i think its a very personal choice with a child on the spectrum as far as best placement -- fact is we know our kids best, esp when they have a ASD -- schools need to be aware of and enforce regs pertaining to americans with disabilites acts, IEPs, and providing a safe and appropriate public school environment. My son is currently in an ese preK through the public schools and is doing really well, next year he will go to a publc kindergarten that has a special Autistic Unit at the school which is prek-8th grade, where most of the day is spent in the autism unit with pullouts for mainstreaming for some classes (LRE -- least restrictive environment) how much mainstreaming he gets will depend on how he does.

also look for programs such as ARC (assoc for retarded citizens) which is usually county based and they will have referals for respite care, camps, activities and all sorts of things for special needs kids, my son joined a choir this year and is doing amazing -- its for special needs kids from mild to severe, and they mentor each other and learn together! he horseback rides a therapy horse which he also loves. look for programs like that in your area also online communities are helpful in finding help and info.

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