Joanne’s 13-year old son, Nicolas, has attended a French-speaking school since the family moved to Geneva a decade ago. He has always been described by his French teachers as bright, but lazy and reluctant to work as hard as he should. Joanne recognised some time ago that he was having difficulties at school but, as he had always managed to scrape by and his teachers had never proposed any kind of assessment, no action was taken.
In September 2013, Joanne contacted some of the more supportive teachers at the school, suggesting something was ‘wrong’ and asking for their opinion as well as an assessment with the school doctor. However this request went unanswered until March, when the school doctor eventually suggested her son should see a range of specialists.
The news came just a few days after the family learnt that they would soon be moving to Myanmar (Burma). Panicked by this and knowing the difficulties others had faced when arranging assessments, a friend suggested Joanne contact ASK – All Special Kids to help her find the right help fast.
“I was so relieved when Joy
“With our move to Myanmar drawing closer and closer, I felt both supported and amazingly relieved by this collective effort and advocacy on the part of ASK to get Nicolas what he needed ahead of the move. Until that point, I’d had serious doubts everything could be done before we left Europe.”
Whilst there are still questions to be answered, as Nicolas’ case is not clear-cut, Joanne continues to be reassured by the fact she has ongoing access to the specialists she has consulted. This experience has provided her with a new-found respect for Nicolas, in terms of his coping skills and the huge efforts he has made to be able to progress this far despite the constantly negative reports he has received from his teachers. Now, armed with a greater understanding of the challenges he faces, she is building on these newly-learnt techniques, which she believes will help him achieve the results he hopes for.