IEP vs. private mainstream school

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2009
IEP vs. private mainstream school
Sun, 06-07-2009 - 11:23pm

DS will be entering Kindergarten. He was diagnosed with a mild speech
delay( pragmatic and word retrieval primarily and ADHD inattentive
type). Our developmental pediatrician did not diagnose DS with PDD, but
the child psychologist did state that the symptoms were possibly
associated with PDD. DS's academic and cognitive functions are fully
within the average range, however, so we didn't expect services from
our ounty. Armed with our private evaluations, we just finished
our IEP meeting with our home school, and we received all the services
we wanted; 45 minutes a week of language therapy, 45 minutes a week of a
social skills group, and classroom accommodations.

We are also considering a private mainstream school which has a good reputation
For kids with different learning styles, e.g. mild ADHD, or mild sensory disorder.
We heard it's a good environment for quirky learners. We toured that school, had a good
impression. The teachers seem very experienced, caring and patient. The
class size is very small. Our concern is, if most of the kids there are
very active, need lots of teacher's redirection, will it be a little
overwhelming environment for DS. They only have 8 kids(5 boys and 3 girls)
so far for next year. Is it too small? Will DS have less chance to make friends? In the mean time, DS will see other
kids just like him, DS won't feel like he stands out, and may have more
chances to develop friendships. (I'm all confused)

However, we're conflicted now that the county has provided a good IEP
for DS. We were impressed with the staff at our home school. We felt
they understood the exact goals we wanted reached with therapy. Our
concern is the big class size, as there will be around 25 kids in one
class. Will DS get lost, not get enough help he needs in this environment.

We are seeking opinions. Public school with a comprehensive IEP or
the private school which is suited for kids with different styles?

Thank you!

Avatar for kathyjoenathan
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Mon, 06-08-2009 - 10:26am

I can't compare private schools because my son goes to the public school and I have no experience with private.

Our school district has "all inclusive" classrooms; which means certain classrooms have an aide and the children with IEP's and behavioral issues, etc. get put in that class.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2008
Tue, 06-09-2009 - 12:49pm

I would opt for the public school for a couple of reasons:

1. Your son would be around more children, increasing the likelihood of friendships and gaining some positive role models for behavior. Our son is finishing up kindergarten at a public school and he has made a lot of friends. His best friend also has ADHD and is unmedicated, so they get in trouble a lot when they're together in class (the teacher makes every effort to separate them because of this). I would be worried if our son was in a class primarily with others with similar issues because he tends to feed off of bad behavior from other kids. I'm quietly hoping our son's best friend is assigned to a different class next year for first grade.

2. You can avoid threats of being kicked out of private school. Our son was kicked out of a private preschool and even though he did better at a second private preschool, we still had the threats he would be kicked out if certain behaviors continued. It was a scary time crossing our fingers he behaved well enough. Major relief getting into public school for kindergarten.

You mentioned concern about being lost in a large class and we have found that not to be the case for our son. His teacher even gives us a special card each day (this was her idea) describing his behavior during each segment of the class. Takes special effort and she makes it, even with a class of 20 students.

Just my two cents ... sounds like it will be a challenging decision.
Good luck!