advice needed — public, private, what?

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    dragoncita
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    My son is almost ten and in the 4th grade. He’s been diagnosed and taking Ritalin LA 20 mg since he was 6. He’s had a lot of behavior issues in school, but there have been ups and downs. We live in Mexico and he goes to the private school where I teach.

    The school is poor at supporting ADHD and worse at communicating, even though I work there. Over the years we’ve received many mixed messages about how our son has been doing.

    At the end of last year (3rd grade) we were suddenly told that he was in danger of not being asked back at the end of 4th grade. The school year started a month ago and he already has three referrals (these are like official notices that you are in trouble) and was suspended because of that. None of the referrals are for anything terribly serious (pulling a girl’s hair, lying down on the floor outside the classroom, when he should’ve been in class, yelling in the technology lab) but are things that would make it difficult to teach him.

    Here is my question: Even if he is allowed back next year, I sort of feel that this school is not the best place for him. There is even less support for ADHD in the middle school (which starts in 5th grade), and none when he gets to high school. There are a couple of other schools we might consider, but in reality school quality here is not high. I’m researching other international schools and looking for one that has a good special ed program — or should we just accept that it’s time to move back to the US? If we do move back to the US, should we be looking for a public school? a private school for ADHD (and hope for financial aid)? another kind of private school (like a Waldorf school maybe?) We don’t have any idea really where in the US we would move back to. My sister lives in Chicago, so that’s a frontrunner in the list of possibilities, but Chicago isn’t known for its great public school system. Or is it? What about a suburb of Chicago? We don’t really know what to do/what would be best for our kid. When do you decide to send your kid to a special ADHD school? Any advice would be appreciated.

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