Often times those with learning disabilities feel isolated and alone. Speaking from my own experiences, I recall feeling very misunderstood by my teachers and my peers. Most importantly I didn’t have an understanding of myself. Meaning I had no insight knowledge on what my disability was or what the word disability even meant. I get as parents and educators we want to protect our children. Amen sister--this mama would do anything to keep her little lady out of harms way. However, as we take a step back, leaving our children in the dark is essentially promoting the very harm we are trying to avoid. No good has come to anyone who has been misinformed.
Why do we wait until high school to allow students to attend their 504 meetings and IEP meetings? Why as parents and educators do we tip-toe around the word disability? I’m sure by now you have a running list of reasons as to why this is the case, me too. Let’s flip the switch. Can you think of a list of reasons as to why it would be a good idea to inform/dial in our children/students to their learning needs?
Hopefully at this point you have a list forming even if it is a small list. Often the negatives generate more reasons as to why we do not do something.
What if we started small? What if we worked together to inform our children of their needs by showing them their strengths? Let’s start to empower children to take ownership of who they are. In turn it will, wait for it, make our jobs easier. Yes, I went there. The goal isn’t about our jobs being easier but I’m all about added bonuses.
When we dial in a child they in turn dial us in. They then show us and tell us what is working, what they need help with, what is driving them batty, and what we can do to best support them. Empowering a child to express their learning needs instead of hiding who they are will create an adult who is able to do they same when working with a manager or when managing a group of people. Which turns breaks the cycle of producing adults who suffer from learned helplessness.
So how do we start to break this cycle? That is a fabulous question my friend.
This video will lay the ground work for helping children understand their abilities and a few things to avoid.
I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do you have something that works for you?
Next week, you will find a document that I have created for students to use when working with their teachers.
Be You. Be Bold. Be More.