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Worried about SS going to middle school

Aymey's picture

My SS will be making the transition from elementary to middle school next year (we know we still have several months, but we have to start looking at schools now), he’s zoned for a great public school but my husband is terrified that DS is going to be terribly bullied because of his disability and very immature social skills. At first, I thought “regular” school would be tough at first, but SS could benefit from being around other “regular” kids his age (he goes to a special school now), but the more I watch him interact, the more I think DH May be right.

We have a few private schools in our area that would be a good fit and because he’d have a scholarship with his disability, the cost isn’t bad. My stress is that BM is a physco and will use school tours and communication about schools with DH to OVER communicate (it’s already started). DH handles everything so well, but I can’t help feeling terrible bevhase I know they’ll go on tours together and my DH invited me, but to this day, BM has refused to meet me (again, she’s a nutcase). I want to go because I’m the one that does transportation, homework, etc, but I just don’t know what the right thing to do is. I don’t want my husband to feel any more stress than he already does about this tough choice.


This question is 2 parts...1) how did you decide whether regular school or a private school was better for your child? 2) how did you bear DH and BM having to interact/go on school tours?


Aymey's picture

Great question. That’s what we would try to do, but she has a way of weaseling in at the last minute. Although if she knows I’d be there too, she probably wouldn’t show. Good point!

Maxwell09's picture

This is the only solution that makes the most sense.  She doesn’t want to meet or be around you but you’ve take on the education role in your house so you should have some sort of introduction to his school/teacher/class. BM is an adult and she can go on her own time. They don’t have to do it together just because they are both parents. Y’all are hardly the first blended family so the teacher won’t even blink an eye at having to meet parents separately at this point. 



ndc's picture

Without knowing the disability you're concerned about, it's hard to say. There are many disabilities that a public school is better equipped to accommodate/handle than a typical private school (i.e., not one that specifically deals with disabilities).  Why does SS have immature social skills? Is it a result of his disability? Because he has been in a special school? Something else?  Why does your DH think he's more likely to be bullied in a public school than a private (unless, again, the private school is for kids with disabilities)?

I would tour all of the schools and ask a lot of questions. Ask about other situations similar to SS's. Ask how they handle bullying. Ask about the availability of any necessary services.  I would definitely go on the visits, as you're involved with SS's schooling (transportation, etc.)  If BM doesn't like it, let her visit separately. Who has the decision making authority?  Is this a decision DH can make alone, or is it a joint decision or BM's decision?  I might be inclined to ask questions so DH could get as much information as possible, and you may think of different things than he does, and I would weigh in on logistics that affected me, but I would otherwise try to stay out of the decision, particularly if the bio parents are the type to cast blame.

Aymey's picture

The lack of social skills is due to the disability; he has multiple factors affecting him. The thought is that in a smaller private school, he’d have more services offered to him and less students. Both bio-parents are the decision makers, so we’re trying to make it amicable for the sake of SS.

i just have knots even thinking about it.

Lndsy747's picture

I guess that completely depends on the schools and his disability. If the private school doesn't have any current students with disabilities like his they could have less options. Also depending on what issues he has there's a possibility that in a larger public school there will be others with the same or similar disabilities that he may be able to relate to better. A smaller school could actually be more clicky especially if most people have been going to the school for a long time.

justmakingthebest's picture

This is one that you will probably have to take a back seat on. 

Many public schools have great programs. Sometimes better than what can be offered at private schools- unless this is a school for children with your SS's disablilty. Without knowing more, it would be hard to say what the best fit would be. 

For example- if he is blind or deaf, a school for the blind or deaf might be a better option. 

If he is autistic- chances are public schools might have more children like him and offer more help than a private. 

Rags's picture

Unless they are a school focused on special needs students the public school will likely have far better resources available to accomodate SS's disability than a private school will.

I recently read a letter from a mom of a developmentally disabled child to teachers.  "Assume competence" and adjust from there was what the mom asked for from the teachers regarding her daughter.


You may want to consider assuming that position with your SS as he progresses to Middle School.  Immature social skills often mature rapidly when exposed to an environment requiring more mature social skills.