Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Oct 17
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by Jess

One topic that I have discussed with many parents over the years is that of excuse-making. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t make excuses for my child”. While that might be true for some of you, my experience has proven to show me time and time again that parents make far too many excuses for their children.  I know this may “ruffle” some feathers with this article, but my intention is to really help you to embrace the strengths your child has so that they can become as independent and self-sufficient as possible. Below I have outlined some tips for success and my hope is that you will at least attempt to give these a try;

  1. Have high (and realistic) expectations. Know what your child is “good” at, remind them, and expect that they will succeed at it. Each individual child has strengths and areas for improvement. Know what your child is good at and expect things of them based off their area of strength. For example, if they are good at a certain subject area, expect that they work especially hard in this area. If they love history, expect that when they have a history assignment, that they work hard on it. Don’t make excuses.
  2. Give your child the responsibility. Make your child responsible for their work or lack thereof. By this statement, I want you to focus on what you know your child can accomplish. You need to be reasonable here, but if you know your child could have done something, but did not for any given reason, make sure they are accountable. While disabilities may make it difficult for some tasks to get done or get done in a given timeframe, you cannot allow your child to use their disability as a crutch. Don’t make excuses.
  3. Set goals with your child and stick to them. Work with your child to create goals. When children are involved in the goal setting process, they feel a sense of responsibility and as the parent; you can leverage this to your advantage. Be sure that you have your child make goals that are realistic to their abilities, but be sure that it is also something that they will have to work at to achieve.  When your child is working at their goal, be sure to praise them for their efforts and when they complain or don’t follow-through on something, be sure that you remind them of the goal they set. If they struggle, help them to get back on track. Don’t make excuses.

I know this can be a lot to take in, but if anything, I really want to reiterate that you make sure that you do not make excuses for your child. Additionally, don’t allow your child to use a disability as an excuse. From all of my years of teaching and working with children, I have seen the incredible benefits of those that have parents that do not make excuses for their children.

Dr. Jessica Alvarado is an Assistant Professor at Ashford University where she is the program chair of the child development program. She has a true passion for education and hopes to continue to inspire her students in the years to come!

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My Mom Said…No More Excuses!, 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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3 Responses to “My Mom Said…No More Excuses!”

  1. Actually I have only seen one group that makes excuses all of the time – the school districts. They expect our kids to do things they cannot do because they have not done their job. We have a Behavior support plan for my son – they didn’t implement it, then I have to hold him accountable while no one is holding them accountable. Ridiculous. i am to get daily behavior reports so that I can either reward or not his behavior for the day – I get it some of the time. Luckily I have only rewarded him a few times when he should not have been rewarded but that isn’t good enough. My daughter hasn’t received notes prior to classes s was in her IEP before the District changed it, even though we discussed how critical this is for her fine motor difficulties and Auditory Processing Disorder – so I say let’s stop making excuses for the Districts, and when they start doing the job they are supposed to do then I will feel much better about not excusing my kids when they screw up.

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  2. “Excuses” is an extremely negative word and I think it is inaccurate. I think we need to make explanations.

    As an learning disabled/2e adult *and* parent of an LD child, I think we need to do things differently than you outline.

    First, I think we parents rarely know what exactly our children are capable of on a given day.

    Second, I think we need to praise effort in any area, but especially in the areas that are hard for our kids. I love math and have been good at it all my life. I got too much praise for that, and too little for the things that were hard for me (mostly because my efforts in those areas led to very little visible gain.

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  3. As an advocate, I have heard parents make excuses for their children. However, more often than not, It is the staff and school districts who make the excuses. How many times have we heard that teachers can’t be blamed for providing FAPE because they don’t have the training to do so? Generally, parents and the student must bear responsibility. Part of the school district’s mandate is to provide support and training to parents as well as their students. My own child has suffered many unjustified “consequences” for behaviors reported by the school than unearned praise. This article just sounds like more excuses for the school districts.

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