I am just so frustrated right now and just need to vent a little! My son is 10 and has only just been assessed as gifted with mild dyslexia.....after 5 years of problems at school ranging from disruptiveness to being labelled 'lazy', terrible reports, low self-esteem etc etc. He got into trouble at school 2 years ago and I had an awful meeting with the Principal. Fast forward to today and my husband popped into school just to touch base with the Principal regarding my son attending One Day School beginning this week. He just rang me quite upset since the Principal, upon hearing my son was going to ODS, seemed extremely surprised and said " I certainly wouldn't've picked ***** to be eligable for ODS and I highly recommend he doesn't go since he won't be able to keep up with his normal classroom workload". It's depressing to know he/she has written off my son already. It is this attitude towards him that has led to his low self esteem. He has been made to feel stupid for the last 5 years because he can't function in a 'writing based' classroom due to his dyslexia. But he hasn't been 'bad enough' for anyone to think there is a real problem other than 'laziness'. Since his assessment he is starting to bloom now he knows he's certainly not stupid and his first day at ODS I've never seen him so mentally stimulated before. He has even stopped biting his nails. Thank goodness for amazing educational psychologists, the NZAGC and One Day School.
Hi Penny, would you consider sending the school a copy of his ed psych assessment report? It would probably highlight many if not all of the oversights on the school's behalf, and if that was me as a teaching professional, I'd want to do something about it. Even better, meet with the Principal and explain the assessment report to them, as they probably wouldn't know how to interpret the information.
Hi Penny - That could have been my letter! I don't even know what to tell you other that is frighteningly common (especially the "I certainly wouldn't have picked X to be gifted! we've seen no sign of THAT here!").
He is so lucky to have a parent like you behind him and fighting for him. Keep fighting for him!!
The best thing we did was to get an IEP for my boy in conjunction with his OT, teacher, principal meet and discuss my boy. With the professionalism of the OT (who had FAR more clout than a lowly parent like me) the school FINALLY listened and believed all the reports I had been waving under their noses for over a year.
Since the IEP was implement in January, they have been behind me and my boy 100% - a complete 180 degree turn from them criticising my parenting and blaming me. The change in support has made such a difference.
All I can blame is all the parents that rock up to principals everywhere saying how "special" their child is when there are so many with a real need for that "special" label in the school environment.
So have a meeting and pay for a professional to come along (Psych Ed or OT or the like). The school should listen at that point.
Thanks Newbie and Robyn for your great advice in reply to my venting. It's so nice to know we aren't the only ones facing these issues. I used to be very conscious not to 'bother' the teachers but that has all gone out the window! Especially now that my 6 year old daughter seems to be having the same problems as my son did. And her self esteem is slowly being crushed in exactly the same way.......so it's off to get another assessment! Sometimes I wish my kids were just smart and motivated little pegs that would fit right into school. Instead they are fun but very hard work. And the questions......and arguing........and meltdowns.......sometimes it's so overwhelming! We had to put our cat down yesterday and explaining how the vet 'put her to sleep' turned into a slightly comical, yet hysterical, war of words with my daughter who accused me of killing the cat which turned into her melting down because she thought the cat would end up haunting us. Kia kaha everyone, I will continue to fight the good fight! Thanks.