HOMESCHOOLING SPECIAL NEEDS
An increasing number of parents are discovering that homeschooling can serve as an excellent means to provide for their children's special education needs.
Many resources, tools, and services are available to meet special learning challenges, and the one-on-one environment is ideal for students with learning struggles
Parents choose whether or not they will use the special services offered through the public school or Area Education Agency (AEA).
If you want to use public school or Area Education Agency (AEA) services for your child with special education needs, you must dual enroll your child in the public school by using one of the Competent Private Instruction (CPI) legal options that require the filing of a CPI form.
Indicate on the form if your child has already been identified by the public school system as a child requiring special services.
You'll also need to get permission from the director of special education at your local Area Education Agency (AEA). The director has 30 days to render a decision.
Parents of a homeschooled child with a learning disability are not required to seek assistance or approval from the local school district or area education agency. (Find resources below.)
Even if you use CPI Option 1 or CPI Option 2 with Opt-In Reporting, you are not required to seek approval from the AEA special education director to provide Competent Private Instruction for your child.
Simply mark Item 8 on the CPI Form to indicate that you do not consent to initial evaluation or to reevaluation of the child for receipt of public school or AEA special education services.
Kim has been married for 30 years and has two children who have both graduated. Even so, Kim notes that, for a special needs mom, the learning never ends!
She has encouraged both homeschool and public school special needs moms for many years. Kim also worked as a parent partner for the AEA, going with families to IEP meetings as an advocate.
KIM'S EXPERIENCE AREAS:
- Physical Disabilities
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Cerebral Palsy
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Auditory Processing Disorder
- Autism Spectrum
- Accessibility Issues
- Special Needs Adoption
Laura has been married for 28 years and has seven children, some of whom have graduated from high school and college. She has normally functioning children, children with learning disabilities, and a child with specialized needs.
Laura has been a local homeschool leader and also serves as a Homeschool Iowa Regional Representative. She has experience working with the AEA and advising homeschooling parents of special needs children.
LAURA's EXPERIENCE AREAS:
Language Processing Disorder
Amy has been married for over 25 years and is an adoptive mom to a daughter with special needs, including speech, occupational and feeding therapy concerns..
Over ten years of experience provide her with empathy and understanding for the struggles and challenges that parents of special needs children face.
She has written for several publications and served as the leader of a Bible study for moms of children with special needs.
AMY'S EXPERIENCE AREAS:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Fine Motor (Writing)
- Sensory Issues
- Learning Styles
- Love Languages
- Literal Thinkers
Adele has been married for 30 years. Her two children are in graduate and undergraduate school in California and Texas. One of her children is very twice exceptional (2e) – both gifted and special needs.
Adele has been a homeschool supervising teacher, support group board leader, special needs coordinator for her local group, and worked for Homeschool Buyers Co-op. She has also presented sessions at the annual Homeschool Iowa conference on giftedness and using games in your homeschooling.
ADELE'S EXPERIENCE AREAS:
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Profoundly Gifted
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Erin is a wife of 25 years. She's been a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to three of her five children, two of whom have graduated from high school. Three of her children have special needs, and she has gained extensive experience in meeting special learning challenges and adapting a homeschool educational setting to the needs of special learners.
Erin has also served as a presenter for our Homeschool Iowa Conference Make & Take Workshops, offering training for producing lapbooks.
ERIN'S EXPERIENCE AREAS:
- Auditory Processing
- Nonverbal Learning Disorder
- Speech Therapy
Special Needs Advisors
are available to all current NICHE Members
Click on the button below to submit your inquiry to our Special Needs Advisors.
Please note that our Advisors are happy to assist you with your questions about homeschooling special needs children, but they are not able to provide diagnostic advice or design IEPs.
“Every child is a gift.
They just unwrap their packages at different times.”
If we are able, NICHE will assist you in dealing with challenges with your school district due to homeschooling a special needs student. We also recommend that you contact HSLDA. They have expert experience dealing with legal issues related to homeschooling special needs students and can be very helpful.
Home education is increasingly recognized as a highly effective means of providing focused instruction and training for children with special education needs. Below we have listed organizations that may be helpful. Some of the included resources are Christian and some are secular. Investigate and use discernment as to whether these resources are useful to your particular situation.
We are pleased to partner with SPED Homeschool, a provider of quality information and resources to equip families homeschooling children with special needs.
A website offering educational and nutritional counseling designed to dramatically improve your child’s learning and behavior.
Targeted website section devoted to special needs homeschooling. Included are resources for a wide variety of special education needs.
Publisher of a special needs collection, including resources on autism, ADHD, Down's Syndrome, and more.
A fee-based program based on one-on-one training to build cognitive skills required for learning
Local learning center clinics providing individualized, and often one-on-one tutoring
Special Assistance for Students with Special Needs Who Want to Attend College
Did you know that over 10% of college undergraduates have disabilities? Many colleges provide services that address accessibility, accommodation, and assistive technology for a diverse range of needs.
And here's college funding help for special needs students:
FINANCIAL RESOURCES LIST
Reading List for Those Considering Home Educating a Child with Special Needs:
- Home Schooling Children With Special Needs by Sharon Hensley
- Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June Oberlander
- Homeschooling the Challenging Child: A Practical Guide by Christine M. Field
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