The truly conundrum kid

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by InsaneCdn, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK, then, I'll start a new post with my very-real but not-on-OP's-topic issue...
    (mods... this could have gone in at least 3 forums... feel free to move it if you feel it belongs somewhere else)

    First - I'm not generally a teacher-basher. There have been very specific exceptions to that statement... and if I were to post details, I think even some of the teachers on this board would agree. But generally - I believe teachers have a very tough job, and its not made any easier by current cultural norms and expectations.

    SO... perhaps it better to pose the question in terms of school "systems", rather than teachers.

    Currently, at least around here, there's officially three kinds of kids...
    1) the star kids... athletic plus academically strong, can run on 7-8 hours of sleep or less for weeks on end, have several extra-curricular activities plus a job or volunteer position... these are the ones that are "assumed" to be going to university.
    2) the getting-by kids... the ones who struggle, or who just never really shine at the things that get recognized... might be really good in shop class or interior design, but can't handle univ-entrance-level classes... these are the ones that are "assumed" to be taking some form of trade, or going into retail, etc.
    3) the highly-disabled kids... who will never meet the requirements for graduation, and for whom the system attempts to provide some level of training if they can.

    And then... there's the conundrum kids. The ones that don't fit anywhere.
    They aren't highly disabled.
    They aren't a star at anything, really, and yet...
    They aren't blue-collar/pink-collar material either.

    They tend to be highly intellegent - or unevenly intellegent. Perhaps with physical limitations that make "practical careers" impossible - and would be bored out of their minds doing these. Have the mental capacity to be an engineer, or a teacher... but can't handle the "expected homework workload" of 30-45 minutes per night per academic subject.

    Our difficult child is going to survive - somehow, barely. We've managed to smash enough heads around that he's got a bit of space to grow in. But what about the kids who NEVER get that critical diagnosis? or who have a long list of never-bad-enough-to-get-a-diagnosis problems? Is there really no option except to choose between "trades math" (which still has 30 min of homework per night), and "university math" (at closer to 45 min)?

    How do you challenge each kid to the limits of their mental capacity, without overtaxing their physical limitations?

    Maybe a philosophical question... but I'd sure love some ideas.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    One of my closest friends is dealing with a similar situation. He is in transition programming now, finished twelfth grade last year. He had always received good grades. but the acuplacer testing and standardized testing shows him to be low ability. So, they are working on things that are not university bound skills. he has shown he can do the work despite the predictive testing.... He has done well with no changing the curriculum or anything like that. He wants to try college. he may not succeed, but he wants to try. He is currently working as a store clerk in the mall of america too. He has a mentor there but he is doing fine. (they did have to tell him he can' tpace the store when anxious, could make people nervous, lol)

    She is just insisting (with our law advocates help) that they work on the academic and college prep things even though they say they dont have a class for it. Transition is to be for anyone... to help them go to the next step. Not supposed to say all kids who are disabled are destined for X... not even should say any gifted kid MUST go to university.

    What makes them happy? What is their goal?

    How can we help them reach that goal?

    it is sad that many kids fall thru the cracks. It is hard enough for kids who do get a diagnosis but those who never do??? really is sad.