ASD and School Progress

Matthew hasn’t had the easiest of school years again this year. His reading has suffered in particular and while I think that he has struggled with some of the fundamentals, he has always suffered a crisis of confidence. He’s started to become quite paranoid about reading in front of others. He’s now getting good support from the school’s SEN teacher who has him for reading in smaller groups. He’s finally engaging with his reading again and that’s a big positive for him.

This week though he had a big moment. Each week, the school has an assembly where the school gathers and the Head Teacher/Depute Head addresses the school about this, that and the other. Occasionally there’s a little awards ceremony. This week the new Head Teacher finally arrived at the school and was present at assembly. Lucky for Matthew really, as he didn’t realise he was going to be presented with a certificate for his hard work at the “Sumdog” maths challenge the school has going on this session. For a boy who has been lacking confidence this last year or so, this was a fantastic lift for him. For a boy who hasn’t seen too much positive encouragement at school, to be recognised in a public way like this in front of the new Head Teacher was a great moment for him.

We told Matthew how proud we were of him. Daniel was naturally jealous – the learning experience seems to come relatively easy for him though – but it was important for Matthew to realise that we’re all proud of him for putting in the hard work at school, and showing just what he’s capable of. It didn’t end there this week though. Matthew has had one-on-one reading time with the acting Depute Head, and she put a note in his school/home contact book to say how brilliantly he was getting on with his reading. Jane told him what had been said, but Matthew just sort of shrugged it off. I think he just hasn’t seen that kind of feedback that when he gets it, he just doesn’t know how to deal with it. It means a lot to us though that his efforts are being recognised, and that he’s being properly supported at last.

It does seem that we’re really moving forward with Matthew and school. We’re having a problem with his ongoing rudeness – that’s something to address another day – but it does feel that we might get back him back on track academically and recover some of the ground he has lost. He’s finally enjoying his reading, and that’s a big change. Recognition of his hard work will surely help him focus his mind once again. Its finally been a good week for Matthew.

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