Mothering Forums

Mothering Forums (http://www.mothering.com/forum/)
-   Unschooling (http://www.mothering.com/forum/439-unschooling/)
-   -   Unschooling and Parents as Teachers (http://www.mothering.com/forum/439-unschooling/1017641-unschooling-parents-teachers.html)

mammal_mama 12-27-2008 09:27 PM

Hey, there's an update in the special needs thread, for anyone who's interested. Thanks so much to all -- and input is still welcome!

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...868450#post128

ahdoula 12-27-2008 10:23 PM

I have two kids with speech delays, one mederate and one severe and Early Intervention was a life saver. We've never had any issues with them and my kids are 100% happier now that someone is *helping* them learn to talk. No one ever mentioned medication, and IMH you can't unschool a delay, it *needs* intervention/threapy if you are going to have a happy child.

Linda on the move 12-28-2008 12:26 AM

Speech problems can become harder to correct the older the child gets. Three is the perfect age for therapy because the child is old enough to really participate and young enough the problems aren't set in stone.

I've never heard of a child being medicated for speech problems.

My DD had speech therapy and really enjoyed it. Most speech therapist are really nice people who work with kids because they really like kids and want to help them.

As far as unschooling, I would recommend allowing the therapist to work with your child in the way they think is best and encourage your child to try the activities. If a child is in a room and one adult is trying to get them to do something and the energy of the other adult is hesitant, it can result in the child just trying to figure out which adult is in charge. Assume that what the therapist is trying is a good idea and encourage. If the child hates it, the therapist will try somethings else. But your child may need to work past their comfort zone and the therapst may encourage your child stick with an activity for more than one attempt, but that may be in the best interest of your child.

Unschooling is based on the idea that kids will naturally learn everything they need to. For some of our kids with some things, this isn't a safe assumption. Really working with a child with delays and pushing them a bit may be very important for their long term development. It doesn't mean that you can't mostly unschool, but you child may need to be taught how to speak clearly.

I'm off to read your other post.

Linda on the move 12-28-2008 12:35 AM

just read your other post...

Have you read "The Out of Sync Child" by Kranowitz?

My DD also has sensory issues. Swimming and gymnastics are the best activities for her. Getting lots of sensory input helps every thing else. Taking classes can provide much of the same benefit as physical therapy, but in a fun rather than theraputic way. Getting evaluations can let you know what you can best do to help your DD reach her full potential and enjoy her life. See what they have through your park and rec, Y, etc.

Right now you are really scared, and finding ways to let go of that fear will open up ways for you to support your Dd and figure out what works for her. We always had good luck with professionals and our DD (who is now 12 and has always homeschooled). The people we've had conntact with were far more concerned with how we could all work together for her best interest than in taking over and dictating how we should parent or educate. They like parents who like to spend time with their kids!

ahdoula 12-28-2008 12:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Unschooling is based on the idea that kids will naturally learn everything they need to. For some of our kids with some things, this isn't a safe assumption. Really working with a child with delays and pushing them a bit may be very important for their long term development. It doesn't mean that you can't mostly unschool, but you child may need to be taught how to speak clearly.
Yeah, that's what I meant!

MsChatsAlot 12-28-2008 02:54 PM

My ds had difficulty with speech, but I always knew and trusted he would find his way through it.

At 3 everyone told us he needed speech. I knew he would figure it out.

At 4 everyone told us he needed speech. I knew he would figure it out.

At 5 people were still telling us he needed speech. I still knew he'd figure it out.

By 6 only my aunt and my cousin (who happens to be a speech therapist) told me he still needed speech).

Now...everyone understands him...it's not an issue at all.

I'm not saying you should or shouldn't do speech. I felt in my heart, that he would get it on his own. He was a late walker, but got it, he was late to crawl, but he got it, he was late to do many things...but in time, he gets it all in his own way and own timing. It was more about him personally than what anyone else thought or said.

As an unschooler from the beginning, I see how letting him have the time & space to work things out for himself have been beneficial for HIM. I don't think that would be true for everyone across the board, but for him, that seemed the best way to go.

I believed it would happen and it did. If my heart had been telling me something different, I would have followed that message equally. Listen to your intuition and be guided where you need to go and it will all work out.

Multimomma 12-28-2008 04:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
For instance, we're not at all open to medicating our child. I know lots of MDC parents feel the same way, so I thought this would be a good place to find out how other parents have dealt with this kind of thing, especially parents like us who don't have money for private evaluations and help, which means that something like Parents as Teachers would probably be our best option.

As well as not being open to medicating, we're also not open to making dd do anything she doesn't want to do. And I'm not sure how Parents as Teachers would react if dd didn't enjoy an activity so I said (as I most certainly would) that she didn't have to do it.

Thanks for listening!
Well, in our area, PAT is not an early intervention for special needs, so I'm not sure what your PAT looks like or does. PAT teaches parents how to play with typical kids, how to read and interact, etc. Also, in most states after the age of three, evaluations are done through the school district through IDEA, rather than in the home. We did do early intervention for two of our children. It depends so much on who is assigned to your case, and your child's personality. I can say that legally, EI services cannot force you to medicate, and if you don't like who is assigned to your case, you can request someone else. It is long, tedious and lots of paperwork, but it can be done.

I will also say that as far as evaluations and dx goes, it would be worth it to save even $20 a month for a year and get a private evaluation from someone with lots of experience and time with sensory issues. PAT (in our area) does not have a lot of training with neuro differences, and will often interpret behavior as a choice, rather than Who the child Is.

My son Sam has speech problems. We called EI because he was violent and angry that no one could understand him. It helped some, but they just didn't have the experience to see what his underlying problem was, and it wasn't until a private SLP recognized his delay as actually being dysarthria (a neurological disorder) and was able to formulate therapy to his specific weakness, that he was able to make progress.

mammal_mama 12-28-2008 08:24 PM

Wow! Lots of food for thought! After reading the comments on the other thread, it sounds like if we do decide we need to get dd evaluated, we'd do better to use dd's Medicaid and ask her doctor if she thinks dd would benefit from referrals for speech therapy, and also if she thinks we should have her evaluated for auditory-sensory processing disorder.

MsChatsAlot -- my dd also seems to be doing things on her own schedule. For the longest time, I thought she was so quiet and nowhere as active as her big sister ...

At 9 months, she was quite happy to sit close to me (often against me) and play with toys on the floor. Though her contentment may have been partially due to her getting to live vicariously by watching her older sister's antics (of course, there was also the head-banging and the shaking her head to make herself dizzy that I've talked about in the thread I linked to).

As she neared her first birthday, she got more active, and started pulling herself up on stuff. Then at 14 1/2 months she took her first independent steps, and got more and more active from there. It was so different than with dd1, who was walking at 9 1/2 months, but dd2 is also a heavier body-build than dd1 (but has slimmed down a lot due to her activity), and now she's a rambunctious little daredevil like her sister.

And whereas dd1 spoke fluently at age 1, dd2 started saying a few words when she was 2, but still didn't say much 'til just before her 3rd birthday. But she's kind of had a language explosion since then. And is doing all this imaginary play, where she gathers various toys or pictures or objects around herself (she's asked me to get some pictures off of our wall and mantle for her to do this), and all these different items have conversations with one another.

And her speech is a lot more clear than it was ... she's also starting to enjoy my storytelling, and even sometimes likes for me to read books to her now. She used to grab the books out of my hand (though she was always very interested in studying the pictures in books), or fuss for me to stop if I started telling her a story, which was very different from her sister ...

I didn't push her on this, but of course since dd1 enjoys books and stories, she was still exposed to it indirectly, and recently it struck a spark with her and she started loving it too.

So maybe she is just on her own clock. I'll admit that part of my reason for thinking about evaluation is, drumroll, that hotline call I can't seem to stop alluding to. The social worker had asked about dd's speech, and I'd said I'd look into speech therapy if it didn't start getting more clear soon. I'm sure this was one of the "concerns" my sister brought up when she made the report on me (yes, we've found out for sure that it was her who made the call) ...

Anyhow, I've had this dream that Children's Services showed up at our house again, which has me a little paranoid because occasionally my dreams have seemed to become actualities ... So I'm almost wondering if having dd evaluated could be some protection in the event that my relatives fabricate some reason to make another call (it would have to be total fabrication this time, as they no longer have any opportunity to observe our children).

Wow, what an earful I'm giving you guys! Dd has some dental work coming up toward the end of January, so maybe I'll just give it a few weeks, and once we're through the dental work, dh and I can see how we feel about this then.

Linda on the move 12-29-2008 01:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
The social worker had asked about dd's speech, and I'd said I'd look into speech therapy if it didn't start getting more clear soon.
It is my understanding that unclear speech is less likely to clear up on its on than delays where the child just isn't talking much at all.

Quote:
So I'm almost wondering if having dd evaluated could be some protection in the event that my relatives fabricate some reason to make another call
I'm VERY sorry that you are dealing with this!!! Having an evaluation and a plan would ensure that no one could question whether you were providing proper care on this issue.

Quote:
so maybe I'll just give it a few weeks, and once we're through the dental work, dh and I can see how we feel about this then.
Once we started down this path, it took months to make anything happen. Everything involved waiting lists. We waited a couple of months for the eval, and then a couple of more months to get into therapy. It was worth it in the end. So I would just call and get the ball rolling, because my experience is that this ball rolls very slowly.

earthmama369 12-29-2008 01:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
It is my understanding that unclear speech is less likely to clear up on its on than delays where the child just isn't talking much at all.
This is my understanding as well. DS walked a little earlier and spoke a little later than his big sister, but it was really the development of his articulation, not his vocabulary, that caught our attention. While his vocabulary and imagination have grown by leaps and bounds, his articulation hasn't. It's very frustrating for him. That was the main factor in pursuing an evaluation. He was acting out because of his frustration, hitting and throwing and biting, and recently he started withdrawing a little, refusing to repeat himself when someone can't understand him the first time. That's really hard to see. When you've got a kiddo who's aware that they aren't communicating the way they want, I think it's really time to try to get them some additional help so they can be heard the way they want to be.

Collinsky 12-29-2008 02:00 AM

PAT is a strengths-based program, which means that everything is supposed to be approached from a positive angle, meeting the child where he/she is at, and even though there are planned activities/topics for each meeting, it should be fairly flexible. When I worked as a PAT parent educator there were several times when a child wasn't interested in the planned activity and we ended up having a tea party or something instead, and I just focused on what the child was doing/learning and talked to the parent about it. Sometimes the child didn't participate at all and I just talked to the parent about the child, answered questions, etc. PAT shouldn't interfere at all with unschooling, as long as the child's wishes are being respected at every turn. I'm sure that not all parent educators do that, but many do. It's definitely not supposed to be like Supernanny coming in!

ahdoula 12-29-2008 01:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
When you've got a kiddo who's aware that they aren't communicating the way they want, I think it's really time to try to get them some additional help so they can be heard the way they want to be.
Yes, but if one does Early Intervention and provides therapy before it gets to this point you save the child a lot of emotional turmoil. I am part of a local community of families with speech-delayed children and there is a obvious difference in the intelligibility of kids that started early (before 2) vs. the ones that started after and parents report happier kids, the ones that got help early.

mammal_mama 01-02-2009 07:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Have you read "The Out of Sync Child" by Kranowitz?
I just noticed this -- I'll have to see if it's available at the library!

We have an appointment Tuesday with dd's primary physician, because we'll need a referral from her to be seen by the specialists at our local children's hospital.

Any suggestions for how to communicate with the doctor are very welcome!

mammal_mama 01-02-2009 08:03 PM

Now I'm puzzled! After reading through most of the intro to "The Out of Sync Child," I'm thinking dd seems the complete opposite to the children described here. She loves moving around to music and dancing with other kids -- she is very quick to join this kind of stuff, and loves rough-housing, but can get too rough with others. And can be very aggressive.

Which is why I wondered about her being sensory-seeking, which is one kind of sensory processing disorder -- right? But she doesn't seem to have any coordination problems.

Now, since hearing is one of the senses, are auditory processing disorders considered to be part of this spectrum, too? Also, could her involuntary arm and leg movements (as well as her previous tendency toward headbanging and later toward shaking her head 'til she got dizzy) be related to an auditory processing disorder?

The nurse at the ER noticed dd's arm and leg movements and asked us if dd had ADHD like her own dd ... but from what I've read of that, it doesn't seem like dd, since dd is able to focus on things she's interested in.

I realize no one here can give me the answers, and I'll probably just have to wait a while and see what the specialists say. But any input is welcome!

Multimomma 01-03-2009 02:28 AM

I have two kids with SPD...and they are so very different that honestly I never saw my son as having it until the psychologist pointed out so many things. My daughter is very aggressive, sensory seeking, but auditory and tactile defensive. She has perfect balance and coordination, and muscle tone like no one's business, she's like the stereotypical Russian athlete, just strong. But then she also swallows her food whole because she has a hard time chewing and swallowing. Even uncut spaghetti strands Then my son is very uncoordinated, as in, once he fell over from standing still. He has no muscle tone, very loose and floppy. He not a sensory seeker, he blocks everything out and just seems so spacey all the time. He can't eat grains, because he can't coordinate enough to chew a mouth of rice at once, same for tapioca, oatmeal, spaghetti strands.

Every child is so different, and I think that books can only cover so much. i would say that auditory processing is definitely part of it. The movements might be part of the sensory seeking. If her body was having trouble sensing where her joints and limbs are, then the shaking stuff is part of trying to process where she is in space.

Hopefully a good OT is in the area, around here there are two OTs who really know about SPD. The rest are a waste of time and money.

Linda on the move 01-03-2009 02:47 AM

Like Multimomma said, sensory issues can manifest in very different ways. Some kids with sensory issues try to cope by blocking out sensory input, some by seeking out extra sensory input. The same core problem can look like opposite problems in two different kids.

I don't understand the link between this and muscle coordination, but my DD blocked sensory input and had low muscle tone and poor motor planning skills. She has always had amazing focus, partly because she blocks out everything that would overwelm her, yet at time adults have said she wasn't focusing because she would block them out (I think she did this if they became overwhelming to her).

Part of having a child with special needs is that every special needs child is different. Types of problems can be sorta grouped together to give you and the professionals helping your DD have things to try, but she is totally unique. All kids are unique, but special needs kids are more so.

Sometimes I have a hard time explaining to other people about my DD, because it the scope of things, her special needs are very mild. She does many normal things, is in many regular activities, and will eventually go to college and have a job. But she is different, and everything for her is just a little different, a little be harder.

mammal_mama 01-03-2009 02:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimomma View Post
My daughter is very aggressive, sensory seeking, but auditory and tactile defensive. She has perfect balance and coordination, and muscle tone like no one's business, she's like the stereotypical Russian athlete, just strong.
Wow, this sounds a lot like my dd! And even though she's pretty loud/rambunctions, and loves music, she may actually be auditory-defensive in some ways ...

From early on, she'd cry/fuss if I started singing to her or telling her stories. So of course I didn't push it. She loved looking at the pictures in books -- but if I tried to read her the story, she'd grab the book from my hand and start babbling, telling me about the pictures.

I've recently had a pleasant surprise, in that she's suddenly taken an interest in me telling her stories and sometimes even reading her books (she turns 4 in March). Of course, I'd continued the storytelling/bookreading all along because my older dd has always enjoyed it, and my younger dd has been fairly tolerant of me doing this with her sister -- she just didn't want it directed toward her.

But she still doesn't want me to sing, even though she has always loved music, and sung/moved along with it ever since she was a baby. I see Linda's point that every child is unique, so special needs are always going to manifest differently from child to child.

I've always heard very positive things about our local children's hospital, so I'm really hoping and praying that the person who evaluates dd will do a thorough job (that is, if dd's doctor agrees with me that dd could benefit from such an evaluation).

Did either of you ladies have the experience of initially being told your child had ADD or ADHD? I ask because, as I've already said, the ER nurse had asked about that after seeing dd's arm and leg movements. I'm not saying for sure that dd doesn't have ADHD -- I just don't see it from the descriptions I've read thus far.

And dh has expressed concern that they'll just automatically say "ADHD" and want to medicate our baby. It's been such a relief to hear from you guys, and realize that getting an evaluation isn't going to lessen our parental rights in any way.

Linda on the move 01-03-2009 05:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Did either of you ladies have the experience of initially being told your child had ADD or ADHD? I ask because, as I've already said, the ER nurse had asked about that after seeing dd's arm and leg movements.
no, but I would take what the ER nurse said with a grain of salt. This isn't her area of expertise. She was speaking as another parent, and not as a professional.

Quote:
And dh has expressed concern that they'll just automatically say "ADHD" and want to medicate our baby. It's been such a relief to hear from you guys, and realize that getting an evaluation isn't going to lessen our parental rights in any way.
I doubt that will happen. The stories I've heard that went that way were about older kids who were having trouble functioning in school. Our experience was with very nice people who did their best to figure out what was going on with our sweet baby and tried to help her keep moving forward in very positive ways.

AbbieB 01-08-2009 04:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot View Post
My ds had difficulty with speech, but I always knew and trusted he would find his way through it.

At 3 everyone told us he needed speech. I knew he would figure it out.

At 4 everyone told us he needed speech. I knew he would figure it out.

At 5 people were still telling us he needed speech. I still knew he'd figure it out.

By 6 only my aunt and my cousin (who happens to be a speech therapist) told me he still needed speech).

Now...everyone understands him...it's not an issue at all.

I'm not saying you should or shouldn't do speech. I felt in my heart, that he would get it on his own. He was a late walker, but got it, he was late to crawl, but he got it, he was late to do many things...but in time, he gets it all in his own way and own timing. It was more about him personally than what anyone else thought or said.

As an unschooler from the beginning, I see how letting him have the time & space to work things out for himself have been beneficial for HIM. I don't think that would be true for everyone across the board, but for him, that seemed the best way to go.

I believed it would happen and it did. If my heart had been telling me something different, I would have followed that message equally. Listen to your intuition and be guided where you need to go and it will all work out.
Thank you for this post.

You have articulated my feelings about unschooling, therepy and special needs and my son very well.

mammal_mama 01-08-2009 08:41 PM

Oops! I accidentally "edited" my OP, when I'd only meant to "quote" the link in my OP, to make it easier for anyone here who wanted to go to the other thread to see my update! Here's the link below, Thanks you guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Hey, there's an update in the special needs thread, for anyone who's interested. Thanks so much to all -- and input is still welcome!

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...868450#post128

mammal_mama 01-09-2009 11:15 PM

Hi, I learned alot in dd's speech evaluation today, so there's another long post in the special needs thread (link in post below this one), for anyone who's interested.

mammal_mama 01-09-2009 11:17 PM

Okay, I just noticed my last post started a new page -- so here's that link so you don't have to go back a page!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Hey, there's an update in the special needs thread, for anyone who's interested. Thanks so much to all -- and input is still welcome!

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...868450#post128


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.