Here’s the problem with school exams. Sitting in a deathly quiet hall. Surrounded by people who you probably don’t know and if you did know them, what’s the point as you can’t talk. Sat for hours, without moving, writing in silence. The only sounds, the occasional cough (that might be really off putting these days), the rustle of sweet papers being opened and the never ending clicks of the large clock at the front. Then the deafening booming voice – ‘and that’s time, put you pens down’…..

Today Hawklad had a History exam to sit at home. A slightly different exam environment. Sat on a sofa – sometimes. Then pacing around the house to think. A trip to the kitchen to get a piece of cake and soda. Then relocating to his bed to do the long question. All to the tune of music. Some Queen, some Bowie then some Journey. Not forgetting the 2 minute break to give his fingers a rest, best done by tickling the dog’s tummy and kicking a ball around the room.

That’s how Hawklad thinks, works and is most comfortable. Sitting still for more than 10 minutes is stressful, his body needs to be in constant motion. Quiet spooks him. Concentration is done in short bursts then a break. He thinks best when he’s relaxed and moving.

Looking at his completed paper. That free form exam approach works perfectly. Problem is that it isn’t going to be allowed in the final exams. The traditional exam environment is so alien to him. He just can’t perform in that setting. It’s bad for him.

What on earth do we do about that.

34 thoughts on “Moving

  1. The world is often not structured for neurodiverse individuals and really what’s need is accommodation. I know you know this and I wish more people would know and support this too. 🙏

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  2. A Social Work lesson for yoday:
    I hope you are not saying this “to” Hawklad. I know how easy it is to encourage him to move around, to do things his way. But PLEASE do not tell him he cannot do things “their” way. If he is going to have to sit in a formal atmosphere, the worst thing you can do for him is to tell him he cannot do it that way. Give him free reign, yes, but do not be negative. If you tell him he “cannot” do something, he will probably not be able to do that thing. (Even still he might surprise you. One can hope!) Let him figure it out, on his own. He just might want to succeed, as opposed to not failing. Good fear is healthy. Bad fear can be debilitating.

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  3. I recall being sat on a desk at the side of the room, looking out of the window at the view, as the uni lecturer (who knew my foibles) carried on with the lecture. I took it all in, ALL of it and the view and the other students and got good marks in that subject.

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  4. It’s not as if he is the only child in England with such a problem. He has demonstrated what he needs…why can there be no provision for such cases? It’s a very unfair system. I hoppe an answer can be found for Hawklad. He is obviously very smart and he should be encouraged, not given more hurdles.

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  5. In the end we have to respect other’s process and way.. I wish there was more adaptability in society.. I am reading a very interesting book on empathy and autism among other subjects at present called Born For Love.. there is a reason for brain wiring and schooling systems or other things should adapt to that in my view otherwise it just disrespectful and cruel.

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  6. Situations are unfair and sometimes all we can do is adapt to them. However little he can try , let him. You can also take professional guidance for him. Wishing you wellness and peace.

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