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Boarding schools for special needs students

Boarding schools for special needs students

Private special needs boarding and residential schools

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Boarding school can be ideal for children with special needs, but it's important to make sure it's the right fit for your child.

These schools offer comprehensive programs that pay close attention to your child's individual needs, and extra programs that will assist your child’s development and ensure that he or she does not fall behind either socially or academically.

While each individual with learning disabilities is different, special needs boarding schools (also known as "special needs residential schools") will cater to your child's unique aptitudes and weaknesses and allow him or her to flourish.

There are many types of boarding schools for students with special needs, so identifying which style of student would succeed in boarding schools, in general, is impossible.

You must find a school that specializes in your child’s specific condition. Be sure to check out our list below, as it offers a wide spectrum of boarding schools. You may also wish to view our database of boarding schools in Canada. Our list of the best boarding schools for special needs is sortable based on any criteria you choose.  

Benefits of boarding school for students with special needs

There are many reasons to select a private boarding school (or residential school) for your special need child. Here are some advantages that are unique to these types of schools:

  • Constant social interaction: Students are always around their peers: in class, extracurriculars and in their living arrangements. As such, they have many opportunities to be themselves and express their individuality outside of formal class time. This sociability is extremely important for students with special needs, as they may lack confidence or communications skills. Always being with their classmates may make them feel more comfortable than they would in a day school.
  • Taking care of yourself: Many parents cannot resist pampering their kids or, at least, providing them with an environment in which most things are taken care of. In contrast, at boarding school, children with special needs will learn independence. For example, he or she may have to do cook or clean. Indeed, at a young age, your kid could live both independently and safely.
  • Closeness: Students with special needs often need extra/out of class attention. If you send your child to a day school, especially one that is not close to your home, you may have difficulty dropping him or her off early in the morning or picking him or her after hours. At a boarding school, your kid will live close to, if not on, the campus. Therefore, seeking help, a vital part of special education, will always be convenient and possible.
  • Extracurricular activities: After or before school programs are a great way to socialize and to hone a particular skill. Such a well-rounded education is a wonderful way in which to build the confidence of a child with special needs and to make school more enjoyable and less stressful.

Paying for private boarding school

Paying a private boarding school’s tuition may seem overwhelming. However, you should consider three options.

  • Community support: Many small communities will help fund your child’s education if the local public system cannot meet his or her needs.
  • Scholarships and bursaries: are avilable from many schools. You can search our list of schools offering financial aid.
  • Tax breaks: In many Canadian provinces, you may receive a medical tax break for sending your child to a special needs school.
See Our Kids 18 Tips for Paying for Private School for more details. You can also read our guide to the cost of special needs schools.
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List of Boarding schools for special needs students

    School NameTypePaceCost

    The Thinnox Academy (est. 2014)  

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • 7 to 12 Coed/Coed
    • Day school
    • Boarding school
    The Thinnox Academy is a Mississauga private high school with a focus on technology, engineering and design. Graduates stand out from their peers when applying into University or College. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • Montessori
    Student-paced$10,017 to $12,320MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day10017

    Chamberlain International School (est. 1976)  

    • Middleboro, Massachusetts
    • 6 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (25 students)
    • Boarding school (98 students)
    Co-ed therapeutic boarding school in Massachusetts for students 11-22 years. Student support is offered for learning disabilities, OCD, anxiety, ADHD, NLD, ASD, attachment disorder, bipolar disorder and depression. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$58,227 to $141,214 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day9999999999

    Robert Land Academy (est. 1978)  

    • Wellandport, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Boys
    • Boarding school (125 students)
    Robert Land Academy is a private military-themed boarding school (Gr 5-12) helping boys to achieve their potential and gain admission to post-secondary programs. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$52,000 to $55,000MiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding52000

    Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning (est. 2001)  

    • Belleville, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (10 students)
    • Boarding school (20 students)
    We are a licensed therapeutic boarding school for Gr. 1-12 students requiring individualized academic, clinical, and behaviour-management solutions in small class sizes and professional home environments. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$115/day to $68,250Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day115

    Oxford Tutorial College (est. 1988)  

    • Oxford,
    • 10 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (120 students)
    • Boarding school (65 students)
    Oxford Tutorial College is a leading independent college specialising in A-level, GCSE, BTEC tuition for students grade 10 to 12, intending to go on to higher education at a good British University. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$33,255 to $39,447Coed Boarding Day Homestay33255

    The Gow School (est. 1926)  

    • South Wales, New York
    • 6 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (15 students)
    • Boarding school (135 students)
    The Gow School is a special needs private school that offers programs for grades seven through 12 in South Wales, New York. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$64,000 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day64000

    Heritage (est. 1984)  

    • Provo, Utah
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    • Boarding school (115 students)
    Heritage offers expert care for at-risk adolescents including those diagnosed with Mood Disorder, depression, anxiety, defiance towards authority figures and those on the Autism Spectrum. Learn more on our website. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$138,000 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Boarding138000

    Fork Union Military Academy (est. 1898)  

    • Fork Union, Virginia
    • 7 to 12 Boys
    • Day school (30 students)
    • Boarding school (400 students)
    This military academy in Fork Union, Virginia is the premier college preparatory boarding military schools for boys in grades 7-12. Renowned for its emphasis on Christian values, academics and athletics. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    $32,000 to $37,450 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding Day32000

    Landmark East School (est. 1979)  

    • Wolfville, Nova Scotia
    • 3 to 12 Coed
    • Day school (45 students)
    • Boarding school (30 students)
    Landmark East School offers exceptional programming for LD students from grade 3 to 12. The average class size is 5 students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-paced$26,000 to $48,000MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day26000

    Hampshire Country School (est. 1948)  

    • Rindge, New Hampshire
    • 3 to 12 Boys
    • Boarding school (22 students)
    A friendly, active boarding school for bright boys who have good intentions but who may be too impulsive, intense, or bothersome for other schools and whose intellectual interests may separate them from their peers. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Student-paced$58,500 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding58500

    Séminaire Marie-Reine-du-Clergé (est. 1956)  

    • Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Coed
    • Day school (275 students)
    • Boarding school
    SMRC is a coed day and boarding high school in French Canada with a warm & relaxed natural campus, modern rooms, enrichment & support, technology enhanced classrooms & labs, 8 cultural & sports programs, 20+ activities [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$3,580 to $25,465MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day3580

    North Broward Preparatory School (est. 1957)  

    • Coconut Creek, Florida
    • PS to 12 Coed
    • Day school (900 students)
    • Boarding school (330 students)
    North Broward Preparatory School is a K-12 co-educational day and boarding school located in S. Florida located minutes from the beach with IB, AP, and LD classes set on 80 acres with year round hockey. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    • International Baccalaureate
    Accelerated$24,200 to $58,000 USDPreschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day24200

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