Special Education/Home bound


My son is ten y.o w severe general anxiety
His anxiety is much worse at school than home
Though at home he barely sleeps
I have a dr willing to provide support for home bound
The school has never implemented the iep
As written. I can't afford due process and
In the meantime school starts soon and I cannot
Send my son. I will lose a decent second income keeping him
Home but he has so much terror at school from all the wrong things they did
Essentially they treated his disorder as willful and I am too tired to fight
I asked for a half day they said no. I am going to pull him out bc no other choice
Filing compliance with state won't help. Still waiting for state to even call the school
Caring for son all day i can't spend time on letters and evidence and lawyers
He has dx severe anxiety general. A dr is on my side about the home but what can I do next?

Hello, Joann,

I first must ask for patience as I forgot to set my account here at allexperts.com to 'out of office'.  So I am delayed in responding and I apologize.  

Let me say that I empathize with your son's situation.  I have many families struggling with how to work with the school to provide a free appropriate public education for a child with severe anxiety.  

It is common for the school and parent to disagree how to address anxiety.  The school may say that a child is being oppositional where really, the nature of the child's behavior is about worry, fear or concerns that are not being addressed or effectively communicated.

The longer the child is at home, the more difficult it can be to re-integrate into school and community settings.  

I have a few questions and recommendations:
Have you been part of a proper functional behavior assessment and behavior intervention plan?  This is a team problem solving process, and it can involve experts in the district or your private doctor, to figure out the nature of your son's social emotional difficulties AND put into place evidence based intervention.  This may include counseling, small group settings, teaching how to communicate and recognize feelings and other interventions.  

My book, School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, may help you understand the FBA better.  Also, here is a nice site to assist you.  


If your son is in crisis, the school should provide short term instruction in a setting other than the classroom, which can be at home.  But if you have to work and not working will stress the family system even more, I would say that efforts should be made to provide an individual work space and maybe even a dedicated adult to help him navigate the school day.  

I do understand that the process can be exhausting for a parent.  Perhaps it is time for you to bring in someone like me, or a special education attorney.  You can contact me for a consultation or find an advocate in your area at COPAA.org. There may be a time soon that you have the energy to bring in assistance.  Since your son is only 10 years old, the actions you can take now can positively affect his future and independence.

Sometimes, children with anxiety have other learning needs, sensory needs, communication needs.  All of his evaluations (psychological, medical, occupational therapy, communication, academic) need to be up to date so you and the school have fresh and current information about his needs.   

There is a difference between having homebound services through an IEP and homeschooling.  If you notify the school that you are withdrawing him from school to do homeschooling, there are homeschooling communities that have locations that have teachers who can relieve you from some of the teaching responsibilities.  But, this would mean you are releasing the school district from providing everything that your son needs.  

Sometimes, a change of school placement is appropriate.  This would mean that the IEP must be revised and the placement changed.  Some small numbers of children need residential settings for a time period.  This can be a very complex process, and I would advise you to email me so we can set a time to talk about this option and others.  

So here is what you can do next:
Consult with me or other professional who helps parents navigate the school district.
Request and participate in a FBA process.
Be sure your son's evaluations are up to date.
Revise the IEP to assure it meets all of your son's needs.  
Explore school placement options.  
Determine what your son needs and go to a mediation or even a hearing to request it.  You will need an attorney for a hearing, but maybe not a mediation.  

I hope this helps you as you advocate for you son.  Let me say again I empathize with your and his situation but with advocacy, things can get better and the school can be held accountable for his education.  I wish you all the best as you advocate for your son!


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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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