There are plenty of great special need schools in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This includes schools and programs in downtown Toronto, the Annex, North York, Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, and Etobicoke.
These schools offer special education programs for your child. They also tailor their approach to your child's unique learning strengths and weaknesses.
Toronto has several different kinds of special needs schools and programs. Some of these schools are focused exclusively on special needs students, and provide full-time support for them. Others offer a full-time, dedicated special education class or program for students with some kinds of special needs (a class that takes place alongside other classes). And others offer resource support or certain kinds of in-class accommodations for special needs children.
Each of these schools provides specialized support for children with special needs. Only some Toronto special need schools and programs, though, provide support for all or most special needs children. Most focus on specific kinds of special needs. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, there are schools providing support for one or more of the following kinds of special needs:
Keep in mind, different types of special needs children require different accommodations. For instance, a gifted student may require subject-specific enrichment or acceleration. A student with ADHD, on the other hand, may need to be placed in a smaller class, whether they can work in a calm environment and receive special attention. And a student with dyslexia may need extra time and support for reading and writing assignments.
If you’re child has a special need, it’s important to address it. They can’t just be left to deal with it on their own.
A Toronto special needs school, whether it offers a full-time dedicated program or part-time support, is a step in the right direction. Your child will likely be assigned a special education teacher. They also will likely receive specialized programming in the form of an Independent Education Plan (IEP). This will help ensure they receive the accommodations they need, and don’t fall through the cracks.
This can also allow your child to avoid some common problems. Children with unaddressed special needs often fall behind in their school work. This can lead to frustration, boredom, and feeling disconnected. It also frequently leads to social and behavioural issues.
By going to a school that addresses their special need(s), your child can avoid these pitfalls. In fact, if you find a school that’s a good fit, one that offers the right kind of program and environment, your child can excel, academically, socially, and emotionally.
Luckily, in Toronto, there are many schools offering support for students with special needs. There are also nearby schools in Mississauga, Oakville, and Brampton.
To aid you in your search for the right special needs school, attend one of our annual private school expos. Meet with Toronto's top ranked private schools and the best boarding schools across Canada at the Halton-Peel expo and the Toronto expo in October. These one-day events are a must for any parent or student considering an alternative education. You can also read our guide to choosing a great special needs school.
Below, we list special needs schools in Toronto and the GTA. Click on a school to learn more about it.
Many say that if school were more like camp, kids would do better. At Lakefield College School, that camp-like feel has been achieved. Outdoor education is a part of every school day and lesson… and the results are outstanding. [Read more]
WillowWood School (est. 1980)
We are a new style of independent school for diverse learners where all students learn with dignity; where a warm and nurturing school serves as a foundation for remarkable lives; and where the whole person who matters. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
|$18,900 to $20,000||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||9999999999|
Shoore Academics (est. 1975)
Shoore Centre for Learning is a special-needs private school that offers programs from grades seven to 12 in Toronto. Its average class size is six students. [View profile]
|$32,000||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||32000|
The Dunblaine School (est. 1969)
The Dunblaine School empowers students with learning disabilities to reach their full potential. It offers programs for students from grade one to eight, with an average class size of 5-7 students. [View profile]
|$20,900||Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day||20900|
Bright Start Academy (est. 2003)
Bright Start Academy, a special needs school in North York, focuses on helping children with autism and learning differences, from PS to grade 12. [View profile]
|$12,500 to $22,500||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||12500|
Kohai Educational Centre (est. 1976)
Kohai Educational Centre is a school for students with special needs and learning challenges offering programs for students aged 4 years to adulthood. Its average class size is two to six students. [View profile]
|$33,338||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||33338|
Brighton School (est. 2003)
Brighton School is a special needs private school in Toronto, Ontario for students (grade 1 to 12) with learning challenges. [View profile]
|$23,950||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||23950|
Magnificent Minds (est. 2011)
Magnificent Minds caters to learners whose needs are not being met in traditional school environments, pursuing academic excellence, and individual greatness. [View profile]
|$16,000 to $21,400||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day||16000|
The YMCA Academy (est. 2003)
The YMCA Academy is an alternative high school serving youth with learning disabilities and learning style differences. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
|$23,000||HighSchools Coed Day||23000|
Brighton Launch is program for young adults 18+ with challenges, who are preparing to, or have moved from school to post-school activities. [View profile]
|not provided||Coed Day||9999999999|
Maple Leaf Collegiate (est. 2014)
Great Teachers & small classes, focused ESL accommodations, fast-track pathways to the best universities featuring UP & AP courses, allow MLC students to reach full potential & become life-long learners & high achievers. [View profile]
|$950 to $42,000||HighSchools Coed Day Homestay||950|
Arrowsmith School (est. 1980)
Founded on the science of neuroplasticity, Arrowsmith Program provides students with the skills necessary to overcome their learning disabilities and transform their academic, cognitive, emotional and social lives. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
|$2,500 to $23,500||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||2500|