Is an IEP for ADHD an Unnecessary Label? The shocking conversation I had the other day was unexpected, both because of where it took place and because of the content discussed by this professional. My brother and I had taken our mother to a local dentist, one whom we had seen often due to our mother’s extensive dental needs.
He began talking about his wife who was finishing up her master’s degree in special education. He had a basic concern about the value of this degree. He decided that it was ok to help “these kids” through elementary, middle, and high school. But then what? He said there is no special education in college and no ability to get the extra time for assignments and tests anymore. He then brought up how moms want less homework for their kids which in his mind leads to better grades. But then what is the future after that? He talked about the high percentages of dental school dropouts. He spoke about his hiring criteria for his office and stated that he would never hire someone with a history of needing special education to be an office manager.
Here I was speaking to a professional who was choosing to categorize all those who have required special education help into one area of inabilities and incapabilities. I think I may have stopped breathing. And then quickly realized that he and I would never be able to have a sane and reasonable conversation about this topic.
What are the takeaways of this very disappointing conversation?
This dentist represents the mindset of many people who assume definitions but do not clarify with good information. Many in our schools operate under misinformation as well. It is imperative that parents have the correct information to support and advocate for their very capable kids with ADHD who think outside of the box. Our kids must believe this as well since they can’t change the dangerous and incorrect mindset of the dentist. They can and must believe in themselves.