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#1 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:19 PM

I posted on another board and was advised that posting here may be helpful.  I am finishing my first year homeschooling my 6th grade daughter (she will be in 7th grade in 3 weeks).  She has a congenital brain injury and is on the Autism Spectrum (very high functioning).  We just got her Iowa test results and she did very very poorly in reading/reading comprehension.  She did well in math, vocab, punctuation.  Not as well in science and history (which I attribute to the reading issue).  She has taken Iowa's every year since kindergarten at the private school she was in prior to being homeschooled.  She has always scored lower in reading, but this year did even worse.  This is something I have been working on with her, and she has improved.  Except that is not what is showing on her standardized test.  I am really at a loss as to how best to help her.  Continue what I am doing doesn't seem like enough.  i don't want her losing more ground. 

 

These test results have upset me.  My daughter says she is learning more, challenged more, and is doing more with me than she did at her old school.  I SEE so much progress in every area.  But these test results are making me upset and doubt my ability.  But I do intend to take them and make sure she gets the additional help she needs.

 

Please give any and all advice you can.  I welcome it.  I don't know where to go.  Oh, one kind parent sent me a link to "The phonic's Page" and recommended starting there with an assessment.  So I definitely will. 



#2 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:28 PM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

First, the tests do not define your child or your efforts on her behalf.  All it is is one standardized test.  Please try not to beat yourself up over this.  Hang in there.  Honestly, there could be a whole host of reasons why even though she seems to be progressing this test shows her even further behind.  

 

One issue you may be facing, though, is that although she is making progress she may have had years of not being able to really function well in reading.  Those years add up.  In other words, she is progressing but her peers are progressing at a faster, nearly exponential rate overall because they have had a lot more exposure to reading material from years back simply because reading has not been nearly as much of a struggle.  If she were to be able to take a test that was just comparing her skills from the previous year to this year it would probably show the progress you are seeing.  Standardized tests really aren't like that.

 

Let me post this then continue...and again,  :grouphug:


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#3 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:35 PM

What you are almost certainly dealing with, at least in part, is that the reading material is getting more and more advanced, and the questions are getting more and more advanced, but even though she is making progress, she cannot keep up with the more advanced material.  The tests are based on standardized norms for neurotypical students who have not had serious deficits in reading and therefore have been exposed to more reading material with more advanced vocabulary and concepts and grammar, etc. at a greater rate.  She almost certainly needs more time to gain these skills because of the challenges of her brain and because she simply cannot get the same level of exposure as same age peers.  That is actually quite common for a lot of kids with learning challenges, including dyslexia.  Your child as a brain injury.  She may need a LOT of time.  You can give her that time.

 

So that myself and others can better help you and your child I am going to ask some questions.  If you don't feel comfortable answering, I understand.

 

1.  Do you live in the United States?  If so, does your state law require standardized testing?  

 

2.  Are you living somewhere with high restrictions?  

 

3.  What are you using to teach reading and reading comprehension?  Has she had a solid phonics based reading program?

 

4.  You say she has struggled with reading.  Is it decoding or fluency or comprehension that is the main issue?  Or all three?  

 

5. How does she do with comprehension when you read something to her as opposed to her reading it herself?

 

6.  How does she do with audio books?


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 15 May 2017 - 08:38 PM.

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#4 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:36 PM

I had an Intervention Specialist in today who works with the behaviorist we use for my ds' autism. It was pretty fascinating, and we spent a lot of time talking about reading. She wanted to see scores (DAR, CTOPP, language testing, etc.) so she could sift out what was the dyslexia, what was language issues from the autism, etc. So where I think you need to start is looking to see if any of her testing gives you clues on that. There are different tests an SLP or psychologist will run that can generate scores on vocabulary, inferences, etc. The CELF has a metalinguistics for teens. The TOPS is one we're getting run soon. So these are tests by a psych or SLP, not standardized test scores.

 

Once you have that testing, the SLP or intervention specialist can help you make a plan to target the areas. So they TEST they because it helps them decide what to TARGET. Without that data, you don't know whether it's attention, behavior, pragmatics (inferences, homonyms, etc.) or what causing the problem. 

 

Once you have those words from the testing and talking with the person, you can either use them or buy therapy materials. Super Duper Inc sells stuff and also Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

This testing isn't usually so so expensive, so it's worth seeing what you can make happen. The ps is bound, by federal law to do the evals for this as well, meaning you can get them to do it.


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#5 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:37 PM

The standardized test scores are going down because the skills required are becoming more abstract. Her peers are pulling ahead and her weaknesses are becoming more obvious. I would definitely take it seriously, because it's not a fluke or your imagination. Also, the issues she's having there carry over to her social thinking and LIFE. So if she's missing inferences in the reading, it's also showing up in her social thinking and how she handles LIFE. 

 


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#6 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:04 PM

What you are almost certainly dealing with, at least in part, is that the reading material is getting more and more advanced, and the questions are getting more and more advanced, but even though she is making progress, she cannot keep up with the more advanced material.  The tests are based on standardized norms for neurotypical students who have not had serious deficits in reading and therefore have been exposed to more reading material with more advanced vocabulary and concepts and grammar, etc. at a greater rate.  She almost certainly needs more time to gain these skills because of the challenges of her brain and because she simply cannot get the same level of exposure as same age peers.  That is actually quite common for a lot of kids with learning challenges, including dyslexia.  Your child as a brain injury.  She may need a LOT of time.  You can give her that time.

 

So that myself and others can better help you and your child I am going to ask some questions.  If you don't feel comfortable answering, I understand.

 

1.  Do you live in the United States?  If so, does your state law require standardized testing?  

 

2.  Are you living somewhere with high restrictions?  

 

3.  What are you using to teach reading and reading comprehension?  Has she had a solid phonics based reading program?

 

4.  You say she has struggled with reading.  Is it decoding or fluency or comprehension that is the main issue?  Or all three?  

 

5. How does she do with comprehension when you read something to her as opposed to her reading it herself?

 

6.  How does she do with audio books?

 

Thank you so much!  I am in the US and my state requires yearly standardized testing.   She has always had Shurley English for grammar.  She reads fluently.  Comprehension appears to be the main issue.  She has never used audio books, she is a visual/hands on learner and needs to see what she is reading.  It really depends on the material as to whether she does better by herself reading or me reading to her (with her silently following along as I read).  For reading comprehension I have been working with her without a formal program.  We discuss a lot.  We read together and I ask her questions.  She can pick out the main idea and supporting details from a paragraph. 

 

From my other post, someone brought Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit to my attention.  From everything I read and from talking to my daughter using non-leading questions,  I strongly suspect this is the issue.  I am going to order Visual and Verbalization (think I am saying the correct name) and Linguisystems for her and work through them both.  Reading Detective was also recommended and I will use it as well.

 

I also spoke (prior to getting the info on S-CRD) to the psychologist that did her testing when she was 5 years old.  I gave her all of the info on the Iowa results, my observations, and the curriculum we are using.  She suggested V&V.  She also said that Woodcock Johnson was a much better test.  Next spring she will do my daughter's yearly standardized testing using Woodcock Johnson, should anything come up during that testing, then she will do a full reading evaluation.  If we need her before then, then we are to call.

 

I feel like we have a solid plan in place right now.  But I am very open to any advice and thoughts.  Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out, I appreciate it.

 


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#7 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:06 PM

I had an Intervention Specialist in today who works with the behaviorist we use for my ds' autism. It was pretty fascinating, and we spent a lot of time talking about reading. She wanted to see scores (DAR, CTOPP, language testing, etc.) so she could sift out what was the dyslexia, what was language issues from the autism, etc. So where I think you need to start is looking to see if any of her testing gives you clues on that. There are different tests an SLP or psychologist will run that can generate scores on vocabulary, inferences, etc. The CELF has a metalinguistics for teens. The TOPS is one we're getting run soon. So these are tests by a psych or SLP, not standardized test scores.

 

Once you have that testing, the SLP or intervention specialist can help you make a plan to target the areas. So they TEST they because it helps them decide what to TARGET. Without that data, you don't know whether it's attention, behavior, pragmatics (inferences, homonyms, etc.) or what causing the problem. 

 

Once you have those words from the testing and talking with the person, you can either use them or buy therapy materials. Super Duper Inc sells stuff and also Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

This testing isn't usually so so expensive, so it's worth seeing what you can make happen. The ps is bound, by federal law to do the evals for this as well, meaning you can get them to do it.

This is very helpful, thank you.


 



#8 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:11 PM

The standardized test scores are going down because the skills required are becoming more abstract. Her peers are pulling ahead and her weaknesses are becoming more obvious. I would definitely take it seriously, because it's not a fluke or your imagination. Also, the issues she's having there carry over to her social thinking and LIFE. So if she's missing inferences in the reading, it's also showing up in her social thinking and how she handles LIFE. 

This makes a lot of sense.  I am definitely taking it seriously.  I have spoken to the psychologist who did her testing when she was 5.  We have a plan in place for her to do my daughter's standardized testing next spring, using Woodcock Johnson instead of Iowa.  If anything comes up on that test then she will give her a full reading evaluation.  I have gotten a lot of excellent advice and recommendations for reading comprehension curriculum that I will get and use immediately.  Thank you very much.


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#9 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:24 PM

Hugs, best wishes and good luck.



#10 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:46 PM

Comprehension appears to be the main issue. She has never used audio books, she is a visual/hands on learner and needs to see what she is reading. It really depends on the material as to whether she does better by herself reading or me reading to her (with her silently following along as I read). For reading comprehension I have been working with her without a formal program. We discuss a lot. We read together and I ask her questions. She can pick out the main idea and supporting details from a paragraph.


This is pretty much how I have ensured comprehension also. We talk a lot about non-book related topics as well. I am constantly checking auditory and reading comprehension. We also look up words, images, videos, we reenact. We also do related projects. In our reading I encourage him to infer, I use concepts in different scenarios to see if it has generalized, etc.

I think you are doing a wonderful job :)

All the best,

Marie
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#11 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:12 AM

This is pretty much how I have ensured comprehension also. We talk a lot about non-book related topics as well. I am constantly checking auditory and reading comprehension. We also look up words, images, videos, we reenact. We also do related projects. In our reading I encourage him to infer, I use concepts in different scenarios to see if it has generalized, etc.

I think you are doing a wonderful job :)

All the best,

Marie

 

Thank you  so much.  I appreciate it.
 


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#12 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:04 AM

We haven't had reading challenges so I can't make any suggestions there but on the reading comprehension part, if you are comfortable with the idea of using a strategies book, this book includes the strategies I use. I say, if you are comfortable, because some people work better with resources that are more scripted or laid/ planned out for them. We each work better with what fits our teaching style better, besides our kids' learning styles. I prefer strategies because I can use them to cater to the specific needs my children have while using content/ resources of my choosing. You could check your library to see if they carry it and see how you feel.

Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement by Stephanie Harvey
https://www.amazon.c...coding=UTF8&me=

I hope you find what works best for your girl!
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#13 Storygirl

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:53 PM

My son has difficulty with reading comprehension. It is not uncommon for kids with ASD, from what I understand, because comprehension includes perspective taking, understanding inferences and figurative language, social understanding, being able to tell what is happening during a flashback or narrative that is out of chronological order, knowing who is talking when the dialogue just says "he said," or "she said," or has no attribution.  And so on. Lack of background knowledge is a big one, as is vocabulary.

 

And also self-awareness, by which I mean being able to detect for themselves when they are not comprehending, instead of just continuing to read along, even if they are missing things. This is a big piece, because without having that signal to stop and think, it is many degrees harder to address the problem.

 

I would highly recommend the same book that Canadian Mom linked to.

 

DS greatly benefits from multiple readings of the same text. We read aloud to him and stop to explain every word, sentence construction, or concept that is not straightforward. This makes reading the text very choppy, but that's okay, because he reads it multiple times. He really dislikes the repeated readings, but it makes a huge difference. He is in school, so we try to read his literature selections at home BEFORE they are introduced in class; that way he can actually absorb some of the class instruction. Without the pre-reading, we were finding that he was remembering very little after that first in-class reading (his class usually reads things aloud during class time, because they are short stories in his textbook).


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#14 Storygirl

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:59 PM

One of the things that I learned (it may have been in the book linked above), is that students with comprehension problems often do well using the reading strategies when they are working in class or with their teacher. But they don't actually end up putting them into practice for themselves independently.

 

This is something to really watch for, because generalization can be a problem with ASD. The skills and strategies really need to be over taught and constantly practiced. So it can be helpful to pick one strategy -- let's say it is marking up the text with a highlighter -- and use it every time the student is reading, across all subjects, and every day, if possible. Let her see you highlighting things and talk about how it helps you. And so on. After a time, then, add another strategy, but keep working on highlighting as well, so she doesn't forget to use it.

 

Highlighting is just an example. The book introduces many strategies. It is meant for teachers and includes lesson plans, but you can adapt it for homeschooling.


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#15 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:23 PM

We haven't had reading challenges so I can't make any suggestions there but on the reading comprehension part, if you are comfortable with the idea of using a strategies book, this book includes the strategies I use. I say, if you are comfortable, because some people work better with resources that are more scripted or laid/ planned out for them. We each work better with what fits our teaching style better, besides our kids' learning styles. I prefer strategies because I can use them to cater to the specific needs my children have while using content/ resources of my choosing. You could check your library to see if they carry it and see how you feel.

Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement by Stephanie Harvey
https://www.amazon.c...coding=UTF8&me=

I hope you find what works best for your girl!

I like using strategies too, and am comfortable with that layout.  This book looks very good, I will get it immediately.  Thank you for taking time to help me.


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#16 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:24 PM

One of the things that I learned (it may have been in the book linked above), is that students with comprehension problems often do well using the reading strategies when they are working in class or with their teacher. But they don't actually end up putting them into practice for themselves independently.


This would fall under EF issues and generalizing/ applying the skills in the real world. It affects ASD kids differently, depending on level of functioning and what EF skills are affected.
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#17 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:27 PM

My son has difficulty with reading comprehension. It is not uncommon for kids with ASD, from what I understand, because comprehension includes perspective taking, understanding inferences and figurative language, social understanding, being able to tell what is happening during a flashback or narrative that is out of chronological order, knowing who is talking when the dialogue just says "he said," or "she said," or has no attribution.  And so on. Lack of background knowledge is a big one, as is vocabulary.

 

And also self-awareness, by which I mean being able to detect for themselves when they are not comprehending, instead of just continuing to read along, even if they are missing things. This is a big piece, because without having that signal to stop and think, it is many degrees harder to address the problem.

 

I would highly recommend the same book that Canadian Mom linked to.

 

DS greatly benefits from multiple readings of the same text. We read aloud to him and stop to explain every word, sentence construction, or concept that is not straightforward. This makes reading the text very choppy, but that's okay, because he reads it multiple times. He really dislikes the repeated readings, but it makes a huge difference. He is in school, so we try to read his literature selections at home BEFORE they are introduced in class; that way he can actually absorb some of the class instruction. Without the pre-reading, we were finding that he was remembering very little after that first in-class reading (his class usually reads things aloud during class time, because they are short stories in his textbook).

This is incredibly helpful.  You have made so many good points.  It all makes so much sense and I can see that this applies to my daughter.  While I do re-read things with her....we are not re-reading them enough it seems like.  Gosh, thank you.  I will implement these strategies.


 


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#18 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:34 PM

One of the things that I learned (it may have been in the book linked above), is that students with comprehension problems often do well using the reading strategies when they are working in class or with their teacher. But they don't actually end up putting them into practice for themselves independently.

 

This is something to really watch for, because generalization can be a problem with ASD. The skills and strategies really need to be over taught and constantly practiced. So it can be helpful to pick one strategy -- let's say it is marking up the text with a highlighter -- and use it every time the student is reading, across all subjects, and every day, if possible. Let her see you highlighting things and talk about how it helps you. And so on. After a time, then, add another strategy, but keep working on highlighting as well, so she doesn't forget to use it.

 

Highlighting is just an example. The book introduces many strategies. It is meant for teachers and includes lesson plans, but you can adapt it for homeschooling.

It is interesting that you bring this up, when I ask her if she has used a tip that I gave her (for studying...reading...) she will invariably say that either she forgot or "didn't think about it".  So she is obviously doing exactly what you are saying, not putting into practice what I have suggested independently.  I never knew what to do about that other than remind her, which obviously isn't working.  I can't wait for my book to arrive!  Thank you so much.  I am blown away by how helpful and kind everyone has been.  It is touching.


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#19 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:42 PM

This would fall under EF issues and generalizing/ applying the skills in the real world. It affects ASD kids differently, depending on level of functioning and what EF skills are affected.

 

From my understanding about Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit it is an EF disorder.  While my daughter hasn't been diagnosed with it yet, everything is pointing to that being her reading comprehension issue.   If so, things are making more sense to me.  She has ASD and  a congenital brain injury (schizencephaly).  Her brain injury is located in her right parietal lobe.  She also has mild CP as a result of the brain injury.   Excuse me, I am replying to your post while thinking out loud on paper.  But it kind of all in falling into place in my head. 
 


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#20 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:01 PM

From my understanding about Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit it is an EF disorder. While my daughter hasn't been diagnosed with it yet, everything is pointing to that being her reading comprehension issue. If so, things are making more sense to me. She has ASD and a congenital brain injury (schizencephaly). Her brain injury is located in her right parietal lobe. She also has mild CP as a result of the brain injury. Excuse me, I am replying to your post while thinking out loud on paper. But it kind of all in falling into place in my head.

Oh please don't apologize at all! Anything autism related interests me. I have two on the spectrum and am most likely on the spectrum myself, so I do a lot of research.

I'm sorry to hear about what your girl is faced with. You sound like a wonderful mom that is in tune with your child. I wish I could do more to help!

I researched procedural memory a few years back when I was trying to make sense of my 8 yr old's struggles with language. He was never nonverbal but had certain deficits that I had no help in figuring out. So I spent many sleepless nights researching. It has paid off with my son a great deal.

See if this speaks to you:
https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC3664921/

Edited by Canadian Mom of 2, 18 May 2017 - 04:02 PM.

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#21 OhElizabeth

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:25 PM

You can see if your insurance would pay for an SLP eval and to have an SLP do the intervention. In the ps, an Intervention Specialist would do it working jointly with the SLP.


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#22 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:05 PM

The link here is that executive functions appear to have control over declarative and procedural memory. This is all at the research stage and I have had to dig deep to find any kind of information. Research on EFs is also fairly new.

I do agree with getting an SLP evaluation but if you are so inclined, also do your own research. Things have to make sense to me, and like you seem to be trying to do, I am always trying to piece things together for myself, about my kids.

Hope you find whatever resources you need to help your girl :)

Edited by Canadian Mom of 2, 18 May 2017 - 06:06 PM.

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#23 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:56 PM

Oh please don't apologize at all! Anything autism related interests me. I have two on the spectrum and am most likely on the spectrum myself, so I do a lot of research.

I'm sorry to hear about what your girl is faced with. You sound like a wonderful mom that is in tune with your child. I wish I could do more to help!

I researched procedural memory a few years back when I was trying to make sense of my 8 yr old's struggles with language. He was never nonverbal but had certain deficits that I had no help in figuring out. So I spent many sleepless nights researching. It has paid off with my son a great deal.

See if this speaks to you:
https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC3664921/

The article you linked is absolutely fascinating.  Thank you for sharing it.

 

Thank you also for the kind words.   I hope that your two are doing well.   Having two on the spectrum has to be challenging.


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#24 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:00 PM

The link here is that executive functions appear to have control over declarative and procedural memory. This is all at the research stage and I have had to dig deep to find any kind of information. Research on EFs is also fairly new.

I do agree with getting an SLP evaluation but if you are so inclined, also do your own research. Things have to make sense to me, and like you seem to be trying to do, I am always trying to piece things together for myself, about my kids.

Hope you find whatever resources you need to help your girl :)

 

I am like you, things have to make sense to me. I like to understand and learn so I can adequately advocate for my daughter and know how best to help her.     Ahh, thank you for the link between EF and declarative and procedural memory.  
 


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#25 peacelovehomeschooling

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:01 PM

You can see if your insurance would pay for an SLP eval and to have an SLP do the intervention. In the ps, an Intervention Specialist would do it working jointly with the SLP.

 

That is a good thought, thank you.
 



#26 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:16 PM

Thank you also for the kind words. I hope that your two are doing well. Having two on the spectrum has to be challenging.



Thank you, as well! It's a challenge and a blessing, all wrapped up into two beautiful boys :)

Edited by Canadian Mom of 2, 18 May 2017 - 07:17 PM.

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