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the right to confer with the other parent

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lrm75

New member
What state do you live in? Texas

Our decree has this clause "the right to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;"

My 12 year old daughter is battling with severe depression and anxiety topped with ADHD. Her therapist and her Physician's Assistant have indicated that homeschooling would be the best option right now for her. One of her triggers is that she is literally ahead of her entire grade at school, so she spends the day reading library books. This is prompting anxiety attacks while at school. I recently took to the ER to be evaluated but they determined she is not in of inpatient care. I'm having trouble getting her in an outpatient program because of her age and geography. Her dad keeps telling us she can't do homeschooling because he doesn't want it. It's not a truly present parenting figure in her life. His household is another trigger for her problems. He recently said if we need to send her to private school we will figure it out. I don't want that option when I can homeschool for free. I work from home. The way she learns at school will be the same way she learns at home. He claims socialization issues but she's always talking with her friends.

My question is, do I have to have his permission to finish the school year via homeschool? She is missing so much school we are worried she will be held back.
 


LdiJ

Senior Member
What state do you live in? Texas

Our decree has this clause "the right to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;"

My 12 year old daughter is battling with severe depression and anxiety topped with ADHD. Her therapist and her Physician's Assistant have indicated that homeschooling would be the best option right now for her. One of her triggers is that she is literally ahead of her entire grade at school, so she spends the day reading library books. This is prompting anxiety attacks while at school. I recently took to the ER to be evaluated but they determined she is not in of inpatient care. I'm having trouble getting her in an outpatient program because of her age and geography. Her dad keeps telling us she can't do homeschooling because he doesn't want it. It's not a truly present parenting figure in her life. His household is another trigger for her problems. He recently said if we need to send her to private school we will figure it out. I don't want that option when I can homeschool for free. I work from home. The way she learns at school will be the same way she learns at home. He claims socialization issues but she's always talking with her friends.

My question is, do I have to have his permission to finish the school year via homeschool? She is missing so much school we are worried she will be held back.
If there is truly a risk that she will be held back for missing too much school (which would obviously exaggerate the problem since that would make her even more ahead of the students in her next class) then you could bite the bullet and homeschool her for the rest of the year. You may get in trouble with the court if dad takes you to court for contempt, but you have to do what is best for your child.

However, keep in mind that if you ARE held in contempt by a judge that it could mean anything from minor sanctions to an actual loss in primary custody. Losing primary custody is not likely because you can demonstrate good reason for the decision, but its not totally outside of reality.

If this was not an emergent situation I would recommend that you take the issue to court and get a judge to be the tiebreaker between the two of you on the issue, but you don't have time for that. Therefore your choices are to leave her in school, or homeschool her and take the risk of contempt.
 
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Just Blue

Senior Member
What state do you live in? Texas

Our decree has this clause "the right to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;"

My 12 year old daughter is battling with severe depression and anxiety topped with ADHD. Her therapist and her Physician's Assistant have indicated that homeschooling would be the best option right now for her. One of her triggers is that she is literally ahead of her entire grade at school, so she spends the day reading library books. This is prompting anxiety attacks while at school. I recently took to the ER to be evaluated but they determined she is not in of inpatient care. I'm having trouble getting her in an outpatient program because of her age and geography. Her dad keeps telling us she can't do homeschooling because he doesn't want it. It's not a truly present parenting figure in her life. His household is another trigger for her problems. He recently said if we need to send her to private school we will figure it out. I don't want that option when I can homeschool for free. I work from home. The way she learns at school will be the same way she learns at home. He claims socialization issues but she's always talking with her friends.

My question is, do I have to have his permission to finish the school year via homeschool? She is missing so much school we are worried she will be held back.
Does your school have an advanced program? If so...Have you discussed w/ her teachers having her placed in it?
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
If your child has a therapist why would you take her to the ER?

What are the qualifications of the therapist? And what do you think qualifies a PA to make that sort suggestion?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
What has her psychiatrist and neurologist said about the problem? You know - the ones helping to treat the depression and ADHD...
 

commentator

Senior Member
I would be very interested in more of the circumstances. The dad may have excellent reasons for not wanting the child to be homeschooled, like for example missing out on association with other children, working with school resourses for her, such as gifted programs. From the sound of it, Mom and daughter togetherness isn't going as well as it might, mom is sounding very over protective and over involved, and I cannot imagine any P.A. and or any therapist advocating home schooling if the other parent is very opposed to it. Yes, definitely a psychiatrist and neurologist should be involved here. A special private school perhaps, if the father is willing to agree to it and help pay for it. But by the way, homeschooling is only for stay at home moms. SO we've got a stay at home mom with a 12 year old who's sort of aging out of the needing her to be a full time mommy?
 

t74

Member
I believe you need a second opinion. Your child potentially has far more serious issues than school.

The fact you mention only a therapist (I assume psychologist or social worker) and a PA indicates to me that you are likely not receiving the best advice. My academically gifted, ADHD son had both an MD pediatrician and developmental pediatrician. We received the best testing evaluation from a neuro-psyc exam. Child was diagnosed at 3 as ADHD, at 11 with a LD, at 18 with depression, at 30 with an oxygen dependent sleep disorder and cancer, and at 40 with bipolar disorder. I have been where you are; it is a challenge for both of you. We finally have a medical team that is meeting his needs; it only took 35 years to get here.

Since you are in TX, consider Children's Medical Center in Dallas as an additional resource.

I am also concerned that you place blame on dad for "triggering" her problems.

There are very few programs for children with issues similar to your DD. I looked for years with good university contacts in a city of significant size. There are far more programs for drug abuse than for psychiatric problems.

At 12 she also has the issues typical of adolescents. Even "normal" and formerly happy children seem depressed at times. You need a psychiatrist for a clinical determination of depression, IMO.

School provides more than academic knowledge. In middle school, the hope is not that they learn much but that they do not unlearn what they already know. Socialization and interpersonal relationship development is very important. Worry less about academic courses and more choosing elective courses in the arts, technology, and school service; sign up for an intramural sports program. Have her participate in scouts or the youth program at your place of worship. (My now 13 yo DGD is in the academically advanced classes, works as a library aide, takes art and music and is in scouts and babysits and volunteers. She sometimes seems depressed but when something special is happening, she perks up. Robots, music and pottery are her current passions. This is a normal part of living with a pre-teen.)

I also recommend Smart Girl's Guide books.

A child needing special services will often do better in public school rather than a general private school or homeschool because of the resources available there. I suggest that before you make drastic changes that you spend the summer consulting with professionals other than those you already use. Get dad involved with choosing them.

If necessary, you can update your parenting plan with the court to get both you and dad committed to a course of actions to benefit your shared child, but you need a plan other than homeschooling.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
There have been some excellent suggestions offered, but none of them are taking into consideration the fact that the school is apparently threatening to hold her back a grade due to the amount of school she is missing. Mom needs to do something to combat that problem right now, because it would be far worse for this child to be held back. She is already academically advance (despite missing alot of school) and to be that much more ahead of her next class.
 
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PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
There have been some excellent suggestions offered, but none of them are taking into consideration the fact that the school is apparently threatening to hold her back a grade due to the amount of school she is missing. Mom needs to do something to combat that problem right now, because it would be far worse for this child to be held back. She is already academically advance (despite missing alot of school) and to be that much more ahead of her next class.
It is April there isn't really time to fix anything other than making sure the kid goes to school every day from here on out. The only other path I can think of is to get the child under an IEP.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
It is April there isn't really time to fix anything other than making sure the kid goes to school every day from here on out. The only other path I can think of is to get the child under an IEP.
Without a psychoeducational evaluation, there won't be an IEP, and the evaluation won't be complete in time to do anything meaningful for this school year.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
I agree though some schools may react to whatever diagnosis is already out there.

It really boils down to the kid either needs to go to school or get held back.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
If you are daughter is that far ahead in her grade why would they hold her back?
That's a good point. I can think of two possible reasons (one was implied by the OP): First, if the child misses too much school, she may be held back because of that alone. Second, although the child is "ahead", she may not be doing her schoolwork ("..."she spends the day reading library books.) If she's not doing her schoolwork, she may very well be failing the classes.

I suspect #1 is the more likely possibility.
 

t74

Member
If the child is qualified as disabled, I expect that there are considerations based on the ADA. If the child has a medical diagnosis of "depression" - even if it is not the best available - there may be attendance exceptions based on health. An option that was offered to an individual I once knew of was a teacher visiting the student in the student's home.

There should be someone at the school district that should be able to assist. Mom just needs to find that person. There should also be the option of summer school that would allow the child to complete the courses.

Places to start researching options is bazelon dot org. Also check NIMH dot NIH dot gov.
 
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