Special Ed and Ancillary Services

Email of the Day:
Hello, I wonder if anybody in your page have problems dealing with their school district regarding special education. My child is due for “child find screening”. It is my intention to homeschool him after this year or two. Will there be any hassles/headaches once I decide to stop bringing him to special ed school?? Thanks for any feedback.

A lot of it depends on the personalities in your district and how well you’re working with them now. The law provides for homeschoolers to access these services if they wish to. The law does not require parents to take advantage of the services that their children qualify for. As a homeschooler, you don’t have to do anything at all with the schools, except send in your annual Declaration of Intent.

On a more practical front, though, if, as a homeschooler you choose to continue ancillary services (speech therapy, vision therapy, occupational therapy, etc.), the school is not obliged to package these all into a nice 1 or 2 hour bundle. Their scheduling might be that you have speech therapy from 8:47-9:15 and vision therapy from 12:10-12:25 and occupational therapy from 2-2:28. This isn’t such a big deal if your kid is already at the school all day, in that case *he just walks down to the resource room and has the service. If you’re homeschooling, you have to drive and pick up 3x in a single day with that kind of schedule, because none of it coincides with the regular bus schedule. This works great if you live extremely close to the school, but is harder to keep up if you’re on the other end of the district. So part of the question will be what is available, what can the package into one block of time, and how much benefit are the services to you vs. how much of a pain in the patooty transportation is.

The school, however gently, will probably give you some push back when you go to homeschool. This is to be expected. More students = more money for the school, and special ed. students bring in additional funds. You child will be a financial loss to the school when you pull h** our. Some schools will be very nice about this. Some are really very ugly. Just keep in mind that the law says that, as a homeschooler or private schooler, you are entitled to any course, ancillary service, or any combination of courses or services that you’d get as a full time student in your local school. This is the law. Their funding is contingent upon their compliance with the law. They don’t have to like it. But they have to do it.