More Schooling Options: Public School

Posted by  | Monday, November 2, 2009  at 12:00 PM  
This post is written by Tara, a regular POH reader. She is a work from home accountant and has been married to her husband Asah for 7 years. He is the pastor of Crossroads Church in Hammond, LA. They have 2 sons, Jordan (3 1/2) and Jaxon (14 months). Jordan was diagnosed with classic Autism in July. It was then that they began researching schooling options and any services available. She wants to share her responses in hopes that anyone else going this route can enlighten her if they're a bit further down the road. Their oldest is only 3 1/2, but they have already begun their Public School Journey. At age 3, children with a disability are allowed to begin receiving services via the School District and an Evaluation/IEP is established at that age. Here are her responses to the questions:
1. What are the top three reasons you decided to send your kids to public school?
-Services offered
-Socialization, routine
-Cost
2. Why didn't you send your kids to Christian school? Why didn't you homeschool?
-No Christian/private school because they do not have the specialized services available, if we found one that did we'd send him there if the cost were reasonable. No homeschool because I dont feel equipped to teach Jordan the way he needs to be taught. (i.e. While I know my child best, I'm not experienced enough in the techniques in teaching Autistic children nor would I have the time that it takes with my other son in the mix)
3. What is the best part about public school?
Not there quite yet; although we recently received our full evaluation and will begin receiving in-home services from the School district within the month. So, I'd say the free Speech, OT, and Special Instruction that we are about to receive!
4. What is the worst part? Red tape!
5. What is the biggest benefit to your child by public school? Services provided.
6. What is the biggest deficit? I'm not able to filter a lot of what will go on. But I will be an active and involved parent! Communication is key.
7. What advice would you give to a family with preschool-age children working through this decision right now? I would definitely recommend the services available to pre-school aged children, even if the parents are not considering Public School. Early intervention is key.

If there are any other readers out there navigating schooling options with a child with a disability or special need, we'd love to hear from you! Please respond here or contact me at leahpayne@hotmail.com. Thanks!

4 comments:

Marisa said...

It was great hearing Tara's response, but one suggestion would be to have another public school family make a post as well. It seems Tara's situation is unique because she has a child with autism, and the services are of course essential for helping give him the best lead in his education.

What about parents whose children are typically developing, without any delays? What are the reasons parents choose public school then, and what are the major benefits they see for their children who are typically developing?

The answers still may be the same, but it would also be helpful to hear from someone who has a typically developing child as well.

Thank you, Tara, for sharing your insight and wisdom, as well as encouragment for the journey ahead!

Courtney said...

I just wanted to give Tara a simple word of encouragement. I worked with special needs children (quite a few children with Autism) for 3 years. I worked with children before they even went into schools (birth-3 years). I am sure it is hard sending your sweet boy to school, but the evaluators/teachers truly do have the best interest of your child. They are trained and a lot of times they are able to do things wiht your child that you couldn't because of your relationship (pushing them when they need to be pushed, training them in ways you didn't even know you could, setting expectations that are realistic and acheivable but at the same time challenging, etc). As a therapist I became a part of some people's families- and what a great way to minister and show Christ to someone who may not know Him through how you deal with your son and all those aspects of his diagnosis.

Leah said...

Marisa,
Just wanted to let you know that there will be multiple people posting for each schooling option. There should be at least two other families posting that send their children to public school. Keep reading throughout the week for more posts.

The Hudgins said...

thanks for posting our story Leah :) i love this blog and appreciate all the posts.

to "meet" our two you can go to:
http://asahandtara.blogspot.com

thanks again!

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