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February 13, 2007


Jon Bennett

Ignorance, in the most basic sense, is just the lack of information. Many educators lack adequate information and can only make decisions based off of what is available to them. I'm not making excuses for this educator, but it sounds like it was a teachable moment in and of itself. Children are all different and so are the effects of medications and therapy. Its also not always easy to distinguish avoidance behaviors (oh kids these days are very crafty) from the manifestation of a disability. I had a client that would fake seizures (I was informed by his parents that I was being duped)! As frustrating as it may be, we won't know sometimes unless you tell us.

I find it both interesting and absolutely necessary to digest the other point of view, in my case, the view of the parent. I've been in countless meetings where the tone becomes adversarial, simply because someone wasn't totally informed about a given situation. Sounds like you have too!

Thanks for the post. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will share it with my colleagues because we need to know how you feel when we drop the ball; but its a two-way street. Off to bury my head in the sand...

Charles Fox

Jon: you raise a valid point but in this case they knew that his sleeping was real, involuntary and had been going on for a long time despite our best efforts to figure it out that we have shared with the school on a regular basis.


Wow. I don't know why these kinds of things still shock me. I have to support Charles' response to Jon about informing the school. We had a similar situation with Ellie's sensory aversions to having her hands touched. I told the entire staff teachers and therapists this from day one and gave them several reports from a prominent communication agumentation specialist at Childrens' in multiple copies for all to read about using hand under hand and other techniques. I had ongoing discussions etc. - these folks were informed. Three months later in sitting in on a therapy session - one of those informed people grabbed Ellie's hand, put a crayon in it and clamped her hand OVER Ellie's and proceeded to jerk her little arm back and forth to make her color.

So you see, I think most parents don't keep much a secret about their kids conditions that could effect their school day. The profound thing is how the school folks can't see to hear them or even read them in black and white reports from specialists.

What's up with that?


Both situations sound extremely unfortunate and I won't even attempt to justify those actions. No one can speak for everybody, and generalizations are generally unfair.

I will however, charge everyone continue to ask questions and continue to talk about what works with your child, especially in regard to what your child needs and the goals you have set together. Its more than paperwork, more than recommendations, its a process.

Sherry  Hollis

I know that this post is talking about how schools 'ignore' the true 'behaviors' children have. But I wanted to take a different twist on this, if it's ok.

I guess I want to comment on why schools do the 'opposite' which is stressing on the childs behaviors, and ignoring the 'reasons' for the childs behavior, which most times is their frustration because they are not getting help for their learning problems.

I really believe that the main reason for schools being like this is that they use the 'behavior' issues to steer the parents away from the real 'learning' problems because they don't want to help a child with their learning problems.
On www.wrightslaw.com site, there is an article of someone who did a survey of 5000 school psychs. They had to choose between 5 things that caused learning problems. And all of them chose that it is the childs own fault!

I believe that most times it's not ignorance or not understanding the childs problems, it's that they are blatantly doing this to get out of helping the child with their true learning problems.

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