by Kathy Kuhl     Here are resources for “A Parents Guide to Best School Options for Students with ADHD and LD,” my workshop for ADHD Experts Webinar and Podcast, May 11, 2022, followed by questions to ask as you search.

General

Public school options

Private Schools and Pods

Tutoring and Dyslexia specialists:

Homeschool options

More from the presenter

Questions to ask as you search

Ask the student’s current teachers, therapists:

  • What kinds of structures and routines help?
  • How much help do they need with executive functioning skills?
  • What worked best?
  • What drove the student crazy?
  • What worked in special subjects?
  • What helped in lunchroom, on the bus, in the locker room?
  • What helped when child began to dysregulate?
  • What worked when the child didn’t have their aide/paraprofessional?
  •  Let top 6 suggestions guide you as you search.

~ Source: Leigh Ann Cahill, Director, Independent School Options. independentschooloptions.com

Ask any school:

  • How many hours of training are given to teachers on teaching kids with ADHD and LD, and what kind of training.
  • How are disciplinary actions tailored to ADHD kids? (E.g. how do teachers respond to someone wiggling in their seat? How is speaking out of turn repeatedly dealt with?)
  • What accommodations are provided for dysgraphia? for dyscalculia? autism?

what remediation and accommodations they provide,
how they teach non-linear, out of the box learners?
How they teach EF skills?
How they allow for/tolerate movement, fidget toys, etc?

Considering online school or classes? Ask yourself:

  • How was pandemic online learning? How would this be different?
  • Will student work better online than in person?
  • Do they like to check off boxes, self-motivated?
  • Will they ask the online teacher for help when needed?

Ask the online school:

  • What remediation and accommodations they provide,
  • How they teach non-linear, out-of-the-box learners?
  • How they teach EF skills?
  • How they allow for/tolerate movement, fidget toys, etc.?

Ask private schools:

  • “Ask if the reading specialist use an Orton-Gillingham-based approach” [as recommended by the International Dyslexia Association]. ~Carol Barnier, dyslexia specialist focusing on dyslexics with ADHD.
  • “Determine what’s most important to you…. Develop a set of questions… and an answer key to guide you through interviews.
    “Involve your child in developing questions and answers.”
    ~ John Willson, SOAR Academy.
  • “Ask about professional development/teacher training with the general ed. and specials teachers, not just the learning specialist.
    “Ask about the type of work expected–not just volume, but is it mainly essay writing, worksheets, and note taking, or are the students learning how to learn as well?” ~ Leigh Ann Cahill, education consultant, independentschooloptions.com

Realize that many homeschool groups and are collaborative, grassroots organizations run by parents, and not funded by your taxes. As you ask questions, remember you may be a member, rather than a customer. I strongly recommend disclosing disabilities before enrolling. I discuss how to talk with your child’s teachers here.