Family amazed by N.L. school’s treatment of child with Asperger syndrome
Gabe Kroll, 12, had a great year attending school for the first time in Newfoundland and Labrador. Pictured with the recent Beachy Cove Elementary graduate are his stepfather, Brian Neary, and mother, Tina Kroll. Tina says the school’s willingness to let her son complete tests in a quiet environment accounts for Gabe’s improved grades. — Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram
When Tina Kroll’s son, Gabe, was attending school in Ontario, she could not convince administrators and teachers to provide the environment her son needed.
Gabe, 12, was diagnosed in Grade 2 with a central auditory processing delay and given an informal diagnosis last May that said he exhibited symptoms commonly associated with Asperger syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder). He can easily get distracted and needs time to transfer his thoughts from pencil to paper.
A doctor recommended Gabe take tests outside the classroom and receive extra time, if necessary, to complete them.
“Because of that processing, he needed that little bit of extra time to sort of read it, process it and understand how to answer it,” said Gabe’s mother, an instructor with Ryerson University’s child and youth care program in Toronto.
“I knew that he was a brilliant kid, and everybody else seemed to sense it, and the grades weren’t showing it,” she said.
Attending school in Ontario, Gabe could not find the learning environment recommended by his doctor. One teacher told Tina she needed to adjust her expectations and accept the fact her son was a C-average pupil.
Since moving her family to Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s last summer and enrolling Gabe in Grade 6 at Beachy Cove Elementary, Tina has learned that Gabe’s former teacher in Ontario was mistaken.
Now Gabe is getting As and Bs on his report cards, and Tina credits staff at the school for helping him realize his potential.
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