Dylan Isn’t Bad Enough.
Just for me, my dad recorded an episode of Our America with Lisa Ling called “ADHD Explosion.” Our America is an Oprah-network version of 60 Minutes – and this episode explored ADHD and its many facets.
When they got to the part about the Hunter School in New Hampshire, I started to cry.
At the Hunter School, kids are taught to self-regulate, self-advocate and be who they are. They not only learn to handle their emotions, but they learn how they learn and are able to take control over their own lives. Josh, the boy who resided at the Hunter School, went from being an incredibly obnoxious child on tons of medication to being polite, calm and responsible – and now lives entirely without medication.
Dylan needs that school so badly. He needs to learn how to self-regulate and self-advocate and handle his emotions and learn how he learns. He needs to take control over the way he does what he does.
Which is why I was crying.
I knew the school would cost more than I could afford. Plus, it is more than 500 miles away. (523 miles, or 543 miles, depending on which route you take. I checked.)
In looking at the school’s website after watching the show, I learned that Dylan would likely not be accepted into their program, even if I were willing to send him off to live in New Hampshire and sell my house to pay his tuition.
He still couldn’t go. Dylan isn’t enough of a “problem.” He isn’t disruptive enough in school. He is still succeeding – according to all standard standards – because he isn’t failing (enough) in school, using drugs, or trying to kill anyone.
So I started searching for other schools, closer to home. Again.
This is my fourth go-round looking for schools for Dylan. We started searching for private schools when Dylan was in third grade. We skipped a year, while he was in the GT program, because he thoroughly enjoyed school that year.
We actually applied to a private school for 6th grade, but Dylan was not “offered a place” at the school. Their reasoning for this was unclear, but it was obvious to me: we couldn’t afford to pay the $26,000 per year tuition.
Dylan didn’t want to go to school with a bunch of rich snobs anyway. I was glad we applied, to learn the valuable lesson that we do not want to be lumped into a group who cares more about money than educating my absolutely brilliant son.
So now, for this round, I am looking at high schools. I have discovered – again – that Dylan isn’t “bad enough” to get a free, public education at an alternative school. There are actually several free public alternative high schools. One of these is for middle schoolers only, and is almost walking distance from my house. (I had no idea it existed.)
However, the alternative schools are reserved for pregnant moms, drug abusers and severely emotionally troubled youth. The school has to recommend placement. But just in case he wanted to go, I asked Dylan about it.
Not surprisingly, Dylan decided he would rather not go to school with those kids – even if I fought to get him in.
So this time, we are looking at private schools with a religious component. Those are slightly (only slightly) cheaper than the snobby-rich, private schools. Better yet, they have the God Thing included, free of charge.
I have pegged three schools as possibilities for Dylan’s 8th grade. School is over, but we are going to talk to these folks and tour the facilities.
We shall see what happens.