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Being the parent of a special needs child comes with many significant challenges, one of them being the question of how to best educate your child to meet his unique needs. If you find yourself homeschooling a special needs child, you are not alone. According to the National Special Education Advocacy Institute (nseai.org), "38% of the 2.5 million students receiving homeschooling have special needs. This is almost three times higher than the 14% of students being served in public school special education programs nationally."
Resources for Homeschooling a Special Needs Child in Utah
(*Disclaimer*: HHU's tips and resources are not meant to provide or replace professional legal advice.)
Here is the link to the Utah State Board of Education Special Education Rules, which was updated in 2022: https://www.schools.utah.gov/specialeducation
Unfortunately, Utah State law does not require Utah public school districts to provide services to special needs children who are being homeschooled. However, how a district chooses to serve special needs children in their area varies widely across the state, and we have some ideas to help get you started. For information on teaching extra needs children and guidance on Testing, Dual Enrollment, Private Services, Tele Services, Private Schools and Charter Schools, see our blogpost by licensed practitioner Aersta Acerson "Homeschooling Special Needs Children in Utah".
Programs for Special Needs Students in Utah
Utah has a few programs designed to provide school choice to children with special needs. These programs relate to private school as opposed to homeschool, but they are an alternative means to providing an education for your special needs child, and are therefore worth mentioning.
1. Carson Smith Scholarship Program: Provides funding to eligible children with special needs to help pay for private school tuition costs. Find more information here:
2. Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship program: An exceptional opportunity available in Utah for families of children with moderate to severe disabilities.
We've compiled some additional great resources to help you answer these and many more of your questions.
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