[tw: this might come across as ableist]
There’s so many people speaking up in defense of kids who have trouble at school, kids with learning disabilities, kids who can’t keep up because of other problems they have, kids who can’t keep up because their teachers don’t properly motivate and support them. And I guess I could get behind that.
If there was someone, anyone, anywhere, speaking up just as loudly for the clever kids.
Those kids who could write and read fluently with seven. Those who could do high school math in kidergarten. Those who learn and learn and learn, those kids with the constantly good grades and perfectly done homework, those kids who never learn a single second and those who finish assignemtns taking the whole lenght of the lesson in five to ten minutes.
Who speaks up for those kids? Who speaks up when they’re bullied by their peers for being a teacher’s pet and by their teacher’s for being to clever and quick? Who speaks up when they grow up without ever having their abilities and struggles aknowledged because they are clever, so everything should be easy for them? Who speaks up when they can never be good enough, no matter what they do? Who speaks up when they are shamed for their abilities and skills? Who speaks up when they are bared from any help because they are not deserving of it, because they are clever anyway. Who speaks up when they are denied help in completely unrelated aspect of life because of their good grades? Who speaks up when they break? Who speaks up when they can’t keep up with all the expectations anymore and give up? Who speaks up when they are denied a voice for being too clever, too arrogant, too good at school to deserve a voice? Who speaks up when they need to be heard?
There is no one. And if I try, I get called arrogant and ignorant and ableist. I get told that people have worse problems than that. I get told that it’s harder for those who can’t keep up.
Harder in what way? People aknowledge there’s a problem. There’s so many fucking ways to get help, for so little money. There’s so many options for you.
There are only two for those like me. We can simply wait until it’s over, sit down and be quiet, waiting while the world abuses us and not show how much it hurts or we can finally break under the strain and be branded as lazy and rebelious and arrogant.
It’s okay if you want the school system to be more supportive of kids who can’t keep up. But don’t do so at the cost of all those clever kids. Don’t take away what little support they have, just so you can feel a bit better.
It’s not fair to us. It’s really not.
[and yes, I fucking know it’s not always all that easy to get support when you’re struggling with school. But at least there are options. There are so many fucking options. There are so many people aware of the problem, there are so many people invested in fixing it. And the problems I and people like me face, they don’t exist. Or they’re just some sort of first-world-problem, so easy to dismiss and mock. We’re people too. And we don’t deserve to be treated like shit, either, thank you very much]
EDIT: Yeah, I know that kids can be gifted while at the same time being disabled. It’s just that where I live, being gifted will always be considered more important than being disabled.
I understand that being twice exceptional means being twice fucked and that being only gifted is probably a lot easier than having a learning disability.
However, in my experience, children I have gone to school with who only had a learning disability fared far better than those who were clever along with their disability. Because we would, at every turn, be told that we were to clever to get help, regardless of disability. So our perceived intelligence is what fucked us over in the end, not the disability. Because if it had only been the disability, then there would have been people willing to help.
Which is why, in my frustration, I focused only on being gifted while not mentioning that it could go along with being disabled. I am sorry for this oversight.
This is true. The gifted see one set of problems, the disabled another. These groups are rarely together enough to recognize that their struggles in the schools have a common source: the idea that one-size-fits-all works. Too many American schools fail
Being twice-exceptional where I went to school was a nightmare. I was also called lazy, too smart to need help, trying to game the system, a waste of time and resources. I rarely saw kids with only disabilities get meaningful help. In the long run, they were worse off than those of us who were also good at school. We, who could play the game well enough to compensate for our weaknesses, did better in the long term. More of us got diplomas. Initially, kids with only disabilities were allowed to fail quietly. Adults sometimes actively persecuted the twice-exceptional. As I understood it, kids with only disability labels were stupid, tragically worthless. We were spongers, morally bankrupt. That was our fault.
We need ableism out of the schools. We also need to rid education of the idea that one-size-fits-all works. It is part of the problem for kids with disabilities and many other groups of children. It is a change of attitude. Unlike underfunding, it costs nothing to fix, though it will lead us to change policies in ways that cost in the short run. In the long run, successful schools are good fiscal sense. It costs less to educate people than imprison them.
Reports of such incidents should be “minuscule,” said Maureen Fitzgerald, director of disability rights at the Arc, which advocates for people with disabilities. Fitzgerald said when abuses occur, it’s usually because workers aren’t properly trained.
“They are put in situations where they’re not trained, they don’t have the support they need and things get out of control because they don’t know how to manage the kids, and they do whatever they can to keep everybody calm and safe … and that’s when people start getting hurt,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald’s organization is among several disability organizations seeking passage of a bill by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, that would prohibit the use of seclusion and allow restraints only in emergency situations and until the danger of serious bodily injury has passed. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., has a similar bill in the House. Legislation to address the issue sponsored by Miller passed in 2010 but failed to get out of the Senate.