When most parents consider a school for special needs children, they typically think about learning disabilities and neurodevelopment disorders such as autism or dyslexia. One very common disorder that’s left in the dark is Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Many children with ADHD attend public school and pursue a “mainstream” education, but that isn’t always the best option. Can a child with ADHD instead benefit from a special needs private school? The answer is yes, there are many benefits for your child to reap from this type of education.
Smaller Class Sizes
One flaw that many public schools have is the large class sizes compared to the amount of teachers available. When classes can contain more than 30 students, there’s naturally going to be a lot of stimulation, which can exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. Not to mention, teachers have less control over the students as their attention is spread out. This is much less of an issue at private schools, where class sizes are considerably smaller so there are less distractions. Teachers can also place their attention on students and make sure to keep them from being overstimulated.
Specialized Teaching Strategies and Personal Attention
A “mainstream” classroom only utilizes a small amount of teaching methods, some of which aren’t as effective when a student has ADHD. Coursework can be intensive, and even with extensions on deadlines granted by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), a child with ADHD may still have difficulty keeping focus and completing the work. Special needs private schools can assign less-intense homework, hold a standard of allowing more time for all students to complete the work, or even none at all! Some schools may use kinesthetic teaching, which focus on a more hands-on approach using direct physical experience instead of lectures or visuals. Children with ADHD seem to learn better by actually being engaged in the subject, allowing them to place all their attention on their education.
Improved Social Interactions
Children with ADHD oftentimes have a difficult time building a healthy social life in public schools. Neurotypical children may not always understand the behavioral quirks that come with ADHD, and often ostracize or even bully children with ADHD. When a child with ADHD goes to a special needs private school, they are no longer alone. They’ll find other students with ADHD, or other disorders that may be different but can still afford them the understanding to accept other children who are not neurotypical.
Private or Public School?
While a special needs private school provides many benefits to a child with ADHD, there are a few things parents need to know before enrollment. Unfortunately, ADHD is not widely recognized as a learning disability, and not every child with ADHD will qualify for just any special needs school. This doesn’t mean that your child with ADHD can’t apply to a special needs private school, but depending on their specific needs they may find public schools to be a better option.
ADHD Programs In Private School
If your child with ADHD is qualified to enroll in a special needs private school, they can greatly benefit from an education curated towards their specific needs and learning styles. They do not need to feel boxed in at a public school, as a specialized education can help them expand their mind and grow roots into a healthy social life.