To all the atypical and their perilous journeys, I give you Dys dur Dix!
Today is not a day like the others, my son, received the Bac, with honors!
So why an article? I couldn't speak to you this morning on the phone, so overwhelmed by the joy, the joy of a mother rebuffed by the school of normative normality.
To tell about the journey of a Dyslexic in an ordinary school environment… My son, he did not do everything the same as the others, he walked at 18 months, he spoke and rode his bike late compared to the norm, everything by being ahead in certain areas: at the age of 5, he was able to give a clear and argued presentation, a real speaker, on a subject although he was not able to read. His master of mat sup (last year of kindergarten) said that he was brilliant, intelligent, endowed with an extraordinary synthesis ...
Arrived in CP, preparatory court and not preparatory, I am summoned "to the tribunal" of the classico-rigid teacher: "Your son has difficulties and he is the only one", the sky falls on me both the subject and the way are violent. “My son is intelligent and sensitive and he needs a real pedagogue and listening”. I had made a speech therapy assessment at 5 years old because he had some pronunciation difficulties, RAS… What bothered this teacher was that she would not have 100% of student readers at the end of the year, a question of 'ego!
Psychometric assessment obliges, all is well and even better on the verbal intelligence compared to his age. Psychomotor assessment, it's going to be roughly ...
And the galley continues, he cannot learn to read, which makes this teacher hysterical and sadistic, whose name I have really forgotten, is my process of traumatic memory and resilience. I learned from one of my son's class mates that she was horrible to him in class, malicious, hurtful, brittle! And a clarification, my son is kind, calm and he loves to learn, his self-esteem has been affected, which made me totally rebellious towards a system that I did not like before either, as I say. in the power of spontaneity, an overly rigid and formatted system corresponding to the greatest number of normal and obedient students. Yes, sorry, I'm not talking about a rebel, but this system is made for the norm, not for a society that is diverse in its intelligence and creativity.
In CE1, better teacher on all points, phew, but it is only in CE2 despite all the appointments with speech therapists that the diagnosis falls: he is Dyslexic, very dyslexic: "he will have to be followed all his life" , well, that was not my opinion. The galley alternating speech therapists continues until CM2, where the director saw fit to tell me "you should declare him disabled", which we refused to do, because heavy etiquette to wear even if it is is about an invisible handicap, for which he had to justify himself a lot in class.
A dyslexia is a great difficulty in reading and writing ... A DYS is someone who in a normative society has a dysfunction, in other countries, he is a genius, well that's my side provocative but we are not far because unfortunately these atypical are often labeled "dunces". It is another path of neurons but it produces positive results especially in certain artistic and sports fields for example. In the United States, famous dyslexics share their experience: Spielberg, Disney and many others… In France, there are Vincent Lindon and Michel Boujenah, whom I adore, but note that in France, we are more reluctant to talk about cal when you're famous.
The last year of primary is the worst of all, the teacher, another, the abyss, no support from the administration, they want to put it in the drawers of dunces. The director even said, "Your son's case is medical, make the disability declaration!" No way, my son is smarter than all of you put together. I decide to enroll him in a college which has a special welcome for dyslexic, small class, no notation on spelling, time, in short, a schooling finally positive for him! He therefore goes up to the third following a smooth integration course, the third class is quite traditional. Even in this school, I had to use my strength of persuasion and conviction in front of a few teachers and the administration, but on the whole the teaching staff was benevolent and pedagogue.
My son has a dream and I would do anything to make it happen despite the difficulties! Since he was 5 years old, he draws, and even writes stories, comics ...
He passes in general second, applied arts, and there even before he is there, we try to disgust him, to dissuade him, to tell him that it is not for him. Her main teacher, whom I remember, but I forgot her name too, she's the applied arts teacher, the strongest subject. Eye to eye, she lies, she manipulates, because she does not integrate creatives despite her material, she is formatted and has only one mode of thinking "Your son answers the question without going through the process imposed ”. In my head "well then, it's better, he saves time, and he uses his intuition, which is beyond you". She did everything to ruin his life despite my son's motivation and kindness. She even threw in the trash all her drawings and her travel diary from Sri Lanka, for this gesture I wanted revenge, but my son had already left high school, in his head, even if he could pass in technological general first, he did not want to stay in this section, this high school.
The following year, he changed high school, and went to a professional high school where he flourished again, in visual communication. I was relieved and still there, from afar. I got nothing but praise from his teachers who told me he was a leader, brilliant and very creative. Despite the year of uncertainty that we have just lived with the confinement due to Covid, my son was disappointed not to take his exam on the table, because he wanted this challenge. In its subject, the continuous assessment is quite appropriate because it works by project delivered and regular oral defenses.
His strength is determination and dream and we have always encouraged him! I even forgot that I had stepped up to defend the DYS during an appointment at the Ministry of Education, I had assembled a small committee to finally realize that the lack of means is always at the heart of the problem unlike teacher training which should be. No means, no pedagogy?
Pedagogy is a question of psychology, empathy and creativity!
This morning, he received the most beautiful award: BAC Mention bien ! I owed you this article so much this morning, this whole obstacle course came back to me. You will become the best cartoon animator!
My advice if you encounter this kind of situation:
- Listen to your intuition
- Assert yourself
- Don't let judgment take precedence over reality
- Give your child confidence
- Encourage him!
- Resist prejudices and shortcuts
- Be very patient
- Keep calm 🙂
- Find a good speech therapist (I thank Mrs Spector)
- Talk to your child about "dunces" like Victor Hugo, Disney, Einstein ...
My song "my dream" is also dedicated to him, inspired by my own journey, you can listen to it here
Well done my son, my dream, your dream !