Qwyn has just turned 14 he is a young boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder that has had trouble at school since Year 4.
Queensland mum Annette Densham tells 9Honey, “He has lost 220 days of his education from suspensions and ‘flexible’ days because the system can’t cope,” she says.
“You can imagine the gaps in his education. Every report card he’s heartbroken that he hasn’t done better. He thinks he’s stupid.”
This year, in an attempt to help her son, she made the difficult decision to home school him, but says despite the relief she now feels at him being in a “safer environment”, the gaps in his education are obvious and the education system “takes no responsibility for its failings” when it comes to children like Qwyn.
“His report card for this term academically, is dismal,” she says.
“He is an intelligent human being and while he thinks he’s stupid and no one likes him, he has no idea how amazing he is.
“Sadly, the school system has contributed to his lack of self-esteem but he just keeps trying.
“I want him to know that getting high marks at school is not the only mark of intelligence and success. That being a good, kind human is just as important.”
Qwyn has previously become so distraught at his school report that Annette hasn’t even shown him his most recent, half-yearly report. Instead, she has written her own report for her son, as many autism parents have done.
“I try so hard to tell him how awesome he is,” Annette says. “I think of the happy child he used to be before starting school. While I’m not into blame games, I can’t help but feel school has hurt him.
“It destroyed his self-esteem, it put him behind and it has not helped in his recovery.
“It’s our job to protect him and we sent him into the lion’s den. We do all we can to build him up.
“This is my way of showing him success is more than doing well in maths.”
Good on you mum! The school system really needs to change.
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