Expectation and the Child with Special Needs

I’ve noticed lately that sometimes adults expect less out of kids with special needs than they do from typical kids.

Oh, that’s okay.”  Don’t worry about it.  I understand.”

Um.  No, it’s not.  Not only will he pick that up but he’ll apologize to you as well, I think to myself.  Just like any other kid, Parker needs to understand what is appropriate and  is not appropriate to do.

I find that often when asked what someone can do with Parker,  I’ll give them a suggestion knowing that should keep Parker busy for about 10 minutes.

20 seconds later they are back,  apologetically explaining to me that ‘Parker really didn’t want to do that’

I know their intentions are good. Truly I do.

But since when does a 7 year old get to decide how long he wants to work at an assigned task?

I mean, if a typical 7 year old said that he didn’t want to complete an assigned task, we’d simply tell him to finish the task…..and if necessary throw in a little stink eye for good measure.

Why are we so often willing to give the kid with the diagnosis  a free pass?

My kid may have an extra chromosome, but he can still recognize a flashing ‘sucker’ sign on someone’s forehead when he sees it.

Then there are those  who simply don’t want to put in the extra effort it takes for Parker to paint, or color, or complete his alphabet puzzle.

I agree, there are days I spend what seems like all day hand over handing with Parker the activities he needs to finish.  I know that just like a typical kid, if I give my kid with special needs an inch, tomorrow he’s going to want to take a mile.

Even if Parker doesn’t seem to be paying attention to tracing that word in sugar, I know he’s still getting something out of the activity, even if it’s nothing more than the discipline of finishing a task.

It is  important to insist our kids with special needs follow through and meet the measure of what they are capable of doing.

Now,  how to we get others to expect the same?



  1. Alyson Jan 19, 12
  2. Lauren Jan 20, 12
  3. mum2brady Jan 20, 12
    • Tammy and Parker Jan 20, 12
  4. MomsTeacher Jan 20, 12
    • Tammy and Parker Jan 20, 12
      • Stacy Jan 20, 12
  5. Jamie Jan 20, 12
    • Tammy and Parker Jan 20, 12
  6. MomsTeacher Jan 20, 12
    • Tammy and Parker Jan 20, 12
  7. Claire Jan 21, 12
  8. jenny - sugar loco
    Jan 24, 12
  9. Melissa Haggerty Jan 26, 12
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