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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Sawyer

Relocating with Special Needs

As we’re all aware, “Special Needs” diagnoses are on the rise these days, and an increasing percentage of children in the U.S. and elsewhere will at some point be diagnosed with a learning issue, be it Autism, ADHD or Dyslexia, to name only a few possibilities.

I think there’s a discussion to be had about what a lot of diagnoses mean and whether we’re inadvertently expanding a diagnostic vocabulary to eventually include most learning profiles out there, as we seek to understand how individuals learn and then group them into categories—a tendency that is very human; eventually, one can’t help but ask what “normal” is, assuming it provides a benchmark of sorts.

That being said, there’s no denying that many kids these days suffer from real and specific learning hurdles, Autism being one of them, for example. According to the CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control), one in 68 children born in the U.S. is now afflicted with Autism; the prevalence for boys (1 in 42) is higher than it is for girls (1 in 189), and the overall incidence has been increasing rapidly since tracking of its occurrence began in 2000.

If schooling issues for relocating families were already potentially complicated, this certainly adds a layer of complexity that should not be overlooked, since relocating with “Special Needs” children requires consideration and planning. Many international schools around the world offer minimal support for students with learning differences, while some offer extensive programs that are recent creations to meet increasing demand.   In all cases, special needs programs should be fully vetted, since they tend to be offered with a big price tag attached and may be the only game in town, in many instances.

If the topic is of interest, please join me for a WORLDWIDE ERC webinar in November:

Relocating Families with Children with Special Needs: an IEP for Global Mobility 

14 November 2017

2:00 p.m.(ET)

Sponsored by: TRC Global Mobility

Cost: Complimenta



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