A little less then 3 years ago my husband and I were informed our 6th and final child would be born with Trisomy 21 (otherwise known as Down Syndrome). We received this diagnosis 3 months before our daughter was born. We used that time to research and prepare for this sweet baby. While weighing our options homeschooling continued to grab our attention. I could not believe that was an option in this day and age. What I found out was there are way more home schoolers then I ever thought there would be.
I started joining email groups of local homeschooling families and realized that I could do this.As we were awaiting the birth of our daughter we started to become more aware of some sensory issues our son was struggling with. I always knew there was a problem but could not completely put my finger on it. We determined on our own we needed to make some changes in his diet and once those were made there was an amazing transformation.
After my daughter was born we made the decision we were not going to go the traditional early intervention route that most parents with special needs children take. We were introduced early on to National Association for Child Development and once we became aware of what support they provide I knew that was the road I wanted to take.
I have been facilitating my daughters therapy since she was 3 months old. I also provide sensory and neurological therapy to my son as well as homeschool them both. To be honest homeschooling was something my husband talked about but not something I ever thought I could do. It was not until I became aware of my daughters diagnosis and confirmed my sons problems that I decided home schooling was for me, I could do this!
Over the past 3 years I have seen amazing results as a product of my homeschooling. My son just 2 years ago could not tell you how old he was when asked. He would not hold conversations with peers and preferred to spend his days in front of a video game. He now has friends, he can read at a second grade level and his math is at a 3rd grade level. He is 6 years old.
I am so proud. I am proud of him and I am also proud of myself. I think that is the best part of homeschooling, not only are your children smarter but you know you are a huge part of the success. I was told in the beginning that I would know my kids like the back of my hand and that is so true. I know how my son and my daughter are feeling, if he is going to do well or not so well before he even opens his mouth. When you spend this time with your kids you create a relationship that will last a life time.
My daughter is doing equally as well. She is talking, following 2 step sequencing commands and potty training at 2 years old. She is healthy because I have her on a specialized diet that I monitor here at home. She is beating the odds and I am equally as proud of her as I am my sons.
Homeschooling special needs children can be challenging, but when you see their progress first hand it is so worth the extra time. I know my children and I am well aware of what my children are capable of doing. I see so many parents with special needs children who feel lost. They are unsure what their kids know or don’t know. They often look to schools for answers to their questions.
I am empowered through my homeschooling experience. I can make decisions for my children because I know how they are doing, how they learn and the support they need. It is such a rewarding feeling to know I am doing the best I personally can do for my children. During the welcoming literature received from our therapy program NACD the owner stated that no one loves your child like you do. No one will work harder for your child then you as a parent. I play that back in my mind daily. That is so true! Why do we look to others to tell us how to educate our children when we know our children best and we care more about their successes then anyone else?
The special needs journey can be hard and scary. I choose to enjoy this journey and my opportunity to help mold the minds of 2 of my children who might otherwise be in a special ed program makes me happy. I know they will be fine because I will make sure of it!
To find out more about our family or the 5 boys and 1 girl you can find me at Katie Driscoll 5boysand1girlmake6.com
I am a Mom of 6 children, 5 boys and 1 girl, blogger and homeschooler. I love to garden, cook, sew and spend time with my family. My passions are acceptance of special needs individuals and nutrition.