Students LEARN to sit back and wait for someone else to do it for them. Read how to break learned helplessness in students with disabilities.

Learned Helplessness in Students With Disabilities

I will never, never forget a community trip with students to Taco Bell back in the day. My two paraeducators and I took about 10 severely disabled students out to eat. It took some time to get everyone through the line and I will never forget helping my favorite student, Cameron. I helped him get his food and walked him to a table. There were two more students I had to get through the line, so I left him to wait until I could come back and help him open his packages, cut up his food, and help feed him (because of limited mobility due to his severe Cerebral Palsy). I went back to the line and returned to him about 4 minutes later… and he was eating.

Learned Helplessness in Students with Disabilities

I asked my para team if they had helped him. Both said no. I looked at Cameron.
“Who opened that for you?” He looked at me and laughed.
“I did,” he said.

 

My mouth dropped open. He has opened his taco and was eating- he had even opened up a packet of hot sauce and poured it on… and here we were opening everything and even feeding him!

 

Students LEARN to sit back and wait for someone else to do it for them. Read how to break learned helplessness in students with disabilities.