Move from mainland helps Gabe’s grades

Andrew Robinson
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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.

                                                                                                                    ...Continued on page 2

Organizations: N.L. school, Ryerson University

Geographic location: Ontario, Toronto, Portugal Cove

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Recent comments

  • Kim Drew
    June 21, 2013 - 19:54

    Woinderful to hear Tina. Great job Gabe keep up the good work!

  • Lyn G.
    June 21, 2013 - 19:04

    Really nice to see and read a good news story. It goes to show that when teachers take the time and are willing to help it benefits the student twofold. Its a story like this that also better educates other parents who maybe have the same situation/problem with a child who struggles. This opens their eyes and hope they can get the same support from their school. To the student Gabe, who was awarded with The Matthew Churchill award, congratulation on your hard work and positive attitude, you deserve it!! Hats off to The Churchills for setting up the award and thinking of other children. o Matthew parents for set up such a very important reward

  • Keanm
    June 21, 2013 - 10:24

    Stories like this are exactly the reason we should be paying our provincial teachers more money. Congrats on the marks Gabe! Keep up the great work.

  • M
    June 21, 2013 - 09:33

    Nice story - way to go Gabe!! Renews my faith in people - you really can make such a huge difference in someone's life without a huge effort, if you care enough to make an effort.

  • Al
    June 21, 2013 - 09:31

    Yes, the filthy Mainland.....can't believe this term is even being used in the Title. Can't you just say Ontario.

    • Tina
      June 21, 2013 - 20:18

      Yes, there always has to be one person to find something negative with everything - the story has nothing to do with your point and it was our story to tell...we are not offended by it therefore I'm not sure why anyone else would be...its about how it only takes one person to make a difference in someone's life and we should all strive to be that one person...

  • Don Barrow
    June 21, 2013 - 08:55

    This is not the first time I have heard this! It only shows that for the most part our school system works very hard to ensure that students who need that extra help are given the supports they need...