HiCap Parent Council
Feburary 8, 2023
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hybrid: In-person & Zoom
Discussion Topic – Neurodiversity: The Future of Special Education?
25. Austina took a class by this author in her grad program.
26. Author is not a gifted expert or even 2E expert, but is out-of-the-box thinker about what to do with Special Education kids.
27. Saw unicorns and rainbows and structural system that is not designed for unicorns and rainbows.
28. Dovetails nicely with end of average ideas. We are capable of doing more than we think if we don’t focus on all following the same timeline.
29. Problem if supporting worthiness of special needs students as a moral obligations, but not HiCap students.
30. If support Special needs students and do not frame their needs as a negative, that may negatively affect fundraising and other efforts by interest groups.
31. Just because a student can fit in a general ed program does not necessarily mean getting their needs met.
32. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) -- Neuro-diversity strength based standards means letting students use their personal strengths (artistic, oral, etc.) to determine how to meet project requirements. Not quite there in the district, but some teachers do currently encourage that.
33. Challenge with this approach is that both teachers and parents get worried when kids are allowed to not do the hard thing that they are not good at. While it may grow their strengths, it does not address their challenges and get them to grade level for a particular skill. Would need to convince parents especially that developing a kid’s strengths is better for them long term.
34. What is the balance between letting kids develop their strengths and working on their weaknesses?
35. Is there too much focus on identifying and fixing problems (deficits) instead of focusing on their strengths, and they will be more engaged since they are interested and working on things they enjoy and are good at.
36. Works really well for 2E kids to focus 100% on their strengths
37. Could some of this be incorporated as best practice, not just in HiCap classrooms but all classrooms? Flexibility in assignments could be relatively easy for a teacher to support. But again, parent and teacher expectations are a critical factor. Would require parent education so parents are not concerned their kids’ weaknesses are not being addressed.