Eighteen years ago, when my twins were in high school, little was known and even less done, about how to educate special needs students. Both were ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and one was CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) also. Now, raising my grandson, who is 15, ADHD and CAPD, things have changed a little.
There are programs in the schools to assist in the education of special needs students. There are 504’s, IEP’s, TAT meetings. However, they can only do so much. Classrooms are housing too many students in a grade for teachers to truly aid in teaching those that need to be taught differently from the norm. Teachers are directed by the government, (of all things!), to stick to timetables that are not appropriate for every student.
Back eighteen years ago I finally took my twins out of the public school system and enrolled them in The American School out of Chicago. It is basically a home school program but is, technically, taught by correspondence courses this school presents to the student by mail.
Thank goodness they are still in business. My grandson is a sophomore this year and struggling desperately. Though he places in the top 15% of state testing, he finds it nearly impossible to earn a passing grade in the public school system. I have managed to find a happier medium by enrolling him in The American School to be home schooled but, also, for 3 classes at the public high school. I did this because HE needs the social structure and lessons that being around other students can give him. If he did not need that social contact to such a degree, he would be only home schooled.
Academically, home schooling is the way he will achieve the learning and education he needs to graduate from High School and enter either college, trade school, or the work force. The American School is the choice I made because I feel more confident having lessons provided for him instead of trying to produce those lessons myself or from a different program. It also keeps us very honest. He sends all testing from the end of each section of his books and workbooks to The American School for grading and comment.
We can, either he or I, call or email the school with any questions or problems concerning any class.
Home school is the way to go for many special needs students. Whether a program such as The American School, classic home school programs through the Internet, or ones that parents make on their own, home schooling allows students to work more at their own pace. They can succeed without the time constraints and pressures placed on them in the public school system. They can be taught what they need to know in ways that are easier for them to learn.
But, most of all, home schooling a student in the correct way can aid tremendously with his self esteem and his outlook about himself. Many special needs students who are thrown into the public school system begin to lose self esteem while still in grade school. Once lost, it is extremely hard to gain back.
Home schooling allows a student to believe in himself and see results on a one to one case scenario. It is not for everyone, but many more students could benefit from the teaching methods home schooling provides than do. It is a choice for all students an excellent choice for the special needs student.