Homeschooling, Faulty Logic, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Suicide, and Getting Slimed
This post was going to go on and on about the merits of homeschooling, refuting several viciously-worded posts by a certain blogger who seems to have taken it on to be the voice of anti-homeschooling sentiment in the blogosphere. I was going to hot link this through the roof with the MANY studies that have come out touting the benefits of hs’ing, and disproving many of the negative assumptions about the development of hs’ed kids.
However, I’ve decided that I’m just not going to spend my time on that, at least not right now, and I’m certainly not to link to him, thereby giving his truly wicked-tongued rants any further audience.
One thing I did want to say was that, as I’ve pondered his words for the last day or so, I’ve realized that one of his “points” has some serious logic holes.
He blogged about a certain homeschooler who committed suicide, and came to the conclusion that the hs’ing lifestyle is what led him to kill himself.
That’s ridiculous. If such was the case, the only kids who commit suicide would be homeschoolers, and regularly-schooled kids would never kill themselves. But we know that this is just not true: More than one teenage school shooting rampage has been brought about by feelings of alienation derived from negative interaction in school.
Now, I did not read this post of his extremely thoroughly, and did not read any of his comments, but I did skim through several of his posts, and he seems dead-set on ridding the U.S. from the ‘blight’ that is homeschooling. I wanted to get an idea of what I’m potentially up against, but my Slime-O-Meter was blipping out of control, and I knew that I needed to keep my exposure to his expletive-filled vociferousness to a minimum.
Have there been hs’ed kids who commit suicide in the past? Yes, obviously. Will there be in the future? Unfortunately, that is nearly certain. However, if a study was done, I would bet my Suburban that the rate of suicide among hs’ers is *much* less than that of their publicly-schooled counterparts.
My middle son, Grant, was diagnosed when he was about 4.5 with a very odd learning disorder called Nonverbal Learning Disorder. I blogged a bit about it here, but essentially, Grant’s developmental pediatrician is convinced that homeschooling is crucial to Grant’s continued healthy development. He also believes that we were able to arrive early at a diagnosis (Grant was the youngest he’d ever dx’ed with this disorder) precisely *because* I’m a homeschooling mother and very much in tune with what (and how) my kids are learning. He is also certain that Grant would be seriously misunderstood and dealt with unwisely by staff (though unintentionally so, of course) at any public institution, and that he’d probably perpetually be “in trouble” and have to be medicated.
Last note about that — kids with Nonverbal Learning Disorder have an astronomically high rate of suicide. HOWEVER, the earlier NLD is dx’ed, and the better it is treated, those scary stats decrease to nearly nil. NLD is similar to autism in that it is largely a communication disorder, both in processing external information, and expressing what is happening internally, and can lead to a HUGE disconnect between the NLD’er and the rest of the world.
But, when a child is in an environment when those around him LOVE him, understand him, and are ultimately committed to his success in all of life’s arenas, and things like LD’s are effectively treated, then the secondary neuroses that can develop are kept to an absolute minimum. IOW, catching NLD early and dealing with it rightly increase that child’s chances of success, and decrease their chances of developing neuroses like OCD and other problems that can frequently lead to suicide.
So, Mr. Homeschool Detractor, you’re just showing your ignorance. Maybe you should check into ODD.