Children who have ADHD often find it hard to fit into a traditional public school system. ADHD students get bored easily, they get easily distracted, they forget things easily and are often subjected to criticism, ridicule, and bullying. Because of this, many parents are looking into Alternative schools for ADHD children in order to give them a better chance of gaining academic excellence as well as other important life skills which are oftentimes out of reach to them within the traditional educational system.
Why do ADHD students struggle in traditional schools?
Traditonal schools don’t usually have enough facilities to meet the needs of ADHD students. The way classes are structred, it’s unlikely that teachers will adjust to the specialized needs of ADHD students in order to help them learn better. ADHD children will often find themselves bored and distracted in class. Because students also don’t get extra help with their assignments and other coursework, they usually get bad grades.
It’s not unusual for ADHD students to be seen as stupid or lazy when they’re often just misunderstood. As a result, students with ADHD in traditional schools are often demoralized, depressed, and angry at themselves. Students with ADHD are also often seen as disruptive in class and are commonly socially unpopular which adds to their stress level in school. They’re easy targets for bullies, and sometimes they force themselves to do things they wouldn’t usually do just to get accepted in a social circle.
How do you help ADHD students?
There’s no single thing that will help children with ADHD cope better with life. It’s often a combination of involved parenting, therapy, healthy diet, and medication. Many parents with ADHD children are looking into alternative education, one of the most popular is homeschooling. The problem with this is that one parent has to stay home and focus on the child (teaching, setting up a structure, etc.); not all families can afford living on a single income. For single parents, it’s often not a viable option at all.
Another option is finding alternative schools for ADHD children. While they’re not cheap, these schools have been instrumental in helping young people find the best way to learn, achieve academic success, and eventually become independent and productive members of society.
What’s the difference?
There’s a huge difference when it comes to the kind of help that these schools give to young people. Dfferent alternative schools for ADHD children have different approach to teaching, but they all do have a few things in common:
- A nurturing environment – Imagine living in an environment where you’re always the odd person that nobody likes. Now imagine being transferred to an environment where everybody is involved in your development, everybody is supportive of your efforts to be successful, and the children around you are not judgmental of you and your struggles. It’s a refreshing feeling to be in a place where you can be yourself and finally learn that you can be successful and happy in school, that you don’t need to be miserable in it. School can truly be a place of learning and growth, not a place to be afraid of.
- Specialized support – For many students with ADHD, what they really need is a way to learn how to learn, and not just learn their lessons. If they learn techniques that will help them focus, get organized, take notes, develop a system to remember their assignments, and how to do their own research, these skills will apply to any course that they will study in the future. The objective is not just to survive Algebra class, for example. The goal is to gain the skills necessary to survive and even ace other courses that the students will take in the future.
- Trained staff – Alternative schools for ADHD children employ staff who are knowledgeable in helping children with this disorder. Their dedication is not just limited to what goes on in the classroom, but in making a difference that students can take outside the school as well. For alternative boarding schools, most teachers live on campus and take an active role in students’ activities. Parents will want the educators who work with their children to understand what ADHD is and therefore know how to best help them achieve their goals. For ADHD children in boarding schools who need help remembering to take their medication, most alternative ADHD schools also have staff on hand to make sure that they take their medication on time.
- Small class sizes – ADHD schools are good at making sure students are not overlooked. The small class sizes in these schools help teachers give individualized attention to the students. This way, teachers are not overwhelmed with their load and students are monitored as closely as possible.
- Healthy lifestyle – Many studies support the fact that a healthy amount of physical activity helps keep the symptoms of ADHD at bay. Most alternative schools for ADHD kids have sufficient facilities to let the kids roam, play, and get as much physical activity as they need. These schools also usually have their own nutritionist who make it a point to prepare healthy food for students. ADHD students who eat healthy food, have a good amount of exercise, sleeps on time and wakes up on time are more likely to feel better and experience less of the common symptoms of ADHD.
- Therapy and structure – An important aspect of alternative schools for ADHD children, is the structure and therapy they provide students. Most schools break down their entire day with short breaks in between to help lessen the boredom and distraction of ADHD students. The daily structure is also designed to be easy to follow and remembered, with reminders to help students remember where they are supposed to be at any given time. Therapy is also usually available in order to help children understand what is going on with them, to learn how to live with the disorder, and to just help them become better adjusted individuals as they progress through school.