Respect the Intelligences of Kids with Intellectual Disabilities

Star In Her Eye

Today, when I arrived at school to pick Fiona up, I saw that a new paraprofessional was temporarily working with her. I shook the aide’s hand and gave her my name. She gave me hers. Then she looked at Fiona:

“What’s my name?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” Fiona said.

“What’s your name?” The woman asked.

Fiona was silent.

“What did we do today?” I don’t remember if Fiona replied, but the woman continued in this vein, asking my kid loads of questions Fiona was already supposed to know the answer to: “Where am I going next? … Where did I tell you I was going?”

Adults do this to Fiona all the time. They do it to her more than they do it to my other, typically developing kid. These kinds of recall questions aren’t genuine requests for information, such as, “Fiona, are you hungry?…. What was your favorite…

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