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Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Old Feb 24th 2011, 7:30 pm
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Default Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Hi everyone,
am new here but have been reading for the last few weeks
We are looking at moving from Surrey to Seattle at some point next year (preferably some time that fits in with school terms)
Visa-wise I think we'll be fine as it would be my husband transferring to the US office which they want him to do and are happy for us to just do it for a year or 2 if we want.
I have 2 sons, my 5 year old is autistic but in mainstream schooling over here... I know it would be a huge, huge task to make sure everything is properly sorted for him but other than that there is nothing holding us back.
I have always been very sensible and look back and regret that we didn't travel other than holidays when we were younger... I really regret it and wish we had've just done it but I always thought "what-if?"
Now I have this opportunity and the only thing holding me back is thinking what if I hate it and when we return to the UK I can't get my son back into the same school and wish I had never gone (this explains totally how much I think through EVERYTHING!)
But the other part of me wonders if we don't go if I will regret for the rest of my life not grabbing a fantastic opportunity when we had it to do something different with a bit of adventure.
We have a lovely life in Surrey with family around us and good jobs, friends etc. so it wouldn't be a move because I think the grass is greener, more just for the experience.
Hope this thread makes sense how was it with you and are you glad you took the risk??
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Welcome to BE...

My first consideration would be your son, depending on how much extra help people over here think he needs (plus how much extra help he's getting in the UK), this might or might not be financially viable. Not trying to paint things in dark colours here but one of my BiL's kids is autistic; thankfully his parents are reasonably well off and are able to help with the extra cost because otherwise he wouldn't be able to support his son adequately on an army income.

That said, being sensible is good but in certain cases you'll kick yourself for missing an opportunity. Starting anew here in the US hasn't been all that easy even though I found a job quite quickly and sometimes I miss the UK (like my house and my friends there), I would be mad at myself if we didn't try it. If my wife and myself decide to go back to Europe in a few years that's fine, at least we tried and we potentially regret something we tried rather than regret that we didn't try it. Of course my situation in this case is slightly different as my wife is a US citizen.
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Thanks for your reply Tim
At the moment my son has a 121 at school with him, I'm looking into how this would work in the US but like you say if it cost then it would be a huge reason not to move as we just can't compromise with his education but from a health point of view he doesn't need any other assisstance. Speech therapy would be nice but to be honest, we are supposed to get it here on the NHS and it is so rare we pay privately when we can.
I think I feel the same that I would prefer to at least try it. By the looks of it Seattle is one of the places in the US that is quite similar in attitude etc. (shame about the weather being exactly the same )
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Originally Posted by Jemima80 View Post
Hi everyone,
am new here but have been reading for the last few weeks
We are looking at moving from Surrey to Seattle at some point next year (preferably some time that fits in with school terms)
Visa-wise I think we'll be fine as it would be my husband transferring to the US office which they want him to do and are happy for us to just do it for a year or 2 if we want.
I have 2 sons, my 5 year old is autistic but in mainstream schooling over here... I know it would be a huge, huge task to make sure everything is properly sorted for him but other than that there is nothing holding us back.
I have always been very sensible and look back and regret that we didn't travel other than holidays when we were younger... I really regret it and wish we had've just done it but I always thought "what-if?"
Now I have this opportunity and the only thing holding me back is thinking what if I hate it and when we return to the UK I can't get my son back into the same school and wish I had never gone (this explains totally how much I think through EVERYTHING!)
But the other part of me wonders if we don't go if I will regret for the rest of my life not grabbing a fantastic opportunity when we had it to do something different with a bit of adventure.
We have a lovely life in Surrey with family around us and good jobs, friends etc. so it wouldn't be a move because I think the grass is greener, more just for the experience.
Hope this thread makes sense how was it with you and are you glad you took the risk??
There is no right answer unfortunately. We made the move when the studio my husband worked for was closed and he was offered a role in Los Angeles for the same company. It came at a time when we were probably the happiest and most settled we have been in our life, but we never thought of turning the offer down. There were a number of reasons, including lack of work opportunities for my hubby local to us in the UK, but the main one was we didn't always want to say 'what if?'

Now, 3 years on after another move we are in the SF Bay Area. Looking back I still don't know what the right thing to do would have been. Our life here is good, I don't want to go back to England but part of me wishes the opportunity to come had never arisen. It's not the move I regret, its the circumstances that gave us the option to come that I regret. I wanted an adventure, now I just want a settled happy life.

The things I would suggest you think strongly about are your family ties, what impact will it have on Grandparents and on your kids not seeing their Grandparents on a regular basis. Will it impact you, do they take some of the pressure of by looking after the kids for a few hours for you? How much will your kids be disrupted by the move, all this bollox about kids being strong and resilient is true, it still has a huge effect on them though. Do you want to hear them cry over missing friends/family/school... because they will. It sounds harsh, but when we moved I was totally selfish, I didn't give a thought to how it would affect eveyone, just what a big adventure it would be.

Good luck with your decision
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Well, they don't call that area the Pacific NorthWet for no reason .

It might be worth talking to your husband's company to find out if their health insurance in the US would at least contribute to the extra (schooling) costs your son incurs. I guess it all depends on how badly they want your husband over there - might be time for some salary or benefits negotiations.

I really wouldn't give up this early, there are areas in the US where there is a brilliant support network for autism (Silicon Valley comes to mind) and maybe there is something in Seattle as well. Up in Seattle I wouldn't be surprised if you'd be dealing with a better school system than by BiL's son gets inflicted upon him in rural Georgia.
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Everyone knows what I'm going to say.

Better not to take the risk

However, a good transfer would be flexible if you know he can move back to his old job.
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 9:06 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

One of the bonuses I am thinking is that I imagine the US are a lot better equipped to deal with autism as it is a lot more common than in the UK, so there's part of me that wonders if it will be a lot better for my son to move there for a couple of years. I think knowing it only has to be a couple of years makes it slightly easier as we can just easily transfer back but the transfer back will be more difficult for my children I guess.

Nicky, thanks for your post, totally see what you are saying, it would be a whole lot easier if we'd never had this opportunity I guess, sounds like our situations are really similar.
I'm not so worried about moving out affecting my boys massively. With my oldest (5) he doesn't particularly have friends because of his autism, I'm sure he would miss family though. My younger son is 2 so hasn't formed friendships etc yet. We do see a lot of our family as we all live close by but to be honest, my boys are such a handful that we don't get any help with them what so ever accept the occasional (& by occasional I mean once or twice a YEAR) evening out, or looked after for an hour or so if we have an appointment to make but that is literally it and its really tough being so close to loved ones yet feeling like you're doing it alone!
I do think we probably take for granted how we get to see so much of each other though and maybe it will do me good to realise how lucky I am to have them around me

Oh no Sally - I'm guessing you really regret ever going?!
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Originally Posted by Jemima80 View Post
One of the bonuses I am thinking is that I imagine the US are a lot better equipped to deal with autism as it is a lot more common than in the UK, so there's part of me that wonders if it will be a lot better for my son to move there for a couple of years. I think knowing it only has to be a couple of years makes it slightly easier as we can just easily transfer back but the transfer back will be more difficult for my children I guess.

Nicky, thanks for your post, totally see what you are saying, it would be a whole lot easier if we'd never had this opportunity I guess, sounds like our situations are really similar.
I'm not so worried about moving out affecting my boys massively. With my oldest (5) he doesn't particularly have friends because of his autism, I'm sure he would miss family though. My younger son is 2 so hasn't formed friendships etc yet. We do see a lot of our family as we all live close by but to be honest, my boys are such a handful that we don't get any help with them what so ever accept the occasional (& by occasional I mean once or twice a YEAR) evening out, or looked after for an hour or so if we have an appointment to make but that is literally it and its really tough being so close to loved ones yet feeling like you're doing it alone!
I do think we probably take for granted how we get to see so much of each other though and maybe it will do me good to realise how lucky I am to have them around me

Oh no Sally - I'm guessing you really regret ever going?!
One of the things I hadn't realized was how relaxing it was to be able to go to our parents, have someone bring you a cup of coffee and sit and read the paper while letting them run around after our daughter. Not really babysitting, but a couple of hours off which I never appreciated until we didn't have it.

But Sally, if you hadn't have come you would never have met me
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

I don't honestly know.

We had a good life in the UK...I not sure why I gave it up but I did because of the 'what if' factor. My husband took a job transfer with his company...all expenses paid...no money worries. He could transfer back anytime...so we figured on staying 1 to 2 years. Somehow we got sucked into everything and are still here 15 years later. I feel the UK will always be my home...but then I would miss the US. Curse of the expats.

I regret taking my daughter away from her grandparents, aunts and uncle, cousins and friends. I regret how much it must have broken their hearts.

The US may be better equipped to handle your son's condition...the question is can you afford it?
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

The conundrum is that you don't know what you will miss, or how you will feel until you actually try it.

I would be somewhat skeptical about better provision for an autustic child, athough I don't know directly about it. I do know I recieved a letter stating that California education has been declared in a state of emergency and begging for money. The provision will vary by state but from what I know of the UK system when I worked in it and friends who are teachers/aides, I think you would have to go a long way to beat it.

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Old Feb 24th 2011, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Yes Nicky, but you walked out on me
But I do feel terrible about it
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
But I do feel terrible about it
I'll let you off
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Welcome to BE and good luck!

got nothing to lose if the company is taking care of everything and willing to repatriate if it doesn't work out, other wise leave a get out of dodge fund for just in case and enjoy it.

It'll be an experience that'll broaden your horizons however good or bad you find the move.
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Originally Posted by Jemima80 View Post
Thanks for your reply Tim
At the moment my son has a 121 at school with him, I'm looking into how this would work in the US but like you say if it cost then it would be a huge reason not to move as we just can't compromise with his education but from a health point of view he doesn't need any other assisstance. Speech therapy would be nice but to be honest, we are supposed to get it here on the NHS and it is so rare we pay privately when we can.
I think I feel the same that I would prefer to at least try it. By the looks of it Seattle is one of the places in the US that is quite similar in attitude etc. (shame about the weather being exactly the same )
I live nearish Seattle, its very important that when you're looking for homes that you find the best possible school district for your son. Once you move, you will not (very rarely)be able to transfer your son out of the district you live in. Once in the district you'll want to contact (or even before when you are more sure of what district you'll be in) the special education office. In good districts there are usually a good selection of classes for autistic kids, and parents have a very big say in what services you can get for your child. Generally they will go with what you've had in the past. The one to one will be assessed after your son is in school, more than likely.

Best of luck with a very big move. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Better to take the risk & regret it or not take the risk at all??

Originally Posted by Jemima80 View Post
One of the bonuses I am thinking is that I imagine the US are a lot better equipped to deal with autism as it is a lot more common than in the UK, so there's part of me that wonders if it will be a lot better for my son to move there for a couple of years
Possibly true, but as it's a huge country...you've got to look into the local area and how they deal with it. Doesn't matter if the country over all is great or shit, if the local area doesn't do much and it costs a fortune.

Some states do offer a lot more help than others, some counties also offer a lot of help and depending on the medical insurance, you could have a lot of help available to you for nothing, or you might find it costing you an arm and a leg, or simply not having anything available. I've no idea what's on offer in the area, but it'll probably also depend exactly on where you live, down to the zip code as it could be school district related. Might also want to find out if there is state/free help that they'll offer it to johnny foreigner...politics, doesn't always look good helping out none natives for instance.
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