__Due to ongoing health issues, the Special Needs Homeschool site has not been updated. The resources here are timeless and I hope you continue to visit and share! I am hoping to get back here as soon as the dust settles to update and revive SNH. In the meantime, the SNH Facebook page and group are hopping with resources and support.
Who Is This Person Who Created This Great Website?
Welcome to the Special Needs Homeschool website! Hi, I’m known on Internet-land as Jen B, married and have two boys. What people don’t know is how much we go through on a daily basis. I don’t like to be depressing, complaining, griping, sharing my woes to everyone I know (unless it's on a facebook status! ;), every second, of everyday. I know people like this and I’m not one of them. Although I do share, I just like to do things with a twist, a pinch of joy, a dash of hope, and a whole lot of humour.
We have moved more than 20 times in the last 18 years. We are finally settled in one spot and we pray to stay here for the rest of our lives. The trials of our special needs have only given us strength. We struggle with pain on a daily basis. We struggle with lack of sleep. We struggle with lots of things. The biggest issues we have are other people. It’s very rare to find understanding, compassion, and hope. These people are out there!!! That’s the good news. There is hope, understanding, compassion, resources, and joy to be had for us! We just need a little ingenuity in finding it.
Our family has been home learning since 1992. We are definitely a different kind of family. Our special needs stats are as follows (just so you know where I'm coming from :):
I’ll start with Hubby: He is an outspoken, blunt, over the top, extremely intelligent (Gifted IQ of 142), and disabled. He hates that word. He prefers to use the phrase ‘adaptable’ because he truly is adaptable. Hubby was a mechanic for ten years before the pain began in his shoulders, knees, back and wrists. The doctor ordered him to stop work and go on worker’s compensation (WSIB). Hubby fought it until the pain was too bad to take and finally agreed. He had two surgeries for Severe Carpal Tunnel that year, then they (WSIB) re-enrolled him in college. He took a 6 year engineering program in 4 years so he could hurry and get back to working. He eventually found work and is now working as a Streetlight and Traffic Technologist with the 'City'. Translation: He drives around and tells people what to do. He loves the social aspect of it and avoiding the office paperwork as much as possible. He had a car accident that busted up his shoulder. He had shoulder surgery and while off recuperating, was promoted to a new job at the city! He now does the same thing as before but with street signs. Ha! He has healed up just fine and is doing well. This was no small transition. Working ten years as a mechanic, a year of nothing, 4 years of school, then back into the workforce, with pain, surgeries, accidents, moving, and well, life! I haven't killed him so he's doing well!
The boys: My boys are loving, caring, outspoken, blunt, oblivious, innocent, and have more letters trailing their names than a surgeon. They both have Autism, Anxiety Disorder, CAPD, SPD, ADHD-Inattentive type, Tourette Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Dysautonomia, and Asthma.
My eldest, J, was born in 1994 and when he was in public school, I was told to just teach him life skills because he’ll never learn to read. Life skills are important to us but so is reading! He learned both just fine when I pulled him out of school. It has been quite a journey for him. J went from being an aggressive, angry, destructive, anxiety filled, sensory overloaded, sleepless child with severe speech and language and physical delays, to a young man with responsibility, determination, perseverance, artist, writer, a heart of gold and straight A’s at a Ministry of Education run public school, online. He has (on top of what is listed above) aspergers, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. He is advanced in reading and spelling. The psychologist noted that J is charming, conscientious, and a pleasant young man. That's always nice to hear!
My youngest, T, born in 1999, has never seen the inside of a school unless it was to drop off or pick up a day care kid when I ran a home child care. He is my scientist, creator, inventor, problem solver, and practical joker. He has PDD-NOS and dyslexia, on top of what is listed above. The psychologist noted his humour is great and he enjoyed assessing him. The psychologist tells the parents T's story of when he was being tested, T leaned back, threw his arms up and announced, "I got nothin'." which the doctor thought was hysterically funny. He said, "Kids today are much too serious. I love his humour." That's nice to hear too!
Both boys had a speech and language delay, youngest still has severe articulation issues due to VPI and hyptonia from the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome but language is fine. I think that's everything...for now...
Me: I have mild to moderate (depends which vertebrae) scoliosis. I also have ASD tendencies, CAPD, GAD, Tourette Syndrome, IBS, immune deficiency, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, and dysautonomia. We know where the boys' genes come from. Poor kids.
I have worked with children since 1998 as an Early Childhood Educator, Child and Youth Worker, Special Services at Home, Day Cares, Home Child Care provider, volunteered at clubs, childrens' programs, and Foster Care. I presently enjoy life as a mom to my kiddos, a mom to my pets, and a mom to my Hubby (not a typo-I do mean a 'mom' ;). I should have picked a different vocation, I don't think moms have a retirement package!
Between sticky fingers, laundry, and barking, welcome!
Read ya later,