The first two blogs of this series, “Why Public Schools Want Your Kids” and “Why Public Schools Don’t Think You Can Teach”, were specifically aimed to disprove the weightier assumptions Ms. Delaney made in her paper entitled “Perspectives of Parents of Students With Disabilities Towards Public and Homeschool Learning Environments”, and to encourage Texas special needs home schooling parents that they are not alone in their struggles with educational authorities regarding their choice to home school. While school finances and teacher certifications are some of the main reasons schools assume special needs parents should not teach their own children, another topic that many educators would like to debate is whether the special needs home school parents are equipped with the proper resources to adequately teach their children.
Do Home School Families have Resources?
Ms. Delaney introduces that debate when stating: “The controversy of homeschooling children with disabilities is far more complicated than a parent simply choosing to homeschool their child. For example, one debate might surround the fact that resources for these homeschooled students with disabilities are either nonexistent or paid at the parents’ expense” (Page 34). Debates have two sides, and we at THSC would like to stand up for special needs home schooling parents and prove that Ms. Delaney’s assumption is false.
Facts don’t lie, and below is highlighted the top six areas of concern, including a few of the select therapy options available to special needs home schooling parents that are either free or require very little money to implement; thus disproving that these resources are “nonexistent” or an “expense.” (Check out the full eleven page list of special needs resources compiled by THSC.)
- ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapy:
- Adapted Curriculum:
- Assistive Technology:
- Occupational Therapy (OT):
- Speech Therapy:
- Visual & Auditory Processing Therapy:
A False Assumption
That’s a simplified list! Quantity and quality of resources is not really the argument being made by Ms. Delaney, because she fails to address an underlying assumption she made when posing her debate. Her assumption, one most public schools and special needs educators make, is that their system ensures all special needs children eligibility for remedial services. This assumption is far from the truth and has done little to support the cause of public school special needs departments. Frustrated special needs parents call THSC every day requesting information on how to withdraw their child from the public school, because after jumping through all the hoops of ARDs and IEPs their child is still being denied services. Special needs parents discover that although resources may exist in the public school system, the resources are not guaranteed available or accessible. Consequently, home schooling is the route these parents choose to keep their children from slipping through the cracks of our failing public school special education systems.
You Have Resources
In conclusion, the debate put forward by Ms. Delaney in her above quote about home school resources is not an argument she should put too much weight in, and neither should any special needs public educator who thinks he or she has access to greater stores of knowledge and wisdom than a special needs home schooling parent. Additionally, I would take that argument one step further and say that as Christian special needs home schooling parents we have an even greater source of wisdom that has stood the test and has continued to prove that those who oppose us are only filled with futile arguments.
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness,’ and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile’” (1 Corinthians 3:19–20).
The Lord is truly the greatest resource parents can rely upon in teaching their child. He is the one who made each one of them uniquely wonderful and He always has each one’s best interest in mind. As parents, we only hope and pray to do the best we can in guiding our children to seek out their unique giftings and in finding the means that help them conquer the struggles specific to the handicap or disability.
The next blog in this series will concentrate on assessment resources and IEP writing guidelines for the special needs home schooling parent so as to arm your child’s home school files with valuable documentation for tracking educational progress, requesting accommodations outside your home school, and focusing your teaching strategies where your student struggles the most. Until that time, be sure to check out the newly updated list of resources and keep praying for God to lead you and guide you to the ones He knows will work best in teaching your special needs child at home.
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Since 1986, THSC has fought to Keep Texas Families Free. During that time, the coalition has recognized that special needs families are battling to keep free in many ways. You can rest assured, THSC will stand by its members to continue protecting the rights of your family and to support you along the way. Is your family a THSC member family? If not, join today!