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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Great School Debate


I have come to the conclusion that there is not a perfect option for Luke and school. Basically you have 3 choices. Public, private and home school. Unfortunately, we have tried all 3 options already with Luke, none proving to be a match. As his mom, I long for an answer to this issue that keeps me awake in the middle of the night, that causes me grief and anguish over how to provide the best learning environment for Luke. An environment where he is supported, cared for and feels safe enough to engage and relaxed enough not to tic as much. But alas...I feel defeated. I feel as though I have failed him in this area.

Private school affords Luke the luxury of small class sizes and a caring and supportive staff with students who like him, but there are no special therapies, classes or teachers trained to guide Luke through his disabilities. Private school is also expensive and adds stress to our tight budget. Not saying that we wouldn't sacrifice. We would. Unfortunately as time continues on, and Luke's diagnosis' keep on coming, private school becomes less of option due to the disabilities and special needs.

Public school offers a free and appropriate education (according to the law). This is the realm to which I am most familiar...in fact trained in this realm. Unfortunately the class sizes are large, kids are cruel and hurtful with their words, and fighting special services tooth and nail can be discouraging. The last thing I want to do is crush Luke's spirit. He already is vocal about his dissatisfaction of school. The other issue is the massive amounts of budget cuts that are happening throughout our state. I have a difficult time figuring out what else they are going to cut. It seems to me is that our students are the one's that are missing out.

Home school is an option, and an option that I read many children with Tourette syndrome choose. The downside of home schooling Luke is motivating a child to work with all the distractions of home. It was like pulling teeth to get him to decide to work. The other is the lack of down time for me and time to recharge my batteries before racing 100 miles an hour alongside Luke. This is not to say that I wouldn't home school him if it was the best choice. The problem is...I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE BEST OPTION IS! Why is it so difficult to figure out.

Currently Luke is in public school. He is going through testing to re-evaluate him for additional services through our school district on his IEP (Individualized Education Program). I need to know as his mother and educator where he tests at. I am hoping this information will help me make the best placement/decision for Luke.

If there is anyone out there reading that has a suggestion, I would love to hear it. I open to any advice at this point.

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