Special Needs Require Special Schools

Special Needs Require Special Schools

When it comes to relocating, one of the most important decisions a parent or guardian will make is figuring out which school best suits the needs of his or her child, especially when the student might learn best in an Atlanta special needs school.

When deciding between public or private schools, parents may want to consider private school options that offer a specific, focused learning environment dedicated to serving students with a range of unique needs. Atlanta special needs schools primarily serve specific student groups, such as those that may have learning challenges (including those with ADHD/ADD), are hard of hearing, deaf, speech impaired, health impaired, orthopedically impaired, have mental challenges, are seriously emotionally disturbed, multi-handicapped, visually handicapped or deaf and blind.

A selection of metro Atlanta special needs schools are highlighted below to help you narrow your search and find the best new place to learn for your student.

Gracepoint School

570 Piedmont Road

Marietta, GA 30066

(770) 485-5418


Gracepoint School is a private school located in Marietta, dedicated to remediating, enriching and accelerating the dyslexic learner in a Christ-centered environment. The school opened its doors in August 2012 when two Cobb County mothers were faced with the same question, “Where is the best school to serve my dyslexic child?”

With the help of Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Georgia Educational Training Agency, Molly Holm and Angie Strack started the school with four students, including two of their own children. Holm and Strack continue to serve on the Gracepoint’s School Board and Strack interacts with the students daily as a middle school teacher.

The philosophy of Gracepoint is to provide an instructional environment where approaches to learning are multi-sensory and prescriptive. This technique addresses reading deficits and allows for enrichment in the areas where Gracepoint students are gifted.

Students in first through eighth grade are taught using the Orton-Gillingham method, and this multi-sensory approach is woven into all subject areas. The student-teacher ratio is 5:1 in reading and math classes, and 8:1 in all other core subjects. The goal is for students to transition out of Gracepoint with the tools necessary to be successful in the world and a confidence from knowing who they are in Christ.

In its fifth year, Gracepoint currently serves 83 students. “Steady growth is expected to continue as our community becomes more aware of this valuable educational opportunity for dyslexic students,” says Joy Wood, head of school. “We strive to excel in remediation while bringing out the brilliance of each individual child.”

The Bedford School

The Bedford School

5665 Milam Road

Fairburn, GA 30213

(770) 774-8001


The mission of The Bedford School is to maximize the potential of students with learning differences and develop foundations for success. It is an accredited private school in Fairburn, approximately 15 minutes south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, for children in first through ninth grade with specific learning disabilities and ADD/ADHD. The school has been helping children since 1985 and has a 45-acre wooded campus with a Challenge Course, soccer field and outdoor pool.

Bedford offers small class sizes, a challenging academic curriculum, modern multi-faceted facilities, extracurricular activities and recreational programs. The school also offers summer academic programs, including Squirrel Hollow Summer Camp, a remedial summer program that serves children with academic needs due to learning differences or any students who need summer skills practice. Campers receive academic instruction and classes, which are grouped by age and skill level and do not require students to keep up with materials or do outside work, which allows campers to work on improving their academic skills in a stress-free environment.

Mill Springs Academy

13660 New Providence Road

Alpharetta, GA 30004

(770) 360-1336


Located on an 85-acre campus nestled in the beautiful rolling hills and pasture land of Alpharetta, Mill Springs Academy is an SACS/SAIS accredited college-preparatory, independent school community dedicated to the academic, physical and social growth of those students who have not realized their full potential in the traditional classroom setting. Since 1981, Mill Springs has been supporting student learning by raising expectations and developing self-motivation, while providing skills and values for life.

The population consists of average to superior ability students in first through 12th grade. Small classes and an individualized curriculum help students capitalize on their strengths, while also learning compensatory strategies. Mill Springs offers a broad range of fine arts and competitive sports options, as well as an extended day program. In the summer months, summer school, summer camp and sport workshops are offered.

Atlanta Speech School

Atlanta Speech School

3160 Northside Parkway NW

Atlanta, GA 30327

(404) 233-5332


The Atlanta Speech School was founded on the principle that every child has a voice. With this simple yet powerful idea — and an incredible generosity of spirit — the Atlanta Speech School was founded by Katherine “Kitty” Hamm. Her son, Ben, was born deaf, and through early intervention, he gained the power of speech. Through that experience, Hamm made a promise to the Atlanta community that all children should have the opportunity to find their voices, regardless of their family’s financial means. She partnered with the Junior League of Atlanta to make it happen, and greeted the school’s first students in 1938.

Positioned at the intersection of brain science and social science, the Atlanta Speech School effects transformative change in the lives of children and adults through research-based practices, innovation, advocacy and partnerships with other organizations so that students can acquire the language and literacy abilities essential for their future. Composed of four schools, five clinics, summer programs and a teacher training center, each division shares one goal: to work within each program and collaborate across all programs with a mission to help each person develop his or her full potential through language and literacy.

Cumberland Academy of Georgia

Cumberland Academy of Georgia

650-A Mount Vernon Highway

Atlanta, GA 30328

(404) 835-9000


Now in the 10th year of serving students, Cumberland Academy of Georgia specializes in the needs of children with high-functioning Autism, Asperger’s, ADD, ADHD and other learning differences. The academy is dedicated to the belief that faculty, staff, students and parents are all involved in a children’s education. Each student is entitled to a safe, secure and healthy environment. Cumberland strives to create a warm and inviting atmosphere and to instill in its students a sense of self-worth. Students learn beneficial life skills and social skills to encourage the development of life skills essential in becoming self-sufficient adults.

Students are challenged through cooperative learning and active hands-on techniques that are integrated into all subject areas along with cocurricular activities. This best practices curriculum infuses the creative arts, as well as problem-solving, social skills, critical thinking and decision-making skills. The curriculum aims to develop and enhance abilities, giving appropriate guidance with realistic expectations; and it promotes helping students develop strategies to cope with anger, stress and anxiety, along with motivating them to assert themselves in a positive way while respecting others.

The Cottage School

700 Grimes Bridge Road

Roswell, GA 30075

(770) 641-8688


The Cottage School (TCS) has provided a comprehensive educational program for middle and high school students with learning differences for the past 32 years. Last August, TCS expanded its program by adding a fourth and fifth-grade class in response to an overwhelming need in the community. A second class began in January 2017.

TCS offers a unique academic program that focuses on small class sizes, a collaborative student-teacher environment and a work-based model that promotes self-advocacy and fosters self-confidence. Students are prepared not only academically, but also socially and emotionally to succeed in the real world. The school provides an accredited academic college-preparatory curriculum that meets Georgia high school graduation standards and HOPE Scholarship requirements, as well as experiential classes and clubs.

The school’s 23-acre campus in Roswell includes a state-of-the-art media center, computer and science labs, a multi-purpose athletic and performing arts facility, indoor and outdoor classrooms, and trails for mountain biking and cross-country. TCS offers year-round sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball, cross-country, tennis and golf.