If you have a son or daughter with intellectual disabilities, you may be guilty of “over-scaffolding.”

Even if you are unfamiliar with the concept of instructional scaffolding (“a process through which a teacher adds suppports for students in order to enhance learning and aid in the mastery of tasks,” according to the IRIS Center at the University of Vanderbilt’s Peabody College), you are most likely a practiced expert on this technique.

For example, if you break down complex instructions, if you model the expected outcome, if you foresee and eliminate perceived barriers, if you find another way of presenting information… all these are scaffolding strategies.

In my case, with over 30 years of experience parenting Alberto - our son with intellectual disabilities, - scaffolding has become second nature, and at times, irritating to others.

While on a recent driving expedition, I started to give my daughter –an experienced teacher with a master’s degree in education – very detailed instructions on how to reach our destination and what to do once we got there, including a plan of action should we get become separated.

At one point during the conversation, she turned to me and said, “Mom, it’s me, please quit scaffolding!”

Fair enough, I thought. And I quit scaffolding, deciding to enjoy the company of someone who is resourceful and quick on the intake!

#downdownsyndrome #Parenting #IntellectualDisability #IntellectualDevelopmentalDisorder #Siblings