5 Parenting Tips: How to Overcome Blame, From Special Education Personnel

By: JoAnn Collins

This article will discuss how parents of children with disabilities can overcome blame, by some special education personnel. In order to advocate for an appropriate education for your child, you must learn skills to overcome any blame given to you, by sch

Are you the parent of a child with autism that has been blamed for
your child's behavioral difficulties? Have you been told, by special
education personnel, that your child's learning disability or
difficulty is your fault? This article will discuss a study of school
psychologists about blame for children's learning difficulties. This
article also includes tips,on how to overcome the blame, placed by
some disability educators. By overcoming the blame, you can
effectively advocate for your child's education.

Several years ago, I heard about a study where school psychologists
were asked who they blamed, when a child had learning difficulties.
The basic outcome of the study showed that 100% of the psychologists
that were surveyed, placed the blame on the child or the parents. Not
one school psychologist blamed the school district, teacher,
inappropriate curriculum, lack of resources, or inadequate
instruction, for children's learning difficulties.

While the study did not include blame for behavioral difficulties, it
has been my experience, that school personnel often blame parents for
childrens school behavioral issues. Parents must overcome both types
of blame, so that they can advocate for an appropriate education, for
their child.

Below are 5 parenting tips to help you overcome blame, for the good of
your child:

Tip 1: Stand up to school personnel, who tell you that your child's
behavior, or learning difficulties are your fault. Tell the person
that you do not believe that this is true. If your child has autism,
they may have a lot of behavioral difficulties due to their
disability.A child may struggle academically, because of learning
disabilities or inappropriate curriculum. Most families are not
perfect, but most times do not cause a child's behavioral or academic
difficulty.

Tip 2: Figure out what your child is telling you by their
behavior; perhaps the work is too hard, they are not receiving
appropriate instruction. Try and figure out the ABC's of Behavior; A
stands for antecedent (what was happening before the behavior), B
stands for Behavior (what was the specific behavior), and C stands for
theConsequence (what did the child get out of the behavior). By
focusing on the behavior, and not the blame you will help your child.

Tip 3: Make sure that the school districts conducts a functional
behavioral analysis (FBA), and uses it to develop a positive behavior
plan. IDEA requires that IEP teams determine, if a child can benefit
from positive behavioral supports, which I believe all children with
behavioral difficulties can. Make sure that the positive behavioral
plan is part of your child's IEP, and implemented by your child's
teacher.

Tip 4: Make sure that they are receiving research based
instruction, which is required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB), if they
are acadmeically struggling. Children with learning disabilities need
a reading program with five principles: Simultaneous multi sensory,
systematic and cumulative, direct interaction, diagnostic teaching,
and analytic instruction. For a good Resource, see:
http://www.ortongillingham.com

Tip 5: Use the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to
help your case. "My child has the right to a Free Appropriate Public
Education, and I will be holding you accountable for that". Be honest,
and bring up any school related reasons that you believe your child is
having academic difficulty, or behavioral difficulty. Many schools
continue using outdated curriculums that do not work, which can cause
lack of academic progress and frustration in some children.

You can overcome the blame that some disability educators try and
place on your or your child. Continue to focus on your child, and
their needs, and this will help you overcome the blame. Your child is
depending on you!

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has
helped families of children with disabilities navigate the special
education system, as an advocate, for over 15 years. Her book "Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game." has a lot of resources and advocacy information. For a free E newsletter; send an E mail to: JoAnn@disabilitydeception.com. For a link to more free articles:
http://www.disabilitydeception.com.

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