Many parents who homeschool a child with special needs find that their son or daughter shows an interest in going to school for certain subjects or activities that interest them during their teen years. In many areas there are homeschool support groups with an interest in joint field trips, parent-taught classes, parks department programs or get togethers so that children can socialize with their homeschooled peers. School districts have created programs for homeschooled children that offer an alternative education experience in public school buildings.
Children with special needs may find that the accommodations made for mainstream homeschooled students suit their educational challenges or chronic health conditions, and may wish to enroll to try out some classes.
There may be transition programs for teens for post high school programs, job training and employment opportunities, or other federal, state or local programs or grants available through a child's school district.
Community college programs like Washington State's 'Running Start' allow teens to enroll while they are high school juniors and seniors, earning both high school and college credits for their work, supported with school district funds. Students may need to register at a district high school to qualify.
Junior and community colleges may offer excellent accommodations available for students who wish to attend regular classes, and some have specific programs tailored to students with learning challenges.
Transition services available for teens up to or including the age of 21 vary from district to district but may include a wide variety of services and options, including collaboration with federal vocation agencies, supported employment vendors, and local businesses.
It's important to research what a student's and a family's rights are when a child is enrolled in any school district program, and when a family is seeking transition services.
State and national homeschool organizations and internet groups may provide excellent resources and information on the pitfalls as well as the benefits of each option.
Browse at your local bookstore, public library or online retailer for books about high school transition for students with special needs.
Homeschooling Children with Special Needs
After School Homeschooling
Teens with Disabilities - Transition Planning
Teaching Math Skills
Art and Self Expression for Children with Special Needs
Music Education - Every Voice Heard
Teaching Your Child to Plan Meals and Cook
Do We Overtest Our Children?
The Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities
Signing, Reading and Spelling
Transition Links for Teens - Higher Education and Employment Opportunities - and Older Students Receiving Special Education Services