How to respond to people who don't understand homeschooling special needs children?

Question:I am homeschooling my son who has PDD. We are relaxed about our homeschooling. It is not like i can say that we do this subject at this time and this subject at that time. I can say that i have homeschooled my older daughter- who has developmental issues, since we pulled her from school after first grade- she is now 17 and she has made amazing progress. Other people have noticed it as well.
Now with my younger son, somehow i am getting questions and comments from people that are along the lines of, what do I plan on DOING with him- how long is he going to stay home doing 'nothing' when he can be in a special school where there are special ed teachers who can help him, and blah blah blah.
What do I say to this? How do I even begin talking to these totally ignorant people about the subject of homeschooling children with special needs?
In additon to having some tips on what to say, i'd appreciate being pointed to some good articles on the advantages of hsing special needs children

Answers:
I'm sorry you have to face this. There are some people in this world who seem to think they have all the answers, even when they don't know the situation. Aargh!

If you feel you need to answer their "concerns", just say something like, "We've made a decision based on what is best for our family", then change the subject. If they persist, tell them firmly that you really don't want to discuss it any further - it is your decision and it was not made lightly. If they can't accept this, maybe it's time to cut them out of your life and find friends who are more supportive of your decision (and your child's needs).
If these aren't people who are actually interested in learning about homeschooling but are just being critical, you first need to avoid feelings defensive and avoid feeling you have to explain homeschooling and provide articles defending you. What you will say will depend on your relationship with the person in question. With some, you might be able to say, "You know, I really resent people thinking that I don't have my son do anything in his homeschooling." Good friends will realize how they are unintentionally putting you down. With others, you can just say something really simple like, "I've done my research and feel this is the best thing for him. I don't really enjoy being questioned this way unless you are truly interested in learning about how homeschooling benefits kids like him."

ADDED: If a tutor I had approached had started on me like that, I would have interrupted him and told him that I didn't ask him about his opinion on homeschooling and where my child should be schooled and that obviously this arrangement wouldn't work out. I'd thank him for his time and find someone else. There's no need for me to explain anything to him, to try to get him to see my point of view or anything like that. Isn't that what he's trying to do to me? I'd have my little say and it'd be done with.
My answer for my special needs child is the same as my answer for my other children, "We considered sending them to Public School, but decided not to institutionalize them." This usually results in a puzzled silence from the other person. Occasionally the person will say something to the effect that they asked about school, not an institution, then I get to explain that Public School IS an institution. This may start an argument, but I am not afraid of those! Sometimes though I just tell the person that we are educating our children in the way that is best for them and for our family. If they persist I may politely suggest that they tend to their own affairs and let me attend to mine.

My child's special needs are not obvious though, so I might get less questioning than someone with a child who has special needs that anyone can identify, sometimes you just have to let them know that you didn't ask for their opinion.

Or maybe say something like, "Thank you for your concern for my son, but he is getting special education, I tailor it just for him and plan to keep doing it."
I don't understand why you would think you have to explain yourself. You say that you already have a daughter with developmental issues who is making amazing progress. Wouldn't that be the easiest thing to say?

Non-understanding Person:
You need to get your kid in a "real" school.

You:
No, they don't help him properly.

NuP:
They help everyone else.

You:
No, they really don't.

NuP:
How can you be so sure?

You:
We have been homeschooling my daughter for years and she did better at home than in a public school.

NuP: (dead silence and then) Oh.

'nuff said...
You asked for good articles on the advantages of hsing special needs children. There's one posted here: http://www.shine-hs.com/?q=specialneeds...

Hope that helps.
It is a nightmare isn't it?

I think, in the case of the tutor you just have to back away and not bother. There are some people you can't convince no matter what you do. They can see the progress and still not be convinced. It's not worth your energy. Besides, the tutor would not be a good fit anyway then.

I hope you can find a tutor that believes in hs'ing just like you do.

My son has Aspergers and my youngest is ADHD/dyslexic. I get comments all the time but I refuse to be baited into an argument. I need my reserves for my kids.

Good luck!
Home schooling is a great commitment and too many people don't understand a loving parents rationale behind it. The next time someone asks you about it. Tell them to research the on line report card on schools in your area, school violence, and increased drug usage. Extensive studies have been done and I don't think schools public or private are prepared to deal with these matters.
Have you tried hiring a local kid maybe they can be of some assisstance and they can earn extra money?
It's interesting that this is coming up, since homeschooling in the past has been only seen acceptable for special needs children and religious whackos. Really, I think these people would probably say something to you whether your kids were special needs or not. They seem to have that "certified teachers know best" attitude.

I would just simply say, "My son is not doing sitting around nothing at home. He is getting a more personalized and customized education than he could in a classroom with other children with varying physical, mental, and developmental issues." You could point out your success with your daughter, too.

I had an acquaintance who was a special ed. teacher. She talked about how hard it was because each special needs child needs so much one-on-one attention because each kid in her class were special needs in a different way. Sometimes there just wasn't enough time to give each child what they needed. Furthermore, she said that the parents were often "over-involved" telling her what and how to teach each child all the time (makes you wonder why they didn't just homeschool if they were going to micro-manage the teacher). She said that sometimes she felt like a glorified babysitter.

Good luck!!
Aragh! I can just feel your frustration!

My little sister(who is now diagnosed as schizophrenic) was bullied into a deep and lasting depression by her 'peers'. I would not ever send a child with special needs to a spec ed place, unless I didn't have the option of homeschooling.

They need the time to grow up emotionally before they get bombarded by comments by ignorant kids, and once they've grown up comments are fewer and farther apart. No adult could live with the slaughter that kids go through at school every day.

You could tell them that you feel you are very lucky/blessed to have the privilege of being with your child every day, that you feel they need the one on one time, you could act insulted and say, so you don't think I'm able to do for one what others do for twenty?, You could tell them that you are "DOING" the very best for him, that you don't resent his presence and that his needs are being met, you could tell your teacher friend that you didn't ask him for advice on parenting and that you don't like his tone, you could ask them why they think that you as a parent wouldn't do the best you could for you son?, you could say o gosh we tied that before it was a nightmare and change the subject, you could say, I'm not happy with the schools, ect...

In the end know that you are doing the best for your child, that you know his needs his strengths and his weaknesses more than anyone, and in the end there's a good chance that if you can't teach it to him ... he'll probably never use it.
it is important to prepare children from childhood so good schooling
I think it is good that you are home schooling your kids. I think it is better because you are in an environment that you know and are comfortable in. I am a special ed student and I am 15 I have been home school all my life I think that it is ser to do school at home and I now how it is when you get that queshchin.

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