Open your ears to that cry for help

23rd August 2013 at 01:00

As the headteacher of a specialist dyslexia school, I have seen countless examples of how poor behaviour can be a key indicator of special education needs ("When naughtiness is really a cry for help", 16 August).

Children often arrive at our school thoroughly disengaged and introverted, with absolutely no desire to communicate with, or learn from, adults. Instead of receiving the support they so desperately need, they have been labelled as naughty and considered a "problem child", not a child with problems. It is difficult to fathom how hard it must be for a bright child battling with dyslexia. They know the answers but communicating them is almost impossible. When this struggle goes undetected, it is little wonder that frustration develops into disruption.

When children with special educational needs get the correct support, the transformation is staggering. Teachers must not take bad behaviour at face value - there is always a reason for it. It may not be related to SEN, but when it is, it's a cry for help that must be heard, otherwise students will be sentenced to a lifetime of underachievement and unhappiness.

Dr Daryl Brown, Headteacher, Maple Hayes Dyslexia School and Research Centre, Lichfield, Staffordshire.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now