Schools for Kids with Issues?

<p>My son was waitlaisted at the one school to which he applied for 8th grade as a day student. Said school is top-notch so very competitive for admissions. Son fell in love with school and was crushed by denial. Son is currently 8th grade student at a public school in a suburb famous for quality of public schools, not sure appropriately so. We only applied to super-top private school because public high school is supposed to be so good. Anyway, SSATs (without test prep) were 95%, all As except B+ and B in extremely difficult math class. He will be one of the few kids from his school in Honors Math next year. ECs weak -- plays football, loves it, not great at it. Sails, loves it, but doesn't sail competitively. Plays french horn, but not seriously. Has attended well-known science school for children (in summer) for 7 years and likely will be counselor last 2 years of high school. Son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at 5, had aide through grade 4, and lots of extra stuff paid for by parents. He is now "cured", has friends, etc.., but still does better in small group environments with support. Hence the problem with public high school -- 2000+ students, large class size for "honors" classes. Looking toward next year, we are considering trying again, but want to make sure son gets in this time. He would be applying for grade 9 since he is eager to use the transition to repeat since he is young for his grade, and small. We will need lots of FA, in large part because we spent so much money up-front on therapies. Looking for suggestions for schools near Boston. Son loves sports, but isn't gifted athletically. Posted message in another thread, was advised to start new thread, and am doing so now.</p>

<p>Aspiemom- you may want to look at Boston University Academy. It's pretty small and has very limited sports. Seems very science and math oriented but also has liberal arts. We definitely liked it and would have applied but we live too far away to commute to Boston. Kids can take classes at Boston University in grades 11 and 12. </p>

<p>I have a daughter with high functioning autism so I have some idea what you have been through- it's a long road even when "cured". Good luck!</p>

<p>You are looking for a day school, or a boarding/day school at which your son could be a day student? </p>

<p>Also, your son does not need a school which specializes in Asperger's, but he does need a small school, with a supportive environment?</p>

<p>Storm King school has a great program for kids with learning differences.<br>
zp</p>

<p>It's in NY: <a href="http://www.sks.org/Default.asp?bhcp=1%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.sks.org/Default.asp?bhcp=1&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Periwinkle -- We would prefer a boarding/day school. I am prejudiced in favor of boarding schools because I went to one myself (EWS). As you say, my son does not need a school that specializes in Asperger's. Yes, we are looking for a small school with a supportive, yet structured environment.</p>

<p>PA-C -
Thanks for helping . . . yes, it is a long (yet worthwhile) road.</p>

<p>A friend's child attends Tilton, and she's very happy. </p>

<p>I've met parents who were very happy with the Cambridge School of Weston. I gather it's a progressive school, which can be great if you believe in progressive education.</p>

<p>I really liked Tabor Academy. It has marine science offerings, and courses in celestial navigation. The science classrooms are beautiful, and I think that the school is really well run. It also offers sailing.</p>

<p>I wouldn't call these schools necessarily schools for "kids with issues." I don't know your son, but your description of him reminds me of many math/science students I've known. (Forgive me if I'm wrong.) I think you might be best served to ask the admissions people for their honest opinion, whether they could see your son "fitting in" with the student body. Better yet, would be to ask a teacher, if you know anyone who teaches at a school you're interested in.</p>

<p>My family has a long, personal relationship with Storm King. I've only heard wonderful things about it. They have lots of talented kids there, and accept kids with learning differences to their Mountain Center. It is part of the school, but geared towards kids who need extra support. I know you are looking for schools near Boston, but I thought this one was worth the extra look.</p>

<p>zp</p>

<p>Zu Zu: I appreciate the info too- my daughter will soon be moving to jr high and we aren't sure if we will go private or not. If anyone has any info / resources for schools with good high functioning autism / asperger's resources I would be interested!</p>

<p>BU Academy had a rep for having "nerdy" students who aren't that into sports. My son thought it sounded good! haha</p>

<p>This thread resonates with me. We've just been down this path with one of our children. We chose to disclose our son's AS from the beginning of our contact with schools in which we were interested. For the two of you looking for school recommendations, I am happy to provide them (of course you will have to calibrate your child's particular needs/interests with these schools). You can PM me for particulars. In short, we were able to identify pretty readily from the websites which schools had experience dealing with "mild to moderate" learning differences. In the course of our research, I contacted a member of faculty at a popular New England BS (where I went) when I learned from another alum that this person had spent a sabbatical year looking into how BS handled LDs. The finding: even the most competitive, schools have about 6% of their students with diagnosed LDs. The so-called "supportive" BS typically have about 30%. The final category would be the "therapeutic" BS, where all students have selected the school because of its LD program. I did note a mention of Tilton, which came up in our research and to which we applied. Our child was refused admission, somewhat to our surprise. When I spoke with an admissions officer after learning this news, he replied that Tilton had "not had much luck" with AS. Given that we were straightforward throughout about AS (it's a "mild" case on the spectrum), we were quite puzzled and felt like we'd been misled. Again, we've just completed a year of work in fitting our child with a New England BS, so we're full of subjective assessments, opinions, information, etc. Do please PM me. If the interest level is broad enough in the audience on this site, I would be pleased to share our experiences on the site, rather than via PM. Cheers</p>

<p>As and aspie parent (not goaliegirl but her older brother), I have to commend you on your progress with your son.</p>

<p>I personally don't like calling Aspergers a LD, as it really is a sensory-integration issue at heart although it can manifest itself in certain factors of learning (primarily social skills). </p>

<p>And I can see you are trying to balance 3 different things here - Academic Rigor, Social Situation, and Financial Consideration - a tough job, indeed.</p>

<p>I am presuming that your primary concern here is getting a supportive social environment. </p>

<p>Have you considered one of the Quaker schools? Can't think of the names right now, but I think if you do the search function on Quaker in the prep forums you will find the names. I would think that they are more socially supportive of people and would not tolerate the social callousness that comes at some of the more high-stress competitive schools.</p>

<p>You know your son best, so I cannot recommend a specific school, but things to consider. My own son would not be independent enough to handle a boarding situation (and he is 19). Every kid (and especially Aspie's) is different.</p>

<p>I find it interesting that several of us have one kid accepted to very competitive BS (like my son) and one with AS/HFA (like my dtr). Goalie Dad- thank you for the offer- I would love the information too if you don't mind posting it here.</p>

<p>Klements: do you mind posting the info , I would love to see it too. Dtr is finishing 5th grade this year so I am starting to plan way early..</p>

<p>Link to the Quaker School website...</p>

<p>The</a> Friends Council on Education</p>

<p>Found it on a link from a previous post by Periwinkle (thanks).</p>

<p>To Aspiemom2 - there is a friends school in Cambridge listed on the site. If you use their school locator, you will find it. Unfortunately it is a k-8.</p>

<p>Perhaps you can call them to find out where their students go afterwards...</p>

<p>I'm adding some details in response to comments. Thanks all for adding. My prejudice in favor of boarding/day relates to concerns about social environment. My sense (perhaps incorrect) from having attended boarding school and having known many who attended day schools is that the social environment is more competitive at the latter. We are not expecting son to board; we would like him to attend as day student. That is for the "independence" reasons mentioned in one of the posts. As a result, Tabor is probably not viable. Will look at Storm King and Tilton -- don't know about them. BU Academy makes sense, but do they have money to throw at kids like my son? We purposely started by looking at schools with large endowments for that reason. After going through this process once, though, I am starting to realize the pressure under which those schools operate. Obviously, the easiest way to acheive results expected of them is to admit students who would likely get into and attend high profile colleges regardless of where they went to high school. Needless to say, not shocking, but a little disillusioning. Any thoughts about St. Marks or Concord Academy?</p>

<p>My friends daughter attendes Franklin Academy in CT. It is specifically for Non Verbal Learning Disabilities.</p>

<p>aspiemom2,</p>

<p>This is such an interesting case, I'm going to PM you and give you some ideas. But for anyone else who is watching---Phelps, a boys school in PA, has a number of asperger's kids who love it there (I had lunch with one when I visited). Another idea is Church Farm School which gives tons of aid---is basicly a pay to scale school, since you mentioned a financial need. I also agree with the poster about quaker schools---George might be worth a look. good luck and look for my pm!</p>

<p>BUA doesn't have any endowment really (but we are working on it) but it is also very different financially. It is strongly tied to BU which provides the physical plant, so, for example, it doesn't need to build up a fund for a science lab - it uses BU labs when the BUA labs aren't sufficient.
The social scene at BUA is very friendly and cooperative. Size has something to do with this, so does the fact that juniors and seniors are so spread out into BU classes that they don't feel at all as if they are competing for college slots.
BUA does have scholarship funding as well.
BUA is definitely not for everyone. It's a great place for kids who are very smart, and interested in things intellectual, a bit quirky, and , in general, not strongly into the traditional high school sports. We don't have a football team, and we generally compete only with similar small schools. (That being said, we have some very strong sports kids, mostly in outlier sports like fencing.)
A friend looked long and hard at Church Farm School and very much liked it. It's a very supportive place and very affordable. (They decided to stick with the local system.)</p>

<p>Oh, and Cambridge School of Weston gets a thumbs up for me in general. It's a mix of boarding and day which seems to work well. To my eye, the math/science is not exceedingly strong, but the whole feel of the place is very supportive, friendly, welcoming of quirky kids.</p>