Off messages for parents

9th May 2003 at 01:00
IN his humorous suggestions for a school messaging system, John Dunford, of the Secondary Heads Association, said "if your child has recently been diagnosed with a syndrome and you want to tell us how to teach him, press 3"("Messages for the hopeless", TES, April 25).

As a psychology researcher horrified by the responses of some professionals to parents of dyslexic children, may I suggest some alternative replies?

"If you want to be patronised by a head, press 1. If you want to be informed that a private educational psychologist's report isn't worth the paper it is written on because we know better, press 2. If you want to be told 'your son could do it if he really concentrated and tried harder', press 3.

"If you want some obvious yet unhelpful information regarding your son's progress - 'he doesn't pay attention, you know', press 4. If you wish to be told the school would love to help your son but doesn't have the money stafftime, press 5."

Debbie J Pope Psychology researcher (dyslexia and associated learning disorders) 28 Sandringham Drive Brinscall, Chorley, Lancs

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