If you are homeschooling a child with special needs, you need to follow your state’s homeschool regulations. There are no additional requirements for homeschooling children with special needs.

Because homeschooling can be conducted as a “private school” under Illinois law, your homeschooled child may be eligible for services funded by both the federal IDEA program and the state.

Homeschool students with disabilities have a right to enroll part-time in the public school in the district where they reside. 105 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/14-6.01, first paragraph, third sentence. The child must be at least 3 and less than 22 years of age. He must qualify under one of two provisions.

  1. A child qualifies under 5/14-1.02 if he is determined, pursuant to state special education regulations, to need special education services.
  2. A child qualifies under 5/14-1.03a if he has a specific learning disability. The phrase “specific learning disability” is defined as a disorder “in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. Such disorders include such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Such term does not include children who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, of an intellectual disability, emotional disturbance or environmental disadvantage.”

Note: As you decide what kind of special needs services and therapy best meet your child’s needs, we want you to know that HSLDA Compassion Curriculum Grants are available to help with diagnostic services, therapy, curriculum, or other educational materials.