Seregno (Monza and Brianza) – The sentence is formal, but the content is authentic and spontaneous: “We ask that our child repeat the fifth, that he does not leave high school now. We believe that he has not achieved the educational and inclusive objectives for autonomy “. This is how Melissa La Scala and Matteo Perego, parents of Martina, 22, and Alessandro, 19, speak. And in their home in Seregno they tell the story of their son and his “autism spectrum” disorders. Enrolled in the Amedeo Modigliani art school in Giussano, Alessandro was admitted to the exams, Artistic high school diploma with audiovisual multimedia address. But both Alessandro and his parents ask that this school year, despite having gone well, be repeated.
Why, Mrs. Melissa?
“It may seem strange, but try to look at the world through the eyes of our Alessandro. It is like a white table where everything leaves a mark, nothing is taken for granted. In which everything, or almost everything, must be explained. And we would like with this request to make our contribution so that this world, where our child will grow up, is a little better and more inclusive “.
Can you explain better?
“An ordinary student, able-bodied, repeats the year if he does not take the exam, Alessandro, on the other hand, being autistic, passes it anyway. Italian law provides for it, even if he does not show up, he is automatically promoted”.
“Shall we try to change the laws so that they are more inclusive?”, She asks, while her husband, Mr. Matteo, adds: “I hope not to be wrong, but inclusion means that pupils with disabilities have the right to follow a path of growth, like everyone else. And to do it without being “parked” or “held back”. Nor, on the contrary, to be promoted so as to be ‘dispatched’ as soon as possible “.
Mrs. Melissa, isn’t admission to the exam on merit important?
“Yes, but the problem is that the main skills that Alessandro must acquire are relational and socialization. Before the notions, the relational aspect is valid. That is, he can leave school because he has reached the objectives and could even have all 8 and 9. But I would like to better understand how those grades derive from an adequate evaluation process that meets the levels acquired by Alessandro, who is certified under Law 104/92 art.3 c.3. I don’t think he discussed the five ways to demonstrate the existence of God by Thomas Aquinas and I would not want, instead, that what is lacking in substance has been shown in the form “.
“That is, a careful evaluation of the child’s growth path, of the possibilities offered to him to build a life path in respect of the centrality of his person. I cannot understand how the school, in the situation made precarious even by the pandemic, could to consider that the skills required by the exam have been acquired and to promote Alessandro. My son has attended in presence with his classmates for only three months in total, since February of last year. And in all the other months of school he was alone in a class with his support teacher “.
Is this why you think it is not the case that he comes out of high school?
“It seems to me a more than logical request, even if it starts from my love as a mother and my thinking about the good of my son. There was a pandemic and it was not possible to relate. Autism is a condition that involves impairments , of the difficulties in communication, socialization and relationships. Serious disability, law 104. We also consulted the reference psychologist and the social services that follow us “
And what do they think?
“I agree. We got favorable opinions for him to repeat the year and they explained the reasons. I repeat, for my son nothing is taken for granted: he is still waiting to go on a trip to Rome with his companions. He was expected in the fourth grade. And he is still waiting to celebrate his birthday with his classmates. He is waiting for the videos with his classmates, the lessons in the classroom. And the party of the fifth. Missed experiences, which he wants and must do, which for him are fundamental for him. back from the trip to Florence the first thing he said to me was “Mom, I did it”.
Is the hypothesis of letting him pass the state exam to discover the university really discarded?
“I haven’t decided yet, if I had to let him take the exam it would be only for the work I did. The heart tells me to carry it, rationality says no. I think in the end the heart will win, as a mother I think that the satisfaction of showing up if the you deserve it all “.
Which faculty would your son like?
“He might be happy to follow Informatica, but I am undecided on which branch, because being able only to be an auditor he cannot do it. He is very good at making film cards, he writes the titles, he puts the photos, he writes the plot, he is an archivist, he works there all day. And he is an artist, he has his own website, www.facevista.com and his Instagram page @ alessandroperegoartist “.
And what does Alessandro think?
“He does not know what is beyond the school. Even today he asked me to go and see her, he is aware of the fact that the school will soon be gone. He is very closed, he is looking at his photos from when he was little, he is aware that he is growing and that life is starting to become more difficult. He does not have great relationship skills, but he has a lot of ability to acquire information “.
How did it go during the lockdowns?
“The pandemic hit us like a tsunami. My son was unable to hang out with his classmates, do afternoon activities, build the necessary relationships. Those that need to be cemented, which may be the building blocks for his future: he is in full swing. development, in full adolescence. We talk about social experiences “.
What do you expect?
“I think that school must become an answer. I don’t think I can solve the problem by leaving my son at school, I think instead that the school must create paths so that these children, when they arrive in fifth grade, are not then faced with nothing. It is possible that after school people with disabilities do not have a path to continue “.
In fact, Undersecretary Rossano Sasso showed up, what did you say to each other?
“I was very happy, the undersecretary said that these guys are lifeblood, that they want to understand what is experienced on the skin in these situations. I quit my job to follow my son: an autistic boy is born for every 77 people, one day we will be a silent charge. I was invited to Rome and I will go there because I really need to make the political institutions aware of the situation “.
Alessandro, so far you have listened to us. Can I ask you if you want to do the fifth grade or go to university?
“I would like to do the fifth year again, I would like to go to school, take the trip to Rome and I want to go back to Anna”.
Who is it?
“The lady from the school bar who made me the wurstel sandwich, fries and mayonnaise. Every day I had a different sandwich, as soon as I walked into the bar, I greeted her and paid”.