View Full Version : Schools or programs that support kids with ADHD in Westchester, NY & surrounding area

07-15-14, 11:33 PM
My 7 year old son was diagnosed earlier this year with ADHD. He completed first grade at a White Plains public school but they have informed us that they will not be able to support him moving forward. During the CSE meeting we agreed to explore other options outside the school district. They provided us with a potential list of schools which we've since researched and in our opinion, neither meets our son's needs.

He is ADHD but not LD. He is average to above average academically and cognitively. We want him in an environment where he can thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

We are looking for recommendations of schools or programs within a school that you may be familiar with that are better suited for children with ADHD. It can be a public or private school. Any information or leads you can offer is appreciated. Thank you.

07-16-14, 11:58 AM
What symptoms does your son have that prevents them from being able to support him? Under the law, they have to provide a FAPE (free, appropriate, public, education).

Check out the wrightslaw website if you haven't done so already, to make sure that they are following the law. If you can't find a public school that you believe fits your child's needs, then they will have to pay for a private school.

The website also provides a list of advocates by State. It might be a good idea to work with one as they will probably know about the schools in the area and can offer some options.

07-16-14, 12:49 PM
The LivesInTheBalance website used to have a list of schools that were using their method with behaviorally challenging kids, but I can't find it now. You might try shooting them an email via their Contact tab.

If you don't already have an educational advocate, I strongly urge you to get one. A good one should be familiar with the school options in your area and the nearby districts. (It may be that another district has a special day class geared toward kids with similar issues.) Also, the school is legally required to not just provide FAPE, but also to do it in the LRE (least restrictive environment). That means if it is possible to meet his needs by providing an aide, they have to do that instead of sending him to a special ed school (especially if that school is not keeping pace with the general ed curriculum.)

07-16-14, 02:21 PM
I am a little confused also. Did they say in what manner they are unable to support him. Behaviorally? Academically? I am also in NY, but our district gave me a hard time just granting him a 504 plan for ADHD. They made it seem like every other child out there has similar challenges.

07-16-14, 08:48 PM
My son has difficulty regulating himself and his emotional response which evolves into temper tantrums. He also requires one on one support to help him refocus when he is unable to keep on task. At the CSE meeting this week which was our first to identify eligibility, they indicated that because of the one on one he requires, he is not able to be part of an inclusion classroom. We just moved here last year so I am not too familiar with the district but my understanding is that inclusion classrooms is all they have to offer. They agreed for us to look outside the district.

I reached out to Student Advocacy today to schedule a consult. I explained my situation and she was shocked that the committee went straight to a self contained environment and agreed to out of district placement without first trying an inclusion setting. I shared the list of schools with her and she said they are all schools who mainly work with kids on the Autism spectrum. I sent over all his records and we'll meet once she's reviewed them.

Thank you all for your responses. This has been a very overwhelming process. I'm not a parent that's in denial, my child needs help and I want to give it to him. Please continue to share information, it is appreciated.

07-17-14, 12:43 AM
Get the book From Emotions to Advocacy by Peter Wright and read it cover to cover.

The school is probably wrong to flatly deny placement in the inclusion classroom based on the need for an aide, but you'll need to decide if you really want to fight to make them do something they don't want to. I guess a lot depends on what other alternatives you find and how good of a fit they are.

A school that focuses on Aspergers/High Functioning Autism and keeps pace with the general ed curriculum might actually be worth considering.

For the tantrums and meltdowns, I highly recommend The Explosive Child, Lost at School, and the videos on the LivesInTheBalance website.

07-17-14, 09:20 AM
If you can afford about $3k for a top-notch advocate, I would recommend spending the money rather than using someone who is a student and doing advocacy for the first time. The top-notch ones will be known to the district and have built up a reputation and relationships. You can find them by finding your local autism advocacy group (hopefully they have a facebook or yahoo group where parents chat) and asking for recommendations.

If your district is recommending outside placement at the end of 1st grade, I'm guessing from experience that the meltdowns at school are very serious. My son would scream, throw objects, and run out of the classroom when he was upset, and when the shared classroom aide or teacher would try to intervene, he would hit, kick, and head-butt. He tells me now that there was a lot of hands-on restraint that they didn't document. (I saw one instance personally where the OT took him by the shoulders and marched him to the "calm down" room they had set aside for him. She didn't document it until I insisted.)

Frankly, he's much better off at a special school where there are 10 kids in the class, all with similar issues, one teacher who individualizes the academics, and 3 shared aides who have special behavioral training. When he has issues these days, which is rare, it's pretty much limited to verbal outbursts. Our district didn't have an inclusion class -- the options were mainstreaming (with a hard fight to get a trained aide rather than just any adult with a high school diploma) or an intellectual disability special day class (which the district was pushing). At the time we were using someone who I met through a Student Advocate program and was now two years into her practice. She will actually be very good someday, but she just didn't have the reputation and relationships needed to get to a good outcome.

We ended up pulling out to homeschool, then finding this special ed school, paying privately for 1.5 years, moving to a new district, then hiring the top-notch advocate. He was able to get good testing done and make a strong case for staying at the current school, and the new district is now paying for everything. I saw first hand the difference that his reputation and relationships made.

I also recommend that you read Parenting Your Asperger Child, just to see if there might be more than just ADHD going on. Our DS falls into the "primarily ADHD" description, where most of the symptoms look like ADHD with just a dash of social issues.