Public or Private School?
When looking for the best school for your child with ADHD, your best bet is to forget about getting too concerned with whether the school is public or private, and focus instead on the merits and drawbacks of each school. Both public and private schools have pluses and minuses when it comes to educating children with ADHD.
The Pros of Public Schools
A public school may be the best resource for you and your child for a variety of reasons. For starters, public schools are free. Some private schools can cost as much or more than college. Your child doesn't have to pass admissions tests and interviews to get in — another factor to consider since many children with ADHD do not test well, despite many having high IQs.
Your child's homework load will probably be lighter if he goes to public school, and he can't be forced out if his grades suffer.
The Pros of Going Private
In general, private schools offer smaller class sizes and a higher student-to-teacher ratio, which ensures your child will get the attention he needs. Your child won't be forced to attend a specific public school, but is free to attend any private school in the country, or even in the world.
If your child has a very high IQ and gets bored easily, he may benefit from a private school with an academically challenging, rigorous, and personalized academic program.
Many private schools provide additional services to children with ADHD, such as speech therapy after school, rather than during classroom time. This lessens the chance your child will miss out on important classroom education and also eliminates the stigma of being pulled out of class because he's “different” or needs special attention.
Most private schools also rely less on testing than public schools and more on a variety of factors to determine student achievement, and some do away with grades altogether and use a “pass-fail” system.