DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESS STORY
The boy comes to our school in the school year 2005/2006. He is 14 years old and has problems with severe dyslexia resulting from a specific language disorder. A diagnosis made by the Pisa clinic of neuro-developmental psychology, when the child is eight years old, states: slight delay in cognitive function, dysrhythmias locutoria and learning difficulties at school; therapeutic indications advise a speech therapy and support at school.
From the primary and middle school reports, it is clear that the boy achieves good results, by reaching the minimum targets in all subjects and with the benefit of all the aids and the facilities provided by the rules of specific learning disabilities. During junior high school he has the support teacher for 5 hours for the linguistic subjects and for 1 hour in the scientific subjects. The student follows a different path for English, whereas he follows the class programme for the literary subjects, with the necessary simplifications, and in mathematics he gets given facilitated exercises; in all oral subjects he uses conceptual maps and the computer.
The first phase of the first high school year is not entirely positive, because the boy has problems of integration in the classroom and some school maids make fun of him. From the interviews with the family and the ASL psychiatrist that follows him, it becomes clear that the boy had never had relationship problems with the class maids, and not being well accepted by the current school maids causes a situation of deep discomfort that emphasizes his fragility. The school then receives the request from of the family and the psychiatrist to move the boy to another class, where it is well received and begins a peaceful schooling.
From the teaching point of view he is followed, for a total number of 6/7 hours a week, by two support teachers, one for the technical subjects and one for the humanistic-literary subjects, whom, amongst other things, help the boy a lot to overcome moments of crisis and discouragement. Curricular teachers always keep in mind the emotional and psychological difficulties of the boy, encouraging him and supporting him in difficult moments. His course of study requires the preparation of a personalized programming with minimum objectives, following the indications for students with Dyslexia. For this reason the written tests are mainly structured, whereas the oral tests have specific time and contents with synthetic questions and a visual structure; as far as literature and foreign language culture are concerned the oral test is done in Italian. Throughout the school curriculum the student is supported by the use of computers and information technology. At the end of their schooling, the boy, who is successfully pursuing a high school diploma, proves to be more confident in his abilities and in relationships with others, and manages to partially overcome the problems associated with dysrhythmia locutoria.
The family, consisting of a father craftsman, a housewife mother and two other children, has always taken a collaborative relationship and trust with the school and lived with serenity the disability of his child, offering all the tools and means to overcome its difficulties, without being overly protective, and this helped the boy to experience a good maturation.
All teaching staff has always carried out an active collaboration, both curricular and support teachers, in order to implement the educational and recovery policies, established both by the ‘class council’ and by the Institute, to provide all pupils (and especially those in need of support) to achieve positive results.
Success in school, in this particular case, is due to a combination of factors, mainly due to the working relationship between all parties involved.
The Family has played a positive role, as it was always fully aware of the limitations and difficulties of the son, but has also always lived with serenity and determined to get the best for him.
Relationship between school and family: in addition to formal meetings, there was a constant relationship, with good collaboration from the family that has always shown confidence in the school.
Support Teachers: they have consistently supported the student from the emotional point of view and from the strictly educational point of view, they have used methods and tools that have allowed the student to gradually acquire autonomy in the study, drafting diagrams and concept maps, planning and organizing his work and giving it help in taking notes.
Curriculum Teachers: they have always worked in a calm and positive collaboration with the support teachers to sustain and encourage the boy and respecting his specific needs with an individualized programming and methodologies agreed in PEI.
The psychiatrist provided at municipal level: in the various meetings held at the premises of the school, the doctor who follows the boy gave tips and indications for teachers to carry out their work.