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Old 13.02.2012, 04:27
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Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

We are thinking of relocating to Zurich for husbands' job. We have a 4 year old who is profoundly disabled. He can not walk or talk. Am looking for someone who might be able to give some advice on the schools and systems to accommodate my son in the Zurich area. Anyone an expat who has a child with special needs that can offer advice? Thanks!!! Leah
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Old 13.02.2012, 08:05
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

Welcome to the forum.
You'll find some information about special educational arrangements in the Canton of Zurich here:
http://www.vsa.zh.ch/internet/bildun...wnloadfolder_4
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Old 13.02.2012, 09:08
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

Hello.

When we had a similar query regarding special schools/ therapeutic ambulatory care for our son (unfortunately in Canton Jura so no help for you), we started by telephoning the Cantonal Education offices. We did get passed around a few people but eventually were put in contact with someone who coordinated the programmes for children with special needs who need more than just specialist education, but also therepeutic care. This person was then able to explain all the various facilities and then give us contact names and telephone numbers for us to ring them personally.

You might find that a consultant in disability matters might assist (you would have to pay for this) but I am not sure if someone like that exists who is specialised in your child's issues in the Zurich area. We use a private consulatant service in Baselland that is specialised in the needs of our child and they coordinated between our various doctors/special needs therapy and the new therapeutic care centre where he will be entering "school" in July. It was great to have a third party who we trusted regarding the care and therapy models that were on offer the place he is going, although they had no prior knowledge of the places we were looking into.

Two organisations come to mind .. http://www.thelearningroom.org/educa...l-needs-zurich. Also

http://allspecialkids.org/

The latter is a Geneva based organisation but seems to have become active in the Zurich area (although this may just be parent support groups). The former I have no experience of, and it could be that they do not have experience with children with profound disabilties. It might be worth a call ..

Waiting for someone with specific Zurich based information to come along and contribute .... in the meantime, all the best.

PS I just thought to add that your most important concern will be how to get this special education and therapy paid for .. the option we are going for comes under the umbrella of social/ambulatory outpatient care not education and so requires acceptance on the federal disability insurance scheme, so that they pick up the costs. This scheme is a minefield .. and certainly not many non Swiss children who have not been born in CH qualify. Just to give you an example, our son was born in CH 13 months after we moved to CH. If he had been born less than 12 months after we moved, he would not qualify for this scheme. Thank goodness for that one month. If however you are confident of getting funding elsewhere (husband's company?) this will not be such a great concern and if, in Canton Zurich, such schools are under the umbrella of the educational services, then again this might not be an issue.

Last edited by ecb; 13.02.2012 at 11:58. Reason: Further information
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Old 13.02.2012, 10:29
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

I would recommend to find a pediatrician as soon as possible, and explain exactly what you are looking for for your son. They should know all of the possibilities available to you in your city. Unfortunatly I can't be of any help for Zurich, but in Lausanne my pediatrician set up my son with therapist who came once a week to the house. This woman helped my son, and me as well, even going to certain doctors appointments with us. This was the organization who helped us Services éducatifs itinérants (french only). I would assume there is an organization like that in Zurich as well. The pediatrician should point you in the right direction of where to go next with your son.

Good luck !
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Old 13.02.2012, 11:35
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

HZA Heilpädagogische Zentrum Ausserschwyz
Kantonsstrasse 136
8807 Freienbach
Telefon 055 415 80 60
Fax 055 415 80 61
E-Mail gesamtleitung@hza.sz.ch
www.hza.sz.ch

I know it is not in Zurich, but it is not to far away maybe?
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Old 13.02.2012, 11:57
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

Kalahari Girl has made a good point.

Our doctors were not of so much use .. they knew one or two places to start pointing us in our research but far more detailed and knowledgable information came from our two special needs therapists that work for the early intervention special needs unit in Baselland (the Canton where we are currently based) - in our case http://www.ptz-bl.ch/index.php?id=61 - I send you the link simply because they might be able to point you to their equivalent organisation in Zurich.
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Old 13.02.2012, 12:28
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

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PS I just thought to add that your most important concern will be how to get this special education and therapy paid for .. the option we are going for comes under the umbrella of social/ambulatory outpatient care not education and so requires acceptance on the federal disability insurance scheme, so that they pick up the costs. This scheme is a minefield .. and certainly not many non Swiss children who have not been born in CH qualify. Just to give you an example, our son was born in CH 13 months after we moved to CH. If he had been born less than 12 months after we moved, he would not qualify for this scheme. Thank goodness for that one month. If however you are confident of getting funding elsewhere (husband's company?) this will not be such a great concern and if, in Canton Zurich, such schools are under the umbrella of the educational services, then again this might not be an issue.
This is spot on. It is a minefield for sure. Eligibility for benefits from the federal disability scheme will be tricky for the original poster if the child is not Swiss, or was not born in Switzerland. This is what we were told when we went through the process of claiming IV for our daughter. She/we are not Swiss, but she was born here. Had she been born elsewhere there is no guarantee that we would have access to the IV benefiits.
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Old 13.02.2012, 13:04
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

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We are thinking of relocating to Zurich for husbands' job.
Leah, I would just want to emphasize that if you are considering this move at your husband's employer's request, make the finances around care for your child, as well as help navigating the system, a primary negotiating point.

Wishing you all the best.
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Old 13.02.2012, 19:32
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

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Welcome to the forum.
You'll find some information about special educational arrangements in the Canton of Zurich here:
http://www.vsa.zh.ch/internet/bildun...wnloadfolder_4
Thank you! so helpful
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Old 13.02.2012, 19:41
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

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Leah, I would just want to emphasize that if you are considering this move at your husband's employer's request, make the finances around care for your child, as well as help navigating the system, a primary negotiating point.

Wishing you all the best.
Thank you! An expat move so will be helping with insurance....but what that covers will need to investigate further. Will start with all the contact information from these posts and hope to understand this tricky system...is tricky most countries which is such a shame when it involves such gorgeous and vulnerable little ones.
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Old 13.02.2012, 19:48
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

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Hello.

When we had a similar query regarding special schools/ therapeutic ambulatory care for our son (unfortunately in Canton Jura so no help for you), we started by telephoning the Cantonal Education offices. We did get passed around a few people but eventually were put in contact with someone who coordinated the programmes for children with special needs who need more than just specialist education, but also therepeutic care. This person was then able to explain all the various facilities and then give us contact names and telephone numbers for us to ring them personally.

You might find that a consultant in disability matters might assist (you would have to pay for this) but I am not sure if someone like that exists who is specialised in your child's issues in the Zurich area. We use a private consulatant service in Baselland that is specialised in the needs of our child and they coordinated between our various doctors/special needs therapy and the new therapeutic care centre where he will be entering "school" in July. It was great to have a third party who we trusted regarding the care and therapy models that were on offer the place he is going, although they had no prior knowledge of the places we were looking into.

Two organisations come to mind .. http://www.thelearningroom.org/educa...l-needs-zurich. Also

http://allspecialkids.org/

The latter is a Geneva based organisation but seems to have become active in the Zurich area (although this may just be parent support groups). The former I have no experience of, and it could be that they do not have experience with children with profound disabilties. It might be worth a call ..

Waiting for someone with specific Zurich based information to come along and contribute .... in the meantime, all the best.

PS I just thought to add that your most important concern will be how to get this special education and therapy paid for .. the option we are going for comes under the umbrella of social/ambulatory outpatient care not education and so requires acceptance on the federal disability insurance scheme, so that they pick up the costs. This scheme is a minefield .. and certainly not many non Swiss children who have not been born in CH qualify. Just to give you an example, our son was born in CH 13 months after we moved to CH. If he had been born less than 12 months after we moved, he would not qualify for this scheme. Thank goodness for that one month. If however you are confident of getting funding elsewhere (husband's company?) this will not be such a great concern and if, in Canton Zurich, such schools are under the umbrella of the educational services, then again this might not be an issue.
Thanks so much for this information-so very helpful! Getting very overwhelmed now but as you know mummys of special needs kids there always seems to be that extra battle
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Old 13.02.2012, 19:56
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

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This is spot on. It is a minefield for sure. Eligibility for benefits from the federal disability scheme will be tricky for the original poster if the child is not Swiss, or was not born in Switzerland. This is what we were told when we went through the process of claiming IV for our daughter. She/we are not Swiss, but she was born here. Had she been born elsewhere there is no guarantee that we would have access to the IV benefiits.
Thanks...sounds very difficult indeed

Last edited by Longbyt; 13.02.2012 at 22:03. Reason: square brackets need to be in place to make quotes look correct.
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Old 13.02.2012, 19:56
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

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I would recommend to find a pediatrician as soon as possible, and explain exactly what you are looking for for your son. They should know all of the possibilities available to you in your city. Unfortunatly I can't be of any help for Zurich, but in Lausanne my pediatrician set up my son with therapist who came once a week to the house. This woman helped my son, and me as well, even going to certain doctors appointments with us. This was the organization who helped us Services éducatifs itinérants (french only). I would assume there is an organization like that in Zurich as well. The pediatrician should point you in the right direction of where to go next with your son.

Good luck !
Thank you for the link
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Old 13.02.2012, 20:14
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Re: Special needs school in Zurich for 4 year old

Good luck.

Remember, we are here to help you.
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