Saturday, March 24, 2012

Asperger's and Literacy

We had parent teacher interviews on Thursday evening.  It was great.  Confronting in ways for me about one of my darlings.  You see, we moved schools at the start of last year.  To our blessed school, the one that is inclusive for our family.

I realised on Thursday that we have a gap.

During my placement last year at the little village school it was report writing time.  I remember my supervising teacher discussing with me the eloquence that goes into report writing.  Eloquence may be one word, but I am currently thinking it is sugar coating things.  When I questioned these strategies with my supervising teacher - she enlightened me that written reports need to not state anything that a teacher could be 'sued' for in the future.  Perhaps not sugar coating may seem defaming.

I am wondering if my child's teachers have sugar coated his reports in the past.  If the teachers expectation of  my child has been somewhat less because of an Asperger diagnosis.  I wonder if during parent teacher interviews in previous years because I have not asked, it has not been said.

If a parent does not ask, does a teacher inform them of their children's challenges?  Will I do this as a teacher?  I would hope I do, but are parents ready to hear the truth?  Is part of assessment and reporting in teaching to state where a child's academic, emotional and social abilities really lie.  Is this really attended to or do we just encourage only with their greater overall well-being in mind; thinking that stating there academic achievements below average would discourage the child too much?

I asked the question, is my Master S on par with the rest of the class (in relation to his written work)?  For the first time I received a non-sugar coated response.  The truth.  Thank you to his teacher.  We are now working together in his style.  I have purchased a little notebook and his favorite pen.  After playing a computer game this morning - I asked Master S to write a whole page about his game.  His interest was spiked - he wrote a whole page.  Then he edited it.  Amazing.

I am just glad to have been told the truth - he is having challenges - and he is not comparable to his peers.  This may be blatantly obvious to some, however sometimes we parents trust teachers to know.

I googled Asperger's and literacy and came across a wonderful paper that explains exactly what our challenges are.  This has got the ball rolling.  Exciting times.

Last night I trolled through various web sites looking for ipad applications suitable for a Year 5 student.  I hope to give you a list of them soon!

Much Love Rach xx


  1. Wow Rach, it is really interesting that you say that. I questioned some things on a report about Tyson at the beginning of this year because things didn't seem to line up. I would much rather know if he is not keeping up with something than blindly continue on thinking that he is.
    I am glad that you asked the question and got an honest answer. How else are you expected to help him achieve if you don't know what he needs help with. Maybe this is why so many kids fall between the cracks?
    Makes me think so much more that homeschooling is a strong viable option for my kids and i.

    1. I have thought I could not homeschool - it has been an option so often. This morning doing our little bit of work - I thought maybe I can..... we will see how the next couple of years go - but it is always an option here too. Love to you xx

  2. Funny that, we moved schools last term of last year for the same reasons, my son wasn't doing well and the teacher was sugar coating it big time, if it wasn't for a parent helper who happens to live near me, mentioning how he was in the bottom group for reading and need assistants, he still be struggling. Now we are at a school which is much better resoursed, he is receiving reading recovery and his report was some what confronting with the reality that he is way under where he needs to be! But I'm glad cause I can help and the school is doing everything they can and keep me involved!
    Here's to a great year ahead!

    1. Definitely! Hoping all continues on the upward! xx Rach

  3. I was told that when writing reports I should say nothing definite, only say positive things and be as ambiguous as possible to prevent being liable in any direction.

  4. I think you are spot on and very well put. I will always be sure to ask the big questions. I also love to help in the classroom if I am lucky enough it's a great way to see first hand how things sit.

  5. I came across your blog a few weeks ago through a friend mainly because my nearly 8 year old son is going through an assessment for ASD. And then I stayed cos I loved your style!

    This post is really helpful. We've found C's teacher to be great and have had some very 'real' conversations with her. C's behaviour tends to be worse at school because of the higher stimulus and at home we are able to head things off before they become too bad.

    I'm really interested in the list of apps you come up with. When looking we found most of them to be too young or simple for C. His reading and maths are high for his age but with pragmatics, comprehension and socially he needs a lot of support.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for blogging on this. It's really helpful to read posts like this, especially when we are right at the beginning of this journey.


  6. Hi Bec, thanks for the message. Our issues are very much the same, reading and maths are wonderful. Did you read the link to the paper? It was so helpful - it seems to be a very similar challenge for many of our Asperger kids! My husband has had the same issue as a child, but it was never addressed or offered any assistance. Thanks for reading - I feel special! xx Rach



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