Should I Send My Child With Autism To Public School?

Every parent has to decide what form of education is best for their child. Parents with a special needs child have a lot to consider including public school, private school, a special needs school or other alternative, some of which can be expensive.

Deciding which option is best for your child, and family budget, can be a hard decision.  We recommend exploring all options, visiting schools, talking to other parents, school administrators, and educators before coming to a decision about what type of education is best for your child.

Do Public Schools Accommodate Children with Autism?

Public schools are required by law to provide an education for every student, including those with disabilities, autism, or special needs.  Some autistic students do excel in public school, while others struggle.  This depends on many factors including the resources available to the school, your child’s specific needs and challenges, class size and even how your child interacts with the teacher.  For some families the only way to know if their public school program will work is to give it a try.

For those where public school isn’t a good fit, or isn’t an option there are many alternative forms of education.

Private School Options for Students with Autism

There are many private schools in Virginia licensed to serve students disabilities including autism.  Some of these schools incorporate programs for a variety of disabilities, while some, like Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, provide education specifically for students with autism and related disabilities.

For most students, we recommend parents try a private school program with a specific autistic education program before turning to private tutoring options as the primary means of education. The right school environment, like the Sarah Dooley Center, provides children the opportunity to interact with others in an environment which helps them learn and thrive, which is important to any child’s development.

Our safe school environment encourages independence and promotes self-determination. Our goal is to help every child in our school grow into their own person using methods and teaching tactics best suited for them.

How To Pay For Private Autism Education

Not every student has the same needs and not every family has the same resources. Private education can be expensive, especially for autistic and special needs students, but there are a number of financial assistance programs for special needs children. Before you decide private education isn’t an option, you should fully explore these financial and community resources.

Visiting Autism Schools in Richmond, Virginia

Most families visit several special needs schools before deciding on the best fit for their child.  There are many schools in the Richmond area with excellent reputations for providing education to students with autism.

If you are considering private education for your child, we invite you to contact us to learn more about the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, tour our Henrico campus and see how our program is helping children ages 5 to 22 diagnosed with autism and other related developmental disabilities.

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