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Beyond F.A.T. City: Look Back, Look AheadConversation about Special Education
Frustration, anxiety and tension (F.A.T.) are three familiar feelings for children with
learning disabilities and their families. In this video, Richard Lavoie explains how students with
learning disabilities feel and how they are treated in schools. He provides encouraging messages
as well as practical approaches for those who look after and those who educate children with
learning disabilities. Simply, this video is purposed to teach people who look after children with
learning disabilities as it illustrates what it feels like to be learning disabled. The video also
provides some viewpoints into many misunderstandings about learning disabilities.
It is significant to note that children with learning disabilities require being treated fairly.
The question of fairness is something that concerns many professionals, parents and teachers
who deal with children with learning disabilities. As Richard Lavoie asserted, There is nothing
as unsatisfactory as the fair treatment of disabled. (Lavoie) This means that children with
learning disabilities should be given unique treatment. While in school, these children deal with
frustration, anxiety, and tension every single day. Lavoie suggests that fairness in the classroom
is certainly quite dissimilar from what most people know or believe. Contrary to what many

people define it, fairness in the classroom means that every student takes what he or she requires.
Lavoie further emphasizes that professionals, parents and students may require assistance in
understanding this meaning. Most often, children with disabilities are asked to do schoolwork
that they are not capable of. This results in conflict and tension between interaction and the
education they receive.
As a parent, it worth noting that children with learning disabilities should be treated
fairly. Lavoie states that the disabilities affect everyone in the family, including the siblings.
When solving behavioral problems, Lavoie advises parents to remember that children with
learning disabilities hardly respond to punishment. In fact, they may not know or realize how
their body languages and voices alter the message of what is being articulated. The parents of
these children may come to an understanding on everything, but the child with learning
disabilities may feel that it is contrary to their world (Lavoie 96). That said, parents should teach
them how to react to certain scenarios, with respect to their beliefs. These children require to
believe in themselves and should be treated just like other children.
Educators should think of several things about students with learning disabilities.
According to Lavoie in this video, the educator should never make assumptions about their
students. This is because students with disabilities do not have any idea on the task that they are
having trouble with. It may seem that children with disabilities have behavioral complications,
but they may be requiring responsiveness. Instead of assuming, it is worth giving attention to that
child if the teacher feels that the child is acting up for attention. Their incapability to change
social skills leaves the children with countless social struggles such as rejection, mockery and
isolation (Winnick 432). In most cases, children with learning disabilities deliberate any person

who does not annoy them as their friend. An educator or parent should never assume that being
fair to the child with learning disabilities is not fair to the other children. The key concern here is
not about others but the child with learning disabilities.
After watching this video, I learned what it feels to have a learning disability. One of the
concepts in this video is that a child with a learning disability should be given ample time to
contemplate a scenario. Also, children with learning disabilities do not understand what they
have done wrong. This means that parents and educators should make sure they do not react
unjustly, threaten, mock or punish these children. In other words, they should never blame the
student for their behaviors. The information from this video can help me both in the classroom
and at home. I learned that to enable a child with learning disabilities manage his or her
behaviors, the best gift I can give him or her is time. Most significantly, this video has opened
my eyes and given me a better understanding into the lives of children with learning disabilities.

Work Cited
Lavoie, Richard D. Beyond F.a.t. City: A Look Back, a Look Ahead-a Conversation about
Special Education. New York: Films Media Group, 2009. Internet resource.
Lavoie, Richard. Beyond F.a.t. City: A Look Back, a Look Ahead-a Conversation about Special
Education. [Motion Picture]. United States: PBS Video, 2005.
Winnick, Joseph P. Adapted Physical Education and Sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics,
2011. Print.