Working with Health Professionals

Some home educators report not feeling supported with their decision to home educate their children when working with some health professionals. Some practitioners are overstepping their purview enforcing their negative opinion of home education uninvited, rather than giving unbiased professional advice on the condition that is presented by the child. There have been reports that some professionals forcefully advising the child or parents to enroll in a school.  It is worthwhile reminding professionals who hold this view that home education is a legal third choice in addition to government or independent schools when parents are deciding on the education for their child.

It is a reasonable premise that positive interaction and collaboration between families and practitioners is in the best interest of the child’s well being. It is important to ensure that all parties involved in children’s wellbeing understand the validity of home education, and respect a parent’s right and responsibility  to choose their child’s form of instruction.

Some parents have reported about how their home education environments have helped their children with special needs.

One mum said “My daughter has ASD, SPD, generalised anxiety and is learning delayed. Homeschool has allowed me to reduce sensory overload and sit with her one on one and learn her strengths and frustrations. I can tailor her learning just to her, using any resources that will fit, rather than trying to make certain resources fit her.”   

One experienced mother’s advice to other home educating parents working with professionals was to:

“Tell the [Health Professional] you home educate, that is a non negotiable thing that will not be changing, and can they help and advise you within that context…Only once did I encounter a person who said she could not work with my child unless we would put him in school, and … we knew not to go back [to them].”

There were also families that have enjoyed positive experiences with their therapists such as:

“We have been fortunate enough to find supportive medical and allied professionals who have acknowledged that home education is the best choice in our case. It has been worth seeking out the good ones.”

“My son’s therapists weren’t happy about me homeschooling but respected my decision nonetheless. Now, they praise it as they have seen the change in my boy..”

An online resource has emerged called “Home Ed Friendly professionals” to help families find services in every state and territory to help their children be the best they can be and still respecting home education as their choice for their children’s education. Make sure to add to this project any professionals who have contributed positively to your home education experience.

Another mother stated:

“I have dealt with a lot of health professionals and don’t mind at all explaining what home education is. However, I do mind having to defend those choices to professionals who overstep the mark.”

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.