Accommodations are NOT Crutches

Dec 2018
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2,450
Florida
So this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I’ve been reviewing and discussing with friends in education the things they do for kids with “disabilities.” And this is actually a much worse problem than some people realize. The state requires schools to provide “accommodations” for kids with diagnosed disabilities. Which is fine until you start to see what gets added.

My initial concern was when my ex going through a doctoral program had people getting an extra 2 hours for tests over their piers. This seems? Odd. Because I’d heard the purpose of an accommodation is to level the playing field? Is that correct? But the purpose of education is to prepare a student for life. And in life there is not always a 2 hour accommodation for your ADHD or reading issue. So I started to wonder?

The more time I spent around education, the more time I spent checking out accommodations that some have. Recently I’ve been volunteering at a middle school. And one such accommodation is a teacher reading a test to the child. At that point I was curious as to how this accommodation prepared a child for any real world function? If a kid cannot actually read instructions? Or difficult instructions? That seems like that is a horrendous ideas as it is already setting that child up for failure.

Another example was a child getting an exemption to reading aloud to class for a speech. I can understand the anxiety. Some of my worst grades were in this area. But I’ve found it is something I’ve had to do in my life repeatedly. Not always to a large groups (I have groups with sizes at about 150 or so people). But how can we expect this kid to grow in to an adult and function in a group meeting where they may need to present an idea? What exactly is that accommodation protecting the child from?

I don’t know if any of you have children or personally have had accommodations. I have a minor issue with epilepsy. And I’ve worked with kids who needed SOMETHING so that they could participate. So I’ve been lucky. I can understand needing accommodations. But I wouldn’t want anything for a crutch for myself. Nor would I want something that kept Me from learning to operate in the real world.

Does anyone else see these issues and wonder how they should be dealt with? I think parents have a limited capacity to understand a lot of the a garbage that goes along with this stuff because it doesn’t get explained to them, and parents aren’t teachers. They may not see what their kids need in the classroom on a daily basis if they don’t ask.
 
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Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
78,592
48,661
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
Thirteen years ago, while in law school, I got a moderate concussion (fell backward out of the shower & hit my head on the edge of the cabinet). Messed me up for a couple months ... had trouble talking (though I could type my thoughts well enough), taking things in generally ... it took a while for the effects to go away. Five weeks later or so were the semester exams. I was offered double time for them, took time-and-a-half, but it still did not help. I had to make up for it in the next two semesters (I needed an extra one.)

Of course, that situation I was dealing with a head injury, not an ongoing life problem, and today it is not an issue. But 13 years ago? Big problem.
 
Jun 2014
51,554
53,375
United States
So this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I’ve been reviewing and discussing with friends in education the things they do for kids with “disabilities.” And this is actually a much worse problem than some people realize. The state requires schools to provide “accommodations” for kids with diagnosed disabilities. Which is fine until you start to see what gets added.

My initial concern was when my ex going through a doctoral program had people getting an extra 2 hours for tests over their piers. This seems? Odd. Because I’d heard the purpose of an accommodation is to level the playing field? Is that correct? But the purpose of education is to prepare a student for life. And in life there is not always a 2 hour accommodation for your ADHD or reading issue. So I started to wonder?

The more time I spent around education, the more time I spent checking out accommodations that some have. Recently I’ve been volunteering at a middle school. And one such accommodation is a teacher reading a test to the child. At that point I was curious as to how this accommodation prepared a child for any real world function? If a kid cannot actually read instructions? Or difficult instructions? That seems like that is a horrendous ideas as it is already setting that child up for failure.

Another example was a child getting an exemption to reading aloud to class for a speech. I can understand the anxiety. Some of my worst grades were in this area. But I’ve found it is something I’ve had to do in my life repeatedly. Not always to a large groups (I have groups with sizes at about 150 or so people). But how can we expect this kid to grow in to an adult and function in a group meeting where they may need to present an idea? What exactly is that accommodation protecting the child from?

I don’t know if any of you have children or personally have had accommodations. I have a minor issue with epilepsy. And I’ve worked with kids who needed SOMETHING so that they could participate. So I’ve been lucky. I can understand needing accommodations. But I wouldn’t want anything for a crutch for myself. Nor would I want something that kept Me from learning to operate in the real world.

Does anyone else see these issues and wonder how they should be dealt with? I think parents have a limited capacity to understand a lot of the a garbage that goes along with this stuff because it doesn’t get explained to them, and parents aren’t teachers. They may not see what their kids need in the classroom on a daily basis if they don’t ask.

Does not having a disability enhance your self-esteem?
 
Dec 2018
5,974
2,450
Florida
Does not having a disability enhance your self-esteem?
I doubt there is any information to really support that specific conclusion. Self esteem isn’t necessarily a measurable/quantitative thing either. Not sure where you are going with that question. Do you mean in regards to public speaking?
 
Dec 2018
5,974
2,450
Florida
Thirteen years ago, while in law school, I got a moderate concussion (fell backward out of the shower & hit my head on the edge of the cabinet). Messed me up for a couple months ... had trouble talking (though I could type my thoughts well enough), taking things in generally ... it took a while for the effects to go away. Five weeks later or so were the semester exams. I was offered double time for them, took time-and-a-half, but it still did not help. I had to make up for it in the next two semesters (I needed an extra one.)

Of course, that situation I was dealing with a head injury, not an ongoing life problem, and today it is not an issue. But 13 years ago? Big problem.
I’m sure. But that TBI (which is actually a common request for accommodations) was a short term issue Right? At SOME point if that were to go from short term to permanent? You would have to learn to cope. The issue I take with “accommodations” is that with issues they seem to be calling “life long,” their solution almost seems to be more of a roadblock to them. Can’t public speak due to an issue? Shouldn’t an accommodation revolve more around the idea of opening a child up to that side so that they can function?
 

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
78,592
48,661
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
I’m sure. But that TBI (which is actually a common request for accommodations) was a short term issue Right?
Correct. As far as I know, I have had no lasting effects. Thankfully.
At SOME point if that were to go from short term to permanent? You would have to learn to cope.
True.
The issue I take with “accommodations” is that with issues they seem to be calling “life long,” their solution almost seems to be more of a roadblock to them. Can’t public speak due to an issue? Shouldn’t an accommodation revolve more around the idea of opening a child up to that side so that they can function?
This I would agree with, depending on what we are talking about. If there is a disability we can make accommodations for in order that the person may be able to participate in society, by all means we should do it. But if there is a way to train the person around the disability - I know someone who has self-taught himself to do that, who is now headed for a Ph.D. program* - it might be even better. Chances are, though, that a combination would be necessary.

* He's been in the workforce since college, and only recently decided to go for the Ph.D. He's about 10 years younger than I.