Plus if you have any luck please let me know bcuz I visited about 38 schools.

Best of Luck
 

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Not sure about Dubai but over here in Fujairah there is a school for disabled students right next to all of the other schools. One of those seems like the best option for support over here.
 

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There's a thread 'somewhere' on here started by Mitchell's Mom concerning her son and his experiences in the best known US curriculum school here. Of course, one can't say that his experiences are typical but they may make interesting reading for you and give you some background information. The other thing you could do is to contact Dubai Autism Centre to see if they can offer any advice that may help for your son who suffers from Aspergers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all very much! I really appreciate it. We are talking about everything and I will look over the school info a little closer. I will say that he really doesn't get many supports at school. He goes one hour a week at most (out of 37.5 hours in their school week) to the school psychologist to work on eye contact (which is not really needed as he's usually really good about looking at people in conversations) , personal space, and appropriate conversation - he doesn't have the same filter as most people and can be very blunt! - and he only leaves the room for the standardized tests to do them in a separate room with just adults supervision because he tends to rush through to do something else or gets distracted by others or wants to help others ;) He has an option for speech to help with the communication skills but nothing else. Those are all the things in his IEP. Really not much.

Of course the other thing being I really would hate to make them GI back a grade or be held back to their "typical" grade as that would end up causing more problems in the long run :)

I am curious how people go about finding other expat jobs. We've only come across jobs in Dubai/ UAE and KSA. My husband is currently a site manager for the aviation maintenance for a contractor for CBP/DHS and was previously an A&P mechanic with an IA, primarily with experience on rotary wing aircraft - he still holds both. Any suggestions?
 

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BedouGirl said:
There's a thread 'somewhere' on here started by Mitchell's Mom concerning her son and his experiences in the best known US curriculum school here. Of course, one can't say that his experiences are typical but they may make interesting reading for you and give you some background information. The other thing you could do is to contact Dubai Autism Centre to see if they can offer any advice that may help for your son who suffers from Aspergers.
I contacted the Dubai Autiism Center when I was there. It wasn't any help really. They told me to get a more updated Evaluation (no problem) but if schools are full then they are full, that we came too late. They told me to go to Nour special Ed School, I will not do that bcuz my son has been in mainstream schools since Preschool. It is hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I contacted the Dubai Autiism Center when I was there. It wasn't any help really. They told me to get a more updated Evaluation (no problem) but if schools are full then they are full, that we came too late. They told me to go to Nour special Ed School, I will not do that bcuz my son has been in mainstream schools since Preschool. It is hard.
I know exactly what you mean! My son spent 1 year in a special school ( he switched to 1st grade there in november and THEY were the ones who decided he should be moved up a grade and put him in second by the end of Dec that year) and only because our public schools really really were bad where we lived and the Catholic school we started him in that year decided they couldn't "help" him... When we moved to a different state, the old school's director said he should definitely go to a mainstream school in a regular end classroom and that's where he's been, 4 full years and counting. No way we plan to basically go backwards.
 

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Yup. Exactly.

Just call and try the ones I listed in my previous post and look into the khda site. Dedicate a day when you can call them. Also know that Fridays are off there.

Ask questions like:
Do you have availability first?
Tuition fees
Curriculum
Ask if it's a 12 yr system
Be sure to tell them ur coming from a 12 yr system.
Then after you are satisfied with these questions

Ask if they have special education... You'll be asked what kind.

Every school hv thier own terminology on special ed aka Learning support aka Inclusion department aka SED. So be sure u let them know.

Then you'll be asked to fill out the online application. From now have e-copies of all docs it wil be easier to send later on. (Passport, immunisation cards, report cards, pics,)

Whatever u need let me know. I'm totally empathising with u. I'm seeking schools again from now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yup. Exactly.

Just call and try the ones I listed in my previous post and look into the khda site. Dedicate a day when you can call them. Also know that Fridays are off there.

Ask questions like:
Do you have availability first?
Tuition fees
Curriculum
Ask if it's a 12 yr system
Be sure to tell them ur coming from a 12 yr system.
Then after you are satisfied with these questions

Ask if they have special education... You'll be asked what kind.

Every school hv thier own terminology on special ed aka Learning support aka Inclusion department aka SED. So be sure u let them know.

Then you'll be asked to fill out the online application. From now have e-copies of all docs it wil be easier to send later on. (Passport, immunisation cards, report cards, pics,)

Whatever u need let me know. I'm totally empathising with u. I'm seeking schools again from now.
Thanks. I will start calling around soon. Since we aren't even sure what the deal is with the interview/job offer, I may wait a little longer. Also it may actually be in Abu Dhabi, which would obviously change things about what schools to contact.

And this is going to sound silly, but I hadn't even thought about passports, immunizations, etc! We've never been out of the country as a family, and the boys have never had passports :eek: I think mine's expired even, I had it before we were married and never renewed or changed my name on it because I never thought about needing it! Guess I should get on that... Also one of our boys we've delayed immunizations for now (he's had none and is 21months), as well as delaying any future ones for the other two (they are up to date as of start of school, but I think they are supposed to get some at age 12). How will that affect things? Do they have to be immunized to go at all, or just before school? If we decided to not stay until the youngest started kindergarten - we'd skip preschool as we did with the other 2 as I'm a stay at home mom and wife - could we avoid the immunizations for him? I only ask because it's a very personal decision for us, not because of our oldest's Asperger's (most people assume that when we tell them). Also because we've moved to 3 different states and several doctors, some of the 11 and 8 year olds records are missing or incomplete and we may not have proof of some of their immunizations even though I know they got all of them. :(
 

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The immunisations are needed for schools abroad. if your spouse gets job I would suggest he go alone and you and kids go via winter break, the schools there hv winter break but different dates, they return by feb some by jan.
paperwork means alot over there. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Probably would have to do that anyway as we would have to sell our house. Though I'm not sure about flying that far by myself with 3 kids... ;)
 
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