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SBG

Looking for high school thoughts

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SBG

Good morning!

As we are nearing high school age with our son, we are finding ourselves with many questions. He has some significant learning disabilities that impact his education.

We have always homeschooled and still feel this is the best education for him. However, we are beginning to wonder about vocational training and other services he may be entitled to if we were to enroll him in school. If we wait until he has completed his four years of high school would he still be eligible for services? How would we then find services? We don't want to wait and have it be too late.

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts about this?


Another thing that is incredibly frustrating for us all is the end of the year assessment. We are in New York and beginning in 9th grade we will need to do a standardized test every year. We have had him take the test every year as a baseline. However, on alternate years we submit a written narrative. Beginning next year, we will have to submit the test score. The standardized testing really is not a good indicator of what our son has accomplished and it is disheartening to have to subject him to the test every year. 

 

Thank you for your thoughts!

SBG

(By the way, I am a long time Sonlight user- just made a new account!)

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victorychick

Good Morning! One of sons on the autism spectrum graduated in May. He is 18. We struggled with these same decisions. First, let me encourage you, you are making good decisions. We mama's with special needs children always second guess our decisions. It's tough because the right answer for one child may not be the best answer for another. I can tell you that most of your questions are specific to your state. So, in Tennessee, our social security benefits (that kick in when a person turns 18) cover some great new job training programs, but I think they're exclusive to our state. We aren't required to do assessments on a yearly basis either. Is there a portfolio option instead of a seated test? Usually you can find that on the Dept of Education website. We have a homeschool liaison and we can email her any questions and she gets back with us fairly quickly. I used to homeschool in New York, 18 years ago, and the authorities were not helpful so I don't know if reaching out to someone is the best idea for you. You will know if that's a good option. Also, in Tennessee, but I think it's a Federal rule, students can attend school until their 22nd birthday. So, you could educate him at home and then enroll him when he's older for services through the school. 

Be cautious about approaching authorities, but don't live in fear. Some people may actually be helpful! I kept my son at home because his social, physical and learning delays are so significant that he is labeled as low-functioning. Quite frankly, the schools gave up on him in middle school, so I pulled him back out to educate him as best as I could. God has a plan for his life, regardless of what others think.

If I can answer any other questions, please let me know!

Rhonda

Edited by victorychick

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Colleen in NY

Thank you for your reply!

We are in NY and are required to do an annual assessment every year. I contacted HSLDA and they said we may be able to get a letter from the doctor saying he is unable to participate in the standardized testing so that is something I will look into.

HSLDA also sent me quite a list of transitional and vocational options. It seems as though I have a bit more time before he will be eligible for many programs, so we have time to begin investigating. I was relieved to see all the options and know we have many opportunities to investigate for him.

We have used some of our local school's services and that has gone fairly well. It's mostly looking ahead and not wanting to miss something that has me thinking. There are a few opportunities I've hard of for high school that provide job training and in thinking we may use them I didn't want to wait too long.

It is so easy to second guess our decisions! We want to set him up for success. Certainly standardized testing doesn't, but that's something to be dealt with for only a few more years. Knowing God has a plan gives me such relief!

Thank you for your note. It was very encouraging!

SBG

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