Three years ago we had Cameron tested to see if he had a learning disability. It didn't reveal anything, but there were two pages of recommendations for accomodations to help him out in areas that were clearly a struggle for him. After taking the report to his teacher that year, and trying in vain to set up some meetings with him, and the Special Ed Resource Teacher he continued to struggle all year. Without going into all the sordid details, the whole year was a disaster. I mostly put the blame on the teacher for not meeting Cameron's needs and basically ignoring him all year, and refusing our pleas for help. I also blame myself for not advocating more for my son and fighting the system, and a teacher that had him falling between the cracks.
In our school system, if a child is formally identified as having any learning issue they receive all kinds of accomodations and resourses to help that child in anyway possible. If a child has some difficulties, but is not formally identified, then he falls through the cracks and is at the mercy of the teacher. A good teacher will be able to help that child. In our case, he had a teacher that didn't want to take to time to help him.
The following two school years were very good for Cameron and, while he still struggled in certain areas, he had wonderful teachers who recognized how bright he is, and allowed him to shine. While he didn't have any accomodations, they, themselves, did things within their classroom setting to help him be successful.
This year, Cameron is in his Music Teacher's class. He was so happy to find out that he would be in his class, as were we because he's a great teacher. Well, Cameron is now in grade 7 and the work load has become a lot heavier and there's a lot more expected. Cam has become increasingly overwhelmed. Mr. M. has quickly set up some meetings with the teachers who have Cameron and the SERT. While he doesn't qualify officially for an IEP (individual education plan) Mr. M. has requested that he have an informal one so that he will have the same accomodations in all his classes. Yay!!!!! I am so happy.
Basically he has great difficulties with organization. No matter what we have done, both in school and out, this hasn't gotten any better. He also has great difficulties with writing. He's able to grasp concepts fairly easily, and is very creative and knowledgeable, but writing it on paper is very difficult. He's still unable to write in cursive writing and his printing is very tedious for him.
Last year he had some occupational therapy through the school to help him with his gross and fine motor skills.
It appears that the physical part of writing is a huge problem for him. Now his teachers are going to give him all his notes in hand-outs so he doesn't have to try and take notes and can just focus on the lesson and doing the class work. We will be working with him to increase his keyboarding skills and speed so that he can do more of his work on the computer.
Mr. M. is spending a lot of time with him to help him stay organized. We will be meeting in a couple of weeks with the SERT to discuss further accomodations and the informal IEP.
I love Mr. M.!!!!
(and so does Cameron!)