The ADHD child can be a challenge in the classroom. Often, conventional schooling does not work; the traditional classroom setting can be too distracting for a child with a disorder that heightens his sensory awareness. If the public school your child attends does not make accommodations for her special needs, it may be time to consider the option of private school. The advantages you'll have are a smaller classroom size and a teacher who has more time to devote to your child.
Gather all necessary documents: your child's birth certificate, Social Security card and school transcripts, as well as documentation from your child's pediatrician stating the diagnosis.
Apply for SSI for your child. SSI is a federal income supplement program for aged, blind or disabled people. Since ADHD is considered to be a lifelong condition with no known cure, your child may be eligible to collect SSI benefits. To apply, visit the website at socialsecurity.gov or go to your local office of Social Security Administration. The amount you collect will help offset the cost of private schooling.
Ask the administrators at your local public school about available funding. If your child has an IEP (Individualized Education Program), he may qualify for help not available to traditional students. For example, in Florida, The John McKay Scholarship Foundation will pay tuition at a private school of the parents' choosing if the child has received an IEP from public school.
Research your options online. Some states, such as Vermont, Maine, Wisconsin, Utah and Ohio, as well as Washington D.C., offer vouchers for income-based scholarships. Florida offers the Florida PRIDE scholarship. Pennsylvania, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota offer contributions to scholarship programs, or tax credits or deductions for education expenses. Be sure to supply all required paperwork and meet all deadlines.
Visit your local school board and call the education board in your state's capital to learn of any other options available to you.
Tips & Warnings
- Be diligent and relentless in pursuing your education goals for your child. Seek out a support group for parents of ADHD children in your community. Be organized, which will help make things go more smoothly and eliminate some stress from what can be a frustrating process. Put all paperwork pertaining to your child in one place and keep it handy.
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