We all say stupid things. Lots of reasons. No filter. Not thinking. Tired. Frustrated. Or, we don’t know what we don’t know. A person’s perception is their reality. What we view of our teachers and they view of us, may be quite different from what we live each day. Nevertheless, it angers or amuses sometimes…or can damage a relationship. While we’re able to laugh about it now, here are some really crazy, stupid and outrageous things that parents have heard from their child’s teacher. This weekend to lighten things up, the group wanted to share outrageous things that their teachers have said to them.
These are real stories from our Facebook group. I am not including names. I have corrected a few minor spelling and grammar errors, but have left most of the original content intact. Enjoy! While these may be frustrating to read, sometimes good to know you’re not alone.
23 outrageous things teachers have said to parents of disabled kids
- Just this Friday I met with one of my son’s teachers about the class and the topic of his chronic constipation came up. I explained how it relates to his disability and that if it wasn’t controlled his pediatrician was concerned he might need a colonoscopy bag by college. Her response was, “I had some constipation issues as a child. My mom had me eat more fruit. Maybe you should try that.”
- I had a vice principal tell me my son would grow out of autism… I work as an RBT, so I laughed straight at her and said “well, I guess I need a new line of work.”
- When my son entered 3rd grade the school got a new resource room teacher, is basically the SPED teacher and IEP manager at the school, tells me that she is an expert on autism because her 5 year old granddaughter has autism and she has her for 2 weeks every summer.
- Both hearing impaired sons have been told during IEPs to “listen harder” I said do you tell a blind student to “see better” ?
- In reference to Number 4 above, yes, they do tell blind children to “see better” or rather “look harder.” — mother of a blind kid
- My autistic son was clinging to me with a big hug during an IEP meeting principal said ” I don’t think it can be autism, he is so affectionate.” I told her to not speak during the rest of the meeting.
- In 8th grade my son had an IEP that required preferential seating, aka front of the room. When I went for open house, I saw his seat was in the back. I mentioned to his teacher the requirement in his IEP and she said he’s so tall that it would be unfair to the other kids for him to be in front. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
- My son has a vision impairment, I’ve had teachers question his accommodations and ask “is it really a thing”? Um, yeah, he really can’t see that well. *shrug*
- My son’s teacher suggested my husband and I try rewarding for positive behavior and disciplining for negative behavior. Thanks for that bit of wisdom, Mr. Obvious.
- The ESE lead at my daughter’s school has on several occasions told me that my daughter can’t tell his staff what she can or can’t see… she’s blind.
- My oldest has dysgraphia. I was told she doesn’t need to learn how to write her name. An X is sufficient. I just lost it.
- Working as the advocate for a 15 year old who had an IEP with the disability categories of Emotional Disturbance and Intellectual Disability. He had been diagnosed with Diabetes at the age of 12. He couldn’t understand his chronic condition and could not control his glucose levels. Because of this, he was facing truancy charges and involvement with child services. The first item I wanted to address was his diabetes. The Special Ed director said with such dismissal, “Diabetes has nothing to do with his school day”. The next hour was devoted to the accommodations he needed for his diabetes in order for him to attend school.
- In 7th grade, the art teacher asked me to come in for a meeting. She gently asked if I had ever considered OT for my son. I replied that it was in his file that he has OT starting at 20 months old and that the school discontinued because he was “fine”. Asked if she would like to talk to the OT before I did.
- I had a high school English teacher tell me spelling is not important.
- My kiddo would be fine (not autistic) if I simply didn’t accept squeaking as a form of communication and made her speak.
- Sitting in an IEP once trying to explain why my child with epilepsy could not be out in heat and direct sunlight when it gets super hot, principal jumps up and yells across the table, “WHAT DO YOU EXPECT US TO DO, HAVE A THERMOMETER OUTSIDE!!!” Everyone just stared at her while the SLP grabbed her forearm to have her sit. Then to make matters worse, she was transferred to the next school my daughter went to the same year. Eventually she was given a position at the district office…smh
- My ENGLISH speaking daughter (who is bilingual but fluent since day 1 in both) … qualified for ESL because she can’t (age 6 at the time) read English… she has dyslexia…. umm yeah she couldn’t read German… Spanish… or French either are you guys going to help her with those languages also?!
- Our first IEP meeting at 4. The Sp Ed teacher says to me, He is autistic? What is his specialty? What specialty? Good grief not everyone is a Dang Savant or Rainman! So she goes on to tell me, one little boy, the last place she taught liked to take apart lawnmowers and put them back together. Now they probably don’t WORK after he has taken them apart and make them go back together. She said Alex might need something like that. I asked her what part of those things are Math, Science, history or English? Well, they aren’t but he likes it. No. Don’t give him something like that! So instead they gave him a yo-yo. Wanna guess what was the first thing he did with said YO-YO? Whacked some little girl in the head with it. Dear GOD WHY do people do such stupid things!!! This is the same teacher I had to insist they didn’t give him a CLOCK? Yes she would hand him a clock so he would play with it and not make any noise. I had to stop that shit too.
- After joking with the principal at an iep mtg, she leans over and says she’ll take him home with her and straighten him out … I️ should have delivered him with a suitcase, because he won every run in for the next three year.
- Last year at my son’s transition meeting from middle to high school, his case manager said “He doesn’t have special needs.” I was livid later, as she said this in front of my child and I’m not a sugar-coater, but at the time I just started laughing and said “What the hell are we doing here then?”
- My son’s kindergarten teacher would send a note home everyday telling me how bad he was. This went on for 2 months…He won’t stay in his seat, he keeps talking, he keeps playing with his pencils ,papers anything he could get his hands on. So here I am trying to get him to understand this behavior is not acceptable. He kept telling me he was behaving. In school. So I decided I would go observe him in class one day. I stood outside the class door where they could see me and watched this teacher call out Michael sit down, Michael please stop talking, Michael put your paper down and do your work. Also the while my child is sitting quietly in his chair…May I note , his seat was in a corner away from the rest of the class. After about an hour she yelled Micheal B if you don’t sit down I’m calling you mother. With that I flung open the door and said you don’t need to call me I’m right here. She stopped dead in her tracks and started telling me all the stuff he had done. I proceeded to ask her which student was Micheal B. The little boy she point out was named Michael , but was not my son.
- We were in an IEP meeting reviewing new goals they had established for my son. One of them was “M will complete his work without making disruptive noises.” The teachers were to give him verbal cues. M has Tourette’s. He burps, makes siren sounds, popping noises, loudly throat clears, and more. The kid seriously is clueless he is doing it a majority of the time.. and when he does realize, they come more frequent. I was annoyed they didn’t take into account he has Tourette’s. Then, it became amusing thinking about them actually trying to stop him from doing it.. its seriously an IEP goal he will probably would never achieve lol.
- I asked for a goal to work on my child understanding when the bullying is taking place because my concern was she had no idea when she was being bullied. In response, the case manager, school psychologist, said that maybe it was better she didn’t know she was being bullied. I almost fell of my chair.
Ok, I said I was going to stop at 1500 words…so I am! While I would have loved to have shared them all, I think this is enough to give you a good chuckle or eye roll.
For the record, anyone who knows me knows that I adore teachers. Adore them! They are so underpaid and undervalued for what they do. But, like the rest of us, they said the wrong thing sometimes. We’re all only human. If anyone wants to put together a “outrageous things parents have said at IEP meetings” I will be more than happy to publish it. Or doctors, therapists…whoever. Sometimes you just have to vent and laugh. And that’s ok.
Read also: Are you being gaslighted at IEP meetings?
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