Hi, my son with ADHD is heading to 4th grade this fall. We are debating whether to send him to a special school, which supposedly caters to kids like him, who have behavioral / social challenges but not learning disabilities. We are fortunate that we have the choice to send him to a different school and could make it work financially.
His psychiatrist and therapist believe there are pros and cons to going private vs keeping him mainstream in public school. This spring, he did ok for 2 mos of in-person schooling but it was hard. He doesn’t have any real friends who seek his company, but I think his self esteem is ok for now. I just feel it will deteriorate as he becomes more aware of social status, ‘popularity’ etc. Also I think his academics will likely get much tougher as older kids are expected to manage more complicated assignments / follow directions on their own.
He is medicated and has an IEP. The public school means well but they just don’t get it (ie, frequent use of collective punishment/rewards, eg, ‘if everyone can stay quiet in the lunch line you all get 5 extra minutes of recess’).
The private school has ~10 students, 1 teacher and 1 behaviorist per classroom who totally “get it”! Other than financial - what are the downsides of the private option? Would be grateful to hear others’ experiences.
We also have a younger son who will start kinder at the public school in the fall. I worry about how this decision will impact him.
Thanks for reading this long post.
Yes. This is a challanging situation. Please ask about if the private school has teachers that have credentials.
The private school does not have to follow his IEP.
Also consider that the special school will only have peers with special needs. When in a public school they have children without needs. These can be peers for him.
Do you know if this is for 2 years for 4th and 5th? Then he moves to a different middle school?
Good luck with your choice. It would be great to tour to see if you are comfortable with it.