But not all children are being taught the way they learn best. The essence of finding the right school for a child is matching instruction to the way the child learns. Students with learning disabilities or learning differences often struggle needlessly when the educational setting is rigid, or directed toward the majority of students. But one size does not fit all. This is especially a problem in international schools where quality and effective special education resources are difficult to find. Thankfully, more and more international schools are adding learning support services. However, when struggling children reach high school and the academic demands increase, their needs change.
Many schools overseas are also reluctant to accept students with learning differences and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and parents end up begging school administrators to accept their child. Then when things become difficult, academically and/ or behaviorally, often parents and students are reluctant to demand more out of fear of being dismissed from the school. In these situations, struggling children are better served in an educational setting that understands them, embraces them, helps to rebuild their fragile adolescent egos, and empowers them to realize they can do more than they’ve ever dreamed.
This is especially true of high school students. When they do not get the academic support they need they often doubt themselves, their intelligence, come to hate school, and then adjust their dreams for the future accordingly. Nothing is more satisfying than knowing that a young person’s hope in their future has been restored. And that can happen when the educational setting is right for them.
There are traditional boarding schools with great learning support. There are boarding schools just for average to above average students that specialize in only learning disabilities. There are schools for kids with lower cognitive profiles, for those with Asperger’s and schools that do a great job with ADHD students. Within these schools, some are better than others at meeting the individual needs of the child. It is critical to have a thorough understanding of the student’s individual profile before making any recommendations about school placement.
Rebecca Grappo, Certified Educational Planner and founder of RNG, and Michelle Grappo, Ed.M, have visited almost 300 boarding schools, and has an in-depth knowledge of many others. Let experienced, professional, and compassionate educational consultants help guide you to the school that is exactly right for your child. Contact us to see how we can help.
On one of the first fall days of September, Michelle and Rebecca were invited to speak to the Colorado Consultants Association to answer that vexing and nagging query: is my teenager ready for college? Utilizing their extensive experience and professional backgrounds, they addressed the various social-emotional needs, learning difficulties, and even current cultural challenges that…read more
Interviewing for anything— be it a new job, placement in a boarding school, or even making new friends (hey, it counts!) can be nerve-wracking for most. When you’re preparing for a boarding school interview virtually or via a boarding school Skype interview, there are some pitfalls we don’t want you to trip into. Luckily, having…read more
Taking a special needs child abroad? Do you live abroad already with a child who has special needs? How have you made it work? Jackie Spinner takes us on her incredible journey to Morocco with her young adopted sons who are on the Autism Spectrum in her Washington Post Perspective special, “Special needs parenting in Morocco.” It was…read more
Check out Michelle’s latest article, which appears in our monthly educational consultant newsletter, IECA Insights. She explores the process of getting high-quality psychoeducational assessment, e.g. psychological testing for learning disabilities, for non-native English speakers. Here’s a snippet! Finding good psychoeducational and neuropsychological testing in the United States for native-English speakers is a difficult task. But if…read more
A young man, 18, was admitted into a very selective and competitive college. However, having just been diagnosed with ADD, he was overwhelmed with all the independence, lack of structure, freedom, and new responsibilities. By the end of first term, he was nearing failure. It was imperative to get him in touch with student counseling…”
A fifteen year old male student was extremely bright, but also had major struggles with ADD, depression, and behavior issues at school, resulting in numerous suspensions. The relationship at home was fraught with conflict and the family was at the breaking point. He was belligerent about the thought of going to boarding school, and opposed…”
A young man, 15, started looking for a boarding school for his junior and senior years. He had everything going for him – stellar resume, grades, sports, and personality. The conversation focused on just how much academic pressure he was willing to take on. He was adamant he wanted to push himself, and was given…”
A young woman of 17 moved to a remote location for what would have been her senior year of high school. She had never lived overseas before, and her school only offered the International Baccalaureate program. Therefore, she was put back a year to start the IB curriculum. She was miserable, and things finally reached…”
A family with a son who had significant development delays contacted me regarding life as an internationally mobile family and wondered about embarking on such a lifestyle. We spent hours of counseling up front while they were still in their home environments, and the family prepared to homeschool their son, knowing few schools overseas would…”
A family with two employed parents was suddenly separated by an evacuation, leaving them with some important decisions to make quickly regarding the children’s education. The older daughter remained in her boarding school and became the school’s star student; the younger one remained with mom and came back to the U.S. The father remained overseas…”
A sixteen year old girl came to me feeling very depressed and uninspired by school. Her mother was extremely concerned by her lack of engagement. This girl was extremely bright but did not do well in a traditional setting. Her mother said her creative side needed to be encouraged in order to get her engaged…”
I wanted to tell you I spent last weekend in Arizona having a reunion of friends from Beijing days 20 years ago…..and guess who was there…a dear friend…..I said, you don’t happen to know Becky Grappo and her words, exactly, “She saved my life!!!!” I thought you would like to know that….she is in fine…”
Speaking of professionals, please accept my sincere gratitude for your brilliant work. This all really started happening after you challenged our son to give you something concrete to work with. Your strategy was perfectly planned and executed. Good Show!”
I just wanted to thank you for getting me through the most painful and difficult thing I have ever had to do. I know that there is a lot of work to be done but I feel we are finally on the right track. I know that you put a lot of effort into helping…”
My husband and I cannot thank you enough for coming through for our son, when he needed someone like yourself to come for his rescue. Our son is a changed young man – full of confidence and joys of life. It is simply wonderful to see him doing so well and it is all thanks to you.”
My son is doing incredible!! I cannot believe the difference in him. He still has a way to go, but he even knows it and he is just so open and honest with us and himself. I am proud of him. Thank God for all of you that help us realize that we and our kids…”
I will take this opportunity to thank you for all your assistance and support over the last few months. This period could have been most stressful but was not due to your support, cool guidance and highly professional approach.”
I have seen a lot of maturity and sense of responsibility in him. No matter how much I miss him not having him home with the family, both his father and I realize that sending him to boarding school was the best things that we have done for him. The staff is wonderful at his…”
I don’t think I have adequately thanked you for the superb work you did for us this past year. We went from being nowhere, to getting our son into some excellent, superb schools. You should be so proud of what you do, because it’s clearly an art. No rules, but a lot of gut feelings….”
You have already helped him, by giving him hope that his unique voice can be heard and celebrated. Thank you so much for that gift!”
I wanted to thank you for your helpful emails and staying in contact with me even now that I’m in college. I wanted to at least give you a quick reply and let you know that I’m loving it here at my college and feel like it is the perfect place for me. More than anything,…”
I would like to thank you personally for everything you’ve done for our son, actually for both my children. My husband and I were have been suffering (not so silently) for the past month with our son and his essays, or their non-existence. Even though we felt he had good chances of getting in, one…”
I just want to make the point of thanking you formally for all the great work that you did with our son this last year! It was wonderful and so reassuring to know that you were there with him throughout the whole process of university applications. We all know it can be stressful for most and…”
I just wanted to let you know I could not do any of this without you, and I am so thankful for someone that cared enough to help me become successful.”
I gotta say I couldn’t have done it without you.”