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I would like to know if anyone here homeschools a special needs child.
Most of you may know about my DD10, she is multi handicapped. She is wheelchair bound, developmentally delayed, no speech, and medical issues.

When she first began school at age 3 up in Massachusetts, our public school system could not accomodate her. She needed to be in a classroom with minumul children and LOTS of one on one. She was sent to a school just for special needs children. She went there for two years and blossumed. to the point she was helping in standing and transfered from her wheelchair. She would even help with her dressing. We had to move two hours away and she attended another school, something like the first but it was set up in a public school. She did okay. But she fell behind in her walking in a walker because the PT kept insisting she had to learn how to crawl first. Two years go by and we move again this time to TN. We've been here now three years, and she's made very little progress.
the problem I see is that, every year we have had to fight the school system since they overload the classroom, 13 kids with a teacher, aide and two assist. aides. They were basically changing diapers and feeding. Since most of the children like my daughter are low functioning.

Anyway, my point......lately we've talked with another parent whose son is in the classroom and she said that sometimes she felt like they were just babysitting. They are suppose to go to specials: library, art, music. But find that they arn't really going.
Both DH and I are at a point that all this fighting is getting stupid, and DD is the one who is suffering. We are starting to seriously think about homeschooling her.

Most times during the summer, parents keep thier special needs kids in a summer program so that they don't fall behind. Since they are accustomed to routine. We found that during the summer we keep her out of school, do our own thing, and bring her to medical based therapies. And she seems like she gets a jump start on the school year. But only to somewhat fall behind again during the school year.

so, I am wondering if anyone else here has a handicapped child that you homeschool? What do you do about therapies? Do you get reimbursed from the school system or what?
Any input would greatly be appreciated!! Thanks!
 

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I homeschool my special needs child. He's not wheelchair bound, but is language delayed. Was non-verbal till the age of 5 yrs. Legally the school still has to offer therapies. That's why we pay taxes. :) I chose not to go through the school and have learned to give my son therapy at home. What type of therapy does she get? Is it just for the walking, or for the learning disabilities too? How far are you from Vanderbilt University? The reason I ask is that Dr. Stephen Camarata and his wife Mary have a program there for language delayed kids. I know that when I took my son to them he was 4 yrs old. They were doing research on late talking kids and I sent them a video tape of us interacting with our son. They asked if our son could be part of their research group and in exchange they would give free testings and offer suggestions on how to help. Their suggestions have been invaluable to me. It was because of their help that my son is now verbal. He still has a pragmatic language delay, but he's understood about 90% of the time now.
 

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Actually, we're just south of Knoxville in Maryville. But that's still about 2 1/2 hours from Nashville. We usually take DD to East TN Children's in Knoxville where most of her specialists are. Maybe one of these days we'll venture out that way.
 

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You may want to write to the Camarata's and send a video of you and your DD. We lived in Florida, but traveled up to TN for the evaluation because of all I had heard about him and his team. I have never regretted it. Another doctor I have gotten advice from is in Ohio. Dr. James McDonald. He wrote a book called, "Communicating Partners" and works with kids with all kinds of language delays. He has a yahoo group that he offers suggestions on too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! Im going to google the name of that first doctor. As my DH (Job's3rdAnswer) says we are about two or so hours away.
 

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The Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential
http://www.iahp.org/

Check it out. I did a weeks schooling there when my children were very little. It started out to maximize the potential of learning disabled children, then found the principles for that transferred to 'normal' children and could teach them very well. Everything from reading, math, music etc. But the learning disabled did learn to creep first, this was to program their base brain for automatic responses, then crawling was to program the next higher level of brain, then walking, and doing the jungle gym bars to increase the oxygen to the lungs so more for the brain.

Also, discrete information. Flash cards if you will. Repeated several short times a day. I saw a three year old doing math and another doing chemistry using flash cards representing the number plus the number (two dots on a board and then 13 more dots on a different board - and they picked out the board with 15 dots, and higher math).

I'm saying, there are books put out by this group. They are out of Ft. Washington PA.

I think reading up on them and considering some of the stuff they say for your DD, might increase her functioning. And for the creeping, and crawling - that's like PT, and you can still let her work on walking some of the other time of the day.

They talk of becoming a 'professional parent'.

Good luck, this school impressed me quite a bit.

Angie
 

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We are in the second year of homeschooling our daughter. She's in the 5th grade. She was a micropreemie and has a metabolic disorder. She has a number of learning issues.

It's funny. She's progressed much more at home than she did in public school. Plus, she's safer. She's allergic to latex and was repeatedly exposed to latex at school.

We don't use the school for therapy. This may sound terrible but sometimes you get what you pay for! Our daughter's physical and educational needs were not well addressed in the school We paid for private OT and PT this year (well, our insurance did). The school system only has to address those issues related to school. So, they don't have to address an inability to button one's shirt. They solved her inability to write in cursive by saying it'd never be proficient for her and accommodating her inability to do cursive. We went thru 2 years of Handwriting Without Tears last year at home. She can now write in cursive.

I found it very helpful to read a curriculum evaluation book by Cathy Duffy. It really helped me to know which books would help her to learn best. We don't use any boxed system. We've chosen to use a mix of the best books for her.
 

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I would recommend joining Home School Legal Defense Association if you decide to homeschool your daughter. I have heard many stories of parents having legal problems pulling their special needs child out of a public school.
Also, HSLDA has a specialist on staff to help parents of special needs children.
I know 2 different families with children who are both physically disabled and have learning disabilities and their children are thriving with homeschooling.
 
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