Is it possible to educate your special needs child at home without sending them to a special education class in school? Yes, many parents end up doing this, and use homeschooling as a method along with finding support groups online. You see they often disagree with school districts as to what is the appropriate education for their child, and some seek legal advice, and others forgo the concept of suing the local school district, and simply educate their own child.Of course, it’s a lot harder than it looks, and many professional psychologists for the mentally disabled and special education teachers don’t recommend it. Indeed, I would say I don’t either, but I can certainly understand a parent’s need to make that choice on their own. Nevertheless, let’s go ahead and discuss this for a moment if we will.Now then, there was a very interesting article in our local paper; the Desert Sun which was titled “Program Lessons Kids’ Isolation – One-On-One Time Helps Autistic Children, Learn And Make Friends” by Sherry Barkas published on May 9, 2010. The article stated; “talk to parents of children with special needs about their lives, and one sad word arises – isolated.”Consider if you will be number of increased cases of kids diagnosed within the autistic spectrum. Some insist that it is only recently that we’ve come to understand what autism is, and that there were always lots of Autistic cases. Others, are pretty sure it’s not the case, that autism really is on the rise.In many places such as in and around Silicon Valley, and states like New Jersey, the autistic rate is exceptionally high, and it puts a real stress on school districts, and school budgets, at a time, right now, when the schools need all the money they can get, and they need to be able to keep the money they have.Now then, getting back to the article and the point I’d like to make, if you educate your special education level child at home, they will be missing out on what most psychologists, and other parents with special needs kids say is the biggest problem, the problem of isolation, and being alone. If these kids are going to a regular school within a special-needs class, they will be constantly interacting with other kids, and that is very positive for their mental development.Indeed, I hope you will weigh all of the issues addressed in this article, and talk to a professional psychologist about the choices you might end up making, and the ramifications of those choices. Please consider all this and think on it.
Did you know there are white water rafting programs for special education kids, autistic kids, and kids with down-syndrome? Did you know that one ride down the river for these kids will be an event of a lifetime? Think about it. Best of all when kids of this nature experience something so radically different and new, it causes them use parts of their brains that have yet to be used much. Yes, that’s right it helps with brain development, just as if they were learning how to ride a bike, sing a song, or learn how to do a new skill. Okay so, let’s talk.Some folks involved in providing such trips down the river for special needs kids tell of how it becomes a life changing experience, so to do the parents. Occasionally, it’s almost to the point that there was “little Junior before the white water rafting trip, and little Junior after.” Some parents note the difference is that profound – to which I say; wow. When I first heard about all this, I thought to myself, no, it couldn’t be that good, but the parents swear by it and the kids after doing it, they’ll never stop talking about it.My question is; why does it work so well? Perhaps, because special kids maybe apprehensive about the water, fearful, and yet excited at the same time, well, that is just about everything you need for strong memory imprintation isn’t it? Okay so, I’ve read research papers on how the simple task of learning how to play a musical instrument, learning how to ride a bike, or interacting with an avatar on a computer helps develop these brains, and the empirical evidence has been show to prove it so. Thus, maybe these white water river rafting trips are akin to those other activities, but even more so, perhaps that’s why only one trip down the river is enough to trigger changes.It’s not that normal (whatever that is) kids don’t also go away with experiences and memories that they cherish for years to come, they do too when it comes to river rafting, but for the special education kids who may not get the chance to do all those other activities that regular kids do consider it the most fun they’ve ever had in their lives, and it shows on their faces and their excitement every time anyone mentions it for long into the future. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.
As a Special Educational teacher I have seen first hand how many parents are devastated to know that they child is a candidate for this program. Special education basically makes education tailored made for the special child. I had the pleasure of working with students who were labeled as being Emotional Disturbed. My students were known for having angry issues which erupted into verbal and physical aggression. These students have so many referrals that they had been kicked out of their districts. I had to come into this classroom with some high expectations and along with not being fearful. Please be clear that in the beginning these kids were cursing and yes even tried to attack but I had to use Mrs. Murray’s magic. It’s an ancient Chinese secret (smile). I have to be honest, I had a terrific male Para who worked closely with me and he and I devised a plan to ensure these kids would be successful.Even though these middle schools kids were rebels and difficult in their perspective districts I still had to believe in them. I had to “capture their hearts”. It was most difficult because these kids came from adverse environments. I had to daily speak works of belief in them. You have to realize, these kids only hear negative and when you hear negative you live and repeat negative. Then I had to make sure my class room was highly structured and engaging. These kids behavior covered up their true learning ability. So, I had to make instruction high impact, believe in them, and understand why they had that type of behavior in the first place. Remember, behavior is learned.When Teachers see kids like these sometimes they continue to set them up for continuous failure because they only see a problem not a solution. Now, I am glad to say these kids passed my class, they love learning, and their behavior is under control. Do these kids still mess up? Absolutely, but not as often as they did and now they recognized their behavior. I believe with proper strategies, along with support, and sheer dedication all kids can learn.Teachers, we have to strive with all our might to help our Special Need students and we have to be prepared to teach in a diverse framework. We have to look at all aspects of the student and make sure we have done all that we could to impact that student in a positive way.