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Parent Seeks School Geared to LD Problems
Q: My son is LD in written expression. He is dysgraphic. He is repeating sixth grade and is now in a very good charter school and is getting LD special help and is now, because of the environment in school, not taking Ritalin® and doing fairly well. He is ADHD. I understand that there is a school in Washington, D.C. that is geared to LD problems. Are you aware of this school, or do you have a tip for us for finding its name? I'm not sure whether it is upper school, middle, both, boarding, or not. I need help. Thanks.
A: Glad to hear your son is doing well in the current setting. It's wonderful when the combination of good teachers, good school and home environment, and appropriate strategies make that sort of a difference in a child's life.
You just might be asking about The Lab School of Washington, D.C. This school has earned an excellent reputation as a K-12th grade day school, which offers an exemplary education to students with learning disabilities. It was selected as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. Sally Smith, who is the director of the school in addition to serving as the Head of Graduate Programs in Special Education: Learning Disabilities at American University, has written many books about individuals with learning disabilities and enjoys a reputation as an international specialist in the field. Visit the school's website for a complete listing of Ms. Smith's books and accomplishments.
If you are interested in finding out more about other excellent private schools for children with learning disabilities, you might try The Directory for Exceptional Children: A Listing of Educational & Training Facilities 1994-95 (latest edition) edited by Porter-Sargent. This helpful book sells for about $60, but should be in the reference section of your public library. It gives information about and reviews of private residential and day schools for students with disabilities.
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Jerome (Jerry) Schultz is the founding clinical director of the Learning Lab @ Lesley University, a program that provides assessment, tutoring, and case management services for children with learning challenges. Schultz holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology.