Professional middle-class parents spoke knowledgeably about learning dis­abilities. When their children did not perform at a satisfactory level, they had

their children tested to find out whether there might be some psychological or physiological cause. If tests confirmed one of the new class of learning disabilities (e. g., ADD, ADHD), parents requested that schools make spe­cial accommodations for their children. For example, Jeff Wright is a white (recent) widower and the father of one fourteen-year-old daughter. Because he is employed as the chief public relations officer for a private school, he has insider knowledge of the field of education. He explained that he had used this knowledge to good effect and that he and his wife had worked with the school staff at his daughter’s school to ensure that she would have both a spe­cial place to do her homework and extra time for studying: “We were aware that [because of her learning disabilities] Katie worked slowly and can get distracted. We tried to set up time with one of the staff people who is assigned to help the students with study skills. … So Katie was in that office and had a cubby set up in that area.” If such accommodations were not forthcoming, professional middle-class parents found a school that would serve their inter­ests more fully. As one white mother of three children said of her youngest son, “Stephen is smart as a whip, but because of his disabilities he did badly in [public] school. . . . He now does well in a private school.”9