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Dyslexia, bulling and other stuff... what to do if the school refuses to acknowledge the problem?(7 Posts)
My son (8) has recently being diagnosed with Dyslexia, and at the moment, the possibility of ADD and HD are also being investigated.
He is, according to the dyslexia report, remarkably bright. He also has very good spelling, but finds it almost impossible to write a paragraph on his own.
It is not for lack of trying, he has had a tutor that comes home twice a week and although she reports he has fantastic ideas, and can manage some very complex concepts for his age, he finds it impossible to put those thoughts on paper. The dyslexia report shows he has considerable problems in sequencing information, so he forgets what he is supposed to do, from the instructions to do a certain task to the idea he wanted to write about.
The school results shows that he is at the level of a year 1 in writing (he is in year 3) but is adamant that because he is still within the "normal" he is not going to receive any support for his dyslexia. The first response from the head teacher when I showed him the report was to say"That's boys for you" and a total refusal to acknowledge there was a problem.
All this year DS has come from school claiming he is stupid. Children refuse to work with him and is constantly bullied during unsupervised times. He is often hit, excluded or the subject of group bullying, he hates the school, but the school refuses to accept there is a problem with bullying even when i have shown them "burn" marks on his back created by being kicked down and dragged around the floor by other children. In May he started talking about feeling so hated "everyone in the school will be celebrating if I die".
I absolutely hate the school, but with other nearby schools being oversubscribed I cannot move him. This school is, apparently, one of the best of the city, and it may well be but having had 8 different teachers in a single academic year, and all the stuff described above I think they don't seem to cater well for special needs unless the difficulties are extreme.
How do I go about finding help for him?
Can't you complain to the LEA?
I know when ds was bullied and I asked the school for a guarantee that they would try and make sure it wouldn't happen again and they wouldn't. Said bullying didn't happen in their school. I pulled him out of the school, then informed the LEA what I had done. He was in a new school within weeks.
Sorry I can't help more.
I kept a diary of all incidents.
I provided a list of all incidents to the school.
I had a meeting with the school who refused to acknowledge that there was a problem.
I wrote to the school stating that if they could not ensure my son's physical and emotional well being, i would remove him from school and inform the board of governors, Ofsted, LA etc of exactly why i had removed him.
School ignored me.
I removed him and wrote to above people.
I phoned local schools who had an ASD unit attached and asked them to tell me of any schools who had a good reputation for ASD children.
Ds now goes to a different school.
The school is reating on the laurels of its good reputation. Unfortunately some Head Teachers would rather keep the bullies who don't have academic difficulties than tackle them and meet the needs of the children who do have difficulties.
Somewhere near you will be a school with a HT who truly believes in inclusive education, who will support children to achieve their best no matter what their difficulties. Your son deserves to attend that school.
I'm lucky that I found that school in my town but it took 3 years of my poor child suffering bullying and low self-esteem in 2 dreadful (but rated 'good' by OFSTED and with marvelous local reputations) local schools. I removed him from the last horrible place in January but it took 4 months of searching and meetings/phone calls etc before we found the school he's thriving in now.
Ironically, the wonderful school is in the middle of a very deprived area, and my darling son sticks out like a sore thumb...and no-one bats an eyelid! The other 'middle class' families around that school wouldn't dream of sending their kids there so it's under-subscribed. Nice small classes and lots of space for chill-out spaces then!
I urge you to remove your poor son NOW and write to all the schools in striking distance to ask them if you can talk to them about their inclusion policies. Be open and upfront about your son's difficulties and teh fact that you are looking for a school who will be able to meet his needs. I was surprised at the poor number of responses I got to my email (i sent it to about 60 schools and only about 4 replied with an invite to visit!), but it taught me alot about the attitudes of the local HTs and which schools to avoid like the plague!
Dyslexia is a man made problem, a Social Construct, about having problems decoding and recoding the graphic symbols society chooses to represent the sounds of speech. Dyslexia is language dependent.
There are three cognitive subtypes of developmental dyslexia auditory, visual, and attentional. So an auditory processing disorder ( a listening disability), a visual processing disorder, an attention disorder, or some combination of the three can cause the dyslexic symptom. Each underlying cognitive cause of the dyslexic symptom has a different set of issues, and require a different type of support and help. Some of these other issues can be problematic than the dyslexic symptom.
From some of the issues you describe Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) could be one of the causes of your DS's dyslexia. Children, and adults, who have problems processing what they hear all sound based information, including speech. which can make self advocacy difficult, following conversations difficult, and following verbal instructions difficult. APDs who have a high IQ are good at developing their own coping strategies, which can conceal the real nature of their disability for much of the time. To compensate for their APD deficits many become visual learners and can see the whole picture regarding topics, and find a step by step or sequential approach hard to follow.
This article may help explain things I think in pictures, you teach in words: The gifted visual-spatial learner and for more information regarding dyslexia you could have a look at some of my online PubMed Dyslexia research paper collections which try to cover the most of issues related to dyslexia
Thank you all for your responses, I need to think carefully how to go about it with all the stuff going on.
I will put complain to the LEA about the schools lack of response, but do not plan to do it until I have managed to move DS to another school. I feel we have been through the mill so many times that I don't want to rock the boat further, I have given up on them helping and I don't want them to take it on DS.
I have identified a few possible schools, one is very near to us and over subscribed, another one is not that near and oversubscribed again, and finally, one that is not that good but that is near to my job, which is under subscribed but I have heard several people saying that their children are very happy there.
The first option is a catholic one, so I'm going to try to, hopefully, look into the situation and perhaps agree to take him. I need to start talking to them about inclusive education, I think that it has got to the point where the most important thing is not for him to do brilliantly but for him to be happy.
The report came with a number of recommendations, and the posted link has certainly help me to understand DS' problems a little bit better. Dolfrog, are you a dyslexia specialist? it seems that for the time being I will be he one needing to provide the one to one tutorials and although I have no experience and certainly not the equipment either, I wondering if there is any internet resource / book that could recommend that can be used by parents.
I guess the project for this summer will need to be to get him typing, I don't know how much is going to help but I guess we don't loose anything by trying. I have got him a nice typing game so hopefully, just hopefully, he manages to keep motivated enough to complete the training.
And once I get into the routine of it all perhaps I will manage to get enough time to sleep, be more relaxed and trust my brain not to destroy your beautiful language every time I write.
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