Well, it seems as though something is going on - especially because you note, he is repeating 3rd grade.
I think it would be in your step-son's best interest to have the school district test him (at their expense) and find out exactly what is going on.
You will need to request in writing to the Principal of his school (it is a public Charter school, right?), and they have by law 60-days to respond. After all the testing is done, you should then have an idea about what accommodations the school can offer your step-son so he can succeed and feel good about himself.
There is a lot of info on this - so you'll need to do some research and talk to people, but the first step is to write a letter requesting the testing.
Just a side note here ...... getting an IEP for your son doesn't mean he will be in "special ed" necessarily - it just means the school by law must provide services and devise an education plan specifically for him.
Sure, I don't mind researching some resources for you - - just wondering what type you are in need of ? For children or adults? Clinics? or ?
No, I haven't heard of the Dore Program - - I would be skeptical of traveling that far though.....I'm sure there are some good resources in your area. If you write back and let me know what you are particularly interested in, I'll try my best.
Sadly, I have heard this story before, and I can totally empathize with your families situation! How wonderful of you to reach out and try to help.
First off, is your nephew seeing a really (I mean, REALLY) good Child Psychiatrist? If not, then that is the first place to start.
A child as you describe can not be disciplined - - they are just not mentally in a place where it will work (seems like you know this already). He needs his brain to slow down, and the "real" little 8-year old needs to come out.
I totally agree that schooling will not be successful - - if he can't function properly in the real world, how in the heck will he sit and learn in a classroom? Right ??
He needs a top-notch Dr., he needs a structured environment without a lot of chaos. I hope he has a stable home life, as this makes life a whole ton easier.
I am happy to help send a long resource links for your sister to explore for places to go and clinics to visit. You can write back with her local zip code, or nearest big City that she can get to easily.