Photo: Ethan’s story: how he overcame concentration fatigue

After Ethan (13) kept coming home drained from listening, lip-reading and learning all day at school, his behaviour became difficult for the whole family. But with new strategies in place, this term should be a different story…

Selina glances at her phone; the kids are due home from school soon. Before she would have felt tensions rise, knowing she’d face battles when they got back. But then she reminds herself those times have gone. Ethan walks in smiling, happily chatting to his sister Grace (9) about his day.

“It was awful when Ethan started high school,” recalls Selina. “He’d come in exhausted after concentrating intensely all day on lip-reading, listening and learning. We could see it in him, a glazed expression, first noticeable during his Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATS) in Year 7. “We’d get him to do homework but he’d refuse. That switch-off from school, where his brain’s gone into neutral, he couldn’t switch it on again. He wanted to watch Spiderman so the screaming and shouting would begin. His volume became louder as his self-regulation went. He’d blow out, get stroppy, slam doors.” But that’s all changed thanks to the strategies put in place following meetings Selina and husband Nathan had with Ethan’s school.

To read the full article, visit the National Deaf Children’s Society