Jun / 19

Accommodations: Are They Putting a Band-Aid on Your Child’s Potential? [IEP 033]

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While applying accommodations and modifications to help a child with learning or attention issues in school might seem appropriate, in many situations, they don’t necessarily help that child. For many children, these accommodations or modifications are not addressing the underlying deficit and are simply applying a band-aid on your child’s potential.

Full show transcript at the bottom of this post.

What We Discuss in this Episode:

  • What is an accommodation vs. a modification?
  • Why it’s important to understand the purpose behind a modification or an accommodation
  • Often times, support in the form of an accommodation or modification merely assists the child in getting through a test but not necessarily getting through the learning of the material
  • Changing the learning environment can help a child learn in different ways
  • Even with an aid assisting during a lesson, the child might not learn since they’re simply responding to cues from the aid but they’re not actually learning the material
  • The goal, even with an aid, accommodations, or modifications, is to help a child learn the material so that he/she can apply what they’ve learned independently
  • Will intensive intervention programs help with closing the learning gap?
  • What should be included in the accommodations section of the IEP?
  • The purpose of an IEP is to provide a child who wants to go to college with the support and preparation that will allow him/her to be able to function on their own in that setting

Thank you for listening!

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Full Show Transcript

Vickie Brett:                      Welcome to the Inclusive Education Project. I’m Vickie Brett.

Amanda Selogie:              I’m Amanda Selogie.

Vickie Brett:                      We’re two civil rights lawyers on a mission, to change the conversation about education, civil rights, and modern activism.

Amanda Selogie:              Each week, we’re gonna explore new topics, which are going to educate and empower others.

Vickie Brett:                      And give them a platform to enact change in education and level the playing field.

Amanda Selogie:              Hey everyone. Happy Tuesday.

Vickie Brett:                      It is day one, it’s … Oh, I was gonna say, “What? It’s Thursday. How dare you?”

Amanda Selogie:              I’m trying something new. The pod will launch on Tuesday, so for our avid listeners who listen right when it comes out, I’m giving them a shout out. Thank you for listening right when they drop. So happy Tuesday.

Vickie Brett:                      I thought you were gonna say, “Thank you for listening to me, Vickie,” because I say that’s too soon. That really threw me off, okay? Okay.

Amanda Selogie:              Hey, I’m trying to shake it up a little bit. Gotta make this fun.

Vickie Brett:                      Okay, okay. It’s Tuesday. Hey, it’s Tuesday.

Amanda Selogie:              So today, we’re going to break down the difference between accommodations and modifications, but more importantly talk about whether or not certain accommodations and modifications are really just putting a bandaid on your child’s deficit or potential to learn. And whether or not we should be looking at them as a solution or really looking at the need to address the underlying deficit, instead of just putting that accommodation as a bandaid.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah, I think that’s where parents wanna see, “I want an aide or I want this,” and it’s like, “Well, let’s take a step back. Let’s look at the accommodations and modifications.” Sometimes people just ignore them and sometimes, they’re the same ones for years on end and it’s like, “No, we’ve gotta be looking at them.” Sometimes teachers informally do accommodations and modifications. And if that excellent fifth grade teacher did it and you don’t have an IEP-

Amanda Selogie:              Right. It’s not coming with ya.

Vickie Brett:                      It’s not coming with you. So, an accommodation mostly is … It changes how a student learns the material. So, for instance, if you are … The child has reading issues … He or she may have to listen to … So there’s Book share right? So, it’s like any text, you can go online and it can be read out loud to you, instead of the child trying to read it on their own or maybe reading it while the auditory recording is reading it back.

Amanda Selogie:              And where that even could be in a modification is if we’re dealing with a child-

Vickie Brett:                      Well, let me get to what modification is. So a modification changes what the student is taught or expected to learn. So in your example-

Amanda Selogie:              So if you have a child who’s listening to a passage being read to them, if the goal is to test their comprehension on content, then that’s an accommodation, but if we’re trying to test the student’s reading fluency, that is now a modification. Because fluency needs to be them actually reading it. So we often have to look at when is the accommodation being used, to see if it’s an accommodation or a modification.

Vickie Brett:                      And a modification, going back to the same … you know, let’s say you have reading issues, but you’re really far behind your peers … A modification would be you’d get an easier reading assignment.

So, for instance, you could have, I always say this for high school parents … So everybody has to read Romeo and Juliet freshman year of high school. Your child can also read Romeo and Juliet, but they’re getting the Penguins Edition version right? That’s in plain English and it’s not the old timey Shakespeare version, that maybe the Gen Ed kids are reading. However, your child sees Romeo and Juliet in the hands of somebody else and they’re like, “Hey, I’m reading Romeo and Juliet, as well.” But we would see that more as a “modification” because the content in which they’re learning, it’s in plain English and half the battle with Romeo and Juliet is the old timey like English talk, the old talk, right?

Amanda Selogie:              Yeah, like Cliff versions, versions and all that … We’re getting … We’re learning the themes behind the story, the messages and what we’re supposed to learn from the story without the reading fluency and comprehension element getting in the way, so we’re kind of jumping over a hurdle.

A example I always give for like math is, and it’s like more for elementary school, but let’s say your student has a worksheet that is the same worksheet as everybody else. We’re dealing with multiplication, and the teacher highlights all the even problems and asks them to do all the even problems. All 20 of the problems are all 1 digit 1 digit multiplication, but they’re only doing half of it. They’re still doing the same type of content. They’re still demonstrating mastery of the content of doing multiplication, but they’re lessening the amount of work they have to do. Because maybe it takes them longer to do it; maybe they get burnt out, they need a break, so that’s a clear accommodation.

But let’s say you have that same worksheet, but the students in the class are expected to do double digit but double digit multiplication, and your child has a worksheet that does single digit by single digit multiplication, you are learning the same idea of multiplication, but it’s at … It’s broken down … It’s at an easier concept. So we are now modifying. And that’s an example of a modification that would be really good in a general education class where we are often are told, “Well, if Johnny’s in general education class, and not able to meet grade level expectations, they’re gonna be an island of one because they’re the only ones doing the work. Well, if Johnny sees that he’s doing multiplication and his peers are doing multiplication, he’s not really an island of one, because the idea of what multiplication is, that concept still applies. It’s just the other students may be doing a little bit more challenging version of that. So that’s a modification, because it’s what we’re learning versus the how we’re learning.

Vickie Brett:                      And it’s not like you need to break it down and sometimes people say, “Oh okay. That same example of the math. They have twenty work problems and your kid’s only doing ten of them.” Sometimes teachers say that, that’s a modification. Okay, we’re not gonna split hairs here, but you wanna be able to understand the purpose behind it. If your child is not at the same level, or they’re testing, for instance sometimes you know in the third grade they’re like, the whole point of the test is to see that they can do at least twenty in a minute, let’s say-

Amanda Selogie:              Right, a time test-

Vickie Brett:                      And if your child gets two minutes to do the twenty, I would see that as a modification, because the test is just to see that you can do twenty in one minute.

Amanda Selogie:              Yes, well, it’s making sure that you have it memorized versus you’re sitting there on your finger, doing the addition because if it takes longer, then you may not have it memorized.

Vickie Brett:                      Yeah. And so sometimes, different … on tests, an accommodation could … Maybe the child’s using spell-check, because it’s not a spelling test, it’s just more so whatever type of test, like maybe it’s comprehension, you have to write, and we’re not worried about … Cause a lot of kids with dyslexia have that issue with spelling, and we always say like, “Spelling won’t be corrected.” As long as they understand. That’s why we like using speech to text, because if the child can just have their little microphone and they’re answering the questions and they have it and they visualize it. They just can’t write it out.

Amanda Selogie:              Right, and if we’re dealing with content … So with writing assignments, if we’re saying that the child in first grade has to write out a sentence, we are focusing on their handwriting: how they form the letters, how they use the spacing and the lines. But when we’re dealing with maybe a fifth grader doing writing, it’s more along the lines of the content and getting the structure of the sentences. So, if they’re able to do it, and having it dictated allows them to get the content out and formulate a full and complete sentence, then it doesn’t matter that maybe we have trouble with fine motor skills. So that’s an accommodation.

But, I think is really important that I wanted to talk about today is, where sometimes certain accommodation and modifications can be a downfall. They can be putting a bandaid on your child’s learning. So, really comes into play is with sometimes with processing deficits. So we have visual processing, auditory processing, language processing. So the way that we process the information that’s coming into our brain. So it’s not the child has difficulty hearing, but it’s the way they process what they hear. It’s not that they have trouble seeing, but they have trouble processing what they see. Same with language. A lot of times kids with language processing, may be at grade level with fluency, because all it is, is memorization of words, right? They’re able to read what that word is, but … And maybe they’ve even memorized definitions sometimes, but in order to apply the definition into comprehension, is more difficult.

So when we’re dealing with these language processing deficits, a child who’s given instruction in one form, say a lecture, verbally, and has difficulties with either language processing or auditory processing, is gonna have a lot of difficulty understanding the content and being able to take what they’re learning from that instruction and applying it to work later. So what we see oftentimes, is that the teams with say, “Okay. What we’re gonna do is we’re gonna give an accommodation that when that child goes to do their work, we’re gonna either check for understanding then, or we’re going to repeat the instructions or we’re gonna give them, what I see a lot, is a word bank, right?” We sometimes see this as being a bandaid, because we’re not supporting them during the instruction of learning. We’re supporting them to get through that assignment, right? But what if we could help them before they even get to the point that they’re applying, because we know that application of concepts is very difficult when the child didn’t even learn the concept in the first place.

So what we see is, let’s say you have a list of accommodations in the IEP. You’ve got preferential seating, you have your checks for understanding, breaking down tasks, providing visual cues. But what happens is, those visual cues are given to the student when they’re doing the assignment, right? You have an aide sitting there gesturing or having a to-do list of what needs, the expectation needs to do next. It’s all done during, when they’re working on an assignment. It’s not happening during instruction. But if we’re having the processing deficits, the child is having difficulty processing the information in the first place.

So an easy example of how we can help with that instruction time is: A child who has auditory processing disorder. You have a teacher that mainly gives instruction auditorily, so they’re hearing it. If that student had a visual as the teacher was teaching, so if everything the teacher’s gonna say or for the most part, like bullets, the child had notes in front of them and they’re able to read along as they’re hearing, they’re getting that multisensory approach and it’s more likely that the amount of content that they’re gonna learn and retain from that instruction is gonna be higher. So when they go to apply it, they’re more likely to be able to apply it independently without those supports.

Vickie Brett:                      And we’re just talking in the very limited instance of auditory processing disorders, not anything that’s comorbid, so with intellectual disability, with autism, with ADHD. Because you can have ADHD, and you’re auditory processing is intact, but the attentional deficit that you have, that comes from ADHD, prevents you from accessing the auditory. Because we often see that a lot of times, parents are like, “My kid has ADHD, but he also has auditory processing.” I mean, that could be possible, however most of the time, the ADHD takes the form of many, many symptoms. And what Amanda is talking about is how we changing the learning environment or the communication within that environment, and all teachers are different.

We’re not trying to change any type of teaching strategies, but you can see when a child is in junior high, and they do really well in history and science, but english is really tough for them. Well, in history and science, those teachers are, most of the time, really cool-

Amanda Selogie:              Or multisensory learning-

Vickie Brett:                      They have a lot of visuals. Multisensory. You know, we throw that around a lot and I notice a lot of parents throw that around a lot like, “Hey. It has to be multisensory!” Most of the time, teachers are doing multisensory, but it’s not in the way that you think that your child needs it, and that fine. But I hear parents all the time. “You need to be multisensory.” But they are. Do you know what multisensory means? It’s just means other senses. So, if they have visuals, if it’s very tactile, which is science, right? Like they’re hands on with the baking soda and the vinegar, and you’re seeing the process of it going together and exploding out of a volcano. And you’re doing word banks. And it’s all visual. You’re not like necessarily sitting in your seat, like english or math, where you’re just copying stuff off the board and that’s hard when we get into teachers that, aren’t … they hear one thing, and they think we’re just trying to change their entire teaching strategy, and that’s not what we’re trying to do.

Amanda Selogie:              Yeah because some of this stuff is not like we have to change everything that’s being done, but there are simple things that can be done during instruction time. And you know what? Sometimes … Okay, so we have kids that are in a gen ed class that have an aide. And the aide is providing support, during the time that the student is doing work. Because more often than not, when an aide is there during instruction time, they’re probably just doing a gesture for the child to keep on task. Let’s say they get distracted with something and they’re like, “Pay attention. Pay attention. Pay attention.”

But there’s nothing going on that is helping the child process the information that they’re hearing, they’re seeing, that they’re being taught. And we oftentimes, sometimes see that same child through a lot of repetition, because their cognitive abilities may be in the average range, that with a lot of repetition they eventually get the content, but that’s making them have to kind of have a crutch, with getting that repetition.

So in elementary school, yeah it may be pretty standard that we’re gonna repeat a content a couple of times during the week, and then we’re gonna test on it at the end of the week. So teachers will say, “Well we do repeat it. We repeat it a lot and then we have homework. And homework is meant to repetition and what not.” But when a child gets into middle school and high school, that content is not gonna be repeated. So if we are not teaching the child how to learn and retain the content during instruction, we are doing them a disservice for later on. We’re not teaching them how to learn.

Vickie Brett:                      I think parents forget the [inaudible 00:15:10]. It’s academic, social, emotional, and vocational. And vocational, one would think like, “Oh, okay. We want them to be productive members of society and they need to learn how to balance a check book and life skills.” But vocational is that self advocacy. Where Amanda is going with it, is more so we lose focus. We’re so academic driven that we lose focus on this key thing of being able to have the child advocate for themselves. And I get it. By the time you’re in junior high, your kid didn’t get all that, so maybe we do need an aid to remind. But a lot of times what ends up happening, is they are completely dependent on the aide and they lose that focus. When you have an aide, you should be already talking about a fade-out plan. Because this should not be a permanent solution, because you don’t get an aide in real life.

Amanda Selogie:              Right. No. And especially when we’re dealing with … And there’s a difference between a child who has … I mean, we talked about before with [inaudible 00:16:02] behaviors, you shouldn’t have an aide forever either. But what we’re really alluding to today, is when we have an academic aide. So we call them oftentimes instructional aides. So the focus of the aide is not to support behavior. Sometimes it’s a little bit of staying focused, but a lot of times, it’s their goal and what we see … The IEP might say we have a modified curriculum or the child is getting some modified work. Well, the parent will look at the work and say, “Well this is the same worksheet the other kids are getting. I don’t think they’re modifying it.” And the school team might say, “They’re doing great because they’re doing the same work everyone else is.”

But what my question would be is what is the aide doing? Is the aide giving options? Is the aide before … Let’s say the student doesn’t get started right away, and so then the aide is going to the first question of the worksheet, and maybe they’re gonna read the first question. Maybe they’re going to say, something like if it’s math, “Do you remember what this sign is? Is this sign multiplication? What does multiplication mean?” Well, now we’re giving them support that’s helping them get through the work, and maybe they are completing that work, but did they do it independently? Probably not.

So what we’d like to see rather than that, is if the student can understand the concepts from the beginning, from the instruction standpoint. Because more often than not, when a kid is not initiating an assignment, it’s probably because they’re lost on what needs to be done next, right? Because they just heard everything that was said because they were able to hear, but … Or they saw what was on the board, but when they’re processing that information, it’s gonna take a little bit of time, but if we had some kind of support during that instruction it might … It’s all about giving the student the tools because … And we talk about this with sensory processing, as well, that there are accommodations that support a student within the classroom setting, whether it’s during instruction or what not. But eventually, we need to get to the point where the student is understanding why.

Why are we using this accommodation? Because eventually the goal is that if … they may need to use this accommodation for the rest of their life. We’re not saying that some of these tools or accommodations are going to cure that disorder or impairment. We’re just saying that it’s going to help them be able to learn, which in turn, helps them be able to apply it independently. And so when we go into middle school, high school, and even college, the child is going to need to use these strategies on their own. So the first step is to have them use the tool. Then the second step is identify when they need that tool. And then the third step is have them independently identify that they need that tool and then use it.

Vickie Brett:                      And I think that’s where a fade-out plan can really help out with an aide. You know I can’t tell you, half the time aides don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing, and you come to realize this three to four years later and I was just like, “What? Why didn’t this aide know what they were doing?” And they don’t get the appropriate training, and that’s why you are an equal participate of the IEP team and why we try to get you to think about these things, because nobody else is going to think about it. It’s a good idea, but they’re all concerned about the academics, or they just think you’re concerned about the academics, so they’re not really thinking holistically about the child or they’re trying to pass the buck on to somebody that’s gonna be in junior high or in high school.

I was reading this interesting article the other day, and it was talking about how kids don’t take risks anymore because we’re afraid of them getting kidnapped and all the craziness that happens in the world, but they are not outside playing, right? And when you are outside playing, you are making calculated risks. You are doing things that probably, especially if you’re a little older, that if your parents found out they’d be like, “Why were you doing that?” But you’re taking risks and you’re learning things. And when we think that a five year old doesn’t know how or when to ask to go to the restroom, we’re just making them dependent on an adult that’s going to take them. And that’s why in kindergarten they do start, they go to the bathroom right when they get dropped off, if you have to go, go, but it’s like learning that routine, and kind of getting into the flow of things. But if you have an aide that constantly there, and we get this all the time with parents, they’re like, “He needs an aide. The aide needs to teach him.” An aide should not be providing direct instruction. That should be a resource teacher or the general education teacher that’s taking the kid and having to reteach it, in a different way.

Amanda Selogie:              Right.

Vickie Brett:                      And most teachers say, “Well I do teach it in two or three different ways.” Okay well then the child needs extended time, and that’s where an aide can come in-

Amanda Selogie:              But maybe, the teacher said it in two different ways, but the child was not processing in both ways, so they only got it once. And that’s where, teachers and IEP teams will tell parents, “Aides shouldn’t be doing that.” Just like what you said, they’ll say that. But then what we missing from that component, they don’t go the step further and make sure that the kid won’t need that instruction.

Vickie Brett:                      Right, right, right.

Amanda Selogie:              So when we talk about, the aides are putting a band-aid on the problem, whether than fixing the underlying deficit, that’s what we’re talking about. So, you know if you’re thinking about, “Well where does this come into play, how does this have a long term effect, or where does this?” …

So we talk about kids who are in the fourth and fifth grade, entering middle school or something like that, are several grades below grade level. So maybe three or four grades below grade level, well they may have cognitive abilities in the average range, but they are … So we may be identifying them as having a specific learning disability, because they’re so far below, but in reality, that gap was created because we failed to address an underlying deficit along time ago.

Vickie Brett:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Amanda Selogie:              So, we often talk about the need for intensive intervention. Intensive intervention can close that gap, but what happens once we close that gap? If there was an underlying processing deficit, that created that gap in the first place, closing that gap, isn’t gonna prevent it from opening up again. Putting a band-aid on that, is not gonna prevent it from opening up again.

So, let’s say we have a child, who’s early on in their education, we’re talking first; second grade, who is starting to get a little bit behind, that’s the prime time to reevaluate what’s going on. Do we need to think about the way that they’re learning, not just the way that they’re applying the information? So we say, “Okay they’re a grade below the grade level, so over the summer maybe we’re gonna do an intensive intervention program.” Maybe like 20 hours [inaudible 00:22:31] and we’re gonna start in the Fall, and we are going to be in a great place. Then the kid goes through second grade, or third grade, and by the time the end of the year comes along, yeah maybe they started off the year on grade level, but by time the end of the year rolls around, we’re in the same place again.

Vickie Brett:                      Right.

Amanda Selogie:              We now have a grade below grade level, because they started off great, because they caught up over the summer, but then the underlying issue, of the way that they learn, wasn’t addressed. So what we need to be looking at, is not just that intensive intervention. What we’d like to do is prevent the need for that intensive intervention, because it’s no fun for any kid to have to intensive intervention program over the summer, after they’ve already done a whole year.

Vickie Brett:                      Get all of third grade, within 20 days, it’s just not gonna happen-

Amanda Selogie:              And how expensive that is as well. So, what we’ve tried to make sure the IEP teams understand is, “Look I’m trying to prevent this, from you having to pay for an intensive intervention program. I’m trying to save you money here, but you’re not listening,” because I fight all the times with teams. When we look at the accommodations page and the modifications, and I say, “When is this occurring?”

Vickie Brett:                      Right.

Amanda Selogie:              “Is this occurring?” … Because the accommodations page, generally doesn’t say that. It’ll just list preferential seating, which okay that may be something that we don’t need to specify …

Vickie Brett:                      Well no sometimes-

Amanda Selogie:              But sometimes we do-

Vickie Brett:                      Parents go, “Well where is that? Are they at the front? Because that gives him a lot of anxiety.” And it’s like, “Oh, no actually, he’s in the front, middle, but he’s near the door, so if he needs to take a break, it’s very inconspicuous.” But often times, people see preferential seating, and they think, “Oh, okay. Front of the classroom.” But it’s like, “If it is the front of the classroom, you put preferential seating. FRONT OF CLASSROOM.” Because that is something that another team could think, “Oh, well as long as he’s kind of by the teacher, or like I’m a teacher that walks around, so he’s at the back of the classroom.” And it’s like, “He really can’t.”-

Amanda Selogie:              Or, I’m gonna ask him-

Vickie Brett:                      Right, right.

Amanda Selogie:              Preferential seating means, his preference.

Vickie Brett:                      Right. Right. Right, right, right. And if it’s-

Amanda Selogie:              But it’s like, “No! Preference for learning.”-

Vickie Brett:                      Right, for learning-

Amanda Selogie:              But we need to be putting in the accommodations page, “Okay we’re going to do checks for understanding, during instruction.” Because what good is it to check for understanding, when they’re already doing the work? And we’re expecting them to apply-

Vickie Brett:                      And then you just build on it. You know?

Amanda Selogie:              Right.

Vickie Brett:                      At first, it’s the aide or the teacher or the instructional aide, that’s just in a classroom, because sometimes kid’s share aides, right? And then, you know, “Hey, this worked really well, and now we’re going to third grade.” We want to make a goal, so that she raises her hand, and is asking a question, or just even a non verbal.

I had a junior high kiddo, where what we were going to do was, she was going to … She has a notepad, which she just, at her private school started using. The teacher, during instruction would talk, and if she had a question, she’d take her notebook out, and she’d write the question down. She felt embarrassed to say something during the class. She said that she would only raise her hand and ask a question, if she kind of looked around the class and everybody looked lost, then she would. But otherwise, she felt really embarrassed. And then, she went up to the teacher after.

Well private school to public school, we really wanted to be sure that she still does that, and so then when she would do that, what we told to do, was then she’d put the notepad on her desk, and that would be the visual cue for the teacher, to come to her, during the class, or say, “Hey so and so, come see me after class.” So that it was done in a really inconspicuous … But it all rested on the child, because if she didn’t put her notepad there, then the teacher would not know.

Now, yes. That’s gonna be a lot of effort, but it’s a two second conversation-

Amanda Selogie:              And it’s gonna take a process to get to that point. I had a kid who was in general education, that we put kind of like a flow chart on his desk, where … Cause we had this issue of, during instruction, sometimes he would get lost, and that, at the beginning of his educational career, would cause behaviors. Well, we got the behaviors to go away for the most part, but then when we were talking about how we were making sure that he was on track academically, cause he had … He was actually above average cognitive ability. So we really wanted him to be able to reach his potential, so we said, “How are we going to get him to engage in the learning?” So we started out by having an aide. As the teacher was lecturing or providing instruction, the aide would be kind of, checking in with him. Very quietly, but would check in with him, just to make sure like, “What did she just say?” You know, so that we knew that he was engaged in learning.

Eventually, we got to the point, where we had a flow chart, but the flow chart said something like … It was very, very short. It was, “Are you lost?” And then it had an arrow. And it said something like, “Did you raise your hand? Yes or no.” And then it was like, “If you did raise your hand, was your question answered?” Like, what do you do if it’s not? And then the other side was, “Didn’t raise my hand, okay so what should we do?” And then it was …

kind of broke down the steps that the aide would do. And it was a visual on his desk, so he knew if he got lost, he was supposed to do it. Because he was smart enough, that he eventually realized, that when he went to do the work, if he didn’t understand it, it was because he wasn’t learning it to begin with.

Vickie Brett:                      Look, you’re gonna get some pushback, and that’s fine, because it’s all about accountability. And that’s why, we as attorney’s, have jobs. 90% of my job is to hold different people accountable. It’s just having these ideas, and kinda giving you guys these ideas, for you to think about. Most of the times, the teams, once you really break it down, and then they understand, it’s like, “Oh yeah, we kinda already do that.” But you’re right, we should be putting in the IEP, we should be focusing on this-

Amanda Selogie:              Right. Or doing more than they’re gonna want it to be done-

Vickie Brett:                      Or doing it in a different way, cause not everything is going to work. That’s sometimes why there is these groups online, and this is just from Amanda and I talking about our own experiences. For auditory processing deficit, you need to have an Audiologist, really diagnose that. There’s nobody else that can really do that, but I hear all the time of different people diagnosing that, and you really need to have an expert to do that.

That was just an example that we had picked, because Amanda recently dealt with it. We’ve met in recent weeks, with different people. I don’t know that we’ve met an Audiologist, but we’ll be on the lookout, so that we can really have someone, because-

Amanda Selogie:              We should [crosstalk 00:28:37].

Vickie Brett:                      They’re gonna have great ideas, but it’s just there’s not a one size fits all, and it’s not always going to work. So the IEP, I think, the whole purpose behind it is, if your child is able to go to college or a university, you want to be able to have a plan for how they can function, on their own, in that setting, and you wanna try it. And you know, don’t look at it as a, “Oh my God! We tried this for a year, and it didn’t work.” You know what? Now you know, and now we’re gonna try something different.

Amanda Selogie:              Right.

Vickie Brett:                      And that was the purpose behind today’s episode.

Amanda Selogie:              And I would say, like Vickie said, “You might get pushback.” And it’s very true, but you might get pushback on a lot of things. I’d say 5-10 years ago parents got pushback on things that we now find very common. If we don’t have enough parents to get that pushback, then the schools are never going to change the way that they’re doing things.

So that’s kind of where we started with this Podcast and with the Inclusive Education Project, not just to change the conversation, but empower you to advocate and to push back, and say, “You know what? It may be difficult, and I may get told no, but if enough parents ask for something, eventually the school is gonna have to listen.” That’s the only way we get change. That’s the only way we see grassroots effort building, is that people try. People say, “you know what?” … And what I say all the time to someone that says, “Well it’s not done that way.” Well why not?

Vickie Brett:                      Right.

Amanda Selogie:              I don’t care that it’s not done that way, because I think it might be appropriate, I want to try it.

Vickie Brett:                      “Oh I’m sorry, is this an individualized education program meeting for my child, because this is how we need to try things.” And I think that’s often times what happens. We get labeled, we get these kids that are labeled and they get pushed into these Autism specific classes and, “It’s gonna be great, and this and another thing.” But it’s like, “Yeah, but is it individualized to my child?” Because, that’s what we should be trying.

Hopefully you guys, recognize that, and you’re able to give it a go, and let us know how it goes, because we always like hearing your guys feedback. It helps us kind of know that, you appreciate what we’re talking about, and that we’re not total blowhards for having podcasts where we just talk about things all the time. But, I think I want to end it on that.

Amanda Selogie:              I don’t even know what you’re talking about-

Vickie Brett:                      You never know what I’m talking about. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode. We’ll try to get on it and find a good Audiologist. Like we always say, this is our experience in the things that we do every day, and we are attorneys, but we’re not your attorneys. But just send us … I was gonna say give us a ring, or send us an email idea if you have any questions-

Amanda Selogie:              I was gonna say, we always post these episodes, so if you see it on Instagram or Facebook, write a comment about an accommodation or modification that really works for your child, because you never know what another parent might see and say, “Hey that might work.” And it might. Because even though it’s individualized, we can get so many ideas. Because, just like how schools have goal banks, which is ridiculous, we really shouldn’t have a standard bank of accommodations. We really need to think outside of the box. That’s what we try to do. Think outside the box. Start changing a conversation, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for things that might not be standard. That’s the way that we’re gonna help build these opportunities for these kids, to have a better community and inclusion in that community.

Stay strong, and we’ll talk to you next week.

Vickie Brett:                      We’ll talk to you next week. Bye.

Amanda Selogie:              Bye.


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