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Keep accommodation within school rules

Date: June 9th, 2016
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: Let’s talk about the child that has to have their hat on because it’s their security blanket, but there is a “no hat” rule in the building. One of the things that I’ve always said is that if a child is special needs or has some types of documented disabilities, then that becomes something that is really difficult for them, like the uniform.

It’s OK for them to have the ball cap, but they can’t have it on their head. That’s what I always say. Make sure that if you’re looking at accommodating, accommodate within reason. If I have a child who has to have that ball cap on their person, I will teach them, and I will ask parents to cooperate with me. The ball cap, you take the snap off the back and go ahead and loop it to your belt loop, or stick it on your jacket, or something that you can have it on you all the time, but I’ve got to help you not to have it on your head, because that’s the rule.

I believe that’s totally OK, if I can teach you how to follow the rule, but still accommodate your need. I don’t want to walk up to that kid and rip their ball cap off, because I know what’s going to happen. Somehow we work with them, but I can’t let you break the rule.

The same thing with headphones or ear buds, and things like that. We have kids who use those on a consistent basis. I think we look at where the kid uses them. Is it in the cafeteria? Is it areas where they have to use that because the noise and the sensory system is really being impacted?” But I’m not going to allow you to listen to your iPod all day and walk around because you have special accommodations. I’m going to make that really clear, because that’s not helping them on the outside.