I work in a special needs preschool and encounter kids with a large range of behaviors and disabilities. My own son has Asperger's and has his own unique set of behaviors. Between my professional and personal life, I'm encountering this issue more and more regarding the reason for a child's behavior vs. an excuse for a child's behavior. My son (11 years old) has been seeing a psychologist and we've been discussing his uneven classroom behavior. The dr. really got me thinking about why my son acts up in class or blurts things out at inappropriate times. The reason is that he has Asperger's. But, Asperger's cannot be an excuse for his behavior. He will have to work twice as hard as other kids to control his behavior. What might come more naturally to other kids will have to be a learned behavior for my son. The key is that he CAN learn how to behave. We can't simply accept inappropriate behavior and make excuses for it or he will never learn new skills. That said, I'm encountering resistance from some of my preschool parents. They don't want to see their child get a time out or be scolded for their behavior because they think their child has an excuse for the way they act. I had a grandparent say, "Well, you know why she acts that way, don't you?" I told them yes, I've read her history and I know her diagnosis. I tried to explain that this student can be taught to behave properly in a classroom and she will just have to work extra hard. She is improving in our program so we know she has the ability to learn and follow directions. The grandparent then said they're going to get a note from the child's doctor explaining that she has a disability and shouldn't be expected to comply with all of our rules. The grandparent also said that she behaves well at home so we must be doing something wrong at school. I explained that home is always different. Kids can go from activity to activity when they want to. They're not always required to sit at certain times. And if they don't have siblings, they don't have to share their toys. They don't have to wait in line to wash their hands or go outside. The classroom has a lot more structure than a home environment and each child has to learn to exist as part of a community. As I was explaining this, Grandma just waved her hand and walked away. I feel so sorry for this child. She's only 4 and if they keep making excuses for her, she's never going to meet her potential. The other day when Grandma picked her up, the girl decided to sit down in the walkway instead of walking to the parking lot. Grandma just said, "OK, I'll wait until you're ready." I continued to watch and the kid sat there for at least 4 minutes and played around. Grandma just stood there and waited. That kid has way too much power! What happened to parenting kids? What happened to the adults making the rules? I expected Grandma to take the child's hand and say, "We're walking to the car right now. You need to stand up and come." And then Grandma needs to follow-through and lead her to the car. I'm feel like I'm seeing a real problem lately with this issue: reasons for behavior vs. excuses for behavior. Sure, special needs kids have valid reasons for the way they act. But if those reasons become excuses, the child will never be able to meet their potential. Has anyone else faced this issue either as a professional or as a parent? It's really been bugging me lately! Thanks for letting me vent!