Monday, July 30, 2007

في الاعادة إفادة

In my last year of medical school in Jordan, I had to do pediatric (children) clinics.

I was surprised when an adult patient stepped in with his mother.

I looked at his chart A note from 6 months ago said .... "Mental retardation, return to clinic in 6 months"

I asked his mother, "What's his problem?"

His mother answered, "some mental retardation"

I talked to the guy who was 18.
"What's your name?"
"Ahmad what?"
Then he smiled and didn't answer.

His mom said, "he doesn't know his last name"
"Can he read or write?"
"Does he go to a special school?"
She said, "There's none in our area, but he goes to regular school"
"And which grade is he in?"
"TAWJIHI", she said

I was a bit surprised, "Tawjihi!! If he can't read or write, how did he make it to Tawjihi?"

"The school principal didn't want to let him fail, there's some policy that he shouldn't be allowed to fail in the lower grades. Also his father went and talked to the principal to let him do Tawjihi"
"Is he sitting for Tawjihi exam this year?"

"Yes. He failed last year but this year we hope he can make it"

"Ok, I'm your doctor (although I was still a student then!) , and I can tell you he will never pass, tell his father to get him out of the school, and try to teach him something he can make a living from"

The mother was a bit upset by this news, as if it came as a surprise to her.
That took place in 2001. I hope Ahmad is not among those 46% who failed the Tawjihi exam this year.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, that’s one of the things that Jordan is not really good at, I have a brother who is suffering from down syndrome, we had really hard time finding the right school for him, that’s when we decided to move to the states so he can get the right education, I guess it’s our education system, my brother is capable of doing everything by himself, he reads perfect, he writes perfect, he speaks both languages (English and Arabic) perfectly… the boy is living a normal life, I’m sure, if we are still on Jordan, we won’t be even near that!!!

Miss sea lover said...

i guess it is our mentality too, we can't admit that there is something wrong with our kid, and not facing the problem makes it much worse...

Anonymous said...

hmmm,, i think what you said was a bit harsh but i really hope he would make it :)

Anonymous said...

at least teach him how to rely on himself, i don't think anyone is expecting him to make a living

Anonymous said...

Another point in the issue, how did Ahmad reached Tawjihi?

What an educational system would be if someone can pass to the end of it while he can't read or write!!!

And I'm sure there is others who reach Tawjihi like Ahmad (maybe they can read and write, but nothing else)

Hareega said...

maioush... good for him. In Jordan we're very judgmental of anyone with a disability and we consider him/her unable to do anything. Some people even consider common disease like diabetes as something to be ashamed for.

miss sea lover... yes that's true and that keeps accumulating until the very end.

jano... yes it was harsh, just like it's harsh to tell someone he has cancer and will die from it or has a leg that needs to be amputated. There's always bad news.

wonders... well it might be possible for him to do some jobs that don't need lots of thinking (like a reporter on Fox news :D ) but someone should address is disability and teach him a skill or two. That takes years but because nobody addressed the problem it might have been too late now.

Ahmed... exactly man, that was my biggest shock. He kept going up from one grade to another. Nobody was allowed to fail even if they couldn't read or write!

Maher said...

Wallah ya Hareega, i never surrender, thats what this boy should do. keep on doing whatever he wants untill he gets it!

The Observer said...

Have you read "Flower of Algernon" ? This is an amazing fictional book about a retarded guy going under an operation which made him very smart and then after a while he loses his smartness!

It is quite a sad journey, but let you understand the benefits and disadvantages of being retarded and how people treat you based on that.

I can't understand how his parents expect him to pass the tawijihi while 50% of the people applying to it fail?!!

Hareega said...

maher... you should be realistic about your dreams. If you can't read or write you can't pass a test, and if they let you pass you should not you shouldn't have. Let his dream be to know how to read first, it's tough but realisitc then he can pursue further dreams.

The observer , thanks for mentioning that it was a fictional book and not based on a true story!

Anonymous said...

Wait for the coming Arab league summit ,and check the photos of the participants not the names , you may find your x patient sitting comfortably among the Arab leaders, and making decisions .
I would not be surprised ,with the way things are going: instead of one lost Palestine we have 2 ,Darfour in Sudan ,verge of second civil war in Lebanon ,Saudi has not made its mind to merge in modern times such in giving up on women or on civil rights ,Yemen may come into the 19 century in few years ,the rich Gulf states all is well expect paying Asian work force on time ,Egypt new Khelaafh regime ,Iraq who's is the enemy? the US or the Iraqi divisions ,Syria as always mysterious roll bigger than its size a stepping stone for Iran ,Libya the comedy to day is theee one and only Q as for the past 37 years , Algiers a huge country with a dwarf of a president the size of this country expansions , Morocco waaawo the prophet descendant still extend his hand to be kissed at this time and age so on so forth ,So Doc would you be surprised to find your retarded Ahamad,or diagnose him as inferior than those present leaders ,Tell me pls

Hareega said...

hehe anonymous you seem to be mad, basita tannesh ta3esh tanta3esh, yeah don't be surprised if you saw him on TV one day with people kissing his butt :D