In the state of Michigan, we have begun to take a more inclusive approach to learning disabilities and neurodiversity in general. Greater strides are being taken to support the needs of neurodiverse students in the Grand Rapids area and beyond. Here in West Michigan, our school has been building a strong foundation for students with learning disabilities–such as ADD, autism, and dyslexia–and their families.

The Dangers of Getting Left Behind

Though there is decreased stigma in public education, few educators in traditional schools have the precise training necessary to teach students with learning disabilities that impact them academically, socially, and psychologically.

Unfortunately, not every student has had the opportunity to experience the advantages of special education, which is targeted for the specific needs of students with learning disabilities. Smaller class sizes, specialized teachers, and a structured curriculum are advantageous for students who might otherwise struggle to stay on track. And the sooner a student can be integrated into this supportive environment, the higher their chances of succeeding in academics and in life.

Why is Special Education Valuable?

Early intervention is crucial for students in the elementary school years. Too often, students with disabilities are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, leading to learning guilt, frustration, and difficulty navigating the ever-increasing expectations as they move forward in their academic career. By the time they reach college, they may feel hopeless and assume they are incapable of graduating, no matter how much passion they may hold for their major.

There are very specific elementary school programs for students with an autism diagnosis, and you are unlikely to find educators at public school who are equipped to manage it. Similarly, a 2020 report showed that early intervention is necessary for students with ADHD, too—not only for the current generation, but for many more to come!

If your child is struggling with unprepared but well-meaning teachers in their public school classroom, it might be time to consider switching to special education. At LMA, our educators are prepared to guide your child through their challenges, find their hidden strengths, and provide a structured learning environment that empowers them.