Charts and Standards are Ableist

by | Professionals

It’s not good enough to say we will modify, adapt, and accommodate. Standards are created for one type of person/learner. Period.

We have been twisting ourselves backwards and upsidedown for decades and calling it unfair when it’s truly deeper than that. It’s discrimination.⠀

Ableism is the discrimination of disabled/chronically ill and neurodivergent individuals in favor of non-disabled people.⠀

When my son fell off the growth chart in the second week of life, it felt like a failure. Doctors insisted on measuring him according to standardized weight and height scales despite knowing he would never land on them at all. I one day discovered there was an entirely different chart for children with his diagnosis.

How many parents and children are subjected to feelings of inadequacy around feeding due to a lack of understanding of diverse body types? How much feeding trauma has resulted because of this?⠀

Conventional school systems perpetuate ableism with their outdated methods of comparing children to arbitrary grade-based standards and then tossing an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) at children who don’t meet those objectives—as though they are inferior!

How many kids are subjected to inequitable assessments based on a lack of understanding of how children learn? How much academic trauma has resulted because of this?⠀


Standards should be abolished and every learner should be on an individualized plan they help devise.⠀


Milestone charts are ableist.⠀

Age-based guidelines are ableist.⠀

Grade-based guidelines are ableist.⠀

Mandatory standardized goals and assessments are ableist.⠀

Avoid them.

Resist them.

See them for what they are.


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