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Topic: Dr.s/Specialists discouraging HS a special needs child....any opinions?

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Subject: Dr.s/Specialists discouraging HS a special needs child....any opinions?
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 86
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Hi there,

Just wondering if I could get any input if other parents who hs children with special needs are (politely!) given a hard time by doctors, nurses, therapists and/or other specialists for hsing your children?  I have a couple who look at me with pity and I feel second guess if homeschooling is a good choice for a special needs child. I try very hard not to be defensive but I always feels I need to "brave the lions den" when we go for appts.

While they don't come out and say openly negative things it's questions like "Do you really feel you can provide for all her educational needs?",  "Special education teachers have years of training",  "A private home doesn't have the resources a ps has,etc". It is discouraging to repeatedly answer the same questions about it each time we go in. In all fairness I should mention she does have some great Dr.s (and a wonderful dentist!) who accept my decision and never interrogate me about it.

My child has CP, epilepsy, asthma, physical handicaps and chronic infections which are almost non-existent now that I hs her. She does receive her therapies privately at a clinic and has 2 sisters and many friends to socialize with. She is making progress,doing very well with hs and enjoys it..

Any opinions out there?

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2005
Posts: 271
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I beleive in hs.  I homeschool a special needs child how has been home since 4th grade and is starting high school.  They do alot  better one on one then in a group or special school.  You can email me off list if you woul like.  by the way my doctor encourages hs due to the fact that she has seen him improve.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 453
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  You know your child better than anyone on this earth. You know her/his needs. What you need to do is find some solitude and really think about the situation without the presure of the establishment or well meaning but ignorant people and think about what your child needs and how you are going to fulfil those needs. I don't know what state you live in...but here in Washington State we can access as Little or as Much of the public school resources as we want. So if you wanted to access three hours a day or 1 hour a day it would be up to you. Have you checked into these options.

I have a son with Disgraphia and Inattentive type ADD and I am homeschooling him with a parent partnership. I have a tutor for his Karate because he needs extra practice to be able to remember.

I have also had a gifted child so my philosophy is that each child gets what they need best and no option is limited. Homeschool, parochial school, alternative school, parent partenship, tutoring are all options.

Do NOT let other people make these decisions for you!! You are your childs greatest advocate! You know this child and YOU will make these decisions because you know the child better than anyone else.

Please let me know if I can do anything for you! Dolly

Last Edited on: 7/26/09 4:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/26/2009 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 43
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Few non-homeschooling people understand what homeschooling really is. When you hire people to provide medical care or therapies for your child, remember that you are hiring them to do a job, and not for their opinions on your lifestyle choices or anything outside of their very narrow area of specialty. We've experienced more specialists and doctors pleased that we are homeschooling than critical of it. Our issues are autism and diabetes, and especially with the diabetes, the doctors said that having a child with diabetes in the school system is a nightmare (regardless of school system). You are of course the overall expert on your child!

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2005
Posts: 30
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Some thoughts:  It's worth remembering that you are hiring these people to help you for specific things.  If they are not in a position to second guess your decisions, nor will they ever have as complete a picture as you.  If you find yourself answering the same questions, have them write down the answers and specifically note that you don't want to be asked again.  If they do ask, tell them to spend 5 minutes getting aquinted with your file and then move forward.

Second: Given all the issues your child has, I can't imagine how group education will help any of them.  When you second guess yourself, simply remember how much worse it was for your child before.  Nothing has changed about the school system

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2005
Posts: 66
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I agree with them not knowing what homeschooling is. This comes out more as they ask or suggest things that really do not make any sense. If your child is medical fragile (?) just not being around all that illness is wonderful. I have the question mark because I know not all kids while physically disabled can be healthy   I was also going to say therapies could still continue. Since you already have them not else the "specialists" thinks you can't accomplish.  You know how she learns if not you will figure it out.

There must be a way to answer their questions without being rude. I just can't think of anything except "What exactly do you mean?"

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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Homeschooling parents must learn to deal with negative and disparaging comments.  There are plenty of professionals who believe wholeheartedly in the institutional model of education, and feel threatened by anyone who dares to question the belief by opting out.  But as you are clearly seeing health benefits from your child being away from school, you have proof that you are doing what's best for your child. 

I, and everyone I know, has been questioned in the same way.  The best way to handle it is confidently.  Confidently respond "Homeschooling is the best thing that ever happened to us.  My child is thriving."  Sometimes, out of kindness, I  add "Homeschooling may not be the best option for everyone but it has been for our family." 

Keep on doing what you're doing.

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 86
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I have really enjoyed reading the responses and the encouragement and tips given in them. Thanks to all who have responded. Everyone is correct to remind me to stick to my convictions and that those doctors are doing a job. Their approval of hs is not necessary. I will try to think of polite ways to say "I've already answered this question". My daughter's health and overall happiness has improved drastically since hs. Why is it we give a Dr.s opinion so much weight even when we know what he/she is saying is not the best choice?

I see now others have gone through the same thing, even with nondisabled children. Please keep sharing your thoughts and opinions. It has helped me immensely already and hopefully will help others who read this post. Thanks again!

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2007
Posts: 89
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There will always be "experts" (who are usually heavily invested  (i.e. biased) in their philosophy, therapy, school, etc) that question your decision but, as someone else said, you know your child better than they do.   Don't let diplomas and initials after someone's name fool you into thinking that they know better than you.  You answered your own question in saying that your child is doing better homeschooling AND enjoys it - so why mess with that? 

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 91
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I'm one of those teachers...... yes my education has given me a bag of tricks to work with  BUT I also have chosen to meet my childrens'  needs at home.  I remember laughing when the drs asked me told me I needed to have the pros write an IEP for my child.  Guess what...that is the beauty of homeschooling, you can make the entire day all about their needs.  You will need to do your "homework" to increase your success but I know you can do it. 




Date Posted: 8/1/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 36
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Please check out my friend's blog: http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=93627634933&h=3l3WL&u=7KBrE&ref=mf


Her special needs daughter was in public school, while she home schooled her other 2 children.  Now she has her special needs daughter at home - she explains all about it in her blog!

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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I'm sorry you are getting flack.

You said: "My child has CP, epilepsy, asthma, physical handicaps and chronic infections which are almost non-existent now that I hs her. She does receive her therapies privately at a clinic and has 2 sisters and many friends to socialize with. She is making progress,doing very well with hs and enjoys it.."

I would suggest stating just that when they question you and leave it alone.

Also if they do this in front of your child you may decide to have such conversations in private and say so to the person asking, something like, "If you have concerns I'd be glad to discuss them privately with you". You may find they don't have the time for that. I have concerns that your child keeps hearing these questions asked and how that may impact her.

I have confidence that all parents can homeschool their children. Perhaps also your first priority is to provide a healthy environment and help her improve medically, and you say that has improved just by being out of the school. The fact that she is also doing well academically with HSing is the icing on the cake.

The sad truth is that some children in school without any kind of medical problem or learning challenge don't thrive or may just scrape by within the system, so it is not good for anyone to pretend that every child enrolled in a school is thriving academically (or mentally or socially). Sounds like your family is doing GREAT. Keep it up!

Subject: Homeschooling special needs
Date Posted: 9/8/2009 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2009
Posts: 27
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I grew up with a sister who had Downs Syndrome.  She was one of The Lord's best blessings for our family.  We all went to public school including my sister, but she was in "Special Ed" classes.  My parents and the rest of us all thought that the teachers in the "Special Ed" class had extra training in "Special Education" in order to qualify to work with the children in their class.  Years later I interviewed one of the teachers for that class as part of a project for a college class I was taking.  I was shocked to find out that the teachers who taught my sister had no extra training whatsoever, some of them weren't even certified teachers.  The head teacher was just a regular teacher, who I found out hated what she felt "stuck" doing, that she had been very impatient with the children and they all feared her, that she put on a show for the parents whenever they were there to make them think that she loved the kids and they loved her.  She forced my sister to eat desserts at lunch and wouldn't let her go out on recess until she ate everything on her plate, so many days she did not go out to play because she didn't like sweets.  She ended up with diabetes later and I couldn't help but wonder if the forcing of sweets didn't partly cause it. 

My parents later moved to a different school district and my sister seemed to learn so much all at once.  Hmm, why didn't she before.  So you see the so called specialists aren't all they are cracked up to be.  Maybe things have changed, but I'm not convinced.  My mother-in-law is an RN and was a nurse in a special ed class in another state.  She found the same things going on, impateints with the handicapped kids, by a teacher who hated her job and had no special training.  My mother-in-law ended up reporting abuse and quiting the job over it.  It broke her heart to see what was going on. 

It may be a lot of work, but The Lord gave you that child for a reason and He will bless you for teaching your own, even the special needs.  I have one daughter who has dyslexia that we didn't even know about until recently.  She is in nursing school with scholarships for academics and is gettin A's and B's.  We knew she struggled with spelling, but we just kept working at it and taught her to spell check and have someone else proof read for her.  The Lord blessed is all I can say.  He'll supply the needs.

Subject: Doctors Questioning Homeschooling
Date Posted: 9/10/2009 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 33
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I have discovered the same attitude from several Doctors about homeschooling, and none of my children have special needs.

At one appointment, after having had a lively conversation with my 13 year old son and 10 year old daughter, the Doc asked me about how we are going to make sure they are able to socialize among people. I asked her if she had noticed a problem with my children socializing with her, and she looked taken off guard, then sheepish as she answered that no, they seemed very well adjusted.

I wondered if she thinks they live among monkeys or something...