Fletcher was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when he was 6 years old – this combined with his very high intelligence (IQ of 145) has made Fletcher a very interesting, very different child from his peers causing loads of challenges for him, his peers, his teachers and his family. Before Fletcher came to Berengarra he was unhappy at school, only participating in classes where he was interested in the topic, being disruptive and unco-operative when he wasn’t interested, challenging teachers in their authority and confused about himself and sometimes unable to control his frustration and temper. On his first visit to the school, he wouldn’t even get out of the car to meet Peter and the crew! On getting over this first hurdle, Fletcher did actually spend 2 years at the school completing years 8 and 9 there.
During his time at Berengarra, Fletcher learned a lot about himself, about Aspergers Syndrome, about his challenges and most importantly how to accept who he is, accept his peers, accept his environment and develop strategies to better manage his way through the minefields of a world where he is very different from many people around him. Despite all the ups and downs through his time there, Peter and the staff totally believed in Fletcher, they had no doubt that there was a great kid under the gruff and somewhat awkward exterior and managed to bring a lot of the real and better Fletcher out to the surface – he even started to laugh again, learned how to make friends, and learned how to manage and function in a school environment. The staff were very clear with their expectations of Fletcher and if these were not met there were consequences – through it all they were never-endingly supportive of Fletcher and us, his family.
Since leaving Berengarra, Fletcher has much more confidence in himself, is more comfortable with who he is, is calm and self contained. He has improved significantly in his ability to participate in classes and a social context than he ever has been able to in the past. Fletcher is now completing year 10 at a secondary college and has been accepted into Computer Engineering at TAFE and hoping to go on to tertiary studies in this area once he has completed years 11 and 12. He has maintained his interest in Scouts and is now a leader, he is also now teaching himself (on line) to speak Russian!
Fletcher’s Mum – 22/10/12