The 50 Best Private Special Needs Schools in the United States
Every student has individual learning abilities. While in many cases, one of the goals of a comprehensive education is inclusion of all students of a particular age or grade level into the same classroom, at times some students’ needs are better served in a more focused setting. From early intervention through high school, teachers and parents may decide that a student would benefit from a learning experience that combines smaller classrooms and purposeful activities with trained faculty who are educated to understand a student’s particular abilities. Our website acknowledges that it is not always productive, or accurate, to combine a range of learning styles and needs under a single category. A child with a hearing loss does not have the same needs as a student who has been diagnosed with autism. In the future, we would like to compile separate lists to evaluate the myriad schools that exist for specific needs. But, with the acknowledgment of the imperfect terms, the editors hope to begin with this list entitled 50 Best Private Special Needs Schools in the United States. The umbrella term is used basically to designate any student who has difficulty with success in an academic environment, whether because of the need for a physical accommodation, a cognitive challenge, or an emotional obstacle. Schools for students with special needs address academic, physical, social, and/or emotional issues. In this list, specific services provided by each ranked school are outlined. The editors considered both boarding and day schools for this list, and when a ranked boarding school offers day school options, it is noted.
Selections were made based on the following:
1. The school has a rich curriculum based on variety of offerings/tools to service its students.
2. The school has a low student-teacher ratio, which is important to schools that serve all types of learning abilities, but when students struggle in more than one area, the student’s learning experience is enhanced by specialized attention from a trained teacher. Many of the schools chosen have a faculty of whom over 50% possess Master’s degrees or above.
3. The school has won awards for teaching, excellence, or architecture.
4. The school offers unique programs which transcend the basic academic curricula, like animal therapy, links to colleges, online learning options, sports, or art.
N.B. The language in this article takes its cue from the individual school’s designation. For example, if a school refers to its students as having special needs, learning disabilities (LD), learning (dis) abilities, or learning differences, our editors followed suit in that school’s write up.
The editors have attempted to create as geographically diverse a selection as possible while representing the schools which best fall under the methodology.
All stated tuition prices are subject to change; stated pricing may be approximate, and does not include additional fees such as entry or incidental fees, costs for books, meals, technology, or medical care.
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