Disability Provisions sometimes known as Special Provisions are reasonable adjustments put in place to assist students with their learning disabilities in the classroom. These accommodations level the playing field for those students with a disability.
Often parents find it very difficult to have schools to provide classroom accommodations that have been recommended by medical professionals. Things as simple as using a computer, organising to have a computer for all exams (not just half yearly and yearly exams), procedures put in place to obtain provisions without the student having to continually ask for them, coloured paper, copies of teacher notes, written notes and written instructions, visual copies or visual examples of exam papers after being a test has been marked so a student can see what they did incorrectly (rather than red markings on a page also saves the student from being embarrassed about asking questions) – all of these simple inexpensive instructions, some schools will refuse to implement. Often it seems this is because you have been advocating for your child or they have no idea how to implement provisions for your child.
Some teachers think of school accommodations as an unfair advantage for students that have a disability. Others teachers may tell you that your child’s difficulties are perceived. Some may tell you your child is coping, but you know from what your child tells you at home this is not correct. Some students are fairly well behaved at school, they appear to teachers to be coping at school, but when they come home it is a different story. Their behaviour changes because they feel they are in a safe environment and they can let it all out so to speak. This is where teachers/schools are not on the same page as parents, they tell parents it is a parenting problem, not understanding the students behaviour comes from anxiety from being at school and school not being suited to their needs.
For example, if you have a child that has ADHD/Autsim who has a slow working memory, poor executive function and fine motor skills, they have spent a full day at school, they have in actual fact worked twice as hard as other “normal” students because they are compensating for their disabilities . You can certainly understand from this students point of view is the last thing they want to do when coming home from school is more of the same thing. They are worn out from a full day at school compensating for their disabilities.
Link to larger pdf – https://edgefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ADHD_Accommodation_Areas-5.pdf
Parents try to get the child to do as the school has asked in relation to their homework, schoolwork etc, but the student complains and has a meltdown. School is creating these issues with in the home environment, by expecting a student with a disability to do enormous amounts of after schoolwork, – which is why parents try to advocate for their child and explain their childs disability (mostly unsuccessfully as schools/teachers have their own ideas).
Some schools/teachers have no idea what it is like for families that have students with these issues. They think the child just is being non compliant, is not interested in learning or is just plain lazy. This is often not the case for students with disabilities. It does not mean your child lazy, non compliant or is any less smarter than a “normal” student because they have not done their homework or assignments. It is their disability that is creating the difficulty for them because they have compensated for their disability all day at school they come home exhaused.
You can have NAPLAN, school work examples, Medical Professionals Assessments & Reports and schools still will not take you seriously that your child has a disability. It will be implied that you are the problem and you do not know what you are talking about. You may even be told a learning difficulty is not a disability, this is incorrect. You may be told that “we” are teachers and have taught thousands of students we know students better than you do. That may be so, but if schools/teachers haven’t acknowledged GLD/2E students in the school environment, how do they know how to teach or even recognise a GLD/2e student let alone know how to work with this childs strengths and assist them with their disability.
You will most likely find you will do more reading on your childrens strengths and difficulties. You most likely will know more about your childs strengths and difficulties, more than a teacher could ever know. That is because it is your child and you are willing to move mountains to help them. At school they a just a number, with an annoying parent.
Even when you try to share what you know schools, providing documented research papers, school/teachers still do not want to listen. You could even find you child has been placed in an inappropriate program and the schools may contact you you saying your child refuses to attend. This is because the school is not providing a program that is suitable to your childs needs. Schools need to focus on your child’s strengths first and foremost and then provide assistance, strategies to help the student overcome their disability.
Usually you will find GLD/2E kids are placed with kids of lesser ability and they feel they are being spoken down to and being treated like an idiot. GLD/2E students will then not want to be helped in that type of environment and would rather fail than ask for help. Even then some schools still choose not to listen to parents, implying that you the parent are the problem.
Below are are some issues students with different types of conditions face, together with some links for further reading.
- AUTISM SPECTRUM (Aspergers)
- EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
- LEARNING DISABILITIES/DIFFICULTIES
- OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)
- WORKING MEMORY
- VISUAL PERCEPTION