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

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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, is your fault? This article will discuss a study of school psychologists about blame for children's learning difficulties. And also, give you tips, on how to overcome the blame, placed by some disability educators.

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. Parents must overcome this blame, so that they can advocate for an appropriate education, for their child.

Tip 1: If a school person tells you that your child's behavior, is because of something that is going on at home, stand up to them. 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. Most families are not perfect, but most times do not "cause" a child's behavioral difficulty; especially if the child's behavioral difficulty is at school.

Tip 2: Try and figure out what your child is telling you by their behavior; perhaps the work is too hard, they are trying to avoid the work etc. 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 the Consequence (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: If your child is struggling with academics due to a learning disability; make sure that they are receiving research based instruction, which is required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Children with learning disabilities need a reading program with five principles: Simultaneous multi sensory, systematic and cumulative, direct interaction, diagnostic teaching, and analytic instruction. Check out www.ortongillingham.com for more information.

Tip 4: Tell the special education person, that your child has the right to a free appropriate public education, and you will be holding them accountable for that. Be honest, and bring up any school related reasons that you believe your child is having academic difficulty. Many schools continue using outdated curriculums that do not work.

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!

Tips for Getting a Well-Rounded Education for your Child

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One of the best ways that you can help your child succeed academically is by helping them to get a well-rounded education. While some education takes place inside the classroom, the home can also be a good learning environment and there are things that you can do to help encourage your child to get a solid education and begin a life-long learning process.
  • From an early age, read to your children. When they are old enough to read, encourage them to spend their time with books and explore the different genres of books that are available. Reading has many benefits for children that are just now being studied. One of the biggest advantages that people who have been avid readers since childhood have is that they have an expanded vocabulary. If you want to help your child prepare for a college education, having a good vocabulary is very important to simply get into college. As an adult in the workforce, being able to clearly articulate your ideas, feelings, and concerns is also a huge strength.
  • Encourage your child's area of interest, and help guide them towards other areas of interest. If your child is interested in dinosaurs, help them learn all that they can about them and suggest related subjects, such as fossils, geology, or biology and help them learn all that they can about these areas of interest. Intellectual curiosity is very important to succeeding in higher eduation and later in the workforce.
  • Help your child find a hobby that they can do in their spare time. Many children enjoy music lessons, sports, or even baseball card collecting. Developing personal interests and hobbies is an important part of developing as a well-rounded and educated person.
  • Become aware of what your child is learning in the classroom, and stay involved with his or her class work and class projects. Attend parent/teacher conferences and work with your child on his or her homework. If you dislike having your child in a public school, consider looking into private schools, or find a Park City Montessori school. No matter what type of classroom environment, stay involved and supportive.
  • Encourage your child to interact socially with other children that have similar interests. This might involve signing him up for Boy Scouts or her up for a softball team. Other clubs such as Girl Scouts, 4H, and many other different clubs can also be a great resource for getting your child involved.