Our prisons are filled with men & women with learning disabilities; the statistics are staggering. Providing kids with alternative educational opportunities is an appropriate and healthy strategy. My son thrived in an environment where he was surrounded by kids like him and he did not feel singled out.
My son was diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome at age 8. He was "mainstreamed" in the public schools. They failed him miserably. He failed 1st, 3rd 7th, & 9th grade. At age 18 he was a 9th grade dropout. His IQ was above normal but, he just could not concentrate in the typical school setting. The public schools refused to agree that he needed help that they could not provide. They put him in a developmentally delayed group. After failing to get the school system to provide him with the appropriate education, I put him in a private school for children with learning disabilities and behavior problems. The school was $4000/year (1988). I paid someone to drive him to and from school (2 round trips/day at 80 miles each). The student teacher ratio was 1:8 and they utilized a variety of teaching techniques involving all the senses. Their grading standards and expectations were higher than the public school and they knew how to write an IEP correctly (the public school teachers had no clue). To this day, my son will tell you that those two years were the best education he ever got. Unfortunately, the school only went to the 8th grade and there was no comparable school close to us. He returned to the public school system, failed and dropped out. Fortunately, he has since gone on to get his HS degree as an adult.
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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