My Son's Very Special Education

I searched far and wide for a school that would embrace my son's ADHD and dyslexia, not just accommodate them. When I couldn't find one, I founded The 504 School.

Laura Markson, founder of The 504 School

I didn't want my son spending his school years trying to fit into institutions that weren't right for him.

Laura Markson, founder of The 504 School

I'm often asked why I took the giant step of starting a school just for my son with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia.

The reason was simple.

None of Atlanta's big, fancy private schools for children with learning differences really embrace the learning differences they claim to serve. Their goals are to "fix" ADHD students and put them back into a mainstream school.

The school for students with dyslexia told me that my son wasn't a good fit because my son, who has dyslexia, couldn't work in a small group.

I next visited the most mainstream of the specialized schools — beautiful campus, modern classrooms. They told me that my bright, social child with advanced speech skills, a reading disability, and ADHD was not their kind of student. He would need a strong behavior plan in order to succeed, and they didn't do that.

I was interviewing with schools that did a fantastic job of remediating deficits, but couldn't accommodate the impulsive, hyperactive traits that come with ADHD.

I didn't want my son spending his elementary-school years trying to fit into institutions that weren't right for him. So I took control of his education. I started a school that would embrace his ADHD, not just accommodate it.

I named it The 504 School, and I'm happy to say that we are helping my son, and many other children, regardless of their learning differences.

This article comes from the Summer 2009 issue of ADDitude.

To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.

TAGS: ADHD Accommodations, 504s, IEPs, Learning Disabilities

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