Special Needs and Gifted

Create the Individualized Plan That's Right for Your Child!

Homeschooling children with unique needs can be challenging! It requires sacrifice, diligence and patience. However, a safe and loving home environment is often the most effective way to teach these special children with success. Below are some resources to help and encourage you on your journey.  




HOME Bookshelf - Check out some of our personal curriculum favorites for struggling learners in HOME's Bookstore.


HOME Unit Studies - The unit study approach can often be an effective way to engage both gifted and struggling learners and cover all required subjects at the same time! Read more about various homeschool methods, including the unit study method.


Pre-assembled portfolios for the special needs student - Whether your child has trouble reading, writing or completing workbook pages, or has difficulty in other areas, this portfolio was created with him/her in mind. By including more journal logs, photographs and dictation pages, as well as modified subject cover pages, and special needs introductory pages, you can demonstrate what your child has covered, and the progress made.


Legal Considerations

Filing Letters of Intent to Homeschool

There are no additional legal requirements for special needs students. Simply follow the legal steps to comply.


Initial Evaluations and Re-evaluations through Local Public Schools

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal program authorizing state and local aid to students in need of special education and related services from birth to graduation (or age 21, whichever comes first). Under IDEA, schools are required to conduct “Child Find” activities, which "identify, locate, and evaluate" any child within their district with a suspected disability. (A parent has the right to request or decline the evaluation, no matter what type of school the child attends). When the evaluation is completed, the school holds an IEP meeting to which parents are invited to participate. In this meeting, the evaluation results are shared and discussed. If it is determined that the child needs special education, an individual education plan is developed. This plan outlines what services the child would be offered and receive if the child was enrolled in the public school. 


For more in-depth information, please read: What Homeschoolers Need to Know about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


Public School Access to Services 

Homeschoolers are eligible to receive special education services at their resident school unit’s public school. The public school has an obligation to provide such services only in the event that the student elects to participate in classes at the school, and only to the extent that those services are necessary, due to the student’s disability, to enable the student to participate in those classes. On the Maine Department of Education's website, click "State Regulation: Chapter 101" to download and read the regulation. See Section IV.4.H.


Legal Protection

Because your child's progress and learning may be less typical, legal protection is strongly recommended. For peace of mind and excellent support, join HSLDA.


Record Keeping

Documentation is especially important for special learners. Developing an IEP to set forth goals, chart progress and demonstrate how special needs are being met can be very beneficial. 


Group portfolio reviews for special learners will satisfy your annual assessment requirement. These group reviews are smaller and more personalized to address the challenges you face as you homeschool your unique learner. Watch for dates and locations.


More Resources

Resources for Homeschooling Gifted Children


Hoagies' Gifted Education Page

The all-things-gifted site, full of resources, articles, books and links to help and support parents, teachers, and gifted children alike.  Pick your path, and re them all!


The Hollingworth Center


Resources for Homeschooling Children with Special Needs


Autism Society of Maine

Offers free services to Maine families. ASM has Autism Information Specialists that are experienced in helping people navigate what to do next after a diagnosis and offers social groups and support groups to all ages online and in-person. They can help parents with transitioning to homeschooling. 


Helpful Articles by Subject

Hundreds of informational and encouraging articles on a wide variety of topics.


HSLDA/Special Needs:

Resources that help determine if your child is a struggling learner, what help is available to you, and the legal considerations of homeschooling children with special needs.


G,E,A,R. Parent Network

G.E.A.R. is run by parents for parents and provides services for parents of children with emotional and behavioral health concerns.



The blog of noted author and speaker Carol Barnier.  She has great books, tips, and encouragement for all!


Davis Method

Provides tools, strategies, and personalized support for all ages to help unlock potential and the innate ability to learn and effectively navigate life.


I Can

International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists


National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network 

Encouraging homeschooling families with special needs children, in ways to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and equip parents to confidently homeschool their children with special needs or disabilities.


Dianne Craft - Solutions for Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Struggling Learners

Inside this website you will find free articles and videos that will inform you as to what could be the real problem that your child might be facing.  My Daily Lesson Plans for Struggling Learners are also available here for free.


SPED A national nonprofit providing support, resources and encouragement to the special education homeschool community.  


Timberdoodle Autism Center

Blogs, articles and product reviews.


Barton Reading & Spelling System

A website with great resources for those with Dyslexia.


Gallant Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Community Supports services to help improve the lives of children with developmental delays, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and Autism.


Woodfords Family Services

Woodfords is a private agency that provide an array of clinical, behavioral health and educational programs to children, youth and adults living with autism, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities and/or mental health diagnoses throughout Maine.