Bullying in schools has been around since the year dot, however with increased awareness through support groups and charities, it was hoped that this destructive behaviour could be reversed, through educating children about the differences and difficulties that children have to deal with in their lives.
Floating Harbor Syndrome can certainly be labelled as an ‘invisible’ disability, and only the trained eyes of knowledgeable medical professionals can recognise the features of this condition (not discluding parents); however there are very very few universally that have this expertise.
We have parents who have reported difficulties within elementary/ primary schools, where the FHS children are openly bullied. This is sadly occurring because the teachers are not equipped to manage the care of the child. How can they be expected to understand every need of each child and respond appropriately? The teachers are often overworked and are trained to teach, not to learn specialist subjects like Floating Harbor Syndrome.
If only the Education Authorities would open up their minds to the fact that not all children tick all the boxes which are recognised as additional or special needs. Floating Harbor Syndrome does not appear in any list that we are aware of, therefore in their eyes, the FHS child fits into the ‘normal child’ bracket and parents have to endure mistake after mistake by schools, with no remorse shown for the damaging effect this has on the child’s perception of the school environment.
We now know of a few children in the UK who have suffered at the hands of bullies in their schools, and there has been insufficient protection put in place by the teachers ; this involves mental and physical bullying. The stories that have been passed onto us, are all too common in society, where a child with FHS is picked on by other children, because they are different from them.
A parent in Europe has written to us with some evidence of actual events where their child has been picked on by not just children, but the teachers too. Do these teachers assume that teasing and, or punishments dished out to the FHS child, for their lack of understanding in class, are acceptable?
There are some worthwhile contacts who have the expertise to help in the case of bullying, and also can help with schooling placements and support. We will be adding to this list as soon as we get permission to add these links.