Dress as an accommodation???

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by ecteach, Oct 12, 2013.

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  1. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    So........
    (Background) We have a student with Asperger's. She is in all regular ed classes with support for behavior. She scores in the top one percent in the state every year on all of her tests. She has some very quirky personality traits, and can be very stubborn. For example, she will ONLY wear leggings that are very tight. She DOES NOT wear a long shirt with them. Teachers have written her up for dress code violation. The pants really are inappropriate.

    Well.....her mother requested changes to the dress code as an accommodation at her IEP Meeting. (I did not have the meeting. I do not teach this child.) The teacher who held the meeting said that was not appropriate to put in an IEP, and moved on. The mom brought up a good point, though, stating that this issue is a cause of her disability, and she missed some class time over the past few years dealing with administration over this issue.

    I will admit that the other teacher and I thought it was ridiculous yesterday. But now that I've had some more time to think about it, I'm sort of rethinking my original view. What do y'all think?
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    How is her wearing tight leggings with no long shirt because of her disability? The dress code does not need to change for this child. If this child goes on to get a job, she will be required to follow a dress code there too.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Without knowing the child...the mother does kind of have a point. I can't disagree with the school for refusing, but I also can't disagree with the mother for pushing it.

    I'd say a middle ground probably needs to be had. If the child refuses to wear any other clothing, legitimately due to a disability, then the child needs to be allowed to wear it, considering that it seems like it's a choice between being allowed to wear it or her constantly being suspended from school/sent home/sent to the office/being out of school. Mom needs to know that some sort of long shirt, loose covering, etc., will also be necessary. The child needs to be comfortable, the child needs to be in class... but she also doesn't need her classmates seeing exactly what is under her pants.
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    For what it's worth though, I'd assume this problem will more or less resolve itself by the time the student hits puberty.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    How so?
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Kids with Asperger's tend to be slow to pick up social cues, but I'd expect even the quirkiest Asperger's kid to pick up on the inappropriateness of this particular choice of clothing once hormones kick in.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Where's the good point?

    How is the issue a cause of her disability?

    What? Why? If anything, these issues often get worse as age and maturity emboldens a child.
     
  9. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    (Stolen from the Autism Speaks Website) Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors.
     
  10. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Does the mother have actual medical documentation saying the daughter wears leggings because of her disability?

    If the daughter was repeating a behavior the mother did not agree with (wearing lots of make up, wearing high heels, smoking); I'm sure she would find a way to correct the girl's behavior. Mom needs to enforce that the daughter cannot wear the leggings or simply take them out of her wardrobe.

    Sometimes, parents need to parent instead of coddling and making excuses.
     
  11. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Having issues with certain clothing types is actually a very common issue with persons living with Autism. I had a student who had to wear a body suit with a zipper that she couldn't reach in the back because otherwise she would have been naked 50% of the time. All clothes bothered her. She would take them off every chance she got.
     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    From my experience, children with Asperger's don't necessarily get better at reacting to social cues, but they are better able to maintain expected social norms. Plus, hormones.
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    If there proof that the girl can only wear leggings or is this a fight the mother just does not want to have. Does she wear them on weekends, to bed, if she partakes in outdoor activities, (if) she goes to Church?

    Once again, I'm sure if she was wearing something the mother disapproved of, the mother would handle it.

    I think this sets a bad precedent for your school's policies and for the girl in general.
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yes, it definitely could be a sensory issue. I think the mom has a legitimate reason to fight it, as it definitely sounds like it is related to the disability. However, in the end, the child's dress needs to be appropriate for school. If what she is wearing is not appropriate, then it should not be allowed. If it was just a matter of needing to wear short sleeves instead of long sleeves or something like that, then I see no reason that school shouldn't allow that accommodation.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    For all you know, this might be the better option. It could be that leggings are tolerated because of the snugness but anything else would be removed. This may actually be the handling it.
     
  16. Go Blue!

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    Hormones? If anything, I've seen hormones cause girls to start dressing in a much more inappropriate manner. Girls, who in 6th and 7th grade dressed very trendy but age-appropriately, are now in high school wearing false eyelashes, bright lipstick, neon colored bras under their white (school mandated) polo shirts and skin tight pants. (Apparently) they are being trendy but doing too much because it makes them cute for the boys.
     
  17. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    From the outside this might seem a bit crazy. Knowing someone with Aspergers, I do get this mom's point. If all students had Aspergers, dress codes in schools wouldn't exist. I'm not saying to totally give into the mother on this, but I would really listen to her and work with her on this. She is not as crazy as she sounds.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Perhaps the suggestion can be made to mom to find more appropriate leggings....I bought a great pair of jeggings recently...thicker fabric, real stitching, pockets and seamed fly....stretchy but not inappropriate. The mom needs to understand that while the school might take not writing the kid up into consideration, this fashion choice is only opening her child up to ridicule, harassment, and the potential for worse.:(
     
  19. gr3teacher

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    If this were a "normal" student, I'd agree that she'd be more likely to get worse with the clothing. With a student with Asperger's, I'd expect movement more towards the conservative though.
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Heck, if this is so much of a problem, it should be determined what aspect of her disability is causing this and additional related services should be provided to help eliminate the need for these tight leggings. If it is sensory, she needs OT. If it is the stuck thought process, she needs some additional cognitive therapy designed to try to move her from this style of dress to a school appropriate one. Sure, she can keep getting suspended and at 10 days have another meeting that will result in an IEP meeting to change the IEP to include services and goals to change the behavior. Or the school can decide that this is not a hill to die on and deal with the fact that she wears tight leggings which is allowed at many schools across the country.
     
  21. JustMe

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    I get the child's "NEED" to wear the tight leggings. But have longer shirts not been considered? Since it's most likely the leggings she feels she must wear, it doesn't seem longer shirts would be an issue.

    How old is she? And as others have asked, does the wear the leggings to church and elsewhere?

    Really, my final thought on the matter will be that a dress code exception should not be made.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I bet the mom is painfully aware that wearing these tight leggings opens her up to ridicule and harassment. I'm sure she also knows there are probably many aspects of her child's personality that also do the same because a lot of Aspie's aren't often welcomed with open arms unless they are targets that don't get it.
     
  23. Go Blue!

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    This is my main point also.

    It sets a bad precedent for the school in regards to their policies.
     
  24. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    No more so than the read-aloud accommodation setting a bad precedent for students who can read but don't like to, or a behavioral improvement plan setting a bad precedent for students who don't need such a plan.
     
  25. Go Blue!

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    Thanks for the insights.
     
  26. Go Blue!

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    IMO, it is not the same because most kids don't care about those other accommodations. I used to do read alouds all the time when I taught MS, even when I had no IEP kids, and none of the kids cared or was upset over it.

    But, kids will care and notice when other kids are allowed to break the rules especially in regards to the dress code. And, depending on the population, you are asking for TROUBLE.
     
  27. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    She wears LEGGINGS EVERYWHERE!!!
     
  28. gr3teacher

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    Fair is not equal. Even if you don't like the read-aloud example, what about use of a scribe? Or word processor? Or extended time? Or any other accommodation? Behavior Improvement Plans would definitely look a lot like "allowing students to break the rules," also.
     
  29. JustMe

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    A scribe isn't inappropriate. Extended time isn't inappropriate. And so on.
     
  30. FarFromHome

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    I agree. My mom thinks one of my sisters has some slight autistic tendencies (my mom is a special ed teacher). In regards to clothing, my sister refuses to wear jeans. She only wears sweatpants that are not very flattering, but are still appropriate for school.
     
  31. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    They are what a student needs to access the curriculum though. What's the better outcome? One student being allowed to break the dress code while still accessing the curriculum, or that student effectively being shut out of receiving FAPE?
     
  32. Go Blue!

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    No it doesn't. I have lots of kids with IEPs/BIPs/FBAs who get extended time, a scribe, a word processor, or frequent breaks and the other kids do not care. They see this as the child having academic issues so they get special treatment, nothing more. Not to mention, lots of kids without BIPs/FBAs also get to extended time for class assignments or a class test, or I give them breaks if they need them.

    Dress code is completely different - not even close to being the same. At my school, dress code is our biggest daily issue and we are a uniform school.
     
  33. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Is it causing a problem with other students now or is it something that is perceived as something that MIGHT potentially cause a problem?
     
  34. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    No. She has no friends at school. She eats lunch with a teacher. They probably don't even notice her or what she is wearing. This is NOT the only issue she has. She can come across as being very inconsiderate. She says things about people's weight, skin color, etc. Her behavior has isolated her from her peers.
     
  35. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    I think there is a reason she likes to wear them so tight, as this is an issue that has developed SINCE puberty. She didn't always wear leggings. But, for almost 2 years she has . I don't want to be inappropriate and state the reason. Use your imagination. I have no clue at all why she can't wear a longer shirt or dress over them.....no clue. That could actually just be a power struggle.
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Sure it is the same. The only difference is that people don't understand sensory problems. We don't talk about them and for most people they don't make a noticeable impact. You don't know the kid who won't wear socks with a line on the toe because it bugs him or tried 25 different shoes until he found the ones that don't have the wrong bump in them or the kid that wears the required belt looser because he can't stand the tightness on his waist.
     
  37. gr3teacher

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    Ah... I thought she was a younger, elementary-age student. Yeah, if she started this after puberty, it's probably not Asperger's related, it's probably, "I want to break the rules" related.
     
  38. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Or.... I'll say it.... she likes it and not in a fashion sense.
     
  39. gr3teacher

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    Well... yeah... but either way, still not Asperger's related.

    EDIT: (Also, have I mentioned on this board how happy I am that I don't teach sixth graders anymore?)
     
  40. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Doesn't it depend on what other sensory issues she has? If she has had other sensory habits for soothing that is just ignored because it doesn't impact the day, why would this new soothing sensory habit be any different?

    If she has other things she just won't let go of that everyone just ignores because it doesn't impact her day, how would this one be different from some other stubborn habit no one will bother to break because they know it will cause issues?

    I think you really have to look at the kid. I don't think OP knows if this is related to the stubbornness or sensory, but as you said, if requiring the change will cause her to not receive FAPE even if it a new problem, FAPE trumps the new bad habit that really doesn't hurt anyone.
     
  41. ecteach

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    Yes. :sorry:
     
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