1. Change in Attitude Toward School
Your child may begin to say they are “bored” with school, which can often be a coping mechanism for an area they are struggling with. Your child may also start to show frustration, negativity, or a lack of motivation toward school that wasn’t present before. These are both indications that a specialized school could be a positive alternative to your child’s current classroom setting.
2. Challenges at Home and Other Areas
If you begin to notice changes in your child’s behavior at home, it may be because of the challenges they are facing at school.
3. Beginning to Accept the “Stigma”
Often times, students face so many challenges in the classroom that they actually begin to believe some of the myths of having a learning disability—that they are stupid, a failure, etc. These stigmas couldn’t be further from the truth! A specialized school can help break the mold that your child has labeled him or herself with so that they can start to see all of their amazing strengths!
4. Lack of Support from Teachers and School Officials
Hopefully, you have an IEP or 504 plan for your child and your child’s teachers and school officials are doing everything they can to accommodate your child’s needs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you have been struggling with getting your child’s school or teachers to make the proper accommodations for your child, it may be time to consider a specialized school with small class sizes and a greater ability to work with your child on an individual level.
5. Low Self Esteem or Lack of Motivation
Low self-esteem and a lack of motivation likely stem from the challenges your child is facing in the classroom. A prolonged presence of these feelings can have a negative impact on your child’s future success. A specialized school that places focus on helping your child achieve success in and out of the classroom can help break some of these negative feelings and build your child’s confidence and zest for learning!
6. Avoids Responsibility
Avoiding responsibility is part of being a teenager! Learning to take responsibility for the day to day tasks as simple as brushing your teeth are a huge part of growing into a successful adult. If your child is struggling in these areas, a specialized school can help provide the structure and support they need to begin to develop these basic life skills.
7. NEEDS Structure
Does your child thrive in a structured environment? Or fall apart during free time? Specialized schools are typically very structured, 24 hours a day. The daily schedule is often the same no matter what, the support system is consistent, and there is typically always a staff member available to offer guidance and support. This structured environment could be just what your child needs to stay on the track to success.
8. Thrives in Small Groups
If your child is already facing challenges in the classroom, large class sizes and lack of personalized attention are probably making it easier for them to fall further behind without much notice. Learning in a small group setting helps your child to stay more focused and get the attention they need should they have questions, ideas to share, or need help staying on task. If you do decide to consider a specialized school, be sure to consider class size as an important success factor.