The number of children with special needs is increasing. In 2019, more than three million children under the age of 18 had a disability.
That means 4% of America’s children need specialized environments in order for them to thrive. But so often, these kids are placed in public school systems, where staff doesn’t have the means to provide the attention these students need.
That’s why a much better option is a special needs private school. With private education in general, the student-to-instructor ratio is much lower, giving kids the time they need with teachers one on one.
And a special needs school allows staff to create individualized education plans that work for each individual student in their care.
Wondering if you should take your struggling student out of the unsupportive public system and place them in a private school created just for them? Keep reading to learn why it’s a good idea.
If your special needs child were to attend a public school, it’s likely that their instructors would have no formal training or experience in dealing with specific special needs.
They simply are not equipped to teach a class full of students while at the same time supporting your child’s needs.
When kids attend a private school that specifically serves special needs students, all of the staff and instructors will be equipped to care for their children. They know how to work with children suffering from speech impairments or autism.
This understanding will allow your child to feel seen, heard, and cared for, which will allow them to open up, be themselves, and engage with their education more freely.
Small Class Size
One of the biggest benefits of private school is the smaller size of the classroom. Some classrooms may only have 10 to 15 students, instead of 30 like a public school might have.
This allows instructors to spend time getting to know the quirks and learning styles of each child. Your child will get the individualized attention they need in order to thrive in class.
The environment also won’t be as overwhelming or intimidating, making for a less stressful day.
Every child has needs. But every special needs child has more pronounced needs that need to be met for them to learn, grow, and be all that they are capable of being.
With a private school suited to special needs children, each child can receive the degree of support they need. If a child struggles to hear, there may be times throughout the day when they attend a special program crafted for them, rather than staying with the rest of the class.
Specific activities can be planned for each student to help them learn their way. Each child has a different path to success, and the individual support of a private school allows instructors to create room for that.
Children Feel Like They Fit In
When children with disabilities attend public schools, it’s very easy for them to feel left out. They are quick to pick up on the fact that they are different from everyone else.
But when special needs children attend a private school for children like them, it’s much easier to feel like they fit in. There may be children in their class that act or struggle in the same ways they do.
And since each child has a learning plan catered to them, they won’t feel like they are behind everyone else, always rushing to catch up.
Support for Parents
Children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a special needs private school. When your kids attend this school, it gives you the opportunity to meet other parents and families who are similar to yours.
Raising special needs children can be very challenging and can make you feel very lonely at times. By meeting other parents who are going through the same thing, you can make positive and supportive friendships that can make you a better parent.
Drawbacks of Attending a Special Needs Private School
There are countless benefits of attending a private school, especially for kids with special needs. But there are some drawbacks to consider when making your decision.
The main reason parents are apprehensive about considering a private school is the tuition cost. The average cost for one-year tuition in a private education facility is over $12,000 per student.
For many families, this is out of reach. However, it’s not all bad news.
There are many opportunities for families and students to get scholarships so they can attend a special needs private school for less. Depending on the institution chosen and the scholarship received, tuition may even be free.
In Florida, for example, Governor Ron DeSantis extended private school scholarship availability for more students than ever before. Specifically, those with special needs or learning disabilities may qualify for a scholarship.
You’ll need to apply for the scholarship before the school year begins, and eligibility is primarily dependent on income levels.
This is a major benefit for students and their families, but it’s also a good thing for private schools. With scholarships like these, children from almost every socioeconomic background can attend private schools, ensuring diversity in the classroom.
No Interaction With Peers Without Special Needs
When attending a dedicated special needs, all of your child’s peers will also have special needs. So they won’t have an opportunity to engage with other types of children.
This can make it difficult for your child to engage with others outside of school. It can also make it difficult for your child to transition into a regular schooling environment in the future.
To aid with this, it’s important for your child to have opportunities to interact with other peers on a regular basis. This can be at church, playdates, parks, or afterschool programs.
Should You Send Your Kids to Private School?
Should you send your child to a special needs private school? The benefits are very real and extend far beyond what is listed in this article. Of course, there are some drawbacks to consider.
But most parents would choose a private school if they can make it work.
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About the Author/s
The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.