Saturday, 4 October 2008

Can't read, won't read

Coming home one day this week I was greeted with "I'm dyslexic", "I'm sorry I chortled expecting some hilarious punchline to follow." But no, in all seriousness the boy said, "No, it's true I might be dyslexic". Realising I'd stumbled into quicksand on a B movie set, I sat down and asked him what he was talking about. He patiently explained that his French work was very poor, and his teacher had checked with his French teacher from last year and his House mistress, and there was a evidently a problem. Thinking quickly, I realised that being top of the class in English and History and with nothing other than good to very good grades in any of his literacy subjects, dyslexia was unlikely to be the problem. In my usual gentle fashion, better known as 'bull in a china shop' syndrome, I flushed and told him in no uncertain terms that there was no question, if there was a problem, it was certainly not dyslexia...and then backed it up with the evidence above...and just to put the genie back in the bottle, I said that the school should not under any circumstances say anything like that without tests and without speaking with me first. I said I would speak with the school in the morning.

I finally reached the headmistress ten minutes before she headed off to a meeting...and the gravity of my concerns were made clear to her when I said that I didn't want "that woman" near my child until the matter was resolved. A panicked French teacher called within minutes, and numerous telephone conversations later, it is clear that not much is clear...the teacher denies ever mentioning the 'd' word, but for certain the boy's basic work is in fact very good, although his concentration can wander and mistakes creep in...and equally, the teacher's assertion that the boy was distressed by his mistakes is not borne out by all.

So probably a hurricane in a teacup and everything is back to normal...but of note:

  • the teacher had just been on a 'special needs awereness course' and so was probably oversensitised
  • under the confident exterior of a handsome young man lies the uncertainties of a boy going through puberty
  • like any mother who feels their offspring being threatened, I will lash out protectively
So looks like parents evening in a month's time should be fun....


  1. Yep. Looks like you have a mild case of Mad Mother Cow Disease. Eat lots of humble pie and you should be better by Parents' Evening! Have just discovered your blog and loved reading it. Sounds like you are doing a good job with your son.

  2. Thank you! I think he's quite well balanced without me interfering too much....

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