Controlling vs. Supporting

It is with some dismay that I hear “school choice” or voucher program schools will be required to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

As someone with experience in raising a special needs kid, it has been my experience that the people tagged expert really don’t know what they’re talking about. The skill set needed to research effectively is not the same as the skill set needed to raise a child well – in other words, they’re too busy being know-it-alls, and anyone who has ever spent any time at all raising kids knows that being a know-it-all is a recipe for disaster when it comes to kids.

When it comes to disabled kids, a top-down approach where government controls schools, schools control parents and parents control kids is not going to work as well as an approach where we focus on supporting rather than controlling.

If you start with the assumption that your kid needs to be controlled, you are establishing from the outset that there is a conflict between the two of you – one that will promptly escalate into a war (even if only a passive-agressive one) as your initial assumptions become self-fulfilling prophecy.

It is much better to assume that your child wants to do well, and you need only to figure out how best to support him in that goal.

If you are a mother, father, or teacher dealing with special needs kids, then for your sake let me emphasize this: it is much better to assume that your child wants to do well, and you need only to figure out how best to support him – and you do not support someone by controlling him or her. That’s actually not so much “helping” as – well, “bullying”. Do not be that person who dominates others “for their own good”.

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