How can I find out if there is a public school in my area that is better with ADHD and IEP than others.
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Asking parents that have kids at the school who have ieps would be the best way. But that may not be possible or comfortable.
You should be able to look up the schools "report card" and depending on the state there will be a grade for special services.
Thank you Tallis33 I'm going to look up that report for Georgia. We are in the Atlanta area.
Welcome to the group.
I am not sure how old or what Grade your child is, I assume you will consider the schools near your home. If your child is able to attend their "neighborhood" school they can naturally move from grade to grade with the neighborhood kids (this is good and bad, but then they can play together in the afternoon and in weekends.
I would suggest you tour a few schools and meet the principals. This can tell you a lot and give you a gut feeling about the staff/teachers and ask questions when you are there. Teachers/staff make or break the experience. You could also stay after or go before and speak to other parents outside the school.
One last thing to consider is transportation, if your child qualifies, how far they would go on the bus. Many children really enjoy the social time on the bus.
Onthemove1971 we are excited to have access to a forum with other parents experiencing similar issues. Our kid is 8yo and very sociable. Unfortunately we already know the neighborhood school is not a good fit based on other families who are not having a good experience there. We know we may have to relocate and are willing to do that for him obtain a positive and productive environment.
I agree that taking tours can be enlightening. My husband and I took a tour of a school with our 10 yo son with adhd, dysgraphia, and gifted in his iep. When I mentioned that he had an iep, our guide perked up and said “awesome!” And then was sure to include our son in talking about it. It was a great first impression, especially compared to some other experiences we’ve had.
Good suggestions here. I would just add:
1. Look at the ratings for the local high schools. Highly rated high schools generally have good elementary/middle schools that feed into them.
2. Learn which schools have strong PTA’s. Schools with strong PTA’s are a good sign as well.
3. In our case, our high school is highly rated and more importantly is considered the county seat for special needs. I only learned this because the middle school my kids attended was rebuilt right before we attended and we learned that they designed the entire building around special education even though it is a mainstream school. Through this experience is how I learned that there is generally a flagship school where all the severely disabled kids attend. THAT is the school everyone should want honestly because that means they are loaded with services. Mind you, this isn’t a segregated school —- it encompasses special needs right alongside students regularly matriculating to Harvard and Yale. Call the county public school office and ask which high school is the flagship school for severely disabled and autistic students. This usually trickles down into its feeder elem/middle schools who are also flagship schools.
You will still have to be super involved no
matter where your child attends. They have services but they are also providing for a lot of students. There is no perfect system but these things should give you the best chance for finding a greater volume of. supportive staff.