We decided in October to move to Sweden. We have been thinking about moving somewhere new, and possibly somewhere with a better laid out regular school plan than Austria. The school law has not been changed in Austria since mid 1910s (information from a school specialist in Austria working on getting some changes through). I do believe the first four years would have been somehow OK here, but at 10/11 years of age is when you pick academics (Gymnasium) or practical (Hauptschule) education. Guess which choice 99% of kids with DS end up in?
So we decided after we both were faced with a great job opportunities to try out Sweden. We are not that picky as for what country per se, and if it does not work out to our likings the world is still wide open for us. This is our fourth country (US, Mexico, Austria and now Sweden).
As the plan looks now the movers are coming March 30-31. The whole move will be handled by movers. They are packing and unpacking everything. (Have I ever mentioned that I hate moving, and has managed to be very pregnant (32 weeks plus) on both of our last moves)? The truck is then leaving on the 31st, but as you ar not allowed to drive a truck on Autobahn on Sundays throughout Europe, the truck will most likely be in Sweden and start unpacking on April 3, being done on April 4th.
When looking into exactly where to move, we had pretty much one factor we cared about. Vincent’s opportunities. And that we need to both get to our jobs which are located in Gothenburg and in Trollhättan (north of Gothenburg). Although Sweden has a national law of course each state/municipality can still read into that law. I did a lot of research talking/mailing/FBing/forum:ing with parents to children with special needs and found one municipality where all the people I talked to were satisfied with it and their contacts within the area. That is how we picked Ale Kommun, just north of Gothenburg. After some more research and contacts we decided on the specific area called Surte. It is most likely not known for being the prettiest area in Sweden, but I was pleasantly surprised (I had a really bad picture of it in my head) whenVince and I visited a few weeks ago. Surte has about 6,500 inhabitants, and is located about 10 min north of Gothenburg. Its only claim to international fame (I have heard of) is that the man who designed the original coke bottle is from there.
The kids have day care places and will start in April 10th, the same day as Mr B starts his new job. I will start my job about a week later, or when the kids are fully schooled in at day care. We visited the day care and it seems great. I am sure the kids will be in good hands. The school is also very close to there, and both school and day care are located close to our home.
Oh yeah, we finally found an apartment. It is probably easier to win a million dollars on the lotto that trying to rent an apartment (or house) in Sweden. There is this line system, so unless you have stood in an online line for at least 3 years in Ale Kommun (in Stockholm and Gothenburg a minimum of 11 years) no rental home for you my friend. Unless you sublet. We were able to find a private rented apartment. We had hoped to get a bigger one, but the one we had our eyes on disappeared at the very last minutes. We did find another one, so now we will stick with that one, just to be able to move forward.