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need some evidence in support of homeschooling


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#1 NorthernBeth

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:40 AM

Okay-- here is what is happening currently- we just had a meeting with telepsychiatry - we asked for the meeting because we did not feel our foster son was doing well on the new medication ( Abilify)-- he is having more melt-downs than when he was on the Risperadone. But he was gaining weight on the Risperadone and the doctor didn't like that.  He modified the schedule of Abilify and we will see how that works out.  However, his case worker from children's services was there, and she made a point of asking the doctor if there was anything preventing him medically from attending school ( there is not and we have never said there was)  However, last meeting ( which she did not attend) when we asked him if it was okay to homeschool, the doctor was fine with that too, and explained that one reason why he was getting mad at us when we used to send him to school was because we were sending him into a war zone ( between the bullying and his disabilities) so of course he was taking it out on us.  

 

Anyways after this question, she casually drops that she wants to have a case conference to talk about transitioning him back to school.  The reason being she was concerned that I can't handle him home all alone and THAT is why I called the medical meeting-- not that the medicine is not working out. I attempted to ask her a few questions but she would not really respond and said we could talk about it at the case conference.  However, I have been at a few case conferences-- they are usually called because a decision has ALREADY been made ( informally) but they need to do the official case conference to make it look like they are giving everyone a chance to give input before they rubber stamp their own agenda.  

 

No date has been set for the meeting yet, so it may just drift for a bit-- or they may suddenly spring it on me with little notice.  Does anyone have any evidence-based research reports from reputable sources ( like a university) stating that home-schooling can be more successful?  I am especially wondering about-- social success and friendships,   mental stability, ability to find work,  anything measuring "happiness"  ( sort of nebulous I know), academic success for those with learning disabilities or ADHD. Obviously I am going to do some research, but I thought maybe you guys might have some "favourite" sources backing up homeschooling as a viable option. I don't know if it will change anyone's opinion, but I am hoping it is worth a shot.



#2 OhElizabeth

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 11:05 AM

Remind us, you're in the US or Canada? If you're in a position where a board has legal authority over you and has already decided something, you're not going to do much with your arguments. You'll need to get a lawyer. 

 

If there is a homeschooling org or a disability advocacy group, they may be able to point you toward a pro bono lawyer. I would NOT go into a meeting like that without legal counsel. You need to know your legal rights, what they can do, the consequences of decisions, what your rights are as a parent, etc. You're in a very unsafe position if you go into that without legal counsel, because THEY know what their tools are legally and you don't.

 

I think also you need to consider how you get a 2nd opinion on this. The only thing that combats doctor opinions is other doctor opinions. So you want to trump their telepsych with someone who has actually seen him in-person. 

 

Also, just as a total aside, I think it behooves you to ask, in a really open way, whether you're doing EVERYTHING you can for the situation. I brought in outside help with my ds. There are times when you really have to make effort to show you've gone way above and beyond normal to meet the needs of the child. Just saying well homeschooling works, being home works, being with a loving parent works, well that's hogwash. I've btdt. So it's a really legit thing for them to ask whether there's MORE the child needs, whether he's getting access to ALL the support he needs. I'm not saying home or school. I'm saying it's totally reasonable to say he needs more support, and what could that support be in a home environment. 


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#3 Kinsa

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 11:48 AM

I was under the impression that a foster child cannot be homeschooled, period. At least, maybe that is only in Texas. I dunno.

#4 dmmetler

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 12:05 PM

Is there an online or otherwise home based charter in your area? My friend is able to have her FDS's at home, which is better for him socially and emotionally, but had to enroll him in the charter to get the level of oversight expected by the foster care system. Mostly, they seemed to need someone else to file the "school" reports.
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#5 Moved On

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 02:04 PM

https://hslda.ca/about/

https://hslda.ca/rea...ooling-journey/
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#6 NorthernBeth

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 08:52 PM

Well, we got permission from birth family and children's services to do this, so it is legal.

 

We are in Canada.  We don't really have much in the way of charter schools up here.

 

I am not sure about a lawyer-- foster parents don't have a lot of rights, even when we have been taking care of the child since he was about 18 months old and he is almost 11 now.  On the other hand-- the fact that the biological family gave us permission should count for something, as they ARE supposed to have rights over education I believe.  

 

I will look into hslda-- I wasn't sure if they would be able to help us due to the foster parent thing.

 

I think part of the problem is not that I am not providing enough support-- it is that I am agitating for support and saying something is wrong and can we please get an assessment done.  I was waiting to hear from a referral to the local child psychiatrist that the pediatrician put in-- but apparently it is lost and we have to go through the whole process all over again.   The speech pathologist ran the SLDT and noticed some problems and is going to talk to one of her colleagues about getting him assessed for possible autism.  The psychotherapist who is working with him on anger management issues says he is not responding in typical fashion and says she notices some possible signs of autism and is trying to help us access an assessment.  So I have some feelers out and am trying to get stuff happening. 

 

I am concerned they basically just want me to stop pointing out something is wrong.  And they are maybe thinking let the professionals handle this-- except I am a professional spec. ed teacher!!!  ( Having said that I think our system is FAR behind yours-- especially living in essentially a rural area).  I just feel like our ticket got yanked because I complained about the medicine change and decided that meant I couldn't handle him instead of acknowledging that maybe the previous medicine worked better to help him stay calm even if he did gain weight on it.  

 

And I have been pretty happy with how the homeschool has been going-- we have definitely had some setbacks but on the whole he has been so much calmer and more willing to do work, and even tackling some fairly challenging stuff ( for him anyways).  We have had recurring issues with bullying at different schools, which leads him to come home very upset and not want to go to school, as well as the meds making him very sleepy in morning and wide awake at night, which makes getting him up in the morning in time to get to school- VERY CHALLENGING!.  All this things are what went into the decision to homeschool him instead and try to get his stress levels down so he was less reactive.  

 

But now I am questioning all my decisions and wondering if it would just be better to let them have their way -- maybe the third time will be a charm- maybe this school will be different AND there will be no bullying, AND they will actually push him forward academically.  But I feel doubtful. 



#7 Moved On

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:18 PM

NorthernBeth, I don't post here anymore but I lurk occasionally and saw your thread. :grouphug: I think you are doing a great job advocating for your boy, under VERY challenging circumstances. Keep up the good fight! Seek out people that will support what you are doing and form a strong team to help you continue to homeschool. I hope the HSLDA can help!

From a fellow Canadian
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#8 NorthernBeth

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:51 AM

NorthernBeth, I don't post here anymore but I lurk occasionally and saw your thread. :grouphug: I think you are doing a great job advocating for your boy, under VERY challenging circumstances. Keep up the good fight! Seek out people that will support what you are doing and form a strong team to help you continue to homeschool. I hope the HSLDA can help!

From a fellow Canadian

 Thank-you Moved On,  I was feeling pretty discouraged when I saw some of the responses.  I was just frustrated that an honest complaint about this medicine was met with the assumption that homeschooling wasn't working.  I sat with my boy last night as he cried about his stomach hurting, unable to sleep due to the bloody medications and wondered how they thought sending him to school was going to help this problem, let alone how I can get him to sleep earlier and up in time to start school. Oh well-- at least the doctor gave us permission to slide the dosage around and try a heavier dosage at night, and I was reading last night that melatonin can cause stomach aches, so we will eliminate that tonight and see if it helps.

 

Off to gather research and pray and hope God turns some hardened hearts around who think that sending him back to school will magically solve all his problems.  Oh how I wish it were true!


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#9 OhElizabeth

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:08 AM

Beth, I've been attacked by quite a few professionals over the last few years. I had a $$$$$ neuropsych say multiple times in front of my dh that I should not teach my child. Like literally, not at all. Mind you I have a background in linguistics and advanced grammar/TESOL, have gone to all his speech therapy, and was in the BEST position to do the complicated work of merging his hands-on speech therapy and his reading instruction. But no, because I did not have a 6 week OG course (I kid you not), I would not be good for him.  :lol:  But the psych had seen lots of bad outcomes.

 

I also got attacked by the ps IEP team when I went for ds' IEP to qualify him for our state disability scholarship. That was TWO YEARS of attacks. I got slandered out the wazzoo. It was unreal. 

 

What I learned is that those professionals are seeing SOMETHING and that they know SOMETHING that would be provided in the other path they're suggesting. And I decided, for me, that the healthiest way to deal with it was to be really honest and analyze and go ok, what would THEY provide in that setting (what supports, what interventions) and AM I providing it or am I NOT... 

 

There are things school systems can do really well. Rather than making it personal or defensive or who's right or who's going to win, that's what I tried to do. I had to understand what they wanted to see happen and be able to say YES I'm making those elements happen. 

 

I think that is a really safe course for you to pursue. I'm all for successful homeschooling. My ds has ASD, apraxia, all the SLDs, and he's just a real stinkin' pistol to work with. Oh and he's very physical, so on a bad day he's dangerous. And that's how I handle these threats from people in authority. I try to figure out what they're saying SHOULD be happening, what supports should be there, and then I can demonstrate yes I have them.

 

In our case, love and homeschooling alone was not going to cover everything. We have a pretty hard situation, and people have high goals for him (very bright, blah blah). You want a good outcome and everyone wants a good outcome. But for us, just going it alone and saying we'll homeschool it and my mother love ingenuity will get it (which is most of why homeschooling works in general) just wasn't going to get us there. We now have a team and bring in professionals. They collect data. They log stuff. We can show hours of service. We can demonstrate interventions. We can demonstrate that what we're doing is AT LEAST as good as the intervention the ps would have provided or better.

 

And maybe up in Canada they just power trip. I don't know. But I'm saying it's a positive way to approach it, that it's possible that's what they're doing or would like to see.

SaveSave


Edited by OhElizabeth, 06 October 2017 - 09:09 AM.

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#10 Moved On

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 04:20 PM

NorthernBeth, don't think for one minute that the system in the US is much better than ours. It differs from state to state, just like it differs here from province/ territory to province/ territory. Find out anything and everything you can about homeschooling where you live. Try to connect (in person or online) with others in similar situations. It was why I linked the HSLDA story, just as an example. 

 

I have a suggestion for you. Instead of looking for evidence in support of homeschooling, pile the evidence of what the school system has done to your boy. Don't make it as an attack to the school system or racial. Make it about the school situations that your particular boy has had to face and what it has done specifically to him. The system wants him to have a sense of stability in his life, given the situation. Having to change him from school-to-school to avoid the bullying does not help provide that stability. Use any psych reports you have in support of this. 

 

And without sharing too much, yes, some people can have side effects to melatonin.

 

Many  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  to you and your boy. I will be rooting and praying for you. 


Edited by Moved On, 06 October 2017 - 05:10 PM.

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#11 NorthernBeth

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:46 PM

Thank-you OhElizabeth-- I appreciate the perspective. It definitely does feel like an attack-- both personal and professional-- and it just really came out of nowhere to me as we were in a meeting focussed solely on the medicine issue. I am trying to gather my thoughts and resources together and figure out how to approach it ahead of time, because if I have to do it "under ambush" it will probably not go well. 

 

It's just I can't imagine what else they want- we have the cognitive behavioural therapist coming weekly to help with anger management, we are working through the anxiety book program that the other psychologist gave us, he is getting speech usually once a week, and now a new speech pathologist is going to help us work on social skills, we are currently working on learning how to use the speech to text setting with google docs, -- I am not sure what other supports the school can really offer, and I seriously question if they are going to modify or accomodate as much as he needs to really be successful- in part because orally he can come off okay-- but trying to get it down on paper is very hard.  And because he can be a little silly, people just go-- oh well he is just not trying-- even when he is trying his hardest. 


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#12 Storygirl

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:48 PM

I'm so sorry you are facing this. I don't have expertise to offer you, but I hope you are able to figure out an approach that succeeds. I don't know how the upcoming meeting will go, but my advice is to know your legal rights as a foster parent, know the child's legal rights under your education laws, and take any possible documentation that he is doing better at home than he was at school and what kind of educational assistance you are providing. If he works with any therapists, you may want to see if they would write a letter that details what they are doing for him and that they are supportive of homeschooling for him.

 

If possible, it might be wise to take along a special education advocate (we have them here in the US, but I don't know if they exist where you are) and/or a lawyer. At the very least, make sure you have your spouse along, or if that is not possible, a friend who can take notes and provide support for you. Your system is different than mine in the US, so I don't know who you are allowed to have at the meeting with you, but take whomever you can.

 

:grouphug:


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#13 NorthernBeth

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:52 PM

NorthernBeth, don't think for one minute that the system in the US is much better than ours. It differs from state to state, just like it differs here from province/ territory to province/ territory. Find out anything and everything you can about homeschooling where you live. Try to connect (in person or online) with others in similar situations. It was why I linked the HSLDA story, just as an example. 

 

I have a suggestion for you. Instead of looking for evidence in support of homeschooling, pile the evidence of what the school system has done to your boy. Don't make it as an attack to the school system or racial. Make it about the school situations that your particular boy has had to face and what it has done specifically to him. The system wants him to have a sense of stability in his life, given the situation. Having to change him from school-to-school to avoid the bullying does not help provide that stability. Use any psych reports you have in support of this. 

 

And without sharing too much, yes, some people can have side effects to melatonin.

 

Many  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  to you and your boy. I will be rooting and praying for you. 

Thanks Moved On, I was just beginning to realize this is a good idea-- because the current case worker is new she doesn't know how it was-- how he was being kept after school to do his work EVERY DAY and bringing work home EVERY NIGHT and just in tears constantly and how dreadful it was. We actually had one kid tell him he was going to break into our house at night and kill him and that seemed like the one time the school actually took the bullying seriously-- otherwise it was just- well, kids are kids, right?  


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#14 Moved On

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 06:57 PM

I'll be walking away from posting again, but you and your boy will remain in my thoughts and prayers. 

 

(Post edited...)


Edited by Moved On, 10 October 2017 - 04:57 PM.

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#15 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:03 PM

:grouphug:



#16 Pen

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:33 PM

As I recall he has been in BMS school in past, so perhaps a direct comparison can be made of how that was for him and how homeschool is for him.

 

Can he also speak for himself in a meeting and have some input as to what works better for him and why?  (And of course get his input and feelings about homeschool vs. BMS yourself before learning about it in a potentially adversarial situation.)

 

Can you get the doctor to write something for you about: 'the doctor was fine with that too, and explained that one reason why he was getting mad at us when we used to send him to school was because we were sending him into a war zone ( between the bullying and his disabilities) so of course he was taking it out on us.  "

 

And then you could say that you would agree to the idea of making plans for him to return to BMS and what is needed is for school to no longer be a place of bullying and other things that are the reasons that you are not having him go there at this time

 

Focus on the best interests of the child, and what he needs, and where he can get that.

 

To me, while HSLDA might provide some support, perhaps even free legal help, a focus on your own child's needs rather than outcomes in general seems like it would be important.  But HSLDA may well be able to provide studies and statistics too.



#17 OhElizabeth

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:44 PM

They might also be considering

 

-structure

-whether he has enough demands across the day

-opportunity to practice social skills

 

etc.

 

Structure is a major buzzword to learn more about. I *know* these are things they look at in my ds and wonder about. People wonder why I don't put him in a school with more kids if he needs to work on social, etc.



#18 Moved On

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:40 PM

Posted temporarily; now deleted. 

 


Edited by Moved On, 10 October 2017 - 04:58 PM.


#19 OhElizabeth

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:13 AM

There are certain profiles the schools know they aren't going to help much. The Social Thinking people acknowledged profiles with poor outcomes and poor treat ability. Autism is not in that category but the bully might be. So yes different plans and level of expectation and effort. Think they'd be hounding her if this dc was a vicious bully? Nope.

School provides structure, high demands, and fresh workers not distracted by dishes and life. Some kids benefit from a lot of input. Or at least the school sees it that way. With my ds I have to be very careful to be undistracted and available.

#20 TheReader

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 07:58 AM

One thing I haven't seen mentioned, but can you get the doctor to write up what he said at the last meeting before this one? When he explained that a lot of the misbehavior was due to the bullying at school, the fact you were sending your son into a war zone type situation? Perhaps that would carry a good deal of weight, especially as the case worker is new. 

 

Otherwise, you have my hugs and prayers; I had a doctor tell us once that unless I had a master's in special education, I just simply could not home school my son. She was horrified. Even as, in the same breath, she sincerely was amazed at how much we'd accomplished in the past year, how far he'd come in that time. Luckily we aren't in a position to have to listen to the naysayers like that, I did get a different (much more effective) curriculum for his needs, and we're doing great, but....what a punch in the gut those things are. I'm sorry you're facing it. 



#21 Moved On

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:14 PM

Posted temporarily; now deleted.  

 


Edited by Moved On, 10 October 2017 - 04:58 PM.