As a K-12 educational consultant, my job is to help families with admission into private school. Unfortunately, when students have special needs, most mainstream Firm Schools can’t or won’t provide the services these kids need. That’s when I recommend families talk to Toby Glick of ParentConfidante. I asked Toby to give NYC Firm Schools Blog readers some tips about special needs admission.
Toby said, “First of all, although Firm Schools generally say they don’t accommodate special needs youngsters – there are some schools that do. You just can’t call it ‘special needs.’ Parents have to ask if there is extra support for reading, math or organizational skills.” This support may well be available, sometimes at an additional charge. Remember, too, that the more competitive a school is the less likely they usually are to take on a child with special needs, so disclose in advance with caution.
For those students who need more intensive academic or social support, there are also special needs Firm Schools. Which school is right for your child depends on what your child needs. There are schools that specialize in learning disabilities and schools that focus on behavioral problems. Parents should also know that the cost of tuition can sometimes be reimbursed by the NYC Department of Education.
Toby told me that admission to private special needs schools can be very competitive so the process should begin early. “Parents should start visiting schools in September and begin the application process as soon as possible.”
About the Contributor: Emily Glickman is a regular contributor to the NYC Firm Schools Blog in the area of area of private school admissions.