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.
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