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Involving Those with Special Needs
Volume 117, Program 48
11/6/2013
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If you participate in a homeschool co-op, chances are you know at least one family who has a student with special needs. Tune in to today’s Home School Heartbeat,with host Mike Smith and his guest, HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator Faith Berens, to hear ways that you can include and encourage this child in your co-op.

Mike Smith:
Faith, what are some ways that homeschool co-ops make children with special needs feel welcome and a part of the group?

Faith Berens:
Well, I just want to share that people with disabilities mainly just want to be included. They want others to see beyond the challenge and really get to know them as a person. Many students that I talk with tell me they just want to be treated just like all the other kids. So I would encourage others to not focus on what the student can’t do, but focus on what he or she can do and allow the child to come in and participate at their own pace and at their level of comfort and ability. Give lots of encouragement and express praise, bless them with their words and actions.

Also allow for the student to be a helper: give them tasks and responsibilities that they can do. And they can train other students who are more veterans of the co-op group to be greeters or mentors or peer buddies. There’s a wonderful ministry called keyministry.org, and I would encourage co-op leaders to check that out.

Mike:
Well, Faith, thank you for this valuable advice to the co-ops. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.


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Homeschooling a struggling learner or a child with special needs? HSLDA’s Special Needs Coordinators provide answers about evaluations, IEPs, finding a consultant, and more. Request this free booklet by clicking the link above.

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