Hi Heide, and welcome! I'm Kelley (self diagnosed aspie), mother to Richard (5 1/2 and mildly autistic). When they say there is no school that caters to "aspergers," they may be correct, but there are several schools that cater to the autistic spectrum which technically, your son falls under so he should be eligible if he gets the correct diagnosis on paper. Unfortunately, the school system has a hard time accepting "asperger's" as an acceptable diagnosis for "special needs," kind of like ADHD.
My little brother (who is now 15 1/2 and has the diagnosis of severe ADHD along with OCD) kinda went through the same thing as your son. My parents decided to fight the diagnosis and medication at first, but once my brother was old enough to realize that he was different from other kids, they decided to go ahead and help him (which would have been maybe 2nd grade.) By 3rd grade when it was time for him to start learning times tables and harder spelling and he was still having to add on his fingers and writing letters backwards, handwriting still that of a first grader and spelling about the same level, my parents decided to seek out ESE level courses for him and were told about the same as you. They waited, fought, waited some more. The only help they offered was to give him special attention during the FCAT - they put him in a special room and gave him all the time he needed rather than give him the regular time limits just so he could pass it, give the school their precious "A" and their funding. So meanwhile, his 3rd grade teacher was able to pass him on through even with his other delays and not have to deal with his "eccentricities" anymore. My parents continued to fight and wait and got the same thing all the way through 5th grade, he still had not gotten any better and they had not gotten any further with the system and each teach continued to pass him through even though he didn't know the material, but since he passed the FCAT, they could legally pass him. At that point, my parents decided that since he couldn't even walk down the street without getting so distracted as to walk into mailboxes, there was no way he could handle middle school and changing classes on his own and they yanked him out of the public school system and decided to home school him. He still, going on 16, has to add on his fingers, he still writes his UPPER case "D's" backwards, his handwriting and spelling is still atrocious, but he is also one of the smartest and sweetest kids I know. He is writing books, at last check, he had 3 different ones in the works - and they are very professionally written too; and he can tell you many things you never knew... especially anything scientifically related. The school system just simply failed him.
Now, take my son for instance. He entered the public school system (after 1 1/2 years of early intervention) at age 3 with a simple diagnosis of "developmental delay" (which was a significant speech delay at the time, along with a few other minor delays) and that opened up a "special ed" type environment public Pre-K classroom for him. It was shortly thereafter that we got the autistic diagnosis (from the school at first), which opened him up for the many therapies he needed, such as speech and occupational. He's now in his first year of Kindergarten, and with all the help he received (and still receives), he can read and do math at about a 2nd grade level. He is mainstreamed for 2/3 of the day and in an ASD classroom for another 1/3. So far, it is working well for him (although quite honestly, the mainstream KG class doesn't seem to challenge him quite enough - the ASD classroom he was in was actually a grade level or two ahead of him, which kind of helped him in a few ways, but we can fix that). But we couldn't have done it without the school system... as much as I hate them at times, he definitely wouldn't be where he is now without them.
Generally, the ratios for an actual ASD class is around 8-10 students per teacher, but they also have at least 1 permanent assistant and also at least 1 or 2 rotating assistants (where the assistants kind of go between a couple of different classes and help out where needed). Sometimes the ratio goes up slightly with age, but that's pretty typical. The classrooms are usually grouped by ages, K-2, 2-5, or some sort of variation. Now if you get more of a "blended classroom," which is some minorly delayed children mixed in with some typical children, the ratio would be slightly higher, but I'm not sure exactly what.
So I guess what I'm saying is really it's all in the presentation of the "diagnosis," which is something you'll have to hammer out with your doctor and what's proper for getting him into the right program in school (which may include some research). But then, the school will end up doing their own evaluations anyway in the end, but if you present it to them in a manner that he has a significant and "special" problem that the school offers help for, then you should be a shoe in at least for them to give you their own eval, and then they'll likely see the asperger tendencies in him and assign him properly.
My son attends New Heights Elementary in NE St. Pete, which caters to the Autistic spectrum, PK-5th grade (along with Neurotypical children as well, but most teachers at least have some knowledge of the spectrum and can work with it well, if not call on another teacher for help.) Another school along the same lines is Oakhurst Elementary in SW Largo. There is also one in eastern Clearwater, off of McMullen Booth Rd. somewhere. My point being, there are several public schools all over the county that cater to the spectrum. Not to mention, several that aren't public. There are grants and scholarships (For instance, the McKay scholarship) that will pay for your child to go to a private school if he/she has special needs (and qualifies).
Don't let the system push you around, you make sure you get what you need. I've had to make multiple calls to several different offices until I talk to the right person. Just keep calling and calling and pushing until you get the answer you want. Sometimes it can take a while to get where you need to be, it is a government office after all, but don't give up, keep trying.
If you can, come to our meeting tomorrow at the Pinellas Park Library at 6:45 (kids are welcome!!) and we can talk more about this. I'll be there!