South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools
Special Needs Program
Overview of the Special Needs Program
The SCAIHS Special Needs Program is for any student, in grades K-12, who is functioning substantially above or below grade level or has a disability that causes educational difficulties. This student usually requires an educational plan that varies from that which is traditionally followed by students. Accommodations for assignments and testing, as well as frequent remediation, are often needed. All of these things are permitted when the student is enrolled in this program. In many ways, the Special Needs Program is also for the parent. You will be facing many new challenges as you home school this student. Whether it is choosing curriculum, finding a new way to re-teach a concept, or working around deficit areas, our trained staff is here to assist you. Their encouragement will help you to succeed in this challenging, but rewarding, endeavor.
How do I enroll my student in
the Special Needs Program?
When filling out the application to SCAIHS, indicate on the Student Enrollment that you desire to enroll the student in the Special Needs Program. It will be necessary for you to submit a copy of the student’s most recent IEP and professional evaluation, dated within the last three years. Not only is this information vital should we ever need to assist you in a legal defense, but our Special Needs Staff will be much better equipped to make recommendations regarding curriculum and teaching adaptations. If a professional diagnosis is not available when the student is initially enrolled as a special needs student, you need to send a description of the child’s learning problems. Sometime during the school year, however, it will be necessary to get a professional evaluation.
What fee is charged for this service?
In addition to the regular SCAIHS fees, there is a $70 annual special needs fee for each child
enrolled in the program.
Will the student be labeled "Special Needs" and have to permanently remain in the program?
No. The student is never labeled. When you have determined that the student is functioning at grade level and the more flexible educational plan allowed by this enrollment is no longer needed, enrollment in the Special Needs Program is not necessary.
How do I know which materials would be the best for my student?
Finding the best materials for a special needs student can be overwhelming! That is why our trained and experienced staff is available to help you. Curriculum consultations are available, by request, after a SCAIHS application is submitted. SCAIHS also has a Bookstore equipped with hundreds of books, you may view.
Do I need an outside consultant for my special needs student?
The SCAIHS special needs staff meet Home School Legal Defense’s requirements and
recommendations for educational consultants. Another consultant is not required; however,
every special needs student is unique. Depending on the nature of your child’s needs, a local
educational consultant/therapist may be helpful.
Can a Special Needs Student earn a college prep or general studies high school diploma?
It depends on the academic level of the student. If the student is able to successfully complete the content and work for the courses required for these diplomas, one may be earned. (See link to SCAIHS high school program.)
What is offered for a student that cannot do high school level work?
Some special needs high school students may earn a Track IV Occupational Diploma. This diploma is only for special needs students who plan to pursue full-time employment after high school, but are unable to complete the standard academic requirements of a college prep and general studies diploma. Other students, after twelve or more years of school attendance, may receive a Certificate of Attendance.
May Special Needs Students participate in graduation?
Any student who earns a diploma or Certificate of Attendance may participate in the annual SCAIHS graduation ceremony.
Special Needs Children: Parents Are the Experts (PDF
Robert J. Doman, Jr.
Reprinted from the Journal of the National Academy for Child Development