The Drowning – Snapshots of a boy with SEN

You have sat him in the seat, next to the door so that in a moment of anxiety he can quickly escape. You are ‘differentiating’ for the boy no one wants to sit beside, the boy whose voice is lost amongst myriad others. He is drowned by the feint noises of their disgust and we can’t save him.

We can’t save him because his parents, though they loved him, didn’t understand that he was different and that he might never grow out of it. They have never heard of SENCOs and statements of needs and in their universe when it is materialised, it is like mosquitoes drifting past the ear on terrifyingly hot nights.

And we can’t save him even though as teachers we have sent him forward for diagnosis and he comes back with paper we helped to produce but barely have the time to read. And though we skim it, we can’t fully implement every strategy or cater to his every need because he is 1 of 30 and there are exams. There are exams; and he’s drowning. 

Tonight, rather than orchestrating solutions, I have a question: how would you save him?




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