Learning Disabilities and the Sats – No

I think we are fooling the child that has a learning disability, if we are to give them extra time on their SAT’s. It is giving them a false sense of security. They will not be given as much special treatment in college. They will not be able to receive special treatment during their adult careers. When they step out into the “real world” they will be in for a surprise if they continue to receive this special treatment.

I do think that they should get extra help in preparation for the SAT’s. A child with a learning disability has most likely been diagnosed at a young age. Their educational program should have been geared for them to be able to take the SAT without assistance. The student should be shown the reality of their problem.

Just today I was speaking with a co-worker whose son has a learning disability. She told me that the school would not only give him extra time on his SAT’s, but provide someone to read the questions to him. This is ridiculous. He may get a higher score, but what is the final outcome? He will be fooled into thinking that he is able to graduate and get a job that will give him “special attention” when he needs it. This is not reality. He will not want to put on a resume that he has a learning disability. He will fool both the employer and himself into believing that he job will be appropriate. It will not be fair for either party.

Parents also have to be realistic. They should go the extra mile with these students. Hire tutors, or specialists to help bring the student to their potential. Spend quality time with them so they can get continued education at home. Show them by example that they can overcome, or accept their disability.

I think that everyone deserves opportunities in life. But life is just that, life. There are too many people worried about being politically correct. Tell the child the truth. You have special needs. There may be fewer employment choices for you. Give them options, instead of a false sense of security. Gear them to be as successful as possible. They may surprise us all and get a lot out of their education and conquer their disability. But that should be accomplished through hard work, and determination. Not by accommodation.