Sunday, August 14, 2005

Emotionally Disabled???
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

TimesDispatch.com | Spellings Quiz: Teachers test official

OK. The first paragraph of this article is absolutely ridiculous.

Lisa Hogsett, who teaches emotionally disabled students at Bailey Bridge Middle School in Chesterfield County, is struggling with the federal No Child Left Behind law.


What the hell are 'emotionally disabled' children? Do they get disabled parking passes when they get a license? Do buildings have to be emotionally compatible with their tastes to fit ADA standards? Is it just me, or are the excuses that we make for our children absolutely out of control? Holy Cow!

So, once we get passed labeling children as disabled when they just are emotionally stressed or troubled, we can actually look at what she is saying. (brackets in original document.)

"No matter how many accommodations [my students] get, they simply can't pass the criteria established through No Child Left Behind to ensure my school makes [adequate] yearly progress."

Hogsett would ask if there will be any changes to No Child testing that allows children to be tested according to their current reading level.


Now, President Bush and Congress passed the NCLBA in order to motivate our schools to make progress towards a goal of educating all of our students to a certain standard at a certain date. This instructor wants to make certain exceptions so her students don't need to meet these standards.

Isn't this exactly the problem that got us into the cycle of lowered expectations in the first place? Shouldn't our schools have standards that go beyond the excuses we create for our children? Don't we want to teach our children about the importance of standards, or should we teach our children that instead of hard work, they can instead figure out a way to attach a label to themselves to the point that the standards no longer apply.

Back to the original point... if I were a double amputee, I'd be raging mad at 'emotionally disabled'. If I were someone with advanced MS or Parkinson's, I'd be furious about 'emotionally disabled'.

OK. If you haven't read the whole article by this point... Please do so before I make my last point.

Many of our educators are asking that we not apply these education standards to certain groups of our children. From what I can gather, they would like any child or teenager with emotional distress, language barriers, un-hip clothing, mean older siblings, family problems, school problems, upset stomach, untied shoes, and bad hair to be exempt from the NCLB standards.

So... How many children would that leave to not be left behind? A: Zero.

Let's get real people.

4 Comments:

Blogger Duke said...

Mike S. Adams wrote a great column along these lines:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/ma20050513.shtml

4:02 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

You've obviously never worked with these kids.
Emotionally disabled children aren't "problem" children. Some display no emotion, even when they should (e.g. fear, joy). Others have inappropriate or exaggerated reactions (e.g. hysterical crying/laughter, emotional outbursts).
This isn't new; I was diagnosed as having ED when I was 7 years old (this after I tried to stab myself in the heart with a fork).
That was 22 years ago.
It's treated with medications and therapy. No, they don't get "handicapped stickers" as you so eloquently put it. But some do have trouble forming relationships or holding down a job.
I personally have trouble determining when someone is mad at me. If someone is upset, I automatically assume it's my fault. I cry.
I'm not an idiot by any means. I have an above-average IQ, and had a fairly successful academic career. But reading/
interpreting/expressing emotions is difficult. At the age of 29, I have to talk myself out of overreacting.

7:59 PM  
Blogger seastwood said...

THANK YOU Jackie!
As a mother of a nine year old who was just FINALLY labled ED only 3 weeks ago after a major battle with the school personel, and the IEP members, It is refreshing and encouraging to read your tale. I have been feeling as if the whole world is the same as that author of that rant. They leave my daughter to be "LEFT BEHIND" especially since this whole NCLBA. She has been tested twice by both a psychologist, and the IEP staff in the last year, and it has been proven that she has an above avg. IQ, yet with her anxiety disorder, bipolar, and adhd, she simply can NOT perform to her "POTENTIAL" with the standard "COOKIE CUTTER" methods the public school systems use! She has been slowly slipping through the cracks of the system because of people like the one of that previous blog. It is up to us as parents, and teachers to allow ALL kids, different or otherwise to have a FAIR and FLEXIBLE education. NO ONE is saying that they shouldn't attend school, or meet the standards set fourth, however, I am saying that there needs to be flexibility in HOW these children are taught and they need the facilitations to HELP and ENCOURAGE them to achieve! Not set them up to feel like they are mere failures. You sound the exact same as my little girl. She too has so much difficulty with reading, math, wich are common for children who are "Emotionaly Disabled", & expressing/ interpreting emotions. She can not maintain stable friendships or adult / authorative relationships both at school & home. She was an Honor roll student every single semester all through her first and second grades, all to gradually slip academically below through out this third grade year. People have got to become more sensitive, and understanding to these childrens needs. They wonder why Columbine happened, They wonder why there are these factory and postal shootings. People were not recognized with emotional disabilites and didn't get the help they needed! and people such as this stubborn O'le goat make people with ED feel inadequate, and inferior, and incapable of performing, and unaccepted. As for people with PHYSICAL disabilites disaproving....who do you think IS compasionate toward my daughter? and understands her? and accepts her as being "DIFFERENT"??? THE ONLY FRIENDS SHE HAS!!! One who is type 2 diabetic at only age 7, and the other who has to wear an orthotic because she has C.P. and has limited mobility with her left hand and leg. who also through the help of the JESSI program and her IEP also gains accomadations to meet her academic "expectations".

4:57 PM  
Blogger leeann said...

I cannot believe that someone has the nerve to publish an article like this. Have you ever been in a school? Have you ever been in a special ed classroom? Have you ever met an emotionally disabled individul? I am studying to become an educator, and I am currently taking a special education class. We are talking about ED students, and I came across this article. I am apalled to discover that someone could honestly say that teachers are trying to create reasons so that their children aren't held responsible to NCLB. There are a lot of great teachers out there that want every single student in their classroom to succeed. They are not trying to "leave students behind." They are trying their best to help every student succeed. But it isn't fair to make students test over reading material that is too hard for them. How do you expect them to pass it? They won't. They should be asked to show the progress that they are making, not just show you that they can't read at a level that we already knew they couldn't read at. Sounds like a waste of time for me. Emotionally disabled children deserve help and new programs to help them learn. By saying that emotional disabilities aren't real, you are contradicting yourself. You are saying that you do want them to be left behind. If we do not give them attention and special accomodations they will get left behind. Giving them special accomodations or modified reading doesn't mean they aren't learning just as much as other students, they are just having to learn at a different pace and learn different things. I hope that I never hear someone say that we are making excuses for emotionally disabled students. It is not only incorrect, but insulting. I think you should do your research and spend time with these children before you write a comment like that in an article.

2:51 PM  

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