Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting there..?

Last Thursday I was writing about Son 1's dyspraxia and our attempts to get his computer into the classroom - he has a neuropediatrician's report saying that a computer would be a good thing, but that's only the beginning of the challenge. Before we all get too knee-jerky, it's worth bearing in mind that the Anglo-American philosophy of education that most of us hold to is only one way of looking at things - the French have a perfectly rational but rather different philosophy of education (and the Japanese yet another, for example...)So Ben and I went to the meeting with the Directrice of the school, his form teacher, the school nurse and the school doctor. The outcome of this meeting is that everyone now recognises that he has a genuine and long-term difficulty, and that allowances will be made wherever possible to give him a longer time to write, allow him to make photocopies of other pupils' notes if he didn't finish his own, or to email teachers to ask for details that he missed in class. The actual appearance of his computer in class is still in doubt. We will have to have further meetings and take this to the Disability Agency. It appears that his science, maths and technology teachers think it's a great idea - all problems solved in one simple action. We're with them there! But his language and humanities teachers (and possibly the bureaucrats) hold with fervent devotion to the beauty and value of the hand-written word, and suffer for him, thinking of how he will be deprived if we don't allow him to develop his handwriting skills further. See - they're not cruel or crazy, they're just thinking differently. We'll see if the Brits and the technocrats can come out on top in this one, though... Thank you for your comments and prayers.

12 comments:

Isobel said...

Hi Floss,
Seems like a pickle. I can understand some of the teachers wanting to keep the computer away for him to develop his handwritten skills, but I also understand how more efficient for the whole teaching-learning process to have the computer to make things run a bit faster. I think in the end it is all down to what is best to your son. Lots of luck for you and your son.
xx

A Trifle Rushed said...

Good Luck. You can see the interest in handwriting pays off in France, every note you get is so beautiful to look at and you can read it! However.... I do hope that reason will prevail, and he gets a chance to use his laptop!

polkadotpeticoat said...

Over here many school have done away with cursive because our whole future is computers and yes its sad that handwriting is going by the wayside but its the least of the worlds problems at this time....good luck!
we will keep praying, they have to think of whats best and not lump his learning with the rest!

Happy said...

Dear Floss
Thank you so much for your lovely supportive words and your caring thoughts, and especially for your prayers. Thank you dear Floss. You are so kind and generous, every time I write about family difficulties. You are so honest and it makes me feel 'normal' again. Thank you,
Take care
xxx

Della said...

One of my siblings had a reading disability, as did my friend, I know how hard it is to get anything done. I hope everything gets sorted out and your son is able to continue learning without being hampered!

Carolyn Phillips said...

Glad it looks as if he may get it in some lessons at least. Maybe there can be a compromise with the other lessons? I know my daughter who has a TA who scribes a lot of writing for her, has an arrangement that she does certain bits in her everyday work.

Serenata said...

Good luck Floss, I fully understand your difficulties and frustrations. We went through something similar, only we managed to get the school to agree to allowing DS2 to use a computer in class, only for him to refuse to use one as he didn't want to be seen as different! LOL

My heart breaks at reading Happy's post as I know exactly what she is going through and have no real reassurances to offer to make it better. I share in her frustrations and feelings, I wish I could write more to her, but being away in Germany at the moment it is difficult. I know what I'd really like to say... but I also know that even if we had been told the same we probably wouldn't have followed that advice either. It is only in hindsight.

Un Peu Loufoque said...

hi Floss, as a mother of 3 dyspraxic dyslexic children here in France and a dyspraxic dyslexic myself I may be able to offer some advise or support, we have found the system very helpful although it has been us who have had to push the whole thing forward but our youngest is now registered with the maison de handicap and has a whole team who have worked on his aid and diagnosis. ED suggested I contact you.

Betty The Wood Fairy said...

Certainly have my prayers Floss. My oldest has difficulties and was allowed a computer to do his coursework on and also during his GCSE exams - he has gone on to start A levels with access to a computer again - it is so important for boys like ours to have the right tools for the job so am hopeful that you will win this battle. Betty

Lola Nova said...

I can absolutely relate. First grade has been quite the transition for us. We have had to quit our out of school OT because her appointments interfered with her OT and extra help at school and no appointments were available during non-school hours. Both are terribly important to us and her, but it is a tricky situation.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that the best solution is sought by the school and that your son gets all the support he deserves!
xo

Sherri B. said...

Well, it looks as though some progress has been made. I will keep you and son 1 in my prayers. This is so much different than it would be here in the States. Please keep us updated. xo

TheMadHouse said...

I remember you posting on one of my whines about Maxi's education about France having a one size fits all education programme and feel that at least you are making some progress, but it must be really hard to see that you have a solution, but the school do not agree. However, I know that you are the perfect advocate for your son