Q. May I remove my preschooler with special needs from school and educate him at home? Are there additional requirements?
A. According to the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA), school districts must locate, identify, and evaluate children aged 3–22 who have disabilities affecting educational performance. Local school systems then provide special-education services to these children. Participation in IDEA testing and services, however, is not mandatory. Informed consent is required for an evaluation and for the delivery of special-education services. Do not be intimidated–parents have the right to opt out of special-needs programs, and school districts do not have the right to override a parent’s decision not to participate.
You will not need to comply with the homeschool law until your child is compulsory attendance age; that is, he has reached age five by September 30. Requirements are the same for all homeschooled students; there are no additional requirements for students with special needs.