Homeschooling: Special Needs
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What Help is Available?

Parents of struggling learners or children who have special needs are often made to feel that they need to have their children taught by a professional in order for them to reach their potential. This opinion is often presented by very loving people. The parents can’t help but ask themselves, “Am I doing a disservice to my child by teaching him or her at home? Would he be making more progress if he were in a school setting, with the professionals?”

Homeschooling a special needs child is an individual decision, of course, but if you decide to homeschool such a child, we are here to help you be the best special education teacher you can be. Our finding is, that with the literature, teaching aids, and other resources now available, that any parent who desires to help their child learn can find that help, and eventually do a much better job with that child than any school could do.

At times there may be a need to enlist the help of some of these professionals in areas such as speech or physical therapy. However, the bulk of the teaching can be done by the parent, and is being done by parents across the nation very successfully!


Neurodevelopment Therapy

Computer Programs:

  • Brain Builder is a neurobic, computer-based training program designed to build memory and thinking skills.


  • Brain integration therapy, can be done at home with your child, and the other children at home also. It is very inexpensive, but is an independent program, totally parent-led.
  • International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists provides individualized neurodevelopmental plans that can be carried out by parents in the home.
  • The National Association for Child Development is one organization that employs this brain-based therapy, which can be done at home with the guidance of neurotherapists. It is quite expensive, but parents who do it report good results.


  • Christian Access to Neurodevelopmental Organization (Can-Do) provides families and interested professionals with neurological, educational, and developmental information regarding learning and the brain.
  • Little Giant Steps,, is a private, neurodevelopmental-educational consulting group. This organization provides academic testing coupled with neuro-developmental evaluations, as well as individualized programs for students with learning disabilities, processing difficulties, and cognitive impairments.
Specific Educational Therapy

Clinic-Based Programs:

  • Lindamood intensive phonics program is designed by speech/language specialists. This sequential system of teaching phonemes can be very effective for children struggling to learn to read. It is usually provided by local clinics, and is expensive.
  • LearningRx is a center or clinic-based program that is one-on-one. It is truly an educational cognitive therapy program. LearningRx treats the causes of learning difficulties rather than the symptoms. Tutoring focuses on reteaching content while LearningRx focuses on why someone didn’t learn the content in the first place. LearningRx strengthens all major cognitive learning skills first before providing research-based reading or math programs. LearningRx develops all of the cognitive skill areas while tutoring solely focuses on stored information, also known as your knowledge bank. Every activity you perform uses different cognitive learning skills to process information. For example, good reading comprehension requires strong attention skills, processing speed, working memory, logic and reasoning, and visual and auditory processing. These skills are just as vital as the knowledge of reading phonetics.
  • Brainworks (formerly SOI) is a clinic-based program aimed at helping a child with balance issues, visual issues, etc., through exercises. It is usually provided by local clinics and is fairly expensive.
  • Interactive Metronome is a clinic-based program that helps a child or adult gain better rhythm, timing, etc., to aid in reading and many life activities. It is fairly expensive. Home programs are less expensive.
  • Sylvan Learning, a tutoring clinic, is designed to help a child gain reading or math skills using regular curriculum and techniques. The centers help children who just need more exposure to systematic teaching in various subject areas. It does not correct processing skills (visual, auditory, visual/motor). It is expensive. Sylvan now offers online tutoring for home use.
  • Huntington Learning Centers have been helping children achieve their education goals for more than 30 years. There are currently more than 350 centers in 42 states. Programs are completely individualized and in many cases tutoring is actually one on one.

Home-Based Programs:

Helpful Parent Resources



  • The Ritalin-Free Child: Managing Hyperactivity & Attention Deficits Without Drugs by Diana Hunter (ISBN 0962833681)
  • Stop A.D.D. Naturally: Cutting Edge Information on Amino Acids, Brain Function and A.D.D. Behavior by Billie Sahley, Ph.D., C.N.C. (ISBN 1889391247)
  • Helping Your ADD Child: Hundreds of Practical Solutions for Parents and Teachers of ADD Children and Teens (With or Without Hyperactivity) by John F. Taylor, Ph.D. (ISBN 0761527567)
  • The ADHD Book of Lists A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders by Sandra Rief (ISBN 078796591X)
  • Teaching Teens with ADD and ADHD A Quick Reference Guide for Teachers and Parents by Chris Zeigler Dendy, M.S. (ISBN 1890627208)
  • Carbohydrate Addicted Kids Help Your Child or Teen Break Free of Junk Food and Sugar Cravings--for Life! by Dr. Richard Heller and Dr. Rachel Heller (ISBN 0060187247)
  • The Sensory Connection An OT and SLP Team Approach by Nancy Kashman and Janet Mora (ISBN 1931615217)
  • How to Get Your Child off the Refrigerator and on to Learning by Carol Barnier (ISBN 1883002702)
  • No More Ritalin by Mary Ann Block, DO (ISBN 1575662396)
  • The ADHD Autism Connection: A Step Toward More Accurate Diagnosis And Effective Treatment by Diane Kennedy with Rebecca S. Banks Paul Elliott, M. D. & Carl Daisy, Contributors (ISBN 1578564980)
  • The Parent’s Guide to Attention Deficit Disorders by McCamey and Bauer (ISBN 1878372017)
  • Help For Your Hyperactive Child, by William Crook, MD (ISBN 0933478186)
  • Smart But Feeling Dumb by Harold Levinson, MD (ISBN 0446691178)
  • Teaching the Tiger:A Handbook for Individuals Involved in the Education of Students with Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Marilyn Dornbush, Ph.D. and Sheryl Pruitt, M.Ed.(ISBN 1878267345)
  • Crazy Makers: Chapter 4 Feeding Your Child’s Brain, Carol Simontacchi, (ISBN 1585421049)
  • Homeschooling the Child with ADD or Other Special Needs, by Lenore Colacion Hayes (ISBN 0761535691)
  • Is Your Child Really ADHD? by Dr. Stephen Guffanti

Computer-based Programs:

  • Sharper Brain computer program
  • Play Attention computer-based interactive program with the same technology as NASA uses for pilot training.

Online Resources:

Support Groups:

Apraxia (see Speech Disorders)
Autism (Asperger’s and PDD)

Asperger Books:

  • Sensory Integration and the Young Child, by Jean Ayres (ISBN 0874244374)
  • The Out-of-Sync Child, by Carol Kranowitz (sensory disorder is a big part of the picture)(ISBN 0399531653)
  • Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments, by Brenda Smith Miles & Jach Southwick (ISBN 1931282706)
  • Upsidedown Brilliance, by Linda Silverman, Ph.D. (ISBN 193218600X)
  • Asperger Syndrome: A Guide For Educators and Parents, by Brenda Smith Miles & Richard Simpson (ISBN 0890797277)

Asperger Therapies:

  • This largely biological disorder responds dramatically to diet and supplement implementation
  • Brain Integration Therapy by Dianne Craft (helps special-needs children use their right brain to see the big picture)

Online Asperger Resources:


  • Autism, by Stephanie Marohn, the biological basis of autism (ISBN 1571742883)
  • Children with Autism, by Michael Powers, Psy.D. (ISBN 1890627046)
  • Children with Starving Brains, by Jaquelyn McCandless, MD (ISBN 188364710X)
  • Homeschooling Children with Special Needs, by Sharon Hensley (Available at 1558570104)
  • Recovery Against All Odds by Kristi Chrysler
  • Siblings of Children with Autism: A Guide for Families by Sandra L. Harris, Beth A. (ISBN: 1890627291)
  • The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) by Dr. Mark Sundberg (ISBN: 0981835627)

Computer or Video-Based Programs:

  • A computer and video-based Autism, functional curriculum; for a small subscription fee, provides lesson plans, support, resources, record-keeping, child progress monitoring, and parent-teacher training modules
  • Maximum Potential Kids, 17 modules on 8 DVDS Therapy for children with Autism

Curricula and Teaching Materials

Programs and Therapies:

  • International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists provides individualized neurodevelopmental plans that can be carried out by parents in the home.
  • Auditory Integration Training (sound therapy)
  • The Listening Program (brain training with music)
  • Important nutritional and diet strategies for this mainly biological issue, (defeat autism now),,
  • Label and Learn for the mostly non-verbal child
  • The Lovaas Institute, an applied behavior analysis approach to modifying a child’s behavior at home
  • Autism Treatment Center hosts the Son-Rise Program, a powerful and effective treatment for children and adults challenged by autism, autism spectrum disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) , Asperger’s Syndrome, and other developmental difficulties.
  • National Autism Resources Inc., is a global leader in providing cost-effective, research-based therapeutic tools that meet the needs of people on the autism spectrum across their lifespan since 2006. They carry tools and adaptive technologies that work together to improve skills and significantly decrease impairment. They provide family members of the autism community, schools, and insurance companies proven tools that improve the independence and quality of life for people on the autism spectrum. They have been certified and licensed by the State of California as a Durable Medical Equipment provider. This company also has a wonderful blog that is full of resources and information for parents, practitioners, and teachers.


Online Resources:

  • offers many services and has an online directory offering easy-to-locate physicians, psychologists, speech, occupational and behavioral therapists, schools, camps, programs, recreation and much more in one convenient place.
  • Learn the early signs of Autism
  • Many resources for parents
  • View conferences where doctors talk about biomedical treatment for Autism
  • PREACCH for parents homeschooling autistic children
    Skills® is the most comprehensive online solution for treating children with autism using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). The system includes:
    • Curriculum
    • Assessment
    • Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) for treating challenging behavior
    • Reports and Analytics
    • Progress Tracking
    Skills® identifies every skill an individual with autism needs across every area of human functioning from infancy up through adolescence while still allowing users the flexibility to customize lesson activities. This program may be utilized by parents, as well as teachers, and professionals serving the autism community.
  • Social Skill Builder: written by two speech and language specialists, this computer-based resource provides explicit and systematic guidance and instruction in social skills.
Auditory Processing Dysfunction


Therapies and Programs:

  • Help for Auditory Processing, by Lazzari & Peters, available at
  • Little Giant Steps,, a neuro-developmental educational consulting group, offers a free Auditory Test kit; To receive a free test kit use this link.

    Parents will receive a free kit via email. Once the kit is received: print it, read it, and start helping your family on the road to academic success! Once parents know their child's level of ability, they can easily help them gain the ability to follow directions, comprehend oral information, and improve many other globally affected areas.

  • The Central Auditory Processing Kit, Mokhemar, available at
  • Teaching the Right Brain Child video, alternative teaching methods for children with auditory processing glitches by Dianne Craft
  • Straight Talk video and manual by Marisa Lapish, speech pathologist, available at, covers speech and auditory processing issues
  • Earobics computer based program to improve auditory memory and sound discrimination
A Struggling Right Brain Learner


  • Right Brain Children in a Left Brain World, by Jeffrey Freed (ISBN 0684847930)


  • Understanding and Helping the Struggling Learner video by Dianne Craft, available at
  • Teaching the Right Brain Child video tape by Dianne Craft, available at


  • Inspiration and Kidspiration; software programs with visual learning tools, graphic organizers, clip art, etc.

Down Syndrome


Online Resources:

Nutritional Resources:

Therapies and Programs:

Dysgraphia (writing problems- penmanship and composition)

Books and Videos

  • Teaching Your Special Needs Student: Strategies and Tools that Really Work YOU CAN DO THIS! by Judith Munday or 757-482-5709
  • Brain Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft availabe at
  • Handwriting Without Tears Manual by Jan Olsen, available at
  • Understanding and Helping the Struggling Learner video by Dianne Craft

Online Resources

  • Lexercise provides online therapy for struggling readers, writers, and spellers—including children with dysgraphia. This online dyslexia test can be helpful in determining if there is a dyslexia component along with the dysgraphia.


  • The Source for Dyslexia and Dysgraphia by Regina Richards (ISBN 0760603081) Lingui Systems Publishers (800) 776-4332
  • Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level by Sally Shaywitz, M.D. (ISBN 0375400125)
  • Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D. (ISBN 0679781595)
  • Homeschooling Children with Special Needs by Sharon Hensley (ISBN 1568570104)
  • Learning in Spite of Labels by Joyce Herzog (ISBN 1882514130)
  • The LCP Solution: The Remarkable Nutritional Treatment for ADHD, Dyslexia & Dyspraxia by Jacqueline Stordy, Ph.D (ISBN 0345438728)
  • At Last! A reading Method for every Child by Mary Pecci, available at (ISBN 0943220076)
  • Recipe for Ready by Nina Traub

Support Groups:

Online Resources

Reading Programs/Strategies:

Other Educational Programs/Strategies:

  • Teaching Your Special Needs Student: Strategies and Tools that Really Work YOU CAN DO THIS! by Judith Munday or 757-482-5709
  • Right Brain Sight Word Cards (36 sight words made by a successful dyslexic child) by Breanna Gates and Dianne Craft available at
  • My Audio School—Source for mp3 downloads and live streaming from the internet.



Gifted Children

Gifted High School Students

  • HSLDA High School Consultants provide a resource list, of providers of courses that have been developed to stretch the minds and abilities of high school students.
  • Both Udacity and Coursera have innovative classes for students.
  • Open Courseware Consortium offers college courses for free where a student can download the lectures, syllabi, etc. and complete the course. (Such courses could not be awarded college credit, but certainly could be awarded high school credit.)

Online Resources

Intellectual Disabilities


  • Homeschooling Children with Special Needs by Sharon Hensley, available at, an excellent resource (ISBN 1568570104)
  • When Slow Is Fast Enough by Joan Goodman (ISBN 0898624916)
  • God’s Special Child by Donna Adee (ISBN 096542720X)
  • Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June Oberlander is a parent’s handbook of weekly developmental activities from birth to age 5. Available at the HSLDA Bookstore (ISBN 159160236X)

Other Resources

Sensory Processing Dysfunction


  • The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz (ISBN 0399531653)
  • Sensory Integration and the Young Child by Jean Ayres (ISBN 0874244374)
  • Is Your Child’s Brain Starving? by Michael Lyon, MD (ISBN 0968516866)
  • Crazy Makers by Carol Simontacchi discusses how to feed your child’s nervous system. (ISBN 1585421049)
  • Homeschooling Children With Special Needs by Sharon Hensley, available at is an excellent resource (ISBN 1568570104)

Other Resources

Speech Disorders


Video-Based Programs:

  • Straight Talk video and manual by speech pathologist Marisa Lapish (home program), available at
  • Home videos to use for speech problems


  • Communicating Partners—Dr. James McDonald’s website: The Communicating Partners Center is guided by one major belief: that parents are in the best position to make sure their child develops social and communicative skills to their potential.
  • Love and Learning—their techniques and materials (DVDs, audio tapes, books and computer programs) help infants and toddlers with language and reading development; also appropriate for older, non-verbal children.
  • Watch My Words offers multi-modal speech/language resources such as CDs, DVDs, charts, and flash cards to support functional language and speech/sound development in young children.
  • Super Star Speech
  • Speech Language Catalog for games and curriculum
  • Easy sign language cards for whole family to use
  • Educational materials for speech/language development.
  • Educational materials for speech/language development.


  • The Stuttering Foundation 1-800-992-9392
    This organization has a catalogue with books, videos and resources, as well as a 20-minute video and informational booklet for parents.
Transitioning to Post-Secondary
Vision Impaired

Support Groups

  • Support group for families who are homeschooling a blind child at Yahoo! Groups





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