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Does this sound like a learning disability?

601 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  HeatherB
My oldest daughter is 7. This is our first year of homeschooling. She is seeing a therapist for generalized anxiety. The therapist suggested testing for giftedness, which I did. Her verbal skills are way ahead of her spatial skills, so technically it brought her overall IQ to the middle range. Her reading level is 3rd grade.

My problem is that I cannot find anything to hold her attention. She wakes up, flies through the lessons I have planned, and come 11:00 like clockwork she's looking for something to do. She follows me around, picks on her little sister. This is not a 'give the kid some chores and she'll go find something she'd rather do instead'. She will choose library books to read for pleasure or for school, come home and flip through them for five minutes, and not touch them again because she's already looked at them.

Since homeschooling she will ask me a question, this afternoon it was how do mold spores grow. I told her we'd look it up together, but before I could find a kid-friendly explanation online, she'd lost interest and walked off. I can't teach her something that doesn't come naturally to her in a few minutes. She throws up a wall and insists it's too hard.

She is very social. (Did I mention verbal skills? She talks very well and to people of all ages.) She jumps off the couch when the neighbor comes over. She will wake her sisters up in the morning because there's no one to talk to.

She was like this before school, it's actually the reason I sent her for two years. Teachers have the day planned to the minute and there's no arguing 'that's boring/stupid/too easy for me.' There are no little sisters to interfere with the plans. I brought her home because she'd fall apart at the end of the day. If the plan changed it threw her day off. Her day was ruined if the class was in danger of losing recess.

One day with her is exhausting; the school year is looking quite daunting.
I'm thinking learning disability b/c maybe it's her way of saying learning really is too hard. Can someone tell me if that's possible, and how I'd find out?

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While nothing specifically jumps out and screams LD, more comprehensive testing might reveal something. Even if she doesn't have a LD, understsanding her learning style better might help you engaging her.
I wasn't thinking LD but maybe perfectionism. When my dd is too worried about it being "perfect" she won't bother if she thinks there is a chance of it not. We have made a LOT of progress over the past couple years.

LD is generally an issue where actual achievement is not in line with ability level. It sounds as though she does achieve at levels relative to her ability level. I do think that maybe you could go further with testing, but I would look at attention related issues.

I know one of the great things about hs'ing is allowing the child to choose their areas of interest, but I really think this is not the best option for all students. Some kiddos really do need more structure and planned introduction to all sorts of topics prior to then developing their own interests. I would plan your DD's day for her fairly rigidly while trying not to trigger anxiety.
If this is your first year homeschooling her, you should expect a period of decompression/adjustment. And that could take you into the spring. Also, it takes SIGNIFICANTLY less time to educate a child at home than in a classroom--so flying through her work in the morning sounds about right.

Sounds like she feels like a fish out of water and is just overall uncomfortable with the change--which is very much in line with what you were saying about her anxiety if recess was going to be cancelled or the school day changed at all. She needs to be able to find her rhythm and relax a bit. If you go to the Learning At Home and Beyond forum--they might be able to share with you examples of how long it took their kids to "unschool" (and I'm not talking about the unschooling method of teaching--I'm talking about the adjustment from school to home). That period of time is hardest on the parents--who feel like their kids are wasting away for months before they actually start to take an interest and find motivation to learn.

And I have the same problem with on-the-spot learning. I've learned to get to whatever resource I can and just translate it into laymen's terms for my 5yo if it's not kid-friendly. Often, I can skim and pick out stuff that is interesting and hope to heavens that there's a picture on the page that keeps him somewhat into it. Don't look for stuff for her to do--do it with her and translate (or crop it) to a level she'll understand. You don't have to go too far into it. Just a SENTENCE will show her that you can find answers quick and easy. If one sentence inspires her, she'll be driven to move on to more and be patient enough for it. But that may take some time--ya know?
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Moving this over to Special Needs for you.
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