AHEA Proposes Yet Another Boondoggle: On the Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) (Part 12)

Categories: Léo’s Insights 2020-2021, On The Alberta Home Education Association

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Now, as if the Notification Only non-solution and the advancement of terrible accounting practices aren’t enough, AHEA has come up with yet another very bad idea. Why not make students with physical ailments and learning issues worth more money, just like schools do?

Twenty-five years, mostly as a high school teacher, have led me to be very cynical about “special needs” funding. I could write a book about how to make nearly every student have some kind of “special need” in order to increase his/her “value”.

How many children are judged and penalized for having an abundance of energy? Why not have students diagnosed by a psychologist employed by the school to see if the school can claim them as “suffering” from some disorder? Why not prescribe some drugs while we are at it, so we can increase their “value” even more?

Dyslexic? Sure, great! Let me fix that! By the way, that means more money. Hearing impaired? More money! Visually impaired? More money! Too young? Not ready? Struggling? In need of remediation? More money! Surely there must be something that can be ascribed to each child to make him/her worth MORE MONEY! Special needs is more a matter of special needs funding than special assistance for special children!

It’s as if there is an award-winning contest for the student with the greatest number of issues. We see this often. Not long ago, we received student records for a ten year old that looked like a “rap sheet”, as they contained nearly 300 pages. Test after test, issue after issue, all clearly documented. One wonders if the child was doing poorly in school due to real issues or because the child was an unfortunate pawn in a sick game intent on increasing school income?

Please pardon this display of cynicism. Perhaps the fact that I am a dyslexic who survived the crap has soured me on this topic!

There is a very important lesson to learn here, folks. Schools see any child who does not fit its one-size-fits-all approach to education as having to be fixed (for a fee), so he/she will better fit the “mold”. There could be a real temptation for home educating parents also to find a problem with their child rather than question their own techniques and approaches. Don’t go there! Most “learning challenges” are fixed by adapting the methodology to the child rather than the other way around.

Now, can you imagine what would happen if we brought this special needs fiasco to the home education world? There is already an entire industry that has been created around the funding of home education, and most of the players are already more than willing to abuse and manipulate parents into making them more money by having them adopt public programming. What do you think would happen if special funding was made available for special needs? Parents experiencing difficulty with a child’s learning would not likely be advised to back off or try something else, when advocating to make the child “special needs” would bring more income. This happens all the time in school. Why would we want to normalize and bring this abuse to the home education community?

AHEA is clearly demonstrating its disconnectedness with home education. How can this organization be advancing itself as “Christian” when it so obviously advances secular solutions to real problems, rather than encouraging parents?

Home educating parents are largely coming from the Christian perspective which believes God does not make junk and does not err when creating children. Children do not need fixing, they are not freaks, nor are they weirdos, if different. Neither diagnosing, nor medication, nor funding will change the fact that every child is unique and “special” in his/her own way.

How can AHEA consider advancing this “solution” to “special needs” as “Christian”?

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