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More Special Than YOUR Kid.

(An article by a parent.  Summarized by Mrs. C for your consideration.)

"My daughter has Down's Syndrome, so she's more special than your dyslexic child.  I'm a self-proclaimed expert and I have declared that nine times out of ten, your kid's label is a sham.  He should go to a 'normal' school.  Oh, yeah, I know they've been evaluated by a doctor and all... but I know better.  And I know for a fact that the schools are colluding with the physicians so that the schools can get a lot of money.  I also make sure to use the word 'normal' many times in my article because I know how well that goes over in the disability community, being so knowledgeable and all.

You just nevermind that MY kid costs a lot of money to educate.  I'm upset that it costs a lot of money to send YOUR kid to a special school and give your child special help.  That means less cash for the people I'VE decided are truly disabled to get the help they need.

I've also, through my not-acquired-in-medical-school but still somehow godlike knowledge, been gracious enough to tell you that dyslexia, ADHD, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder?  It's all stuff that's pretty well made up.  Or I would have thought so until I started reading about it last week.  Because I'm ignorant and have never heard of these terms before, it must all be some sort of scam between the school and your physician.  I'll even say that your little Suzie might not be the brightest button in the box, but so what, go deal with it and quit asking for special help for your stupid kid.  Just don't say that back to me about MY kid or you'd be dissing people with real special needs and that wouldn't be nice.

Oh, well, anyway... I have enough knowledge to be featured in the Mail Online.  With a picture and a byline, thankyouverymuch.  I am awwwwesommme."

WOWWWW.  Did you click that link?  Could you almost feel the hate?  Do you think there might be other ways to convey the thought that more severe needs ought be funded at a higher level than less severe special needs?  I think we all understand that, say, a more severely autistic child like Woodjie is going to cost WAY more to educate than a child who just needs a little extra reading practice.  Do you have to totally rake the families of the "extra reading" kids over the coals like that to make your point?

And does seething disgust like that make a real point in the marketplace of ideas, or does this article come off as jealous and snippy?


  1. What a jerk. I can't believe she thinks all the needs are not real or used for excuses. My son is dyslexic and believe me it's real. I choose to homeschool my kids so the don't get lost in the system that spends so much money doing nothing for my child! She makes me so mad!!

  2. I didn't feel like she was saying that at all. I felt like she was saying the special needs system is being abused. We have all met parents who insist their children be diagnosed or receive special treatment when what they really need is better parenting. As sick and mean as it sounds there are parents out there who crave the attention they recieve and who beleive having a child labelled as ADHD somehow lets them off the hook. It's easier to medicate them than it is to consider other factors. I felt like she was expressing dissatisfaction with a system being abused, not at children with genuine needs getting the help they need. Maybe she could have said it better.

  3. She sure came off as haughty to me as well, Tracy...

    Bonnie, in the article, she outright states that she doesn't buy that certain disorders are real. I'm sure there are types like you mentioned out there... but JUST BECAUSE you are a bad parent doesn't mean your kid doesn't have a disorder. And just being a "halfway decent" parent to a kid with a genuine disability is a lot more work than being a crappy parent to a usual sort of kid. I hate to say it, but it really is.

    I think what she should have gone for is discussing a more equitable funding system based on the needs of the child. There are actual numbers physicians give to patients to demonstrate their functional behaviour. One of my children, when he is on an even keel and out of the hospital, ranks at 45.

    So does Emperor, interestingly enough. He can talk in full sentences, but that DOES NOT MEAN he is not disabled.

    I don't have a number for Woodjie, but I'm guessing mostly non-verbal, runs away, can't use the toilet and has no clue about personal safety would rank him near the very low end.

    I don't know that that is useful in an education setting, but it might show where a 1 to 1 aide is NEEDED for health and safety, as opposed to some extra reading practices, handwriting help and twice-weekly speech therapy- type students.

  4. Umm - I'm thinking that before this chicky decides whether other diagnoses are real, she MIGHT want to learn how to explain her own daughters diagnosis. Last time I checked, Down's syndrome is NOT the correct terminology....unless you are in England. While we're nitpicking......just sayin'

    Steph - Mom of a child with Down syndrome who believes in those other diagnosis!!!!

  5. I think the chicky is in England... but maybe she might want to get a teensy clue about the other diagnoses before she launches off on an international rant. :)

  6. I think in a way she has a point in that the special needs system is abused but she could have said it in a better way. I myself have dyslexia as well as my brothers and although I was able to and my older brother was able to compensate for it and have gone through school just fine my younger brother has been held back a year and is still struggling with reading. I didn't need help and neither did my older brother but my younger brother does and no not as much as some but still enough to help him be successful.

  7. I wonder what she would say after trading places for a day . . .

    I will say the following I do believe in real ADHD. I believe some kids have it and it seriously affects their life in negative ways.

    I also believe that the way structure school today bores SOME children to death and the LOOK ADHD when they are really not. My son definitely got the evil eye at library story time because he was so wiggly. I shopped around for the "right" librarian who was a free spirit and structured her storytime in a way that captivated David. I don't agree with everything in this article, but I think the author makes a great point. School is an abnormal environment.

  8. I think she's the type who only opens her mouth to exchange one foot for another.

  9. CherryBlossom24, I think that's all *most* parents want. Enough help to be successful, and that varies with each child.

    Tammy, I have a couple of sons who are clinically diagnosed with ADHD/hyperkinesis. It's consistent across all environments. Though school is an abnormal environment, one would expect with the usual sort of child that this wouldn't be a problem in the HIGH school years. (David doesn't need to be particularly entertained at this point to be successful, I'm guessing.) Sometimes what people like to think is ADHD is just a younger child's behaviour. I can't imagine most doctors would be fooled into giving a sham diagnosis, though it is true that much of the information comes from parents and teachers... but they do see the child as well.

  10. How much nicer it would be if mothers supported each other, and didn't peck each other to death. This is so ugly, and mean.

  11. Another thought... I live in a house full of people who *look* perfectly fine. However we have so many "ists" (neurologists, rheumatologists, nephrologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, therapists..) it could make your head spin. By homeschooling, nobody is "benefitting" from my children's diagnoses except for all the "ists" getting $50.00 co-pays. I read this, now MY blood is boiling!!! She really oughtn't judge. JMO.

  12. Umm... yup. How I felt. Except I don't do the cardiologists and all that... but I think sometimes it's best just to leave the professionals to do their jobs unless one has overwhelming evidence of corruption or pill-pushing.

  13. Rather than get mad, I would look for common ground. There are more kids being diagnosed... but disability diagnosis ALWAYS have a cultural aspect. School culture, rules and routines don't work with all kinds of brains. A child with ADHD doesn't have a disability in an environment that allows him or her to move. They can lots of time learn as they explore their environment.

    Special Ed money should go to the kids who are most likely to benefit from it. I would way rather put money into helping a child who has a "bit of trouble" spelling than teaching a child who cannot learn because of a severe developmental problem. Really, how much money has been spent trying to teach my daughter how to do math. She has fetal alcohol syndrome. She doesn't get math and never will.

    See, this article hit at a time I am beyond frustrated with the learning center my daughter is attending. While her psychologist, social worker, public defender, county judge and I are working to get her to accept placement in and adult foster home and supported employment, her teacher is telling her there is money available for college scholarships for prior foster students. She can't finish high school, but she can go to school and be a registered nurse. Yep, severe and permanent deficits in executive brain function and all...

    How in the world is it ethical and moral to tell someone they can only be happy and successful if they go to college when they don't have the ability to do it?

    The truth is that we do have to embrace the truth that some disabilities can't be educated away. Some disabilities just need to have community support -- intellectual "ramps" for those unable to manipulate the stairs.


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