Dyslexia and the Education System

I know I have not updated in a while I have been incredibly busy with miss 15 going through the diagnostic process and dealing with a wave of mania coming through the house, it’s never just one at a time. 

Miss 16 Shannon has had a really rough time of it at school lately with even her teachers turning on her and outright refusing to listen to her mother. 

Tbh it is incredibly confusing the behaviour of staff has been quite infantile, unfortunately I have provided so many resources, clarified and repeated myself so many times at this point that I can only assume their ‘misunderstanding’ is intentional and deliberate brought about either by ignorance,  arrogance, ego or all of the aforementioned. 

The only way it could be a simple misunderstanding is if they are not qualified to teach and that is not a prospect I want to contemplate. 

Unfortunately teachers are human and they lose patience,  snap and have their own short fuses and health issues to deal with. However their short comings should never be taken out on students, nor should students ever be shamed as a method to obtain compliance. 

 For months now I have disputed the class shannon had been placed in, during the original complaint process the schools vice principal completely misrepresented the content of the unit, promised to use the time to develop ways and means within the education department assessment framework to allow shannon to participate in exams and be assessed in a manner that does not simply grade her literacy, along with working on skills which would bring her up with the rest of the class. The guidelines for exams and assessments 6 months later still has not been provided. I was also informed today by the education department that it is the schools responsibility to ensure assessments are suitable and resources obtained, not mine. 
The class was not as portrayed it was as I suspected and they spend all their time making garden beds for a local charity. The students in this class have no choice as to which class they are in,  while every other student in their grade is given a selection of 5 VCE units to choose from. 

The class is nothing more than a holding pen where the school keeps year 10 students with dyslexia, adhd, autism,  and other behavioural and learning disorders. 

The truth is the existence of the class and the manner in which students are assigned to it is a massive human rights violation. They are placed there with no intention to provide remedial studies or make any attempt to bridge the gaps that exist for these students preventing access to higher education. They learn about enterprise bargaining agreements, unions, workplace agreements, penalty rates, type a resume and how to read a pay slip in preparation to eject them out into the workforce at their completion of year 10.

Dyslexia has only relatively recently been recognised in Victoria as a learning disability challenging students. 

Dyslexia: The invisible disability

Dyslexia in children

There is a very long history of teachers shaming and berating students and children for their difficulties. 25 years ago my brother was asked to stand by his teacher as the teacher told his entire class that standing in their room is an example of stupid. We were of course all immediately withdrawn from the school and sent to a private school at the recommendation of the education department, they had a remedial studies unit for early intervention in learning disorders. 

It can be exhausting for her to navigate book heavy subjects to the point that the strain leads to her falling asleep in class. Repeatedly teachers attempt to blame lack of sleep at home, she sleeps just fine, and ignoring every effort to inform them that the problem is that they rely to heavily on books to teach. 
Teachers who have taken the advice given have seen her shine in their classes alert and with full participation. Those who don’t eventually get told by her to piss off in frustration at their lack of ability to communicate with words, while they depend on pointing into books. They Fail to comprehend that they bridge nothing in understanding by doing so. 

Following a series of face to face meetings they had agreed to have her aid available during the class and have her work using spoken language on expanding her vocabulary and fluency with using these words she comes across in year 10. It seems their own comprehension is lacking as they do not comprehend that spoken language involves speaking not literacy work. 

On Tuesday during her class they presented her with literacy work which they had already been told numerous times to back off on because it causes exhaustion and is counter productive for learning. She felt trapped she came out of that class with 2 literal black eyes and looking half dead, her sister actually thought she had received a beating when she saw her. 

I emailed the welfare officer and spoke to one of the teachers on the phone, it was pointless they weren’t interested in speaking to me,  only telling me that they were trying to give me what was asked for and shannon didn’t want it,  which is not the case at all. What they are forcing her to endure is the direct opposite of what was requested. 

After leaving the class on the Wednesday,  when they refused to listen,  she went to the welfare officer,  as I had instructed her to do and asked for help.  As I had asked him to help her if they repeated the literacy assault a second day. He did not help her,  instead he shamed her and refused to listen. A welfare officer of all people,  shaming a student. We work hard to teach young men that it is OK to cry and express their emotions constructively rather than resorting to fists,  And here is a man leading young men through high school shaming students for crying. Teaching students that the appropriate response to tears and distress is shaming. I am honestly disgusted and furious. 

At this point she is home,  and staying at home until they start actually engaging in discussion rather than declaring that everyone else is stupid and only they know what anything is or the meaning of words. The education department had been contacted and informed me that the teachers should know better and need to cut it out. 

She does not feel safe at school. 

Parents Victoria was also contacted today at this point I am waiting for a response so that this school can be dealt with before they shame any more students. Far too many students with special needs have been pushed out of the school, it needs to end. 

Compass, the schools online portal was down this morning so we passed our time learning some new card games, one of which happened to arrive today and exercising words. 

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