Monday, December 18, 2006

A Happy Discovery

During a recent...um...{how shall I put it nicely?}...."discussion" about education with a group of ladies, a Christian public school teacher was sharing all the merits/pros of public schooling, while indicating drawbacks to homeschooling. One of her good points I thought {among many ridiculous ones} was that homeschoolers would not have access to special services, like speech therapy for example, provided in a public school. "What will you do if one of your children has special needs? You will not have access to those services provided in a public school." Several other young moms nodded in agreement. This point actually continued to bother me......

....fast forward to today. I discovered that this public school teacher is WRONG! I am actually so relieved and kind of disappointed that she so adamantly shared her information without bothering to see if it was even true. {Insert frown here.} From HSDLA's article regarding this issue:

"The determination of whether a home education arrangement constitutes private school placement must be made on the basis of state law. Thus, if home education constitutes enrollment in a private school under state law, then the requirements of Regs. 300.403 and 300.452 apply when deciding whether to provide special education or related services to a child with disabilities who is being educated at home."

The above report makes it crystal clear that if the state recognizes a home education program as a private school in that state, then those home-educated students are eligible for the services.

Here is the full article if you are interested. I'm sure this would vary by state on the basis of state law. Here is another blurb from a separate article:
As a parent of a child with special needs, you can receive special services from your school district at no further cost -- you have already paid for them with your taxes. This includes speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiologists' and social workers' services. These are all covered by Public Law 94-142.

Hopefully this information may help someone who had the same concerns I did or who has been MISinformed as I have!

7 comments:

Beth said...

Very interesting, Becki! I commend you for doing your research. You will have many more of these ahead as public school teachers you know and other moms bring up stuff like this. It was something that we went through all of the time.

Anonymous said...

Wow...ok well I wasn't there, and I would have known that wasn't true. However I will point out that if you do not advocate for your child whom you think might have special needs-no one is there to point it out.(In other words...the teachers are typically the ones who mention to the parents usually at conferences if they believe the child needs help with speech, reading, physical therapy or occupational therapy. If the homeschooling parent does not recognize the problem then it might slip through the cracks...in the case of dyslexia or other learning disabilities which can come with varying levels of issues, a parent might not see a problem. And sometimes teachers who have been teaching for many years are more in tune to know what to look for as warning indicators with their class.

With all this being said. If you or someone you know thinks that their child might need to be evaluated for special needs...contact the school that they would be going to if you weren't homeschooling. They might not be able to help you directly but they should have the necessary information for your district office. AND if you think your child might need early childhood help...contact your local kindergarten which should have screening dates for pre-k and advanced kindergarten help.

HTH

Erin

alicia said...

Thank you for the information, Bec. It is always good to look further into anything that is said that is bothering you, and find out the exact truth. While yes I was there at this "discussion" as you put it, I do have to say I am not sure that she said exactly that you would not have access to these services in the public school system. I believe what was said is that in her school where she teaches they have decided that they will take public school kids first with needs and then if they have room they will then allow homeschooled kids with special needs to get help from them. Now I'm not sure what other systems do I believe this was just her school or maybe district I know I have heard wonderful news about the public school system we are in that they are extremelly helpful to those homeschool kids that need extra special attention. I also agree with Erin in the what she said that it happens to be less likely that parents see the special needs versus teachers, but this can also be mended becuase you are obviously the teacher too!! The "christian teacher" also said the same thing (as above). I'm not sure but sometimes we can think someone is saying something because we have already made up our minds about the topic, before it is even discussed. There was also a very interesting "discussion" on homeschooling that addressed many of these things, and you may have learned quite a bit from attending that as well. All in all I think it's great that you learned something new and can now use that to your benifit, Good for you!! :0)

Beth said...

Okay, now I know that this was a Mom's Group discussion and on that I have to say that of course most everyone has their mind made up on this subject "Homeschooling vs. Public School". It had already come up a month or two before on Becki's blog. Why beat a dead horse?? I wasn't there so I have no idea how it came out, but when someone is in the least bit challenging what you are doing with your kids and giving nothing but cons on it, what do you expect. All I can say is poor choice of topic night considering what had just transpired on this blog.

alicia said...

I'm sorry I don't really know what Beth means by what she wrote. I just thought it right to back up the "christian teacher" that was being discussed, because I didn't think that what was said was exactly accurate. I was just wanting to clarify that, and if anyone read into it being more than that, then please accept my appology. I was not angry or upset in writing my comment I was simply stating what I thought to be a misunderstanding. I don't understand about "not being a good topic becuase of what just transpired" and am actually a slightly bit offended by that, because all in all they were excellent topics. Becki I hope that you don't feel that I was beating up on you, I do think (and I said so) that it was great that you looked that up and found what you did to be the truth!! This will be my last comment on the subject, it does just make me a little sad that if something is said about someone that someone else doesn't find to be exactly truthful then are they not allowed to respond? Again my comment was in no way having to do with homeschool as the issue just the facts on what was said. I appologize to anyone that was hurt by my choice of words.

Beth said...

Okay, it was brought to my attention from someone that called that my last comment may have seemed harsh...sorry, I guess because of the fact that you can't see facial expressions, hear the tone of voice or any of that I guess some of it was taken wrong. I was responding to, "I am not sure but sometimes we can think someone is saying something because we have already made up our minds on a topic before it is even discussed". I didn't mean to come across as if I was angry about it or saying that Alicia was not allowed to comment on the whole thing. I was just saying, yeah, we all pretty much had our mind made up on the whole subject because of the "dicussion" all of us had taken part in a little bit before, that's all. I am sorry for offending Alicia by the last comment. I guess that I thought it wasn't a secret about how I felt about that month of discussions because when asked if I was going that's what I said, "Nope we have already been through all of that and I don't care to hear it again." So, I am sorry. I guess I will have to put those little smiley guys or something on my comments in the future so people know that I am not saying things in anger or to be mean. ;-) Sorry for bringing it up.

Rebecca said...

Alicia: Don’t worry. All is well in the blogosphere. I just wanted to find the truth for myself as I don’t think it was presented crystal clear {or maybe I misunderstood}! There are other things that this “teacher” said that I not only disagreed with, but believe to be untrue, not just a matter of opinion. The hard part about that discussion was that it was more of a presentation than a discussion, so there really wasn’t a chance to address/question all the things that came up. I just wanted to make sure that, if needed, my children would be able to receive whatever assistance necessary. But hey, with God all things are possible & I know He would provide for me & the kiddos, just as He cares for the lilies of the field and the hummingbirds. I didn’t think you were beating up on me {I’ve taken enough floggings, dontcha think?}*grin*

Beth: I knew you’d have my back. Love ya girl!

Erin: I knew you’d be an excellent resource for this type of thing. Yes, I think in any situation a parent is their child’s best advocate. Yes, a teacher MAY pick-up on some of these issues, but they are not specially trained in all the possible disabilities. I think an educational home environment {whether public schooling or homeschooling} is the best first defense 

Ok, now let’s all go hang out on Erin’s blog for awhile……