Must cut my grass…..

One of those days where you line up a full day of work and then son wakes up with a temperature…. One too many coughs and he’s off sick. One too many sneezes and he’s contaminated me. Deep joy.

Still a day off from school will delay yet another bust up with the teachers. Maybe get my stress levels down to just below meltdown level.

In one subject last year he had a great teacher who seemed to get dyslexia. At the Parent Evenings she would tell us that in her opinion our son was as good as anyone in the subject in the school. She would say ok he struggles to write the knowledge down on paper – but we can find ways round that to suit him. It was refreshing to hear a teacher say that the key thing is the actual subject matter not the written English – that’s got its own subject anyway.

Unfortunately that teacher left. The replacement teacher seems to follow the school line. Neat handwriting and spelling come first, subject matter second. So now son is seen as low attainment in the subject. This terms homework project requires many pages of handwritten essay work. Points will be given for the quality of the presentation and points lost for things like spelling mistakes. So kids with dyslexia who struggle to write are being set up to fail. The school must know what a huge disadvantage this places on some kids. Oh I forgot – those kids are low attainment so it just proves the point. That’s modern education in England.

So once again I go through the finances to see if I can find a way to homeschool. Once again I fail. It’s at times like this that I feel so frustrated as a parent. It’s like constantly wading through treacle. Every step forward is such an effort. I’m so knackered – lord only knows what our son feels like. Everything seems to be stacked up against us. But sadly I bet if you asked virtually every parent and child dealing with a learning disability then they will say the same thing. It’s a never ending slog. And like all these wonderful parents and kids – we fight on. We love a quote which is maybe from Einstein, but if it isn’t, then it’s still a belter.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing that it is stupid”

Or the other belter which comes from Spongebob.

“Patrick, you’re a genius!”

“Yeah, I get called that a lot.”

“What? A genius?”

“No, Patrick.”

Talking about genius. Then there is our sons Dad. I’ve been struggling with a Rhomboid injury. I had the bright idea of strapping it up with kinesiology tape. First of all – what a stupid place to put a muscle group. When you don’t have a partner – how in all that is holly am I supposed to get my hands back there… Then having dislocated my shoulders just enough to get my hands next to the Rhomboid I somehow need to attach this super sticky tape neatly across my shoulder blades. With a physio it’s a piece of cake. In my case think disaster. So several strips went on in the wrong place, creased or just badly twisted. But here’s the final insult. Now these useless attempts need to come off. Where in the instructions does it say in big letters – whatever you do if you have a back as hairy as a Silverback Gorilla on no account buy this tape. And if you are stupid enough to apply it to hair then change your name to Mr Stupid from Stupidville.

That’s me and my postal address.

65 thoughts on “Silverback

      1. When it comes to life experiences, he dislikes surprises and likes routine, correct? Or at the very least to be able to predict what is going to happen next. Yet it sounds like intellectually he gets bored with it. An interesting contrast. Is his learning style more oral than visual or is it experiential?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yikes! How in the world did you even injure your rhomboid? Your description of trying to tape it sounds like me trying to put a sports bra on after a shower. I’ve very nearly reinjured my rotator cuff trying to get the darn thing unrolled in back.
    I do not understand the need for written essays. Does any job except calligrapher even use written words anymore? I was shocked when I found out they’re not teaching cursive writing here anymore, but it makes sense. Everything is on computers now. Being able to hand write is a necessary skill but not as important as the thinking ability to create an essay…introduction, information, conclusion…
    I’m sure you’ve talked to your son and explained that you dont agree with the way his school grades him, but it’s still got to be tough to get all that negative feedback thrown at him. All you can do is keep helping him at home as you have been. None of our kids are getting a good education these days.

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  2. The fish is still a genius, but not the evaluator trying to make a fish climb a tree. The fish needs water to breathe, so put the effing tree in the water and the fish will swim directly to the top. The evaluator, on the other hand, is a bit of a numbskull.

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  3. Yep, like you said before, dyslexic kids slog just to stay in place, not go backwards. Your sister gets a principal’s award for a great report, even though Miss Dyslexic slogged good and hard to get where she did. Sister slogged hard too but had more to show for it. Miss Dyslexic slogs at the school’s maths homework computer programme, but takes a while to work through it even with adult support. She won’t talk about it. She is usually feisty and outspoken, but not about her difficulties at school.

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      1. Secondary schools certainly don’t. each teacher sees so many kids every day. A good teacher in a good primary school can help a SEND kid to some extent, through knowing them and developing sympathy and empathy. What is frustration is that the people with the expertise and know how are not listened to, especially in secondary schools.

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      2. Of course. it is impossible. Our dyslexic child’s mother is a constant advocate for all her children, but fears she is seen as totally over the top by the teachers. The eldest child is nervous and edgy, took many mornings of floods of tears to settle in. However the mother now seems to have achieved reasonable working relationships with them. I suspect things will not go so well when they get to secondary school which is so much larger and is exam oriented.

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  4. We tried Kip McGrath for a few years to get some extra tuition on a Saturday morning. Only really core subjects, English and Maths. It was more than just the subjects themselves – our’s seemed to gain a bit more confidence all-round and used to enjoy going there.

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      1. Yeah – our daughter actually enjoying it was a big factor, especially on a Saturday morning when by rights she should have been enjoying her lie-in. We looked at all sorts of options including a private tutor, even a private school, but in the end, the local comp did a good job – she got far more support than was available when I was at school.

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      1. I don’t know your name? Also, you don’t know me from Adam, but something flowed through for you then. Not to ‘fix’ anything, because you just need to be heard. Yet I saw a young lass, mid to late teens, who lives near you, whose brain absorbs info in the same patterns as your son. She has worked out a way of expressing, in written form, that would help your lad. I wonder if there is a barter arrangement you could do with her, on something she needs help with practically (because you’re good at that) and then she can sit with your son and help him in short bursts to find his way with writing. Feel free to delete this comment from your public blog, but it came through so strongly for you, I had to share it. Hugs x

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to hear about son’s cough/cold and your rhomboid injury. 😦

    Despite all your trials and tribulations i loved how by the end of the post you had me giggling and smiling! 😀

    As for son’s homework, might i suggest that he dictates it and you handwrite it using your finest, old-school Yorkshire cursive?

    Sounds like the teachers are so dumb they won’t notice and give him extra credit for most improved handwriting! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good news! I got mad at my husband this week and told him “Welcome to Stupidville. Population = You” So NOW he won’t be alone and neither will you 🙂 Love the quotes. And I hope your son, and you, feel better soon!

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      1. I know! He did that thing where he wasn’t going to be home but was going to have his friend come over and drop some stuff off – but his friend likes to socialize, which my husband knows I hate. Hence, Stupidville 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hope that Rhomboid injury gets better… The tape thing doesn’t sound very comfortable… Cheap replacement for waxing though. 😂

    Seriously hope you sort the schooling thing for son. And hope you both get rid of your ‘colds’ soon. Even harder to concentrate on anything when you’re sick! 🤧

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My wish would be to take all the money being put into researching Autism causes and cures and instead create a kind of grant that autistic people could apply for so they could afford things like homeschool if they are kids or a PA if they are adults. A kind of Universal Basic Income. Use as you see fit kind of thing. I can dream, can’t I?

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  9. It is like that in America too. My grand-daughter is dyslexic & her hand writing isn’t much more over a kindergarten level. She is in 8th grade. She has been in special ed classes her whole life but no one has bothered to teach her because she is thrown into a classroom with kids of all grade levels. I “home schooled” her a bit over the summer vacation when she came to visit. We made progress! But, she went back home & everything was undone. Ugh! I still work full time & she lives 3 1/2 hours away. She bright & can do he work, but not at a normal 8th grade level. She is at about a 4th grade level. I wish I could afford to not work. My daughter has tried many programs but they have all failed including private school.

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      1. I agree with that. This isn’t recent history either. My son, now 33, was at a 2nd grade reading level when he was tested in 6th grade. I pulled him out, home schooled him for 2 years. After 6th grade, he was at an 8th grade level & after 7th grade, he was at 10th grade reading & writing level. He went back into school in 8th grade & was able to do the work a lot easier.

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  10. My son’s been at his school since kindergarten and has well-documented behavioral stuff: an IEP, meetings, etc. One time I was at the school after hours to help decorate a teacher’s classroom. My son had a meltdown and was rocking in the corner. The VP popped his head in to be friendly, saw my son, then asked, “Is he all right?”

    When I read your post, I couldn’t help but think your face at news of the handwritten assignment must have looked just like mine in response to that VP.

    Come to think of it, I could write a post about, “Is he okay?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you should. I really do. Often it feels like you are living on a different planet. Where no one seems to get the issues. Its soul destroying. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. But every so often you find someone who does understand. Been in a similar position. It just helps.

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  11. Oh geez. That tape sounds PAINFUL whether you’ve got back hair or not. And isn’t it a shame schools can’t just do an oral presentation vs. the essay? If anything an oral exam would allow some students to show they know exactly what they’re learning because they’re on the spot sharing the information. It’s not like parents can do the work during an oral exam…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The last History teacher did that. She said that she was more interested in what’s in his head than what he can get down on paper. She was the teacher who tried to get him pushed up the sets. Unfortunately she left and it’s gone backwards since then. How’s it going for the two boys.

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