How to choose the right school for ADHD
When parents are looking for an ADHD school, they have several factors to consider. There are day schools, with programs similar to a regular school. There are strict, military style schools that attempt to dissuade distracting behavior by scaring kids into submission and then there are therapeutic boarding schools that work with the child’s natural tendencies to help them make better decisions. It’s important that parents decide what their goals are for their child’s future, before deciding which kind of ADHD school to use. There are benefits to each type of school.
An ADHD day school is usually located close to home, and allows for parental supervision in the mornings before school and in the evenings after school. For the family who seems to manage the symptoms and emotional ups and downs of ADD and ADHD without much effort, or for teens who have figured out how to control themselves during the daytime, and to allow themselves to be confined during school hours, making friends and managing their days on their own, and maintaining healthy relationships with peers and siblings, then these schools might be a fine decision. They seem to work best with kids who have mastered the management of all areas of life, with the exception of the standard classroom.
A military style school works well for the ADD student who responds favorably to authoritarian leadership. Some teens and kids with ADD and ADHD thrive in an environment that other people would find frightening. They like the orderliness and predictability of a regimented lifestyle. Others, however, tend to act out later, playing the authoritative role in social situations, which can lead to unhappy social situations, including arguments with siblings and other family members. Military schools successfully break the will of even the most disobedient kids, and teach them that their role in life is to follow the leader, which is a skill that can lend itself well for employment and other forms of servitude.
An alternative boarding school with a focus on behavioral therapy has round the clock counselors and an organized, predictable schedule that keeps the defensive emotional outbursts to the minimum while working constantly to help empower teens to make healthy decisions every step of the way. Students and counselors are able to work very closely to reach social and personal goals. As goals are reached, academically and socially, their confidence grows and parents are able to see their children returning with new maturity and inner strength.
Regardless of which type of school you choose for your ADD or ADHD child, be on the lookout for educational and psychological theories that resonate with what you’re able to reinforce at home. Also look for home support systems that allow the siblings and parents to participate in the new ideas and thoughts that the student has learned. Military schools, day schools and alternative boarding schools (sometimes called boot camps) have redeeming features and characteristics that appeal to different families. What is the best approach for your child’s long term future?
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