Based on an interview with Shimon Waronker,
Ed.D for Operation Survival’s Prevention101 series
One of the most challenging situation parents can find themselves in is when the school principal or teacher believes their child has a learning disability and perhaps requires special education intervention. Unfortunately, a learning disability is seen as a stigma by many parents and their response is predictably, “No, my child is normal. My child does not have special needs. How dare you say something like that about my child?!” The reality, however, is that each child is different; each child has his or her own special needs.
A child can be gifted but still require special education services. Each child needs to be able to have his or her needs met, and different learners learn at different paces and have different abilities. Parents need to remain open to the fact that the feedback from the school is likely correct. Maybe the child does need help, and parents need to consider how they will avail themselves of the resources that are out there to help their child.
Beyond being willing to accept this feedback about their child, parents need to be vigilant about learning disability indicators. Parents cannot close their mind to such possibilities. We often have a prism through which we view our children. We look at them with a parent’s love, and this can mean we don’t see all of their shortcomings. Other people can help us. It is often helpful to try to see the child through the eyes of more objective people, particularly educators, using the observations that they give you to navigate the difficult terrain of helping your child.
This is especially critical because sometimes a child needs speech and language therapy at an early age. If you notice that your child is not speaking by an age-appropriate time, you need to make sure he or she is evaluated. Start by reaching out to your pediatrician for guidance. In many cities the board of education offers services from infancy. It is important that parents reach out as soon as an indicator or symptom is recognized.
Parents must not view special needs as a stigma or something that needs to be hidden. This can cause children to believe something is wrong with them, which can negatively impact them for the rest of their lives. Recognizing the situation and getting help is a good thing. Once children receive the support they need, they can flourish. It is the parents’ job to not feel the stigma and not make their children feel the stigma. Instead, parents should focus on what the children need and with guidance, provide it for them to the best of their abilities.
(Article is based on an interview with Shimon Waronker, Ed.D for Operation Survival’s Prevention101 series. Dr. Waronker received his BA from the Univ. of Maryland; and Ph.D. from Harvard. He is the former Principal of the Jordan L. Mott School, S. Bronx.)
How low have we fallen that parents forget that they are the primary ones responsible for their Childs chinuch. Chanoch hanar Al pindarko has all the yesodos for parents to mechanech their children as well as all the Rebbe’s Torah. Why do we need to resort to the world’s view of how chinuch should be approached (unless I’m a case that specialists are needed) when we have the buetiful way our chabad chassidus has outlined!
Please advise where i can find the Lubavitch Derech in speech therapy?
“unless in a case that specialists are needed”
“unless in a case that specialists are needed”
The points is that it is not uncommon for specialist to be needed for children. A high percentage of children need some type of therapy or intervention.
“a high percentage”… I’m sorry but saying that shows that there is something wrong with our society. Saying that says that children these days are not developed properly. I’m sorry but what you a saying is not true!
You don’t understand what therapay and intervention is. Why would you not seek help from those who are much more educated then you in the feild? Just becuase you’re a parent does not mean you can properly deal with your child and their specific needs. Please seek help with that! If your child cant see you go to a specialist why is there no stigma in that just in either mental health or learning disabilities. Which YES most kids have some form. Does not mean there is something wrong with society it means we are now more aware that people… Read more »
SEE the comment below… he has some great points. Therapy has little or no oversite . The schools often get extra funding and the “organizations” pocket huge amounts of money. first and foremost parents and teachers should truly work with the child. Then if intervention is needed it should be pursued but from ppl without alterior motives.
I don’t think a child that needs help with his reading necessarily is a child with special needs. They are those with special needs and then there are those kids who just need help in getting their reading skills much better which if it’s caught at the right time will save the child and parents a lot of headaches in the future
How silly to label a child that receives only speech therapy as one with special needs
No one is labeling the child special needs. That is exactly his point. The child has special needs. It is not the same. Every child has some sort of special needs. T
The stigma is what is preventing people from getting help.
You clearly misunderstood his point.
My son was diagnosed with LD & other things at an early age because the Yeshiva told us we had to put him on medication. So we had to have him evaluated & the specialists agreed there were different issues. We took care of it WITHOUT meds & it was the best thing we ever did. Not only did he go through the system & get Smicha he married a girl from a very prominent family, he’s a successful businessman, a father, a baal tzedakah & a pillar in his shul and community. If we wouldn’t have been forced to… Read more »
This is a beautiful story, and you should have lots of nachas. But let me point out- not only did “stigma” not interfere with his life, lehepech! the help he got, along with good parents, tefilla, and Hashem’s help, enabled his success! He should not only not be ashamed of his struggles and the help he got, he should be so proud of his journey and hard work, and thankful to his parents, teachers etc. Please don’t feel that hiding this is necessary, so many can be helped by hearing this story.
There is nothing wrong with getting help for your child , the problem begins when the school that he is in or wants to go refuses them because of the help that they need . it is the school that are taking advantage of these children & lableing them & claiming that they belong in a special school
then you probably should consider a better school instead of always questioning and doubting and never happy with how things are organized.
Is it true or not that schools get kick backs for special needs Children
if this is true, I would question the integrity of the Evaluation
if it’s not true then they should search for the answer what is wrong
It’s important to note that children who need this help but do not receive it are at a much greater risk for developing mental health issues including substance abuse.
It looks like you agree it’s true
It is hard to believe that in 2019 people are questioning the benefits of intervention and therapy for young children. Thank you COL for posting these clips and leading this important conversation.
It depends on who is doing the evaluation. There is a ton of money in the special needs field with many “organizations” that tap into that money. When they evaluate they often have their own pockets in mind. Ie if a child just needs speech therapy they will often send him to all their other services as well. In addition if the evaluations are read they are often exaggerated to even get the services to begin with. So evaluate but with the right ppl….
Doctors make money off every blood test and visit yet we trust medical professionals. A good mental health professional can be trusted as well. I find these comments insular and dangerous.
Schools facing resistance by parents, to have their children evaluated and or facing parental resistance to be willing to accept the needed intervention for their children, the schools need to change course. At this point, the school needs to stop demanding, the parents cooperation, to help their children, and instead, the school needs to now demand, that the parents themselves need to be evaluated. In such cases, the parents need far more help than the children. It’s a clear indicator that the parents don’t have their head, on strait, and perhaps the parents need more therapy than the children do.… Read more »
You said it EXACTLY how it is!
Once a long time ago, I was once a parent who ignored my child’s problems. I knew her behavior was not typical and ignored all the signs… fast forward a few years later, my child gets services and is thriving! I love love your reply!
BH your child received the help she needed. Developmentally, academically and emotionally,the sooner a child is helped,the better.