Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A Special Hymn Sheet


Here's Louis devouring his weight and mine in poppadoms again. He'd stayed late at school last Tuesday for a chess tournament. Rather than his usual trip home on the school bus, Mum's taxi was out in force.  I momentarily considered aloud whether we should eat out  on the way home.  The scheduled ETA back at the van was mighty late and I didn't know if I had the energy to muster up something in a Nigella-like  domestic goddess way. Well that was it.  For the next twenty minutes I listened to a homage to curry and naan bread.  By the time we were in Newton Abbot my tummy was rumbling like a super volcano. It was a good move to pull in and stop The kind staff in  his new favourite restaurant The Eastern Eye treat him like a king.  So great to find places that welcome children with open arms.

We'll probably eat out somewhere again tonight as it's parent's evening and another late end to the school day. Gulp!  Now if things were progressing like they did in Lou's first term at senior school I'd be very anxious indeed. But it's all settling down nicely.  Sure there's the occasional blip but wouldn't there be with most eleven year old boys?  My  bright, friendly, happy son is now on the Special Education Needs Register and it seems to be paying dividends.

Louis was diagnosed with dyslexia and hypermobility syndrome, which is like dyspraxia, back in 2012.   His difficulties are  at the mild end of the Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) spectrum. We see it as a difference rather than a disability that has not been stigmatising at all.  In fact Louis is overjoyed to meet people who think in a similar way to him.

What is surprising to many people is that Louis' reading is well above average for his age and he's often to be found with his nose in a book.  His biggest struggles are with paying attention and organising himself.  His writing is spidery and his clumsiness means that most sport is difficult.  I'm able to empathise as I have many of  the same difficulties.  I've worked out how to compensate for these over the years myself.  There wasn't chance in cat's hell of being diagnosed when I was a kid.

Armed with the evidence that the behaviours that really peeved his teachers weren't entirely down to my bad parenting I took the assessment reports into his primary school thinking that we'd get a bit of help.  Instead I was told by the headmaster that there wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't a middle class. mummy.  Really!   That was as far as I got.   Three years on,  the written plan  that has been drawn up Lou's school means a lot to us. It's a statement of what  we all need to do for Louis  to learn effectively. It's not rocket science or desperately expensive.  There's no equipment for the school to buy.  The extra cost involved is currently just  a fifteen minute weekly meeting with the special needs coordinator at his school.  Most importantly there's a hymn sheet that we can all sing from.  Slowly, it's working wonders.

7 comments:

  1. Good to hear that Louis is getting the understanding and help that will smooth his school years, and a relief for you I am sure. A friend's daughter was diagnosed with dispraxia in her early teens, and it answered a lot of questions at the time.( She is now Mum to 2 little boys, and living in Berlin.)

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  2. Louis is doing brilliantly! Like you, I recognise several of his 'symptoms' in myself and remember being useless at ball games at school. Never able to hit the hockey or tennis balls or catch the netball...there were always enough for two teams in each lesson and a few unfortunates sent to a corner of the field to 'practise'. How I hated sport until I left school and joined a cycling club! Even then, I was always falling off!

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    1. Exactly the same experience.. What compounds things for me is that I have limited 3d vision as well. Love walking, cycling, skiing and swimming now though x

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  3. if the head had said that to me I would have had a hissy fit. Glad you have figured out what is going on with Louis and have a plan of action in place going forward.

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    1. I was surprisingly self controlled I have to say ! x

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  4. Sounds just like my nephew back in the day, he is now 22 and doing well in his chosen job, well liked and respected, (despite a difficult family life) and also a football fanatic and has his own little 5-a-side team he coaches. All will be well, all will be well and all will be very well.
    Go Louis!!!
    And you !!!
    x

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  5. Ah all will be well! Thanks all for your stories. x

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