Ask an expert
Question

31 Aug 2007

Problem with mainstream schools?
My son is having problems fitting into a mainstream school.When he started school he was incredibly bright, could read and write in english and afrikaans before grade1, and not kids books. All went well his first 3 years although he did tend to become very bored and the school considered letting him skip a grade but we were very wary of this, gradually over the next 2 years things started slipping, from star pupil he became average , wouldnt let anyone touch him and just started becoming very withdrawn. We just couldnt get him to open up and even thought that maybe he was being molested somewhere.
Eventually the end of last year he had a kind of break down, anxiety attacks, depression ect.
Finally between us and the psychologist we got him to open up and speak about what was wrong and it turned out a little gang of kids had been victimizing him, physcially hurting him and insulting him the whole time. We were very angry at this time as after consulting the school for the hundreth time it appeared they were aware of these kids and that my son was not their first victim.

We felt we could not trust this school any further for our child and moved him to another school, at first it went great, his marks went up to close to 100% but it seems as soon as the rest of the class picked up on how bright he was he was pushed aside. Since he was already low in confidence from the previous experience he is extremely vulnerable to this, and he is also a small child, so immediately they started picking on him as "weak,nerdy" ect
Although there is no physical bullying involved he is very unhappy and feels he doesnt fit in at all. Although up to 2years ago he had tons of friends and was well liked
(I just want to mention that the psychologist tested his iq and in his words he has a superior intelligience)
We realize that he needs a different enviroment to prosper in, he needs to be with children that think like he does and that are eager to learn. He is extremely interested in science and computers ect and loves to learn about this field.

We just want him to be happy and be able to develope his skills somewhere where he feels comfortable. but where?
I have 2 other children who also excel academically but not to the degree he does and they have not had similar problems.
We live in the Overberg and are limited to schools but my oldest child is already in a high school in Paarl and in the hostel (which she enjoys tremendously)
I just dont feel hostel is a good idea for my son right now but I feel I am running out of options. We are all very supportive of him and are prepared to do whats necessary. Any advice for us?
Answer 341 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

It is disgrace how carelsss so many schools and teachers are, and particularly in regard to protecting the most gifted students, and I wish it was easier for parents to launch legal cases against such schools for neglect and aiding and abetting child abuse when, as in the story you tell, they knew about an abusive bunch of bullies, and failed to curb them or to protect their victims.
Is there some sort of advisory service within the provincial education dept that could advise on his needs, and what facilities there are ?
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.