When looking for the best places to live in the US, a parent usually considers factors like the availability of affordable family entertainment options, proximity to hospitals and, of course, being within the best school districts in the county. However, for parents of special needs children, there are often more important factors involved.
For parents of special needs children, most of the time the preoccupation goes beyond mobility accessibility for wheelchairs or scooters to get around. For instance, Children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) need safer homes than usual because they tend to wander and can end up hurting themselves and others. When looking for a home, a parent with special needs children worries about a societal prejudice that can influence their children’s education and professional development. Does that area usually employ people with disabilities? Finally, the search also needs to take in consideration a relief for themselves: the best places to live in the US for families with special needs children are usually the ones who provide professional trained help, and have at its disposal special needs programs that allow the parents to breathe a little, while also teaching the kids the important lesson of independence from their parents.
With that in mind, our team at RealEstateAgent.com decided to make an article about the best places to live in the US with special needs children. We’ll be looking at the places that have a great offering of special needs programs that integrate the whole family, entertainment options – like some of the Best Museums in America – that counts with special services for those with visual or auditory impairment, safe spaces for children with developmental disabilities or autism, and other options that are adapted to include the special needs children on everything possible.
Seattle Real Estate Agents would already gloat about their city status as one of the best cities for families, and now they can add to that the fact that it’s for all families. Thanks to the innovation boom brought by startups and the development brought by companies headquartered in Seattle like Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft, Seattle Real Estate Agents can tell you that special needs children barely miss out on anything when it comes to museums and other entertainment options, usually filled with accessibility and inclusion measures.
When it comes to health care, Seattle Real Estate Agents will point out the marvelous Center for Children with Special Needs, a great special needs program at the Seattle Children’s Hospital that’s been focusing on improving the health and well-being of special needs children since 1998.
If the finances are your main concern, take a look at Laredo, Texas. It is the #1 city with the lowest cost of living, and the #3 with the highest employment rate for people with disabilities. Disabilities require a high-skilled medical attention, and Laredo is also #1 when it comes to the lowest cost of a doctor visit, and the lowest annual cost of in-home services.
However, special needs programs are not abundant, and the city, being small, is not that great accessibility wise. Laredo is growing, though – at one point in the 2000s it was the second fastest growing city in the country! – and maybe these special needs features are one of the reasons behind this growth. Parent want their kids to succeed and have options to grow professionally, and Laredo seems to be doing great in that area. So we’ve included the city of Laredo, Texas on this list for you to consider and maybe join the party.
A good Baltimore Real Estate Agent has in its pitch for clients looking for the best places to live in the US for special needs children the fact that (i) Maryland is one of the eight only states where at least 33% of its special needs population is working in competitive employment and (ii) and Baltimore has probably the best special needs program in the country when it comes to education. Yes, Baltimore Real Estate Agents are quick to gloat that their city is, amongst many things, home to two of the most respected special needs schools; one of them – the Kennedy Krieger School – is widely regarded as *the* best in the country.
The state of Arizona
We’re not going to single out a specific city from Arizona; that’s how great this state is. And not only to special needs children; Arizona state has been keeping an eye on providing a number of special needs programs for people from various ages and backgrounds. The Arizona Department of Housing, for instance, has a specially trained office to provide special needs housing assistance for:
- People with Physical Disabilities
- People with Alzheimer’s Disease
- People with AIDS/HIV
- People with Developmental Disabilities
- People with Serious mental illnesses, emotional disturbance or chronic substance abuse
- Victims of Domestic Violence
Because of that, it was elected in 2015 as the overall best state by the “Case for Inclusion” initiative.
One last thing that’s important to consider is the proximity to the family. Support is one of the most valuable things a family with special needs children require. And, of course, a special needs program can sort of fill it in from time to time, but nothing replaces both in the heart of the child and the parent, the security a relative can provide. Don’t they say that home is where the heart is?
For those with means to move to the city or state of their choice, great! The above information can provide a good starting point. But sometimes you don’t have that much money laying around and it’s a matter of staying put, with the family support nearby and working to make the surroundings adapt to your children’s special needs.
Call your state’s representatives, demand your town to follow in these best places to live in the US for families with special needs children’s footsteps. It’s not hard, and it’s definitely worth it. According to a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15% of American children have a developmental disability, including autism and ADHD, so attention to this matter is a must. No child of this great country should grow up without all the best care possible.