Have Parenting Questions? Ask a Parenting Counselor for Answers
It sounds like the parents are attempting find the best solution for their child and that is awesome. Let me first start by saying, homeschooling any child is a difficult task, homeschooling a child with special needs can be even more of a challenge. Teaching is a profession of trained individuals with trained skill sets and experience with many of them focusing on teaching children with special needs. That being said, the point of my answer is not to get into the conversation about homeschooling or not, it is; what ever the choice the parents of a special needs child needs support from professional caregivers. There is no program that exsists that can meet the individual needs of a special needs child with the overview shared, it takes a team of specialized caregivers.
I would first start by visiting the school that the child would attempt if she enrolled and communicate the desire to homeschool. At the end of the day the district is still respondsible for making available resources to the child. There are of course legal issues around this IDEA (individuals with disabilities education act). If the child is currently on an IFSP (individualized family service plan) that team may be able to help the transistion into an IEP (individualized education plan), if not the school would be a help in this process. This will help organize the physical therapy, speech therapy and any other services that the child may need. It will also set out objectives to reach and maybe make available some of those resources.
There are numerous parents that have taken the path of homeschool their autistic children and their are many resources present online from blogs to books. The path of homeschooling any child is a tough path to take. The child must have her physical, emotional, social and acedemic needs met in an environment with a different list of resources from a traditional school. It can be done and has been done successfully many times. I realize that I have answered your question in an round-a-bout way, however I hope that I have given you something to work with. If there is follow-up questions, let me know. I will try my best to answer them.
Here is some more information for you. I am not going to pretend to be an expert on Oklahoma Public schools, however my understanding would be that the child should be enrolled in school that year if she is 6 before Sept. 1st. That doesn't mean that she can't be homeschooled. There are numerous options for parents with special needs. Below is the Child Find Services. This contact will help in the process of meeting the child's needs now and maybe break the barrier of understanding the process.
Child Find is a search for all children with disabilities who are not receiving a free, appropriate, public education. This applies to children between the ages of birth and twenty-one years of age, who have not yet graduated from high school. The Oklahoma City Public Schools offers full educational opportunities for all students.
If you suspect your child may have a disability, or know of a child with a disability who is not receiving a free, appropriate, public education, please contact me.
Erin Trussell 405-587-0433 405-297-6594 Fax Number
Oklahoma City Public Schools
900 N. Klein, Room 309
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106-7036
For your info I have included a section of Oklahoma Education code that you may find interesting.
Sec. 25.0343. TRANSFER OF STUDENTS RESIDING IN HOUSEHOLD OF STUDENT RECEIVING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES. (a) If, for the purpose of receiving special education services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, a school district assigns a student to a district campus other than the campus the student would attend based on the student's residence, the district shall permit the student's parent, guardian, or other person standing in parental relation to the student to obtain a transfer to the assigned campus for any other student residing in the household of the student receiving special education services, provided that:
(1) the other student is entitled under Section 25.001 to attend school in the district; and
(2) the appropriate grade level for the other student is offered at the campus.
(b) A school district is not required to provide transportation to a student who transfers to another campus under this section. This subsection does not affect any transportation services provided by the district in accordance with other law for the student receiving special education services.
(c) Section 25.034 does not apply to a transfer under this section.
(d) This section does not apply if the student receiving special education services resides in a residential facility.
This states that if you think another school within the district can meet the child's needs you are allowed to transfer the student to that school.
Furthermore if the child is unable to attend due to the special need.
Sec. 25.086. EXEMPTIONS.
(a) A child is exempt from the requirements of compulsory school attendance if the child:
(1) attends a private or parochial school that includes in its course a study of good citizenship;
(2) is eligible to participate in a school district's special education program under Section 29.003 and cannot be appropriately served by the resident district;
(3) has a physical or mental condition of a temporary and remediable nature that makes the child's attendance infeasible and holds a certificate from a qualified physician specifying the temporary condition, indicating the treatment prescribed to remedy the temporary condition, and covering the anticipated period of the child's absence from school for the purpose of receiving and recuperating from that remedial treatment;
This again allows for flexibility for you to transistion into a school environment (if they choose) at a slow pace.
The law also states that the district is not exempt from providing the services if the child is unable to attend school. The legality of this may be a bit tricky, as it may be difficult to determine if the child is able to attend.
This is an overwhelming task to undertake. Realize that 99% of people are on your side in this process and want to see the best for the child. If you want support going into the process organizations like
I hope that I have supplied you with some information and some answers in this lifelong quest. You already have the required tools to be successful, a strong spirit and willingness to find answers. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly. If I have please accept my answer so that I may get paid for my time. If you further questions please let me know and I will try my best to answer them.