School & Learning

Public or Private School?

If your child has ADHD or a learning disability, then chances are likely you have been considering whether or not a public or private school will work best for him. Use this guide to find out the pros and cons of each.

Factors to consider when choosing a public or private school for your child with ADHD or learning disabilities like dyslexia.
Factors to consider when choosing a public or private school for your child with ADHD or learning disabilities like dyslexia.

When researching schools, don’t fall for the public school versus private school trap.

Instead, concentrate on each individual place. Just like a kid with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whose symptoms swing wildly from mild to severe, each school has its own pluses and minuses. In fact, public or private schools can work for children with ADHD – in different ways. Here’s how:

Going Public

  • Children don’t have to test into public schools.
  • Children don’t have admissions “interviews,” which can easily call attention to ADHD.
  • By law, public schools must prove they are doing everything in their power to help all children thrive.
  • Homework tends to be lighter in public schools.
  • There’s less pressure to over-stimulate your child with after-school activities and tutoring.
  • Your child can’t be forced out – even if he isn’t excelling.
  • They’re free.

Private Lessons

  • Class size is usually smaller than in public schools, with better teacher-to-student ratios.
  • Zoning doesn’t restrict your choices. Your child can go almost anywhere – if he can test in.
  • Academic programs may be more challenging – a plus for bright children who get bored easily.
  • Many private schools offer extra help (e.g., speech therapy) after class instead of during regular classroom time, which is less stigmatizing.
  • Once you get in, testing isn’t as crucial as it is in public schools.

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