Thursday 17 October 2019

'What I'm really thinking about learning support' - As imagined by psychologist David Coleman

'My mother has always thought there is something wrong with me'
'My mother has always thought there is something wrong with me'

I have to go to the resource teacher in school. Do you know what that is? It's a total destruction of any street cred, is what it is. I'm in 5th class, but the way she treats me you'd think I was in first class. This is my first year to go to her. I hate it. It's like only the stupid kids have to go to her. That's obviously what she thinks about me, and what my parents think too. Like I'm a dope or a weirdo or I'm disabled or something. My mother has always thought there's something wrong with me.

For years she's been bringing me here and there for tests and to meet doctors and psychologists. There's not one of them that you'd like. The last guy she brought me to only spent 20 minutes with us. I didn't like him from the off, so I decided I wouldn't answer any of his questions. I kept giving him the evil eye too, although I mostly saved that look for my mother. I couldn't believe she was doing this to me all over again. She just tells them all the same things. It's embarrassing.

"Oh, he's such a handful. No matter what I say to him he'd do the opposite. He can be so cheeky, it's like he doesn't care about anyone else's feelings. Everything is a fight with him. I've given up trying to get him to do his homework, it's such a battle. I'm worn out with him." That's the speech. That's what they hear. I've given up trying to explain. They don't listen anyway. Not to me. They just nod and look over at me as if to say "how could you be so mean to this lovely woman". That's what he did too. I saw the look. I knew it wouldn't go well. But I didn't think it would work out this bad.

I saw the letter he wrote afterwards. It was less than a page. He says I have ODD, ADHD and "strong indications of ASD" and he recommended that I get resource teaching in school. I had to look them things up. Turns out I'm supposed to have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder and an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I don't know what any of them mean, other than that apparently I'm a freak. How could he tell all that about me from just 20 minutes, and I didn't even speak to him? How's that possible?

Mind you my mam makes such a show of telling everyone that I'm a freak I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I hate her. She never listens to my side of the story anyway, so I've stopped telling her. Then she comes up with all these rules and punishments and I just think f**k that. I'm not some stupid kid. She can't just boss me around. I've tried to show her over the years that she's not the boss of me, but she just ends up crying and sooner or later I'm brought along to the next freak show and held up as exhibit number one.

My teacher is the only one who seems to understand me. He's really sound. I don't get cheeky with him. He always says what he means and means what he says if that makes sense. I know where I stand with him. He's not like Mam who says one thing then does something different. She's sneaky. I don't trust her.

I just wish my teacher would do something about this resource thing. I just don't want to have to go. She wrecks my head. I actually do think she thinks I'm stupid. The other lads are laughing at me. I know they are. It's embarrassing to leave the class. I don't need her and I don't want her.

As imagined by David Coleman

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