Special Education/OCD & homeschool


My 9 year old has severe OCD. We cannot afford $200 a session for ERP. Anyone who claims to know it really doesn't and very few people treat it in young kids. And we live in a nice suburb. School is a disaster. They've done nothing. They want to put my son who is gifted in a class with kids who are way behind so as to not deal with it. I don't have a doctor  on my side because of money but I've talked to the  ped.  He's very sympathetic but can't really diagnose. My son can act totally normal if his obsessions are met. If not meltdown. I'm doing ERP in a gentle way but at school they don't listen and assume he's being intransigent if he doesn't comply. They say they understand it's OCD but also add that he knows what he's doing. Yes he does! But it's a compulsion. He won't even sit in his chair if someone else doesn't straighten it first. He refuses to go in the morning. I carry him to the bus. I really want to homeschool him with some home bound instruction . How can I go about this? He us unravelling at school and is so much happier at home. And I know I can help on his OCD too. I just cannot handle the workload as a working mom.

Home schooling is different in nearly every state.  You should be able to get the general rules for your state from your local school district office.  If that doesn't work then call your state department of education and see if they can route you to the people who deal with home schooling.

Home schooling and what we call Home Bound instruction are different.  Home bound in most cases is what is referred to when a child can't go to school.  Usually it is for a severe health issue.  In this case the school district sends a certified teacher to the home to help the student and the parent educate the student.  Typically it is short term until the child is well or mobile again.  I have used Home Bound instruction for students whose anxiety was so great they could not stay in school, or would simply refuse to go to school.  In these cases the child was labeled as School Phobic.  I also have placed children in home bound situations when they were a danger to themselves or to others.

Sounds like your 9 year old doesn't meet those extreme criteria...but, if the current program isn't working, something else must be tried, providing your child has an IDEA diagnosis done for special education placement.  You would ask to convene the IEP team and discuss the need to try this intervention because nothing else tried has made any difference, in fact, it appears to have made your child's behavior worse.  If home bound were 6 hours a day 5 days a week it would be very costly, but I have found that a teacher can do about 3 hours a week, giving the student and the parent direction and make similar progress to the in school program.  There is something really powerful about one to one instruction.  

You have two choices here.  You could apply to home school and basically provide all of the child's education yourself...or, you could convince the IEP team that a home bound trial placement would be more effective than what they are doing now.  Of course, perhaps a combination might work as well.  

If you are totally dissatisfied with the conclusion of either you can always file a state complaint with the Conflict Resolution part of the Special Education part of the state department of education.  That may result in some orders to do things differently, but it doesn't always mean a major change in attitude or understanding of your child's condition.

I do think that a home bound setting for a specific time period might work.  Lets say you decide to try this new placement for 6 to 12 weeks, measure some progress (how much work he completes, academic gains, changes in the student's attitude about school, etc.).  After the time period ends you meet again and decide how to progress.  If great progress is made, then I would very slowly change the program to include some attendance at school, like perhaps just the language block...I also think you child's IEP should include some training of staff related to your son's disability.  

Good luck...


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Dr. Norm Bishop


I have spent nealy 40 years in the area of Special Education. I have had the pleasure of teaching pre-school, elementary, middle, high school and college levels, as well as, served in school district administration buildings in classroom/legal support positions. I have also spent some time working in a State Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Office and am now currently Division Head and Director of Institutional Research at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. I also teach special education classes on campus. I have also taught full time teacher preparation at Northern Arizona University on the Tucson Campus, Seattle Pacific University, and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. In addition to that I have taught adjunct at Seattle Pacific University, City University in Seattle, Ashford University, and Grand Canyon University.


I have experienced directly special education legal issues, process and procedure, and have taught at all levels in every special education category except gifted. My major expertise is diagnostic prescriptive teaching, literacy as it relates to disabilities, technology in special education, and Educational Leadership. My greatest passion in the field is building new programs, implementing and doing the research to see how they work. My Dissertation and principle research interest is in the area of inclusive education, primarily co-teaching of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.

Council for Exceptional Children, Association for the Supervision of Curriculum, National Reading Council.

Teaching Exceptional Children, Published computer assisted instruction, titled PAL, Special Education Basics, college Textbook, Teaching with Precision, college Textbook, Various devotionals at the website, Preachitteachit.com.

I have a B.A. in Secondary Education, a Masters in Special Education (cross categorical), administrative certification, and a second B.A. in Elementary Education. I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

Awards and Honors
Best Summer Program in the Nation (Honorable Mention, when I was Teaching) Multiple local awards

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