The weather forecast said sleet from eleven this morning at our level (600ft) and heavy snow at the level of The Golf Club where we have our lunch every Sunday (1,000ft). Friend W, who has a 4 wheel drive, braved it. We went early, had our lunch of salmon florentine with various veg, followed by chocolate pud and came home early.
This gave me an afternoon to read the Guardian in its new tabloid form. I must say I like it. There have been some complaints (aren't there always) but I find the whole paper much easier to handle. One of my many faults is to get any newspaper in a mess in two minutes flat. Once I found my way round the various sections of the paper I felt very at home with it.
The article which caught my eye was one about children in German schools being put into sand filled jackets if they had been diagnosed with ADHD as it had been found to help them cope with the disorder. Some parents had protested others had said their children found it helpful.
Often the schools concerned allow pupils to wear the jackets ever if they don't have ADHD so that no child feels discriminated against.
Straightjackets anyone? I don't know the rights and wrongs of the experiment. I don't even know the real facts about the diagnosis of ADHD. It is now over thirty years since I retired from teaching and in my day, on the whole, children were not labelled. We might say a child in our class tended to be disruptive, or a child in our class had difficulty learning to read. If we were good teachers - and yes there are some out there - we would spend hours in the evening devising ways to help these particular children. And if we found a way we would exploit it to the best of our ability.
What I would like to know is - has the labelling of children helped in their education? Does every child have the condition they have been diagnosed with - be it ADHD, Dyslexia, or whatever? Sometimes the diagnosis seems a bit arbitrary to me.
I may be completely wrong. Thank goodness I am no longer in teaching. But it does seem to me that teachers, who by the way, are leaving the profession in droves after coping with the paper work for a year or two, are being given too many jobs to do instead of getting on with the job of just teaching children to the best of each child's ability.
Yes, there are many children with what may easily be seen as a disability - if you give a so called disability a name then it tends to stick for life.
Dyslexia for example - many adults
are dyslexic but they get by extremely well. Surely saying one is dyslexic should not be seen as a handicap. In my view it should be no more a labelling than saying 'I am left handed'. We have to cope with the 'faults' in us as individuals which we happen to have been dealt.
By all means teachers, who are professionals and should know their job, should be given details of any treatments and techniques which may prove helpful in helping children cope with whatever difficulty they have. But there is a limit and I do
wonder whether sand-filled jackets might have gone beyond it.
Any ideas on the subject anyone? Interestingly I read that Rory Bremner said that having ADHD was rather like having a mind like a pin ball machine. That is the best description I have ever heard of the condition. Note I said 'condition'
not 'disability'. I could be completely wrong on the whole thing, but I would like to hear your views. Thankfully I didn't have a child with any of these conditions and if I had done so then my view might be completely different. But I did teach for many years and those years were spent mainly with children who had some kind of learning/language difficulty. Times have changed, teaching methods have changed, procedure in the classroom has changed, the amount of paperwork has changed - and I am sure that the methods of teacher training have changed