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Homeschooling my autistic son for the first time...
by JayRo00
November 13, 2013 at 9:25 PM
I am new to this group and I am sure I will have a ton of questions. Here is a little background on my current situation....My DH and I have made up our mind that homeschooling our 8 yr DS would be more beneficial than leaving him in a special ed. class. He is not learning anything. His main issues are social and behavior. Between the time it takes for him to get to school, wait for the class to finish breakfast, transit to class and get started on assignments, he has already lost interest. His teacher calls me 2-4 times a day saying he won't do this and he won't do that. Dh and I take turns on some days to go to his class and sit with him or having to pick him up. His teacher told me hopefully he will be able to transfer back to a regular class soon o_O If she think that is going to happen anytime soon, she really doesn't know my son and what will work for him. He will not adapt to being in a large class, he can barely adapt to being in her small class. It has always been like this for him. I feel like they are passing him on to the next grade without him being on grade level and knowing the work. Has anyone taken their special needs child out of public school? How is it working for you? Any advice for pulling a child with an IEP out of public school? Do I have to cancel the IEP before I take him out?


  • PurpleCupcake
    November 13, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Check your state laws to be sure...

    But in my state the iep is only for the school and is only valid a year. So it really has nothing to do with me once I withdrew my son.

    My son is doing much better, and no more STUPID calls or notes!!! Worth it!  

  • Chasing3
    November 13, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    I don't think you have to do anything about the IEP. I would not say anything to the school or the teacher. I'd quietly research your state laws and see if you can find a written district policy for homeschoolers on the school district's or school commitee's website. Connecting with other homeschoolers in your area can help you navigate the system. My district was pretty simple - I got their forms, filled them out, submitted, done! Another local homeschooling mom shared her forms with me so I could see an example from someone who'd been approved.

    Basically, we filled out the forms, mailed them, and waited for the approval letter. When the approval letter arrived, I called the school and said to take him off the attendance roster because he's an approved homeschooler. It was summer, and I didn't get the approval until after we'd had gotten a letter for a clasroom assignment and it was about 5 days till the first day of school. So I did sort of spring it on them - principal, sped teachers, regular teachers, etc. But it's not about them! It's about what is best for your son! And you don't want to hear their opinions on your idea even if they are well-intentioned.

    I think if you are planning to pull him mid-year, I'd submit the forms making sure you know how quickly you should know if you're approved or not, and then notify the school pretty much the day he leaves. Although, I have heard of people in my area pulling their kids out and then dealing with the approval process - you might want to do a bit of research and find out if your district has given others a hassle with truancy, etc before going this route.

    I'm very sure you are doing the right thing. I can completely relate to your frustration in dealing with teachers and the feeling that they keep promoting to the next grade even though no progress is being made and no meaningful accomodations are being implemented!!

    I should add - not special needs here nor IEP in place, but homeschooling has been the best thing ever for my 9 year old 4th grader who struggled academically and socially. He's doing very well at home!

    good luck!

  • Bluecalm
    November 13, 2013 at 11:00 PM
    If my son had remained in ps he would have ended up in SPED. In October of K they wanted to put him in Resource on an interim basis. I decided right then I was going to hs him so I halted the evaluation before it got started.

    It was absolutely the right decision but I've had to adapt a lot to meet his needs. That's the point of it, but I mean how I envisioned hsing him is not what works for him.

  • romacox
    by romacox
    November 14, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    He will most likely do better in a home school environment.   Following is a home school parent who's autistic had a similar experience to your son's.  He is now flourishing.

    Jacob Barnett

    His Mother explains her method

    Jacob Barnett's have created Jacobs Place. It is to raise awareness, and dispel myths about Autism

    Jacob speaks on Ted Talks

    German Company Hires Autistic Adults, because they excel as software testers

    Hopefully it will encourage, and  provide ways to help your Son too. 

    Also, check your state laws concerning home education 

  • collinsmommy0
    November 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM
    Good luck! It sounds like he will do better at home.

    I would talk with the director of special Ed - some schools provide services (speech, OT, etc) if a child is enrolled in private school (here in Cali you fill out a form & you are considered a private school). So if you wanted to continue getting some services you may be able to work with the school district.
  • Jesslynne_81
    November 16, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    I also have a special needs son (autism) and we pulled him and his sister out of public school so that we could homeschool. That was almost a year ago. My son was diagnosed with high functioning autism just earlier this year. His teachers refused to adjust his IEP even though his IEP wasn't doing a thing for him. We also felt that the teachers were just passing him from grade to grade and honestly didn't want to deal with him. We also had teachers calling daily to tell us what he wasn't doing. We would talk to the teacher and talk with him, and his reponse for not doing the work was always "I don't understand it", or "I don't understand how the teacher is explaining it." Well THERE YA GO! He doesn't understand. So figure out a different way of explaining it. Not every child is the same and they don't all learn the same way. That doesn't mean they don't want to do the work. But teachers won't do that because it takes too much time. We decided that the only way he was going to learn and retain the information was if we taught him ourselves. Homeschooling is not easy, Not one bit, Especially with a special needs child. But it gets better. You have to figure out what works for you and your child. Obviously, a standard classroom setting doesn't work for your son. It didn't work with our's either, And thats the great thing about homeschooling. You can set up wherever you and your child feel comfortable and where you think they will be able to focus better. One day it might be at the dining room table, another day might be in his room while sitting on the floor. Another day you might spend the whole day outside on the patio. We have days when we spend hours on one subject just because my son would be having a hard time understanding or just because he takes longer to write things than most students his age. They will not do that in public school. It's all rush rush rush with them and if a student can't keep up or gets lost or confused about something then they blame the student for being lazy and refusing to do any work. Homeschooling was the best decision we ever made. I had to figure out the best way for us and we are still figuring things out. It's a learning process for the whole family.

  • JayRo00
    by JayRo00
    November 19, 2013 at 2:54 PM
    Jesslynne_81 Everything you said is the exact same thing that is happening with us, I mean everything. My son is also high functioning and he will not do the work in class. His teacher calls me and puts him on the phone and he tells me he doesn't know how to do the work. Homeschooling is our last option. I have a daughter too, 5th grade and I will homeschool her also.
  • JayRo00
    by JayRo00
    November 19, 2013 at 3:07 PM
    Quoting collinsmommy0:Good luck! It sounds like he will do better at home.

    I would talk with the director of special Ed - some schools provide services (speech, OT, etc) if a child is enrolled in private school (here in Cali you fill out a form & you are considered a private school). So if you wanted to continue getting some services you may be able to work with the school district.
    Thank you! I will see if they can still provide some services. I also live in Cali. I am still looking into the legal aspect of homeschooling here. It seems a bit much but I will go through with the process. I am not sure if I should take him out now or wait until next year. I know that I need to type a letter requesting his records and also file a PSA right? I can't do that until October, how the heck does that work?

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