Partenariat éducatif GRUNTDVIG, Creative Learning in Education United, (2012 – 2014), n°2012-1-LT1-GRU06-07151 5, 4th meeting in Paris

 

GRUNDTVIG partnership “Creative Learning in Education United”

4th Partners’ Meeting in Paris, France – March 12th to 14th 2014

 

Participants:

  • United Kingdom: Geoff Dowson (coordinator from Tellus), Krasimira Hristova (Tellus), Chantal Bannister, Kate Heals (Conquest Equestrian Centre, specialists in horse activities for people with disabilities).

 

  • Italy: Riccardo Magni (coordinator of COAT), Daniela Toccaceli (autism reference centre), Silvano Baratta (MD and president of COAT Onlus), Emanuela Poeta (social worker with experience in autism), Lorella Proietti (children speech therapist), Stefania Imparati (teacher).

 

  • Turkey: Filiz Arik (coordinator of Kutahya Valiligi), Ayse Batik Yılmaz (teacher of special education), Soner Akova (Teacher of guidance), Sule Göktürk (teacher of guidance), Sibel Amac (parent of an autistic child).

 

  • France: Giedre Cibulskaité (coordinator of Eurl Aristote), Lucile Garnier (trainee, Aristote), Valérie Renault (Papotin journal working with autistics, Emile Zola school director).

 

Programme:

Thursday, 13 March


9:30 – 12:00 Discussion with Valérie Renault and Béatrice Sauvageot at Emile Zola Primary School, Saint-Ouen.

We were welcomed by Valérie Renault, director of Emile Zola Primary School and volunteer at Papotin organization, a magazine written and edited by autistic people who interview famous personalities.

She presented how the French system provides for children with learning difficulties at school: the goal is to include to the maximum the disabled children in schools, this inclusion is helped by School Life Helpers (AVS = Auxiliaires de Vie Scolaire). In the Emile Zola School, there are two AVS but realistically, the school needs at least six, moreover the helpers haven’t got a specialized diploma, they only get a training course.

France only acknowledged speech disorders like dyslexia as a disability in 2005. Since then efforts have been made to help disabled children, yet a major part of the education falls to speech therapists and the children’s parents. Speech disorders have yet to receive enough help from the state in France.

To better understand the different methods available in France, we met Béatrice Sauvageot (Association Puissance DYS: http://www.beatrice-sauvageot.com/page/association-puissance-dys), a speech therapist who designed a particular method to help dyslexic children with their education.

Indeed, she tends to focus on the creativity of the children and the way every child has a different way of learning: in the courses she teaches, she encourages the children to move around, to listen to music, to lie around to develop their learning potential. The theory is that since every child is different in their way of living, they are also different in their way of learning.

She explained that initially her method of working with art and creativity was met with skepticism by the French system; the latter wanted to use medication to reduce speech disorders. Her method also encourages blending the differences between dyslexic and non-dyslexic children by using a special typography: a dyslexic language. Thus, she explained that for her, using the term “dyslexia” is derogatory with the prefix “dys”, she prefers to use the term “bilexia” because in her opinion, dyslexic people use a language specific to their disability : the brain sees the words in a 3-D dimensional way. Her method is in a way an anti-method: it uses art and creativity and freedom of movement to help the children to learn.


 

14.00 Visit to  Centre de Saint Denis Delthil (The S.E.S.S.A.D.supports children with specific language impairment (dyslexia, dysphasia etc) :
http://www.centre-delthil.fr/

A range of therapists made themselves available to explain the French system and share their approaches, criticisms and hopes for the future.

 

Friday 14 March

9:30 – 11:00 Discussion with Nathalie Groh and Tatiana Auché at Emile Zola Primary School, Saint-Ouen

We welcomed Nathalie Groh and Tatiana Auché, president and administrator of the association Avenir Dysphasie France, www.dysphasie.org.

 

The association is an organization founded by volunteer parents of dysphasic children. Its goals are to form groups, to support, to propose group activities for the children; they also have a call-line to listen to people in relation to dysphasic children and to provide some form of counselling.


They have an association in every region of France, and t