Getting kids to accept accommodations

In my history, accommodations were never an issue. I wasn’t offered any. But these days things are different. Many children get accommodations. But some refuse to take what is offered. They don’t want to appear different. Or they view it as cheating. I’ve got some thoughts on getting kids to accept accommodations.

My idea is that we point out to our kids all the many accommodations people get for all sorts of disability.

I wear glasses. That’s an accommodation for nearsightedness. Blind people use canes. Paraplegics and quadriplegics use wheelchairs. People who are hearing impaired use hearing aids of various types. Some people get special parking spaces. Some get special seats on the bus. All of those are accommodations for disabilities.

It’s not cheating when a blind person reads braille. It’s not cheating when a deaf person uses sign language. And it’s not cheating when our kids use extra time, or scribes, or specially ruled paper, or special organizers.

The reason it’s not cheating is because dyslexia, dyscalculia, nonverbal LD and all the other LDs are disabilities, just like being blind or deaf or chair-bound is a disability. It’s not the end of the world, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you’re stupid or that you won’t accomplish things. It means you’re disabled and you’re entitled to accommodations to deal with that disability


  1. Peter, in the (very very) long fight to get those accommodations you will hear the (very) famous “That’s not fair for (insert name) to get those, it’s not fair for the others!” … to which I answered “LDs are not fair”…
    Getting kids to accept them is a whole different ballgame… they SO don’t want to ‘stick out’… sigh.

  2. I think part of getting kids to accept accommodations, besides explaining them this way, is to get teachers and other students to understand the real purpose and that it doesn’t make the kid stupid.

    I was undiagnosed until recently, but I have a friend who was given accommodations she felt were forced on her and she finally asked to stop using them because she was being bullied and she said “my teachers think I’m stupid”

    Once I was evaluated, I chose not to take mine, not because I didn’t want them, but because they are irrelevant to my real needs. Even if I went through the process of declaring them, they wouldn’t help me.

  3. Yes, that is one reason I like special ed schools that are separate.

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