Tag Archives: Disabilities

Support vs. Crutch

When your child needs help, you naturally want to do everything you can to make sure that he succeeds.  But sometimes, we don’t give kids enough credit for what they can do.

It’s a difficult balance… providing support, but not creating a crutch.


Remember,  your goal should be to create an environment where they can be successful in school so that they can be successful in life.  For some kids, that may mean lifelong dependency.  But, for most kids, it means that they will have to learn how to thrive in spite of their disabilities…

Extra time, quiet environments, calculators are all things that we – as adults – can use in our professional life.  For example, if we are not deadline driven, we can find a job where we can take out own time to figure out the problem.  We all have calculators to figure out the tax on a restaurant check.

Having an aide (or computer technology) read to a child who has difficulty reading, but is ABLE to read, doesn’t set that child up for lifelong success.    As an adult, we need to read – street signs, menus, emails, not to mention contracts, phone bills or an election ballot.  Eventually a child who has the ability, needs to learn HOW to read.  Don’t hold your child back by building an IEP with so many accommodations that they are not given the freedom to stretch and grow.  Instead of a reader, that child may need extra time with a teacher to develop better reading skills and strategies.

A big part of learning comes from failing… and we need to make sure that our children are able to fail SAFELY, so that they can stretch past their limitations to learn new skills.

Remember, the point of an IEP is to create an environment where your child can LEARN NEW THING (support), not an environment where others are doing the hard things for him (crutch).

Confused about the difference, or want to know what supports may be appropriate for your child?  Let us know!