What are special needs boarding schools?
There is general agreement that an ideal educational setting is an inclusive classroom where students with all sorts of learner profiles can work and learn together. This may not, however, be the best solution for all students. At times, some student’s needs are better served in focused way. They will thrive in a school just for them where teachers are trained to understand a student’s particular abilities. Special needs boarding schools offer this kind of learning experience with smaller classrooms and purposeful activities geared toward the needs of particular learners. Overall, special needs boarding schools may be a good alternative for students who do not thrive in an academic environment. This may be the result of physical needs, a cognitive challenge or an emotional obstacle. Boarding schools for special needs may address physical, cognitive, social/emotional difficulties or learning differences.
What to look for when considering boarding schools for special needs
- The school has a low student to teacher ratio. This is critical when a student has challenges in one area. However, some students present with a variety of learning needs. Then it is even more important that teachers have the time to support your student with a variety of different learning strategies.
- Teachers should be trained, experienced and skilled in offering meaningful therapies and modalities considered best practices for ameliorating your student’s particular difficulties. In many schools over 50% of the faculty have earned Master’s degrees or above.
- The school has a strong, research-based curriculum offering a variety of approaches to work successfully with your student.
- The school has won awards for teaching excellence, facilities, or innovative programming
- The boarding school for special needs has a track record of success
- The school has unique programs beyond the classroom like distance learning options, sports, fine and performing arts, equestrian, woodworking or outdoor adventure.
Some examples of boarding schools for ADHD
Students learn the skills to successfully integrate in a mainstream school. They benefit from individualized, multi-sensory instruction and personal organization strategies. ADHD boarding schools should not suppress their personalities or exuberance. Rather, students leave with a keen understanding of their own learning styles and the tools they will need to succeed in a world that doesn’t always embrace learning differences. Students gain the self-confidence, motivation, and knowledge they will need to successfully negotiate their future education.
- The Vanguard School, Lake Wales, FL
- The Forman School, Litchfield, CT
- The Phelps School, Malvern, PA
- Oak Creek Ranch School, West Sedona, AZ
- The Gow School, South Wales, VT
- Commonwealth Academy, Alexandria, VA
- Eagle Hill School, Hardwick, MA
- The Greenwood School, Putney, VT
- Stone Mountain School, Black Mountain, NC
Some examples of boarding schools for autism
Autism boarding schools meet students’ individual needs through customized tutoring, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and individual and family positive behavior therapy. Trained teachers and clinical specialists work with each student to set academic and behavioral goals, and the school provides individual, group, and family therapy to reinforce positive management of emotions and behavior. Students learn living skills under the round-the-clock supervision of professionals. Because meeting the needs of an autistic child is so stressful, parents may use autism boarding schools as a respite care strategy.
- Riverview School, Cape Cod, MA
- Devereux Glenholme School, Washington, CT
- Little Keswick School, Keswick, VA