ADHD Boarding Schools

ADHD Boarding Schools combines an academic program with clinical treatment for the various manifestations of ADHD. This article explains more about the range of ADHD Boarding Schools in the United States.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a syndrome with a range of symptoms that was first described in 1845 and is now widely recognized to have three different variants. Whatever symptoms a child has, a diagnosis of ADHD is currently given only if symptoms, which appeared before the child turned 7, manifest in a variety of settings, are serious enough to impair the child’s ability to function, and are not better described by a different diagnosis. These criteria are important because the behaviors that characterize ADHD - such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention - are experienced from time to time by many people who have no disorder. A boarding school is a school that provides students with room and board, as well as suitable classes in an accredited academic program, while a therapeutic boarding school is a boarding school that also has a licensed clinical practice to treat children.

ADHD and a ADHD Boarding School Placement

The more you know about ADHD and your child, the more understanding you will bring to finding an appropriate placement. For one thing, it may help to know that the three variants of AD/HD are ADHD - Predominantly Inattentive Type, sometimes referred to as ADD; ADHD - Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Type; and ADHD - Combined Type. In addition, it is also helpful to realize that ADHD often is present along with other diagnoses, particularly learning disabilities in 20 - 30% of children, Oppositional Defiant Disorder in 33 - 50% of children, and Conduct Disorder in 20 - 40% of children. Dietary restrictions have been found to help 5% of children.

Knowing exactly how your child has been diagnosed can help in several ways. First, it can help locate a more precise match and help you accurately answer the preadmission questions that any boarding school will ask. Second, knowing that Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder can develop, if your child does not share these issues, you may wish to seek a program that doesn’t treat them.

Finding a ADHD Boarding School

The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs has a search on their website to help you locate licensed and accredited ADHD boarding schools that might be a suitable fit for your child. You can go to the search page and do a keyword search on ADHD (not ADD to avoid finding listings that include the words address or addition, which occur frequently in the write-ups). This will bring you to a list of thirty-seven programs that treat clients aged 5 to 28, including boys only, girls only, and coeducational programs. Program types include:

  • Emotional Growth Boarding Schools
  • Wilderness Programs
  • Transitional Independent Living Programs
  • Young Adult Programs
  • Residential Treatment Programs/Centers
  • Outdoor Therapeutic Programs
  • Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Programs are found in the West, the South, the Midwest, the Rocky Mountain States, the Southeast, and New England, including at least one program each in:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Utah leads the group with eleven listings, while Idaho has three, and the states of Oregon Arizona, New York, Washington, and Florida each have two.

Schools have different size groups of students that they work with and different ranges or set lengths of treatment. Check with individual programs to see what is available.

Resources Used

National Institute of Mental Health: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) -
American Academy of Pediatrics: ADHD- Making the Diagnosis -
Center for Disease Control: Symptoms of ADHD -

Related Article: Boarding Schools for Boys >>