What are the recommended alternative schools for a child with ADHD?

ADHD children don’t often thrive in a typical educational setting. A traditional classroom can not meet the needs of these children. Parents, after watching their kids suffer to try and manage in this environment end up searching for alternative settings that might better meet the needs of an ADHD kid. What they’re searching for, quite often, is a school that recognizes that ADHD isn’t a learning disorder, and that these kids are more intelligent and capable than they’re getting credit for. Alternative schools for ADHD kids come in a few different varieties, each with a different approach and philosophy. Military type schools are strict and regimented, and often appeal to a child’s sense of order. Day ADHD schools simulate a regular classroom environment, but because all the students have attention disorders, the activities and transitions are designed to be less stressful, and learning is hands-on, with very little time spend insisting that they all sit in their desks. An alternative // has attentive staff members who teach kids to manage their behavior every step of the way, with the goal of helping kids learn to make conscious decisions, and reach their goals.

Military type alternative schools are for the kids who thrive under oppressive leadership. Surprisingly, these personality types do exist. They’re best suited as laborers, and many parents don’t see their children in this manner. These schools work by breaking the will of a strong-willed child, and forcing them to submit to authority. When a child with a strong will is not capable of making healthy decisions, and insists upon inflicting violence upon other children, sometimes a military school can help. Unfortunately, the approach can backfire, creating an army of angry and defiant kids who assume power and control over their peers.

A day school for ADHD kids does a great job of creating an environment where kids are less likely to act out. Some of them even manage to create an environment they can learn in, by catering to their specific needs for movement, activity and kinesthetic learning opportunities. However, they don’t often do a good job of teaching the child to handle situations that arise outside of the school environment, and some students end up more and more upset at home because the transition between school and home can be so distinctive.

A boarding school boot camp for kids with behavior issues is a cross between an ADHD day school and home life. With round the clock counselors and a staff dedicated to meeting the emotional needs of ADHD kids, they can address every potential situation before the child has an opportunity to act out. The teachers end up creating individual learning plans that are specifically aimed at making each child succeed. Kids are an active part of their education, setting goals and making plans to reach those goals. Since there are usually very small amounts of students at a time (look for less than 100) they feel more like a family than a school, and personal relationships are formed, which can totally transform a child, and lead to lifelong success in the adult world.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

Are there schools for ADHD children?

Finding the right ADD boarding school for your child

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