What Do People Think About Special Needs: A Poll
I think that we, as adults, learn based on what life throws our way. All the parents I know who have kids with food allergies, for example, are experts on the topic. The same holds true for medical conditions including learning disabilities. But I think that if your children attend public schools, learning about special needs becomes part of the curriculum, particularly for schools such as my elementary school with a large and varied special needs sub-population.
It’s really the relevant topic, at least to our children, on diversity as it’s so wonderful, at least at my school, that the children are so accepting of ethnic diversity and same-sex marriage. But my kids sometimes struggle to understand special needs kids at school particularly for those with special needs that affect socialization. As parents, we can help our children by learning more ourselves on this important topic.
By Christina A. Samuels of EducationWeek.
- About 80 percent of Americans believe the statement “people with learning disabilities are just as smart as you and me” to be generally accurate.
- But a majority also link learning disabilities with mental retardation and autism, and more than 50 percent agree that learning disabilities are “often caused by the home environment children are raised in.”
- The polls, conducted every five years since 1995, show that respondents are increasingly likely to say that they have heard or read “a lot” about learning disabilities. Some 38 percent of the public agreed with that statement this year, compared with 31 percent in 2004.
- More people also agree with the statement that “all children learn in different ways:” about 79 percent agreed with that statement this year, compared with 70 percent in 2004. And most people in the survey—92 percent—believed it was completely or somewhat accurate that children with learning disabilities process words and information differently.
- Studies have found that while learning disabilities often coexist with other disabilities like ADHD and autism, having a learning disability does not mean that a student has an additional disorder.
- About 51 percent surveyed this year agree strongly or somewhat with the statement that “sometimes learning disabilities are really just the result of laziness.” The result is down from 57 percent who agreed strongly or somewhat with that statement in the 2004 poll.
Full article here.
p.s. The image is a link to a blog on by Education Week on Special Education.