Cognitive vs. Behavioral Supports for Jeremy Wiggins and All Students
Karen Kilbane

Yes! Yes! Yes! This is a thing I have been working on for years: “This is where psychology is sorely lacking. It’s theories are predicated on all humans having relatively similar cognitive landscapes. Psychologists have promoted the idea, especially to teachers, that all humans should make relatively similar behavioral choices in any given context. We are now told to use the term ‘expected behaviors’ in order to get the behaviors we want from our students. There is just no way a child with extreme cognitive differences will engage in the same ‘expected’ behaviors as his peers. Behaviors are always in alignment with one’s cognition. Engaging in expected behaviors requires a cognitive component psychologists are simply not factoring into the mix. In fact, psychologists promote the idea that behavioral differences reflect cognitive disorder instead of cognitive difference.”

Kids who are cognitively — neurologically — different will not fit in well to cookie cutter environments. Assuming poor intent and chalking it up to behavior problems is just fundamentally unfair and unreasonable.

See and for more on neurodivergence and how it impacts behavior, learning, and learning environments.

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