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Why Won’t the School Provide Homebound Instruction?

10/18/12
by Pam Wright

My child’s doctor recommended homebound instruction. The school said they had the authority to override that recommendation. Why won’t the school provide homebound services?

Issues of homebound are determined in part by state law and state regulations, if any, on the subject.

IDEA 2004 and the federal regulations provide no guidance on this issue.

However, if your child has an IEP, the IEP controls the services, regardless of where they are delivered – at home or in the public school.

The IEP team determines what the child requires in order to receive FAPE, i.e., a free appropriate public education.

Placing a child on homebound is a very restrictive placement.

As a general rule, a homebound placement is only appropriate if a child has a health or medical problem that prevents the child from attending school.

Homebound Placement for Behavior Issues

We are seeing many cases where the school/IEP team places a child with behavior problems in “homebound” for weeks or months because they don’t know how to handle the child’s behavior.

In a nutshell, the school removes the child from school. The child may receive a couple of hours of instruction a week and no contact with other kids.

In these instances, the school needs to do a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and design a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) as soon as possible.

Documentation: The parent who has documented the problems and their attempts to solve them, will be in a stronger position to request an IEP team meeting and an IEP that addresses the problem behaviors.

Homebound Services for Medical Issues

If a child has a medical condition that requires homebound instruction, the doctor needs to document this in detail.

  • what is the condition?
  • what will the child need?
  • how long will the child need this service?

Documentation: The parent needs to document the child’s problems, what caused them to worsen, attempts made to help the child, etc.

 

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Enver 05/01/14 at 4:29 am

    My child received several months of homebound education. Later, the district altered medical recommendations which resulted in litigation lasting over four years now. Next week, I will be filing appeal to the US Supreme Court to provide guidance on this issue.

  • 2 tracy 02/19/14 at 12:49 am

    My daughter is 8, suffers from cyllic vomiting or cvs, has an iep. We are in the hospital about once a month due to these episodes. A friend brought homebound instruction up to me. Im wondering if this would benefit my daughter. We live in a small community. She loves the social part of school, but honestly I dont see her getting much help academically anymore. She is above most of the students her ILC class who have other issues. Im thinking I would have to bring this up with her teacher or district special ed?

  • 3 Diane 02/09/14 at 2:37 pm

    My Grandson recently had an IEP and I as his Legal Guardian opted for homebound services due to his severe health issues including Prader Willi. The Special Services Director (who failed to attend the IEP) and after it, by phone indicated to me that “she approved” it even though by law her approval is not necessary and that she would only approve it for the the rest of the school year. My Grandson does not walk and needs changing because of non-bathroom capability. He has hypotonia, hypothyroidism, hearing problems, learning disabilities, etc. I have found no set time for how long homebound services can be utilized in IDEA rules or regulations…or that she has the right to dictate such as above….and I plan to file a complaint with the district.

  • 4 Sophie 09/04/13 at 5:56 pm

    I have provided homebound instruction to a chronically ill student for 2 years. She is 16 and I have known her through the school system since she was 8. She used to go to school. I can do a lot in the hours I spend with her because we don’t have all the interruptions of the regular school day. What I can’t do is provide her with friends. She can’t talk so I can’t set up a telephone pal. She so wants to be with other kids her age. She has no social outlet such as church or clubs. Just something to think about when a child has only homebound services.

  • 5 Sophie 09/04/13 at 5:48 pm

    Valerie, I have never worked in a school district that did not serve students with such severe problems and needs. One thing to remember is “special education” is a service not a place. I saw a wonderful program where the severely involved student had services in a regular elementary classroom with her own special education teacher. While the child had limited responses, she seemed to love attention from her classmates who definitely felt a bond with her. I know of a very small district that hired one teacher for one child because the child needed a specialized program for his medically fragile needs. A Free and Appropriate Education must be provided for every child. A pet peeve of mine is when someone says “we don’t have a program for him/her.” The Individualized Education Plan is the child’s program.

  • 6 Sophie 09/04/13 at 5:38 pm

    Kassie, there might be confusion about the law. Idaho law 33(1003a) defines a homebound student. Services do not begin until the 11th day the student is absent due to illness. This certainly be problematic if a child is chronically I’ll and out ten days, back five days, out eight days, back 3 days. I did not read Any limitation to the services such as one time only. Ask for a copy of the law with that specific section highlighted. Some states differentiate between services for students served in special education and those served in general education. In those cases be sure you are asking the right person. Lastly, For example, in my state, the district may provide homebound for a child expected to be confined for any period of time that is at least 4 weeks throughout the school year.

  • 7 yadi 09/03/13 at 1:47 pm

    can a high risk pregnancy be eligible for a 504 plan? Do anyone know where I can find this information?

  • 8 kassie 04/11/13 at 5:08 pm

    my daughter is currently on homebound services through the school. The administration comes off as quite the bullies when it comes to continuing the services rendered. It is still unknown to us what the cause of her illness is stemming from. We are still having tests run to find out. the special ed director stated that they are only allowed to give the students these services one time. They cant have these services again if such a situation rendered it. Is this true? is there a limitation to the usage of these types of services in the state of Idaho

  • 9 Elizabeth 03/08/13 at 1:15 pm

    My son has dr. Recomended homebound but iep team is wanting to override it because the first paper was unclear and I didn’t want to get in trouble 4 him not being in school. I let him go one day they said he did fine. I was there and I heard him being loud in his iep class and saw the frustration on her face, so I know that was a lie. then I went and sat in the truck all day and went to rest room one time and they stopped me saying he was fine. He has meltdowns, cries uncontrollably, hits himself, hits me, his dad, when angry curses, acts on impulse. the dr he has now has him listed as autistic disorders and says we need to get him stabilized. What do I do? I am going to homeschool him. asap

  • 10 Lissa 11/08/12 at 12:06 pm

    My 17 year old daughter has a 504 plan for a learning disability in reading comprehension. She is now 19 weeks pregnant and has had horrible nausea and vomiting. The doctor has had her on homebound from August to November 7. She takes Zofran daily and many times it does not work, so she has to take Phenergan. The Phenergan makes her very sleepy and drowsy, thus not able to concentrate. She becomes nauseated and vomits at the slightest smell. She cannot even walk into many places because of the smells. The doctor says that she can return to school and refuses to extend her homebound. She has been completing all of the assignments that the teachers reluctantly provide. She is horrified at returning to the school environment because she doesn’t want to throw up there. She has been to the hospital b/c of dehydration for this. What can I do?

  • 11 LaDonna 11/07/12 at 6:11 pm

    Can we request homebound instruction and go to school on a limited basis for a medically fragile child? So half a day at school half a day at home.

  • 12 Valerie 10/24/12 at 3:47 am

    I am interesting in finding out what can be done with my grandson. He is very special need, to the pt that he is just above a vegatated state, my daughter has been threatened with truancy… there has to be something in place for these kids.

  • 13 Kathie 10/21/12 at 8:21 am

    Had similar issue w/my daughters 1)school couldn’t find placement so due to behavioral health we used homebound instruction. School never followed IEP and now SOL prevents us from corrective actions.

    2nd child was due to complex medical and 6wk hospitalization. Never received the homebound instruction and are now pursuing it. Its my experience some schools feel they send a tutor home they’re all set. Others, if the child is in and out regularly, leave it to the child to catch up. For my med complex kid, caused more emotional harm that we’re still dealing with today.