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am I over-reacting here? dyspraxia/teacher issue

(5 Posts)
cornkeg Fri 16-Nov-12 18:09:58

teacher moan - long, sorry
ds is in secondary school Y7 and has dyspraxia
bright but very much affected by his dyspraxia - struggles to focus on verbal instructions, phases out as he has low registration, struggles to get started, very disorganised, work all over the page etc
His French teacher seems to have an issue with his dyspraxic 'behaviour.'

He's in the top set so not useless at French, but always seems to be in trouble with this particular teacher.
For example, the Teacher was annoyed with him for leaving spaces in the exercise book.
She was chastising ds for this and ds was nodding in response and saying 'okay'- as in a 'yes Miss' way - not rudely.
This annoyed her even more, so that she was shouting 'No it's NOT okay' etc every time ds said yes miss or okay miss .
ds then just nodded as he was too scared to say anything, and even this was seen as wrong by her.
ds is quite literal - not ASD but he does take things literally, so he was confused as to what he'd actually done wrong. she's not French either so it's not a language barrier issue.

Today they were asked to work in pairs. ds didn't follow the instructions and wasn't sure what to do.
Instructions were given out verbally. (He really needs visual prompts as well to be on a level playing field with everyone else, but that's another issue.)

So he was working in a pair and didn't know what to do. His partner put his/her hand up to tell the teacher that ds didn't know what to do. So the Teacher then told the partner to work with the child in front and not ds, as ds 'was a waste of time'. ds was then left sitting there like a lemon by himself (very embarrassed) during the lesson while everyone else got on with the activity.

My issue is that the teacher seems to be finding fault with ds for things that he needs support with because of his dyspraxia. ds now dreads French as he can't seem to do right for doing wrong for her.
Am I overreacting?

cansu Fri 16-Nov-12 18:15:00

I suppose the only thing you need to consider is whether you are getting the whole story. From what you have said the teacher sounds unreasonable but as you weren't there you are only getting your ds view. I would ring and say ds is struggling and highlight the difficulties he has and ask for her help in getting him back on track. This will also enable you to get her take on your ds.

cornkeg Fri 16-Nov-12 18:17:41

I'm pretty sure it's the full story.
ds is extremely polite and well behaved (unlike ds1 - chalk and cheese!) and wouldn't dream of telling anything other than the absolute truth. He doesn't want me to say anything as he's worried she'll take it out on him by moving him down and he's proud of being in 'top set' so was reluctant to tell me. I made him tell me as I could see he was upset.

auntevil Fri 16-Nov-12 22:00:47

With a DS with a similar dyspraxic skill set, I would speak to the SENco to ascertain exactly what each of your DS's teachers have had in the way of training in dyspraxia. Ime, most teachers will say that they know all about dyspraxia and the poor motor skills and handwriting etc, but the reality is, very few understand the effect on memory, ideating instructions etc.
I had a good/bad report for DS1 last year. Good academically, but littered with criticisms that were obvious symptoms of dyspraxia. 'Would achieve more if he listened more accurately' ! So this year I took in details from the dyspraxia org, and sat and went through it with his new form teacher. She was surprised at some of the symptoms and acknowledged that DS1 has many of those tendencies. Woe betide her if she dare put any of these negatives in his report this year.
Go via the SENco and check the teacher's understanding. Get the SENco's reply by e-mail etc - written copy to use later if no improvement.

Inaflap Sat 17-Nov-12 17:28:01

The teacher won't have a clue about dyspraxia, most don't. I would phone the SENCO and explain the problem. She could then go and observe and make suggestions to the teacher who just might not realise your son's level of difficulty. Or, phone the head of dept and ask for a meeting between the hod and the teacher, also ask the senco to be there too. Writing a short bullet point guide to your son might also help. If he is in top set then it is incumbent on them to help him. This teacher sounds intollerant but that may be down to ignorance. If they get shirty say that OFSTed would be looking for evidence of differentation and that as your son has a disability, under the new discrimination act, they should be making reasonable adjustments for him as a matter of course.

Hope this helps.

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