All tagged Education

When Medical Conditions Influence Educational Decisions

"Why don't you homeschool Nathaniel?" The question was the first thing my mom asked when I answered the phone early Tuesday morning. It was asked last Saturday by a college friend, who has close to thirty years experience in public school special education, after she read my blog post about a Christian school's denial to consider enrolling my son. It is a question Rich and I have repeatedly asked ourselves, and it is a logical one given that homeschooling has been our educational choice for our other children.  Answering the question and making any educational decision on Nathaniel's behalf forces us to reflect on his journey.

When placed in our home through foster care, Nathaniel was enrolled in early intervention services offered through our state Department of Education. We have homeschooled for twenty-five years. Our experience with public education was limited to our older two sons who attended while living at their mother's home. Despite the unfamiliarity, we continued the services. The intervention model identified the child’s greatest need and offered one therapist to address concerns. Nathaniel was assigned an occupational therapist. We loved her. However, together we quickly realized that Nathaniel had more needs than she could meet in an hour a week.  Speech and physical therapy were added. Nathaniel’s experience with early intervention speech therapy has been documented here. Not soon after we began sessions, we stopped them. We sought private speech therapy to tackle what we knew would be long-term communication needs.

She Said My Son's Disabilities Will Create Classroom Managment Issues

I shared on my personal Facebook wall that we received our first rejection notice from a private Christian school for Nathaniel’s enrollment next fall. Someone commented, “I get how the school could make that determination. If they don't have a special education program with self-contained classrooms, then Nathaniel would have to be placed in a regular classroom. His medical needs and communication would most likely create classroom management issues.” The school’s reason "Our methodologies do not allow for a child to have a disability in the area of communication,” was the first hard blow of the day. The comment was a second and harder blow.