I thought it might be time again for another education op-ed type thing. One of the things that I hear a lot as a teacher---especially in my particular school is from parents and sometimes students--"My son/daughter/I have learning differences." They usually say it in this whiny voice with an intent to look for an exception or a teacher to spend ALL of their time with them and ignore all the other students that they have. I have taken to saying something like, "That's nice, so do I."
Parents will usually pause and the kids will stare at me like, "Really you are a teacher and super smart?!" I continue talking about how everyone learns differently. If we all learned the same, we would all have the same personalities, and then we might as well be robots. We have to figure out what helps us to learn best--but we can't use it as an excuse. I know that I learn well with visuals and sounds--so when I am learning something I figure out how to make that happen. That is what our students need.
As parents and teachers we want to help our students to be independent. So, don't let them use the fact that they are totally different from everyone else as an excuse--use it to empower them. You learn differently? Great! What are you going to do to help yourself? How can you advocate for yourself? Just because you have an IEP does not give you license to not work and it definitely does not allow you to just sit back and not work hard. Will you have to work hard then another student because of that? Yes it is possible, but they have to work hard at something else that is easy for you.
Be okay with the fact that we are all different.