Moving Because of Autism

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Article first published as Moving Because of Autism on Technorati.

Boys watching the sea lion at Hogle Zoo's new Rocky Shores exhibit.Lately, there was a news article by the Salt Lake Tribune about families that were leaving the State of Utah because of the lack of insurance coverage for autism. I've maintained that Utah has some stellar programs for children on the spectrum, provided you were in the right places. Those living within the Granite School District had some great support services through the school. But it's a narrow area in the State that has services. There are also special schools that provide autism services, but they are very expensive, and have such long waiting lists that getting into a school is a practice in patience. For this reason my wife and I made the decision that we needed to move to an area that has better and more available services for children on the spectrum. We started researching a lot of areas in the United States (and Great Britain, though they are not accepting immigrants currently) to find a place that would be best for us. Many of the States that tend to be autism-friendly are located in the Mid-West or on the East Coast. But as my wife grew up in San Diego California, moving to an area of extremes in both hot and cold like the Mid-West didn't go over well with her, and I don't handle the heat very well. And my wife categorically refuses to live in a State that could experience hurricanes. Luckily California tends to be very autism-friendly, while also having a mild climate that makes my wife and me happy. Services are very available in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco (and the rest of the Bay area), and San Diego. So, I started looking for jobs, and found one at the University of California, San Diego. So, I'll be moving to San Diego later this month, and when I find a place to live more permanently, my wife and kids will be following.It was a wrench to move, because I'm happy in Utah. I've grown up here. I've defended Utah to those that had a lot of negative things to say about it, because I love my State. It's beautiful, diverse, and generally very welcoming. But the wall I keep running into when it comes to autism support is just too much for me and my family. I have to admit though, I can't wait to move to San Diego. My wife is looking forward to moving home and closer to her family down there, but quite frankly I'm looking forward to the ocean and the beach. I've always loved water, and if I had my way I would live on a sloop all the time (not very likely with the kids, but I can still dream!).