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We have a situation. We have two daughters. The oldest is typically developing, talented and very smart excellent student. The younger has ASD but is high functioning, talented and very smart (a whiz at geography BTW).

The problem is schools. The elder daughter is in an elite private middle school (think Hogwarts for girls). Where we live, the public middle school in our district is unacceptable - even worse than public schools in general. We just got the financial aid notice from the private school. Due to overwhelming demand, it's not much and we really can't afford the tuition (15K after financial aid) and certainly can't sustain it for the next 6 years.

The younger daughter (with ASD) is starting middle school next year, but paradoxically will be OK as we have arranged an "administrative placement" in a middle school that is the best one in the City. She gets excellent services, more than we could ever hope to get if we, like many of our peers faced with the "middle school problem", moved to the county.

This kind of got sprung on us and it's too late to enroll our elder daughter in the public school IB program or get into the "good" middle school (where her sister will attend) by lottery.

If we gut it up and spend the money on tuition, it will hurt our long term ability to provide for the younger daughter (not to mention ourselves or older daughter) who may or may not be able to live independently. If we put our elder daughter in the "bad" public school I shudder to think what this might do to her long term.

So what do we do? Drain our savings in a bad economy so our eldest daughter can get the superior education or "move to the county" and deprive our younger daughter of the services (and friends she has made) she desperately needs? Or deprive our eldest daughter of a decent education, and possibly worse, by staying where we are.

It reminds us of Sophie's Choice. Which one do we sacrifice, and if we don't choose we may lose both.

Regards. Thetis.
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