Too smart for Special Ed? I don’t think so!

12 Mar

Here’s a link to my newspaper column. Today’s is about my struggles getting special education services for my son, who is both gifted and has ADHD.

9 Responses to “Too smart for Special Ed? I don’t think so!”

  1. scribblechic March 12, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    I am so grateful to have found your voice on this subject. Your son is lucky to have you and other families are fortunate for your sharing.

    • jmlindy422 March 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Thank you so much, Scribblechic! Some of my friends probably think I share TOO much of our experience in Special Education.

  2. The Waiting March 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    So frustrating that apparently at your son’s school “special ed” is reserved for a small group who meet a predictable, specifically-defined set of classifications. I know you’ll keep fighting.

    • jmlindy422 March 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Apparently this is very common in Spec Ed, to treat smart kids like they are just lazy and don’t care. My son cares, he just has a HUGE obstacle in his way. I think I need to pull back and let him fight for a while….then ground him until the Fs are gone. Yeah, sure, that’ll work!

  3. nevercontrary March 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Most schools across the board to a very poor job with special ed. In the couple of schools I have worked in between teachers resisting to give services, to poorly done paperwork, to lack of resources, students are not being treated to the education they deserve.

    • jmlindy422 March 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      That’s so sad. I’m only familiar with this district and the one I student taught in.

  4. philosophermouseofthehedge March 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Currently, schools are not designed for kids to learn – but to move groups through and meet district benchmarks. (Trust me I also have a lot of experience) 1. If your son stays out of the Special ed classification, Senior year(or before), ask if you kid’s permanent record can be purged of any”special ed” designations – (some will, some won’t). 2. I have seen and worked with kids who were obviously “gifted” but had learning issues – by law the schools should accommodate any gifted child and make adaptations for learning styles. (Districts/Teachers who are current with gifted edu. info/mandates should be aware of this.)3. Ideally, all kids should be taught as they need to be – not by whatever style/methods is easier/ convenient for the schools. 4. Yes it can be done – even with 36+ in a classroom IF behavior is under control. (but more fun if fewer students) 5. “Gifted” instruction works wonders with all types of students, seriously. (ADHD could actually be a benefit in a gifted classroom).6. Keep him out of Special ed if he can manage it. I am certified in gifted education – and have worked extensively with the other end also. Build on strengths and develop coping skills to get around obstacles. It’s a struggle – but no one will look out for your kid as well as you will. Don’t forget some large motor exercise to relieve stress (martial arts can teach self control, horsebackriding, swimming, track, tennis great for bashing the stupid ball). Adults can’t sit still, so why should kids be expected to? If you son has a “late” birthday, that is added problem – In any case, many boys don’t really kick into school until high school, so don’t panic. Hang in there – sorry so long, but the schools drive me crazy.

    • jmlindy422 March 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      My son has an early birthday, so he’s always one of the oldest. He was never kept out of gifted instruction, though they tried to do that. The problem we had was that no one was building on his strengths and helping him develop coping skills. They gave him an outline of what to do and expected him to do it. He wasn’t accountable to anyone until the due date for the assignment, project, etc. He was supposed to be recording in his assignment book, but no one checked it. I asked for one simple thing: an aide for him to report into every morning for just 5 minutes with the goal of weaning him off the aide by end of sophomore year. Never got it. Got lots of excuses until it was too late.

      My son wants to try his luck on his own. The way the school has treated him, he might as well be, so we’ll see.

      I, too, work with gifted kids. I’m not certified, but there are no jobs for certified teachers in Illinois, so I do after-school enrichment. Almost all of my kids are gifted, some of them profoundly so. It’s SO much fun.

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