View Full Version : ADHD Specific School?

03-25-13, 11:11 AM
My DS has been having issues this year at school and I think it is because we changed his meds. He's been having school avoidance issues since the start of Feb and to make a long story short (you can search my other posts if you want the gory details), he has become very anxious which is causing him great problems at school. He has been agitated and anxious which is making him make bad choices so he's been suspended for refusing to go to school, pushing a student who was in his face and now for refusing to go to school and being aggressive.

The principal suggested we do a residential school for problem children because they think it is more like willful disobeying. I am not at all interested in this because I really feel like if we can get the anxiety under control again he can function fine. My DH seemed interested tho and has done some research in the area. I looked today and have found some area schools which have small classrooms like 1:5 and provide lots of one on one instruction. DH thinks it might be good for him and I may agree since a lot of his behavior problems come out of frustration. He struggles in reading/writing. But his is also very impulsive so the right school environment still may not address that. And of course they are mostly private and very expensive.

Just wondered what others thought. Has anyone tried any?

03-25-13, 11:38 AM
We've seen the same attitude that it's willful behavior - when in reality it's a
very stressful situation for these kids and they are re-acting, not acting-out.

At the special school they should have a better handle on why kids react
and how to help them. Might be worth visiting the school and talking with
some of the staff - and some of the parents of students there.

03-25-13, 01:06 PM
If you can swing it financially I would at least go check the schools out. I know that frustration with her inabilities at school caused my daughter's problems at a regular school. Approach the change positively with your son & maybe he would give it a chance. Does he want to try a new school? He must know he needs to go somewhere if he won't go to his old school.

There is a private school in out town catering to LD's that accepts ADHD children, but it is over $20, 000 a year and we are a single income household right now so there is no way we could do it without cashing in RRSP's. It really isn't right that kids with true needs aren't provided a proper learning environment unless they are wealthy.

Were you able to find a tutor for your son? We have finished the therapy we were doing for dd's eyesight and though the O/T portion helped a lot with writing and hand eye coordination tasks, it has not helped very much with her reading so we are looking into reading intervention specialists in our area. I came across a centre that teaches the Davison method. Apparently it can help any child with reading, the child does not have to specifically be dyslexic. I just think that if a child's reading and writing are impaired that it must be incredibly difficult to attend in class all day long. I can't remember if your son has any specific LD dx, but perhaps if he was assessed for something like that and proper accomodations were made he wouldn't feel so stressed about the school situation. My older daughter has a friend who has CAPD and she is given about 1/2 the work my daughter has to do and gets extra test time, private math sessions etc.

I think you are doing a great job with all this, especially as you are also working outside the home. It's a lot of stress for us parents too & I find my brain just swimming on some days when I've done a ton of "research" about various LD's & ways to help our daughter. Last night I was researching additional writing aids for her now that she is finally able to sit down to write without crying. Came across these great little weighted gloves I'm going to order ( or figure out how to duplicate at home) to provide more stability for her hand.

03-25-13, 05:32 PM
What do you mean by "residential school"? In my mind that is a boarding school or hospital setting where the kids stay 24/7 -- clearly too restrictive for your son at this point.

When our school wanted to put our 100% son (who has AS and ADHD) in a special day class that contained Down's Syndrome kids and others who appeared to perhaps have mild intellectual disability, we pulled him out to homeschool. Then we found a school for AS kids run by an ABA therapy center. 10 kids max, 4 adults (a credentialed teacher and 3 behavioral aides who are overseen buy a BCBA). We decided to pay privately to send him there (15k, where the school districts pay them 20k), and so far it has been the best possible decision. In only 2 months they were able to get him to a point where he is having 0 meltdowns. He's participating in class, making friends, and finally learning something. They incoporate therapy (such as Marcia Garcia Winner social skills curriculum) into the school day, and of course have a focused behavior management strategy.

The name for this type of school is a "non-public" school, which means that it is a private school that serves special needs kids. There are other non-public schools that focus on learning disability, severe autism, substance abuse recovery, ADHD, etc, and most of the kids are sent there by their public schools, who pays the tuition. I would recommend checking out what non-publics are available in your area.

03-25-13, 11:04 PM
thanks everyone. Zette, yes the school the principal suggested is a boarding school Monday through Friday. The students come home on the wknds. I do not like the idea of him being away from us totally like that especially with his anxiety which does include a level of separation anxiety. And he sould have to be classified as EC which is special ed here and is mainly reserved for profound delays. He really doesn't fit that description but he does have some Aspergers tendencies but our dr hasn't diagnosed him as that.

So I am looking at private schools which cater to ADHD students. The ones I've found are quite pricey. I've not found anything like what I'm looking for that is public/free. Both DH and I work or I'd consider homeschooling except that doesn't help him with social skills and social anxiety. I'll try searching for "non-public " schools.


03-26-13, 12:18 AM
Two things:

One, I like the idea of an earlier poster for you to go visit the school. The key for you will be talking to parents. Ask for a number of parents' names and say you'd like to talk to them.

Talk to the parents ... you may or may not find that their children had similar issues to your dear son. And they might be able to describe what's good about the school ... Most likely, if you are to be convinced, it will be by talking to a parent at the school ...

Two, I think your son would benefit possibly from counseling ... He might have some internal stuff going on in addition to the ADHD ... The trick is to find a really cool counselor that he connects with ... You would probably be brought into the mix as well ...

For a parent, there's nothing better than an outside third party who can help you think about how to handle the struggles of a child.

Good luck.


03-26-13, 02:23 AM
Thanks Tone. I agree, we would most definitely visit any school we decided to review. And he had counseling in the past when he was younger and it wasn't very effective but it could have been the counselor. He liked him and was open with him and would say yes, he would try the things suggested but when it came down to it, he wouldn't. Could have been lack of maturity or the counselor. We stopped seeing him when things were going great because insurance didn't cover any of it. We did see him a few weeks ago when all this started but I've had difficulty getting appts with him as he seems quite covered up now. We are meeting with a new counselor next week to see if DS might do better there. This new office also does small group therapy for social skills and anxiety strategies so I'm curious to see if that will help.

03-26-13, 01:23 PM
If the principal is ready to send him to a boarding school then he should be open to other options. Have you started the IEP process yet? The conversation where the principal suggested the boarding school may actually be not following the law -- it's supposed to be a team decision and smacks of predetermination of placement. Investigate the nonpublics in your area, figure out what you think is a good fit, and get an advocate to help you get the school to pay for it.

Is EC emotionally challenged?

03-26-13, 01:47 PM
It's not all that unusual, for the kid to have trouble following things he agrees to in counseling. I think most of us adults are like that!

The trick is to then begin discussions about why the kid doesn't follow through. That becomes the focus of the counseling ... Then you identify that the kid forgets, or he gets distracted, etc ... and you're making progress ... You come up with strategies for dealing with what's getting in the way.

Some counselors aren't great at figuring out that a kid needs medication as well ... Some are good at this and will refer to a psychiatrist or will work in a practice with a psychiatrist.

I'm guessing your child would benefit from a counselor who also is comfortable with your kid working with a psychiatrist.

But it sounds like you're on the right path.

Good luck.


03-26-13, 05:17 PM
zette, EC stands for Exceptional Children which is what they call the special ed program in this area.

The school the principal suggested is called The Wright School in Durham, NC if anyone wants to check it out. It's a "re-education" program for severely emotionally troubled kids up to 12 yrs old. It would be free to attend. I just think it's an extreme reaction given that he's not had any issues like this in the past 2.5yrs since we had gotten his meds straightened out. He's grown now and we tried new meds and it looks like we are in the same place we were in in 2nd grade but we got through it then so why won't we now? We haven't given it a good try. I think they are tired of dealing with him which is also why I think he gave him the 6 day suspension. And they think he's acting out to get what he wants instead of it being a real issue.

I've been looking at private schools all day. They are quite pricey and even the ones that say they accommodate ADHD / LD say the child's need should be academic and not emotional. But the class sizes and teacher student ratio are much smaller and I can't help but think he would do better their with more individualized attention. What to do, What to do!!