Students with learning disabilities in Michigan are fortunately provided with many resources to navigate their educational experience, while parents and educators are becoming increasingly aware of the need for early intervention and more personalized engagement with students.

Despite efforts in previous generations to “mainstream” students with learning disabilities, we have found that traditional education is not always the best answer. There are a variety of reasons why you may wish to mainstream your child or not, but at Lake Michigan Academy, we see the value of special education every day and are proud to watch our students play an active role in their self-actualization as they gain more confidence, independence, and courage.

Typical Issues in Public Schools

The average public school class size in Michigan is one of the highest in the country, severely limiting students with learning differences. Both students and teachers end up feeling out of reach of one another, and the impersonal experience leads to higher stress levels among students who already struggle with learning guilt.

When students are struggling with symptoms of ADD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and other similar disorders, they are often easily overwhelmed by sensory stimuli and comorbid mental health problems. For instance, the rate of comorbidity with ADHD and other disorders is estimated to be as high as 80%.

Another disadvantage to larger classes is the tendency for teachers to take part in “whole-group instruction,” in which they address the entire class and fail to notice if one student is falling behind. If the majority of the class appears to be understanding the content, they are less likely to notice a child with learning disabilities falling behind.

Advantages of Smaller Class Sizes

Smaller class sizes have been correlated with greater academic success and improved performance on cognitive tests, even for students without learning disabilities. It goes without saying that a smaller student-to-teacher ratio provides more opportunities for guided, personal instruction, rather than whole-group instruction.

One of the ways we have found that students excel is by limiting student-teacher ratios significantly. Our class sizes at Lake Michigan Academy are drastically smaller than that of a traditional public school, enabling staff to spend much more one-on-one time with each individual student and empowering students to be their own advocates as they progress through their educational career.

The best special education schools take into consideration numerous factors that impact the lives and academic careers of children who have fallen behind, including smaller class sizes. If you are considering an educational change for your child, why not visit Lake Michigan Academy?