HiCap Parent Council
Feburary 8, 2023
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hybrid: In-person & Zoom
Discussion Topic – Neurodiversity: The
Future of Special Education?
Austina took a class by this author in her grad program.
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.
Saw unicorns and rainbows and structural system that is
not designed for unicorns and rainbows.
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
Problem if supporting worthiness of special needs
students as a moral obligations, but not HiCap students.
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.
Just because a student can fit in a general ed program
does not necessarily mean getting their needs met.
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.
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.
What is the balance between letting kids develop their
strengths and working on their weaknesses?
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
Works really well for 2E kids to focus 100% on their
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.