homeschooled 9.5 year old twice exceptional boy is "on strike" :( - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 06-11-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I used to be really active on mothering, but life kicked my butt and I haven't participated in quite a while.

 

We had a visit to the Eide Neurolearning Clinic in January and finally got confirmation of what we suspected about my 9.5 year old ds (grade 4). But that doesn't help us deal with the challenges we are having in educating our son - educationally and otherwise.

 

He is dealing with a lot. His situation in a nutshell:

  • highly gifted with outstanding nonverbal and verbal strengths
  • dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and attention and working memory limitations
  • ADHD, sensory processing issues
  • relatively minor speech issues that seem due to mixed motor-auditory processing challenges
  • probably visual and audiotory processing issues
  • chronic lower back pain, caused unknown
  • separation/divorce starting Jan 2010
  • shared custody with father that is not consistent on a weekly basis, he now spends 60% of his time with me, which is less than before (not my choice)
  • new partners in both households within the last year - he gets along with them, but it's still a transition
  • educated in a part-time program (9 hours per week of classes and physed/art) but mostly at home by both parents
  • frequent expressions of anger and counterwill

 

I'm writing because ds seems to be "on strike". Due to his attention issues, we only do about 2 hours a day or less of structured learning activities but we deal with constant counterwill with that. He is "on strike" and has little to no motivation to "produce" anything that he could share with others. He will not dictate even three sentences to me to practice beginner writing, for example. He will not explain his LEGO setup to me. If we do a science kit, he refuses to summarize his observations and results. I read a chapter in "A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children" on motivation and underachievement, and so many of the underlying issues seem to be present. A lot of it is taking the path of least resistance and engaging in a power struggle with me.

 

At heart, I am an unschooler, but I've had to bend on this due to bullying from his father and the educational program. And frankly I am not confident that ds can overcome his reading struggles, etc. without some help and pushing from his parents. Stuff that came easily to me and to his 7 year old sister is really hard for him. He can read, but with difficulty. His visual tracking issues are probably making it really hard.

 

I am deeply frustrated at this point. I feel angry that there do not seem to be services available for him. I'm in Canada and the school district that we are formally part of cannot offer us speech therapy, gifted programs, or specialized learning disability support. In order to get speech therapy, OT, ADHD coaching, visual processing therapy, etc. we'd have to pay full price out of pocket, which I can't afford since I can rarely fit my consulting contracts into the custody schedule.

 

I feel like I'm failing ds. Although I do not have any faith in the public school's ability to help him, I'm tempted to dump him there so I don't have to torture myself with failing at educating him. It's not that I expect him to be performing at grade level in his challenge areas. It's that I don't see him putting effort into anything other than LEGO and his social life. We are still dealing with a lot of basic life issues. My whole day is being a drill sergeant - brush your teeth, eat your breakfast, etc. Nothing - educational, self-care, chores, etc. - is done without repeated nagging.

 

We are also dealing with a lot of disrespectful attitude. He can be very charming when he wants something, but nasty when he doesn't get his way. This article describes some of the stuff we are dealing with:

 

You Owe Me! Children of Entitlement

http://www.angriesout.com/teach9.htm

 

He chose to stop art therapy recently - he had been doing that twice a month for years. He's never done any other kind of therapy for emotional stuff.

 

There are soooo many issues to deal with here. I am just tired of failure. I have tried a lot of things, but things are constantly shifting and I never get any sense that things are on the right track. I have my own issues - with undiagnosed probably ADHD, being the consistent, organized parent is really, really hard for me.

 

I'm really hoping that someone here might have some insight that would help me get a grip on the big picture here. Sorry for such a long post. And please advise me if this might be better posted in a different forum.


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#2 of 24 Old 06-11-2013, 12:57 PM
 
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My 2E 10 year old is done by April most years.  He's in school, but IIRC this was true when we homeschooled too.

 

Have you read the Eides' book?  It's great.  It is hard being 2E, especially with the range of complexity in processing your son experiences.  The Eides'  book offers strategies.  

 

Have you considered meds?  I'll give my .02 on this, as a former anti-med person.  My kid's brain works differently.  Some of this he will grow out of, and some will persist as challenges.  My son has tic disorder, and the med he takes for that helps with his sensory system as well.  With a 2E kid, one glitchy bit in the brain can have multiple external manifestations - so, a bunch of those diagnoses may come from a single part of the brain.  With my kid, giving him relief from the impulse to tic and calming his sensory system leaves his attention and energy available for other tasks.  I was denying him relief when I wouldn't try meds.  At 10, he does a great job at self-monitoring and participates in his own treatment.  He's ambivalent about being 2E, but he's maturing and less rebellious, although it's hard on the self-esteem to be capable, "failing," and seen as not trying, when lots of things are just harder due to processing complexities.

 

Have you had his vision checked by a developmental optometrist?  I'm sure the Eides' covered this, but checking.

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#3 of 24 Old 06-11-2013, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Joensally! You replied to me in the past - thanks for the support that you offer :)

 

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My 2E 10 year old is done by April most years.  He's in school, but IIRC this was true when we homeschooled too.

Interesting. When you homeschooled, did you take the summer off? I don't think his dad will be on board with that.

 

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Have you read the Eides' book?  It's great.  It is hard being 2E, especially with the range of complexity in processing your son experiences.  The Eides'  book offers strategies.  

Which book? I'm aware of a lot of strategies, but it seems like everything hinges on some motivation on the part of the student. I was looking at a 2E program for grade 8 and one of the acceptance conditions was that the student be motivated to work in areas of challenge - apparently that is not a given!

 

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Have you considered meds?  I'll give my .02 on this, as a former anti-med person.  My kid's brain works differently.  Some of this he will grow out of, and some will persist as challenges.  My son has tic disorder, and the med he takes for that helps with his sensory system as well.  With a 2E kid, one glitchy bit in the brain can have multiple external manifestations - so, a bunch of those diagnoses may come from a single part of the brain.  With my kid, giving him relief from the impulse to tic and calming his sensory system leaves his attention and energy available for other tasks.  I was denying him relief when I wouldn't try meds.  At 10, he does a great job at self-monitoring and participates in his own treatment.  He's ambivalent about being 2E, but he's maturing and less rebellious, although it's hard on the self-esteem to be capable, "failing," and seen as not trying, when lots of things are just harder due to processing complexities.

I've never been anti-med, but OTOH I have never seriously considered them either due to my own biases. Frankly, I should probably be medicated (for ADHD). Maybe I should look into this option more seriously. Ds is at an age where he has the self-awareness to be able to participate in his own treatment, and if he believed that a medication was helping him I would have a hard time denying him that support. And of all the things we could do, it's probably the only low-cost option.

 

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Have you had his vision checked by a developmental optometrist?  I'm sure the Eides' covered this, but checking.

Yes, the developmental optometrist and the Eides flagged serious visual issues. Thing is, the testing and a course of vision therapy is estimated $4200-$6800 :( . And, correct me if I'm wrong, there isn't a strong evidence base for this kind of therapy either. If that was the only thing going on, maybe we would bite the bullet and spend money we don't have on that, but it's just one of the many therapies that we could shell out for.


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#4 of 24 Old 06-12-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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Oh, my heart goes out to you. I have two boys, one is 6 and one is 9. We've always homeschooled. 9 yr old is dyslexic, has auditory processing difficulties and probably attention issues. He cannot follow more than one verbal instruction in a row (that drill sergeant thing might not be motivation issues, but could literally be auditory processing issues). 6 year old seems to have Sensory Integration Disorder and is a longer story.

I hear what you're saying about your worries and what ifs. I deal with them also on a daily basis. And yes, these types of kids are constantly shifting. Totally.

 

We’ve done Orton-Gillingham, therapy, drilling, etc. What has given us the only real turning point -- is committing to trusting them – the boys themselves. Shedding the "outside's" expectations of what a "good" parent looks like, along with how the kids are supposed to perform. The boys are different than the idealized norm, but they're people who have great gifts and strengths. They need us to help them access them, or maybe to stay out of the way so that they can discover how to access them. To me it’s become the great struggle of the right-brained child in the left-brained world thing. I decided that they needed to know how to identify, recognize and process their emotions, above all. If they could learn to do this, trust themselves and their knowledge of themselves, then they can go get or accept whatever help they need down the road -- either from us or from a future school or whatever. Kids are unique individuals and I have decided to start trying to walk that talk. It's hard. It's a process. We’ve worked on letting go of a lot and finally started seeing them have some successes.

 

We started practicing mindfulness as a family. Goldie Hawn's Book 10 Mindful Minutes is great. She also has short, inexpensive curriculum materials. Mindfulness has given us adults a life line. The breathing helps the 6 yr old when he's capable of doing it. He helps remind the adults to do it when we need to. There is a LOT of anxiety that goes with failing in the eyes of the outside world or not being able to do what’s expected of you -- for the kids and us adults. Mindfulness helps, it really, really does. It is not a waste of time at all – you can do it when you’re in line, etc.

 

My kids have nickel jars. They get nickels for everything! Remembering to do mindful breathing -- even if it's at the end of an hour long tantrum. Sharing. Respecting personal space. Reading aloud to me. Picking up toys. Brushing teeth. You name it. We're always using it. It helps take the edge off the drill sergeant kind of life – I totally know what you mean by that – it’s a hair-pulling phenomenon! The nickels are tangible and they're thrilled with the money they earn that way.

 

Haven't done it yet -- but a friend takes photographs of chores or what an "ordered" space needs to look like. Post pictures of him brushing his teeth, him in his pjs. Post pictures of where the toys go. Photos of him helping with household chores. Plays to the right-brained visual.

 

Sounds like you know about the Eides – Have you read their book, The Dyslexic Advantage? I did not see it as a how-to at all – much more of a perspective shift. Also The Edison Gene by Thom Hartman and Your Right-brained Child in a Left-brained World. All about shifting away from seeing the dyslexic or ADD brain as a disorder that needs to be fixed and toward seeing it as wonderful genetic variation. Something to be treasured and appreciated and valued for its own strengths.

 

Went gluten-free for other reasons -- seemed to help my then-8 year old with hearing phonemes almost immediately. He’s also less spacey (everything’s relative). Totally not scientific the way we did it; probably a coincidence, but I swear it had an effect. I had severe auditory/speech processing difficulties as a child due to a milk allergy. Have you had that kind of thing checked out?

 

Have you heard of First Lego League -- might be really interesting to your son; it's an international, cooperative, problem-solving, robotics program that builds with legos – goes all the way through high school.

 

Can your son help develop his own curriculum or course of study?

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#5 of 24 Old 06-13-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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Mine are 6 and 9 too smile.gif we homeschool on and off, on a needs basis. 9 year old has vision issues, sensory issues, some dyspraxia. Suspected to have dyslexia when younger and still show some dyslexic tendencies, but much reduced. I can't remember the rest!

We had the luxury of time since ds was first seen at 5, and by then, he was a VERY angsty bundle. A lot of it was from self anger, he felt extremely stupid in class because he had no idea what the teacher was pointing at or referring to, could not differentiate a ball from a sphere though he could FEEL the difference, and generally faked his way through the day. He also had constant headaches. Later, it was handwriting and being the slowest in class that agonized him.

Anyway, I think what any child wants most is for their parents t pay attention to their physical pain and misery. So I would look firstly into his back pain (chiro? Weak or uneven core? Uneven leg length? Too much time hunched over Lego?) massage is a good way to show love to a nine year old.

Vision is s fundamental, it is a biggie for me. If you can get hold of a good therapist, just save up for it. Yes, there are many other therapies, but i really feel vision is fundamental. If you can't see well,you can't balance well - you are on tenderhooks through the day. You can't find your things, you can't find the word, you can't read easily, much less write easily. If vision is not addressed, everything else is just learning compensation.

Before my son's vision was addressed to a degree, he went for intensive gym. By then we were aware that something was up with his vision, and we told the coach. She got him to do a lot of balance beam and taught him how to fall safely. These gave him much more confidence to run and climb at the playground, and also strengthen his core muscles and helped him with sensory processing. But it was still compensating. When the OT saw him, he could walk better on a beam than on the ground.

It is a lot, but if you start from the basics, you will get better returns. Because his core and vision were addressed earlier, ds only needed two months of handwriting therapy to get him up to speed. It all links up. If we had persisted with school, we may have gone on to sound therapy for audio processing, but we took him out earlier due to conflicts, and there was thus no need for it.

Look for curriculum that appeal to kinaesthetic learners. Typical reading and writing will just sap his energy very quickly. The bulk of his learning should be multi sensory with regular bite sized reading and targeted writing thrown in. If you teach to his weaknesses, you will just increase the resistance and resentment. Teach to his strengths and it should be much better. A plate of cookies or fruits won't hurt either.
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#6 of 24 Old 06-14-2013, 05:26 PM
 
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I was referring to the Eides' book The Mislabeled Child. 

 

Re meds, and I was very, very anti meds.  I've learned to think about it this way, which is very lay-person.  If I'm looking at a drawing of the brain, and reading a description of how the various parts of the brain interact with other systems etc, I realize that my child's brain works differently.  Some parts haven't matured enough, or off-line some of the time, or the loop between two parts isn't fast enough or working properly.  Meds can help bridge those gaps or those linkages.  When he's experiencing his day not having to compensate for those glitches, or being irritated by them, more of "him" is available.  I think it must be exhausting to be my kid some days.

 

Re vision therapy.  We didn't do it because of the money.  I found a good opthamologist who gave me home-based exercises, after lecturing me about the scam of vision therapy, and the issue has improved.

 

And we took A LOT of time off when we homeschooled.  :)


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#7 of 24 Old 06-14-2013, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply bellymoon!

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He cannot follow more than one verbal instruction in a row (that drill sergeant thing might not be motivation issues, but could literally be auditory processing issues).

 

Yes, that is likely an issue. We have done 6 weeks of Fast ForWord therapy that is supposed to help with auditory processing (actually a pretty good evidence base). Fingers crossed that we will be able to continue with it through the school district...I keep them nudging them on that. Thing is, ds seems prompt-dependent for everything...so I have to issue a lot of instructions every day even for basic self care.

 

Quote:
What has given us the only real turning point -- is committing to trusting them – the boys themselves. Shedding the "outside's" expectations of what a "good" parent looks like, along with how the kids are supposed to perform. The boys are different than the idealized norm, but they're people who have great gifts and strengths. They need us to help them access them, or maybe to stay out of the way so that they can discover how to access them. To me it’s become the great struggle of the right-brained child in the left-brained world thing. I decided that they needed to know how to identify, recognize and process their emotions, above all. If they could learn to do this, trust themselves and their knowledge of themselves, then they can go get or accept whatever help they need down the road -- either from us or from a future school or whatever. Kids are unique individuals and I have decided to start trying to walk that talk. It's hard. It's a process. We’ve worked on letting go of a lot and finally started seeing them have some successes.

That is awesome that this is working for you. I feel torn about this issue. On one hand I feel like we're the poster family for "DON'T" - an illustration of how structured homeschooling (which I never wanted to do) can backfire. OTOH, I am scared of how close "down the road" is. I just don't know how ds can navigate all these impairments and somehow learn and develop some kind of work ethic.

 

As a gifted and probably ADHD child, it was my lack of developing a work ethic and work habits that has caused me the most trouble in my life. I coasted through elementary and high school then crashed and burned in university. I have also struggled a lot being a self-employed professional for the same reasons.

 

Quote:

 

We started practicing mindfulness as a family.

I work on this inconsistently (ADHD!) and it does help. My dd really responds but ds has zero interest or willingness to participate. He is much like a sullen teenager a lot of time - this has started within the last six months.

 

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My kids have nickel jars. They get nickels for everything! Remembering to do mindful breathing -- even if it's at the end of an hour long tantrum. Sharing. Respecting personal space. Reading aloud to me. Picking up toys. Brushing teeth. You name it. We're always using it. It helps take the edge off the drill sergeant kind of life – I totally know what you mean by that – it’s a hair-pulling phenomenon! The nickels are tangible and they're thrilled with the money they earn that way.

I will consider this. I like the idea of some positive reinforcement but OTOH, I see so little intrinsic motivation for self-responsibility and a strategy like this seems to be piling on the extrinsic motivation.

 

Quote:

 

Have you read their book, The Dyslexic Advantage? I did not see it as a how-to at all – much more of a perspective shift. Also The Edison Gene by Thom Hartman and Your Right-brained Child in a Left-brained World. All about shifting away from seeing the dyslexic or ADD brain as a disorder that needs to be fixed and toward seeing it as wonderful genetic variation. Something to be treasured and appreciated and valued for its own strengths.

I'm part way through the book. I should say that the Drs. Eide - after spending 2 days with ds - had very encouraging things to say about his capabilities. I think it's wonderful to reframe these diagnoses in terms of strengths and weaknesses and I discuss this with ds. But I also think about the fact that our prisons are full of people who were once bright but learning disabled children. In my family I have a younger brother who has undiagnosed "issues" and he basically cannot lead a normal life with regular employment, marriage, friends, etc. He has made mistakes that he can't undo, fathering children that he does not care for. In my kids' dad's family, two brother died accidental deaths and had difficult young lives. I just can't escape the perception that my child is "at risk" for some outcomes that no mother wants for her children. Even my own life has been plagued by undiagnosed ADHD - resulting in a lot of life problems and secondary issues involving self-esteem, anxiety and depression. It doesn't matter how smart or wonderful you are if you can't take care of yourself and share your gifts with the world somehow.

 

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Went gluten-free for other reasons -- seemed to help my then-8 year old with hearing phonemes almost immediately. He’s also less spacey (everything’s relative). Totally not scientific the way we did it; probably a coincidence, but I swear it had an effect. I had severe auditory/speech processing difficulties as a child due to a milk allergy. Have you had that kind of thing checked out?

I did a pretty rigorous elimination diet for six weeks with ds when he was 3 - we did 8 foods including all the usual suspects. When I challenged each food individually I did not see any change so I think it's unlikely that food issues are involved in our case.

 

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Have you heard of First Lego League -- might be really interesting to your son; it's an international, cooperative, problem-solving, robotics program that builds with legos – goes all the way through high school.

Ds has resisted anything structured related to LEGO. He only wants to do this with his best friends, in an unstructured way.

 

Quote:

Can your son help develop his own curriculum or course of study?

He hasn't shown any interest or willingness to do this.


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#8 of 24 Old 06-14-2013, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for sharing deminc!

 

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Anyway, I think what any child wants most is for their parents t pay attention to their physical pain and misery. So I would look firstly into his back pain (chiro? Weak or uneven core? Uneven leg length? Too much time hunched over Lego?) massage is a good way to show love to a nine year old.

I agree. We are doing physio but I'm worried we'll reach the cap for what our benefits will subsidize. Physio is slow going. And we really haven't figured out the cause. He is getting referred to a pediatric rhematologist. Ds gets daily massage and I bought a massage seat cushion for him to use while reading. Not sure what else I can do.

 

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Vision is s fundamental, it is a biggie for me. If you can get hold of a good therapist, just save up for it. Yes, there are many other therapies, but i really feel vision is fundamental. If you can't see well,you can't balance well - you are on tenderhooks through the day. You can't find your things, you can't find the word, you can't read easily, much less write easily. If vision is not addressed, everything else is just learning compensation.

Thank you for the feedback on that. It feels like a triage situation so it's useful to know what our priorities should be. Ds' dad can afford it but it's such a nightmare to negotiate things and so far he's expected me to pay for half of everything.

 

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Look for curriculum that appeal to kinaesthetic learners. Typical reading and writing will just sap his energy very quickly. The bulk of his learning should be multi sensory with regular bite sized reading and targeted writing thrown in. If you teach to his weaknesses, you will just increase the resistance and resentment. Teach to his strengths and it should be much better.

I feel tired just reading that. But I will look into it.


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#9 of 24 Old 06-14-2013, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I realize that my child's brain works differently.  Some parts haven't matured enough, or off-line some of the time, or the loop between two parts isn't fast enough or working properly.  Meds can help bridge those gaps or those linkages.  When he's experiencing his day not having to compensate for those glitches, or being irritated by them, more of "him" is available.  I think it must be exhausting to be my kid some days.

 

Yeah, I see what you mean. The Drs. Eide emphasized that I should expect the next development shift when he's 12 (there already was a big one when he turned 9). In the meanwhile I think we'll be plodding and I feel the pressure to make some progress on remediation.

 

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Re vision therapy.  We didn't do it because of the money.  I found a good opthamologist who gave me home-based exercises, after lecturing me about the scam of vision therapy, and the issue has improved.

Interesting! The Drs. Eide recommended vision therapy. When I asked them if there is an alternative, they recommended doing 1 hour of immersion reading per day - where you read silently while listening to narration (either by a parent or ideally on a Kindle where the text is highlighted):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gYsIvAwRLOA

We are waiting for our Kindle Fire and will be trying to work with that, but not sure if we can get ds to do 1 hour per day.

 

Thanks again joensally - so nice to see that things are going well for your son.


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#10 of 24 Old 06-14-2013, 07:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post

I was referring to the Eides' book The Mislabeled Child. 

 

Re vision therapy.  We didn't do it because of the money.  I found a good opthamologist who gave me home-based exercises, after lecturing me about the scam of vision therapy, and the issue has improved.

 

And we took A LOT of time off when we homeschooled.  :)

Agree on the book recommendation. This book is a treasure trove and there is A LOT to go through.

 

Vision therapy - sadly this is true that there are many bad therapists out there. A good one can do much though, and IF you can get a good one who is certified by COVD, it is worth it. I cannot get the available expertise here, and we make do with some vision exercises from our OT, a very mediocre vision therapist, and an orthoptist for vision processing issues and binocular vision issues. But as I shared previously in other posts, one of my son's vision issues turned out to be Irlen syndrome and addressing that made things "good enough" for him to function.

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#11 of 24 Old 06-14-2013, 08:30 PM
 
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I feel tired just reading that. But I will look into it.

 

LOL! I know that feeling! I currently do a lot of Math and languages with my son and am shopping for a science curriculum to supplement what I must cover for our local authorities. Some curriculum caters naturally to kinaesthetic learners. Eg many of the Montessori materials, Patty Paper Geometry ,http://www.michaelserra.net/weblog/patty-paper-geometry/, Exploration Science curriculum http://www.explorationeducation.com/, Private Eye science etc. Some of these can be expensive, but the materials are out there, and many more good ideas on the net.

 

We use audiobooks extensively. We already have Ipads so we downloaded the Overdrive App and borrow from our local library. The books are free in this way, but it does not have the highlight function that your son may require. It is a very good thing and wonderful way to help your child keep up in terms of vocabulary and literary exposure (and saving you a lot of time and energy!) It was largely thanks to the huge amount of reading we did for DS1 and later, audiobooks, that DS1's reading level went up very quickly once his vision was addressed. It was all there in his head, just waiting for his eyes to catch up.

 

I just want to add that it is really not a bad thing to send him to school IF you can find a good fit. If the school can provide good accomodation or services, it may work out well for everyone. Depending on his personality and who he meets, he may find that his own situation is really not so bad. It is a gamble of sorts of course, but I just want to point out that you don't have to necessarily feel bad for entertaining the possibility. His lower back pain may be an issue though. Sitting in class all day can aggravate it.

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#12 of 24 Old 06-15-2013, 07:05 AM
 
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This thread is really interesting to me because we have worked through and with ds having some similar ld, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD. He loves Legos, too. Ds is 12 and in public school. I think 4th grade was a particularly tough year. Each year has been different depending in part on the staff he works with. During 4th started playing cello. When we decided OT was not working so well, he started private cello lessons to keep working on eye hand coordination and fine motor skills (used the Susuki approach). He is a totally different kid when he plays cello. Also, in 5th grade we put ds in swimming lessons through SwimAmerica. They were almost private and the coaches worked hard with kids to get perfect strokes with lots of encouragement. He did so much better in school when he was doing swim lessons. I think that ds is definitely strong in his kinetic learning skills and it transfers some to other skills.

I just read a burp in Additude about how ADHD kids learn better outside. This is true for ds; he needs hands on and his whole personality changes when he is outside active. Whenever he gets frustrated or irritable at home, we send him outside.

Ds did do FLL this past year. It was not what we were expecting. It was very good for ds and he had an excellent coach. Part of the time was dedicated to building and programming Mindstorm for tasks. Probably half of the time was to find a solution to that years competition problem. Last year's problem was to find was to help senior citizens with challenges of daily life. They interviewed people over 65, picked a problem, researched (ds actually loved this, which surprised me), and looked for a solution. As part of the competition, they had to present their problem/solution, do a skit about it, and finally answer questions. He did not get to pick his team, and was only kind friends with the kids he was working with. He will do it again next fall.

I am going to go check out the Eides' books this afternoon when we go to the library.
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#13 of 24 Old 06-15-2013, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For those who are following this thread, I also got some interesting replies in the Learning at Home forum:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1384923/homeschooled-9-5-year-old-twice-exceptional-boy-is-on-strike/0_100


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#14 of 24 Old 06-15-2013, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I currently do a lot of Math and languages with my son and am shopping for a science curriculum to supplement what I must cover for our local authorities. Some curriculum caters naturally to kinaesthetic learners. Eg many of the Montessori materials, Patty Paper Geometry ,http://www.michaelserra.net/weblog/patty-paper-geometry/, Exploration Science curriculum http://www.explorationeducation.com/, Private Eye science etc. Some of these can be expensive, but the materials are out there, and many more good ideas on the net.

See, I stall out when I try to implement things like the above due to ds' counterwill issues, lack of patience, lack of listening and following instructions skills, and lack of fine motor skills. I have some science kits that I get out. Ds wants to rip through 10 experiments in 10 minutes and just mess around with them. When I try to lead him through the experiment, we both get frustrated because he does not want to comply with verbalizing his observations and conclusions, etc. The more I think about it, the more I think it's the psychological/emotional issues that are key here. Without receptiveness and compliance, I really can't teach him anything.

 

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We use audiobooks extensively. We already have Ipads so we downloaded the Overdrive App and borrow from our local library.

Ds listens to hours and hours and hours of audiobooks while doing LEGO. I am not at all concerned about his consumption of juvenile literature! His comprehension and vocabulary are excellent. But I'm starting to think that the visual issues prevent the potential for reading enjoyment. He was recently assessed at grade 3 level of reading (one year behind), but it just seems so hard for him.

 

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I just want to add that it is really not a bad thing to send him to school IF you can find a good fit. If the school can provide good accomodation or services, it may work out well for everyone. Depending on his personality and who he meets, he may find that his own situation is really not so bad. It is a gamble of sorts of course, but I just want to point out that you don't have to necessarily feel bad for entertaining the possibility. His lower back pain may be an issue though. Sitting in class all day can aggravate it.

Our schools here are pretty underfunded, with no special programs for special needs, giftedness or non-English speakers (ESL). They are all mainstreamed in large classes with IEPs as necessary. The autistic kids get an aide but that's about it. Ds would probably benefit from a more social learning process, but like I wrote before it's easy for him to get into clowning and distracting himself and others. I do think there's a serious issue with having to sit. Some of his hyperactivity is related to that most likely, though there's no doubt in my mind about the ADHD. There's also the issue that ds' dad lives 45 min drive away and has 40% custody. It's not at all clear to me how we could pull off transportation.

 

Thanks again deminc, I really appreciate this dialogue.


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#15 of 24 Old 06-15-2013, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your input melissa17s!

 

Your experiences are very interesting to me!

 

Sport-wise, we have done circus for years - tramp, silks, tightwire, juggling. It seems to work for him because it's active, not overstructured, and focused more on expressiveness than competitive skills (like gymnastics). We've done some private swim lessons and those have worked well, but we only do them occasionally due to the cost. We'll start a traditional sports program this fall, but ds has shown no interest for that kind of thing, I assume because ball sports require a lot of visual-motor skills which ds is weak in.

 

Our kids get a LOT of nature time. Both parents are pretty into it, and I find my kids seem most "in their skin" in nature. But like most things I have to deal with counterwill beforehand to get them out.

 

FLL sounds amazing. I'll check it out because I think it would attract the kinds of kids that ds really clicks with - and everything else would flow from there. 


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#16 of 24 Old 07-01-2013, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did a pretty rigorous elimination diet for six weeks with ds when he was 3 - we did 8 foods including all the usual suspects. When I challenged each food individually I did not see any change so I think it's unlikely that food issues are involved in our case.

GROAN! I must have jinxed myself. Two weeks ago, I made a stirfry with cashews in the sauce. Ds ate the stirfry but not the cashews. He broke out in hives all over his body. The next day I fed it to him again (to try to figure out what caused the reaction) - again he did not actually eat the cashews themselves, just the sauce. This time he got hives and his eyes and face got all puffy (no throat or respiratory issues fortunately). Cashew allergy?? He is fine with almonds but hasn't eaten cashews in a while I think. Just another issue to add to the list :(


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#17 of 24 Old 07-01-2013, 11:38 PM
 
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Check the sauce ingredients. Do not test it again without antihistamines on standby, or easy access to a doctor.
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#18 of 24 Old 07-02-2013, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I made the sauce myself from basic pantry ingredients - nothing unusual there. I've made and served it before, but I think I used almonds last time -  not cashews.

 

We'll be avoiding cashews and keeping fingers crossed that it's just cashews. I have Benadryl Allergy on hand, and we need to figure out whether to get an epi-pen (more $$$ :( ).


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#19 of 24 Old 07-03-2013, 11:26 PM
 
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My ds reacts to peanut with facial swelling and concentrated zyrtec drops at high dose had been enough so far. But we have been very careful about avoiding it. I react to some medications and my reaction has escalated from facial swelling to anaphalysis over ten slow years...so just bear in mind that the escalation can be gradual over a long time. My aunt's reaction to peanuts have gone from mild itching to constricted throat over thirty years.

When you can, maybe make an appointment with an allergist to discuss how best to prepare your child and the people around him in case of a reaction. I have heard accounts from other parents of teachers not recognizing an allergic reaction. And I can testify that I myself did not realise I was having an allergic reaction the first few times despite breathing difficulties and eyes swollen shut, and neither did my co workers. I went home and slept it off. It was only after my emergency trip to the doctor that I realised how lucky I had been previously.

Take care!
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#20 of 24 Old 07-04-2013, 01:55 AM
 
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DD recently broke out in a rash around her mouth after eating pureed veggies with some cashews thrown in there (that's the kind of idea DH gets, I was really mad, but he pointed out that there was no reason to think she'd be allergic and we had to try out cashew nuts at some point). A ped told us that a localized rash meant a harmless reaction to the natural histamins in the cashews, a full body reaction on the other hand means a nut allergy.

I have read that peanut allergies (being a legume allergy) may be exacerbated by consuming genetically modified soy which may these days be hidden (for instance as "hydrolyzed protein" or "modified food starch" or "vegetable oil") in about every processed food product you can buy that isn't clearly labeled organic or GMO-free. Removing products that can possibly contain soy from your diet may alleviate the allergic reaction - not that you#d want to start eating peanuts again, but accidentally consuming trace amounts may not be as dagerous any more.


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#21 of 24 Old 07-04-2013, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input regarding allergies. We have a referral to an allergist to get more specific guidance. I found it worrisome that the reaction seemed worse the second time, even after one day. How bizarre. I'm in the strange situation that I have no idea what ds' diet is 40% of the time when he is with his dad. With us he eats mostly homemade "clean" foods, with moderate treats and occasional junk. I'm trying to avoid the dietary extremism that I was subjected to with my mother growing up, and with my ex, who was on a vegan, no nightshade, alkalinizing, very low sodium diet (most of the time) due to his chronic kidney disease. I don't know if he eats that way now.


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#22 of 24 Old 07-05-2013, 06:54 AM
 
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A ped told us that a localized rash meant a harmless reaction to the natural histamins in the cashews, a full body reaction on the other hand means a nut allergy.

Erm, I think you may want to check that out again. There are harmless mild rashes, esp around the mouth, and I know pds get a lot of parents worrying when t is a normal reaction to food acids etc. There are also facial swelling that progresses as the clock ticks without going into a full body rash. A full body reaction s a clear sign of allergy; a localized reaction not so clear cut for pd and the uninitiated. My earliest signs were just spots around the mouth. After a few years it was bad facial swelling, tightened chest and terribly itchy palms. I would rub them with ice. Eventually I needed an epiPen.

Ds' allergist is reluctant even to do a repeat skinprick test for him in case it triggers a reaction and she used to head the pediatric allergy ward for a major children hospital.

Just be safe.
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#23 of 24 Old 07-05-2013, 03:11 PM
 
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Argh! DD had a rash around her mouth again coming home from daycare. Sigh.

Seems like I have to have her checked out for allergies.

Will I ever spend time anywhere else but doctors offices?

 

Sorry OP, just a little vent. Will not take this thread further OT!


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#24 of 24 Old 07-13-2013, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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An update. My husband and I decided that we did want to try stimulant medication for ADHD for ds. We thought that ds could be involved in the decision, and could let us know if it was working for him. We figured that after a week we would have a pretty good idea of what that would be like for ds, and that we owe it to him to at least try it, so that we know. We hoped that it might help ds with working on therapeutic stuff like Fast ForWord, etc.

 

Unfortunately, ds' dad flatly refused. :( It's so discouraging.


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