Boredom, behavior changes, and lack of support at school are among signs a child might benefit, says John Willson, executive director of SOAR

BALSAM, NC, July 11, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — Parents of children with ADHD and other learning disabilities often see their kids struggle in school and wonder how they can help. John Willson, executive director of SOAR (which offers a year-round boarding school for youth with ADHD and other learning disabilities), offers the following tips for when to consider a specialized school:

1. Your child may begin to say they are bored with school or begin to show frustration, negativity, or a lack of motivation toward school that wasn’t present before.
2. Challenges at home and in other areas. If you begin to notice changes in your child’s behavior at home, it may be because of the challenges they are facing at school.
3. Beginning to accept the stigma. Students may face so many challenges in the classroom that they actually begin to believe some of the myths about having a learning disability. A specialized school can help break that pattern so they start to see their own amazing strengths.
4. Lack of support from teachers and school officials. If you have been struggling with getting your child’s school to make the proper accommodations for your child, it may be time to consider a specialized school that provides small class sizes and more individual attention.
5. Low self-esteem or lack of motivation. A specialized school that focuses on helping students achieve success in and out of the classroom can help build your child’s confidence and zest for learning.
6. Avoiding responsibility. Learning to take responsibility for day-to-day tasks is an important part of growing into a successful adult. A specialized school can help provide the structure and support your child needs to develop these skills.
7. Needing structure. Does your child thrive in a structured environment, or fall apart during free time? Specialized schools are typically structured 24 hours a day, with staff available to offer guidance and support.
8. Thriving in small groups. Large class sizes and lack of personalized attention make it easier for kids who are already struggling to fall further behind. Learning in a small group setting helps your child stay more focused and get the attention they need. If you do decide to consider a specialized school, be sure to consider class size as an important success factor.

“If you have seen any of these signs in your child, it is time to consider a specialized school that will accommodate their educational needs,” John says.

Based in the mountains of Western North Carolina, SOAR offers The Academy at SOAR, a year-round boarding school in which students have fun, socialize, and learn amid a natural landscape; and GAP, a GAP year for young adults with ADHD and other learning disabilities, in addition to summer camps. The Academy at SOAR offers students differentiated instruction in a small classroom setting with two-week education expeditions, with a focus on essential social and life skills to them in and out of the classroom.

About John Willson: John is Executive Director for SOAR, the world’s premier adventure program serving youth with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and LD (Learning Disabilities). SOAR’s outdoor adventure-based programs provide academic instruction, experiential education, and life skills development for youth and young adults ages 8-25. SOAR stands for Success-Oriented, Achievements Realized. With a passion for fostering resilience and nurturing strengths in neurodiverse communities, John is a respected advocate in the community that serves individuals with learning differences and attention challenges. Learn more at

Online press kit:

For more information or interview requests, contact Executive Publicist Michelle Tennant Nicholson at or 828-749-3200.

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