New York Family Partner: Ask The Admissions Expert

1. Will we find a placement for our student(s)?

We often caution, in our welcome call and many times during the process, that it can be lengthy and frustrating, especially when looking for a placement for a student with special needs. Even though this is the case, it doesn’t change the fact that there is a good fit for every student. It just may take a little bit longer to ensure that the priority pieces are present. With patience and time, the best fit can be found for every student, no matter their learning need.

2. A friend or colleague of mine got into a certain school and their child has the same diagnosis as mine, so this is where I want my student to go. Is this possible?

Although individuals may carry the same diagnosis and engage in some of the same behaviors, it doesn’t mean that they present exactly the same, because there are differences in family involvement, culture, personality, etc. Each school will conduct their own evaluation of the student in their environment to see if it is a good fit. We encourage every family to view their child as a custom case, that is unique in their own way, so that we can search for what is the best fit for them.

3. I just want to focus on getting my child into the best school for them—we will consider everything else afterwards.

While the educational placement is the priority for special needs families, we encourage holistic placements. Finding a school that seems to be perfect but is in a neighborhood that is not conducive to your family’s lifestyle, or creates more barriers than opportunities, is not the best fit. A “holistic placement” ensures that the whole family is happy and the school meets their student’s needs.

Frederica McLean is a Special Needs and Education Consultant.

If you have any Ask the Admissions Expert questions or any other questions regarding school placement in New York City, please contact

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