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#1 Lauraruth

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 03:16 PM

I have a nine year old daughter who was diagnosed a couple years ago with SPD. School time has been beyond difficult with her this year. Most days one of the two of us will end up in tears at some point. I suspected that she has ADHD, and dysgraphia. I also thought that even though she is a strong reader, she might be dyslexic. She has a horrible time focusing, her reading comprehension is extremely low, her handwriting is almost illegible, and she has a hard time with spelling. She spells everything by how it sounds, and typically forgets simple rules like double the last letter before adding ing. She absolutely hates any type of writing (both the physical part and the mental part) and frequently forgets to use capital letters and punctuation. After some advice from a few people on this board, we scheduled an evaluation with the psychologist at the public school in our district. She used the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children V and the Weschler Individual Academic Acheivement Test III. I also completed the Conners - 3 Parent Rating Scale.

Her test results came back really high. The special ed teacher and the psychologist said that her scores overall are some of the highest they have seen. She did score a little lower in working memory and processing speed, but they were still in the average range. Her math fluency was the only thing that was below average, and it wasn't by much. The Conners results also came back high. They were significantly above average for executive functioning, inattention and hyperactivity.

So,we know that even though we don't have an offficial diagnosis, she does have ADHD tendencies. I provided examples of Norah's work to show them the handwriting and spelling issues she has. They both believe that the sloppy work and the spelling errors are because she has difficulty focusing and may just get lazy. The reading comprehension issues also are most likely related to focus. I may be completely wrong, but if the spelling and handwriting issues were due to a lack of focus, wouldn't there also be times that her work would be done better. I wouldn't think that her focus would be nonexistent all of the time. For example, she was making a Christmas list, her handwriting was still awful and her spelling was as well. If she was able to focus on making the list, wouldn't that mean that her spelling and writing should be better during the fun activities? Would the inability to focus also cause issues with writing (not handwriting)? Writing anything longer than a one or two word answer is a battle. I try to break it down and sometimes even give her the answer. When she has to write something on her own she says she can't do it.

I really don't know where to go from here. I just ordered the Zones of Regulation book to try to help with her emotional swings and melt downs. We are also doing sensory breaks and trying to adapt her workspace to make more conducive to learning for her. She was in OT for a while for SPD, so I feel like that part we doing ok. I just don't know what to do about her actual work. If the issues are truly a matter of not being able to focus, do I need into be more strict on the quality of her work? Her scores say she is very intelligent, but how does that translate to what she does in school? I'm just really not sure how to proceed with her and could use some advice.

Thank you for reading my book. I really appreciate the help for all of you!
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#2 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 04:52 PM

I wasn't there and am no expert so take this with a grain of salt but honestly it sounds like this evaluation wasn't very accurate.  FWIW, our first school eval was wrong.  I mean really wrong.  It also sent us in the wrong direction.  Does that mean all school evals are bogus?  Heck no.  Some are very well done.  A lot are not.

 

I agree with you that if her writing issues are only tied to focus there would be moments where her writing would be much better.  It sounds like maybe the evaluator is not that experienced with either dyslexia OR dysgraphia.  I'm not saying that she has either of these issues, I'm just saying that their assumption that ALL of her difficulties are tied to a lack of focus seems to me to indicate a lack of understanding.

 

By the way, there are a ton of underlying causes for dysgraphia so saying someone does have dysgraphia doesn't really indicate WHY a child is struggling with writing (either with the mental or the physical process or both).  There are TONS of processes that go into learning how to write well and if any of those develop at a different rate, have glitches, fail to develop, etc. then writing can become challenging at times.  If more than one of those processes is breaking down somehow then writing can become an extremely painful/overwhelming experience ALL the time.  Some underlying issues can be addressed, some can't.                                            

 

The best thing about dysgraphia is that for MANY underlying causes there are plenty of solutions.  For one thing, there is text to speech and speech to text software.  There is typing.  And right now you can scribe for her.  Let her focus be on getting the words out.  You write them.  Scribe for her in everything you can.  Work on handwriting separately, in short stints.  Don't tie her learning to her ability to write.

 

As for spelling issues, she may need something much more systematic, broken down into tiny pieces that are reviewed often in a very systematic way, and probably phonics based.  Regardless of the diagnosis you got from the school she obviously has SOMETHING tripping up her spelling.  Keep spelling as a separate lesson from her writing in content subjects.  Scribe for her with everything content related.  Scaffold her as you work with her separately on her skills weaknesses.  For spelling itself you may need something like All About Spelling or even Barton Reading and Spelling.  What are you currently using?

 

How does she do reading non-sense words?  How well does she do when she reads aloud?


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#3 Crimson Wife

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:28 PM

Saying this gently but with the description you gave (SPD, ADHD, emotional swings & outbursts, reading comprehension difficulties, etc.) I think you should have her evaluated by a neuropsychologist or developmental pediatrician familiar with how high-functioning autism can present in bright girls. I'm not saying she necessarily has HFA but there are a LOT of "red flags" in your description.


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#4 PeterPan

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:39 PM

Did they run anything more besides the WISC, WIAT, and Conners?

 

Are you planning on enrolling her or keeping her home? What would happen, if you chose to enroll her, is they would write an IEP based on these evals and they would have to update it as they actually worked with her. Right now, they're able to assume that she hasn't been taught adequately, that you haven't used intervention materials that they would use in RTI, that you don't provide enough structure, on and on, and that's why they're giving you the blow-off. They would do those things and go ok, now we see that even with stepped up intervention and supports she STILL is not getting there, then we know it's an SLD.

 

My ds got his SLD labels confirmed by the ps and very young, but I went in with quite a bit showing the types of intervention we had done. And there's sort of a rolling process to it. Like when we brought in ABA tutors, they were like hey, let's try this, lets see if with enough motivators, enough positive behavioral supports, enough structure we can get there. And my ds is like your dd on the handwriting btw. Like one sentence copywork is 45 minutes of torture, kinda gig. They did it for 6 number of months and finally the team agreed give up, call Uncle, move on. But they wanted to see whether it could improve with enough supports and structures. I'm not saying it's not an SLD, just explaining what they're thinking. Your kid is not lazy, but she may not have gotten all the structures and supports that could be given and they're probably going ok, we can't say why this is happening. That's why they have RTI (response to intervention). But if you're not enrolling her, they're not doing RTI to see that.

 

As far as what to do? What do you want? If you have evidence to dispute the evals, you can go through the dispute process (which is going nuclear, honestly) and compel them to pay for private, 3rd party evals. It can be done. I think there's a LOT they didn't do, if that's the only stuff on your list. Odds are the planning sheet you signed for evals didn't tick enough categories. There's no language, no ASD, no anxiety, no pragmatics. The school doesn't give a rip if they don't eval EVERYTHING. What you don't know and sign off on saves them money. ;)

 

If you can make private evals happen, go ahead. There are definitely a lot of outstanding questions. Also, you could have some in-between options. For instance, with language testing and no pragmatics, you could head to a good SLP. Your insurance might cover it, and they're less per hour than a neuropsych. SLP could run the TOWR (or something else, I forget, a written language test, standardized), something for pragmatics like the SLDT, and some language screening like the CELF or CASL. Spend enough time there and you *might* find explanations for the writing stuff. If they have the TONL or can do Michelle Garcia Winner's dynamic assessment, that would also be one to get done, definitely. 

 

Also, did the OT work on retained reflexes? If not, you need to get that done. Sometimes that is causing the writing difficulties. Vision is the other thing to check, and you go to a developmental optometrist for that. Start with a *screening* kwim?

 

You said her reading comprehension was poor. What were her scores on the WIAT? Lots of kids with ADHD have fine comprehension. You have severe ADHD, refusals (maybe even oppositional behavior at times?), and unexplained possible language issues. With no ASD tool run, how did they know there's not a language issue tying the reading and writing issues? Totally absurd what they did. 

 

In the meantime, you need to assume EVERYTHING is going on and start to triage. Personally, I would google the retained reflexes tonight, test those, and see how far that gets you. If those are already integrated and fine and you're SURE you've done everything for food allergies, food colorings, that kind of thing, then I would head to the ped next and get going on an ADHD scrip. I would up your STRUCTURE level and supports to fit ADHD. I would see how far that gets you. After the reflexes are integrated, I would get a vision exam (basic) with a developmental optometrist (COVD) and ask them to screen. And somewhere in there stuff in the SLP testing. If the SLP testing shows up ANYTHING, use that as evidence to go back and file a dispute with the school and force them to pay for private evals. Check the dispute timeline to make sure you don't miss the window. It's long (6 or 9 months, I forget), but it's easy to get busy and miss it.


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#5 PeterPan

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:43 PM

Sorry, I was probably speaking greek there. I took my ds to a fancy $$$$$$ neuropsych, and for $250+ an hour he runs the stuff your ps ran PLUS the SLP stuff your ps DIDN'T run. So my point is that if the ps IQ and achievement testing is about what you would have expected, then it could be an option to hold that thought and fill in what didn't get done, kwim? That's why I'm saying SLP. Around here, you can get into an SLP for $60-125 an hour. Like I have experts I take my ds to, a place where people drive 3+ hours each way (yes, for real), and they're $125 an hour. Most are only $60-80 around here. So if you can find someone who specializes in autism, someone who HAS all those tests (which is why I listed them out, so you can say what you're looking for), then they can fill in some of those holes affordably.


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#6 PeterPan

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:47 PM

Saying this gently but with the description you gave (SPD, ADHD, emotional swings & outbursts, reading comprehension difficulties, etc.) I think you should have her evaluated by a neuropsychologist or developmental pediatrician familiar with how high-functioning autism can present in bright girls. I'm not saying she necessarily has HFA but there are a LOT of "red flags" in your description.

 

Absolutely. Go back and look at the planning forms you signed. Those were legal documents, and they're the first step where the ps screws unsuspecting parents. They just quietly don't check boxes that need to be checked so they don't have to eval. They call you a bad teacher, or in this case slam your dc and say she's LAZY, rather than paying for the hours to run what needs to be run. 

 

I'll go back to this, but the pragmatics testing an SLP can do is the same stuff a psych will run. So again, that's a way for you to get some data affordably if it's not practical to make the neuropsych happen. We had a neuropsych who was related to a donkey. Like I'm really not of the sell your house to see them camp because they can be wrong. If it would strap you, then go through the legal dispute process. To do that, you need to read the law and collect some evidence (not a ton, just enough) and go through the process. It's not fun, but nothing in the IEP process is. You can do it.


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#7 Storygirl

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 08:49 PM

It sounds like your school did not run enough tests to reveal all of the root issues that are causing problems. For example, the basic test for dyslexia is the CTOPP. They took a look at her high IQ scores and the indications of ADHD and decided to explain away everything else with the inattention issues. But it is just conjecture, because they didn't run any tests to find out for sure.

 

That's why some of the other posters are suggesting additional testing.

 

Most schools, by the way, will not diagnose dyslexia or dysgraphia. They would look for a reading or writing disability, by seeing how the child scores in comparison with same grade peers and how the achievement scores compare to IQ scores. If they are not performing up to the standards but have had adequate instruction, the school will make a determination of a learning disability, but they will not name it "dyslexia" or "dysgraphia."

 

So you can find out if the school thinks there is a learning disability, and you can get the test scores, which you can dig into yourself to look for clues, but getting an actual diagnosis doesn't often happen through the school evaluations.

 

In your case, I would consider those test scores a good start toward understanding your daughter's issues, but you may want to keep exploring other ways to learn more about the root issues. We have had evaluations through the schools and private evaluations and have learned from both. It is the private evaluations that gave us the diagnoses.

 

:grouphug:


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#8 Storygirl

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 08:53 PM

By the way, if you feel comfortable posting the actual scores from the subtests, others on the boards may be able to give you some insight into what they may mean.

 

You mention, for example, that her overall scores are high, but working memory and processing speed are lower. Lower processing speed is common with dysgraphia, and lower working memory affects all areas of learning and is commonly seen in kids with dyslexia (though it can go along with other LDs).

 

Even though those scores are in the average range, if they are considerably lower than the other scores, they may point toward learning problems for your child. In other words, the discrepancy between the highest scores and the lower scores is important, even if the low scores are still in the average range compared to peers.


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#9 Lauraruth

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 10:46 PM

Thanks ladies! I'm going to read through all of your responses again tomorrow with a fresh mind. (I've been taking care of two sick five year olds today, and I'm ready for bed.)

I will post her exam results as well. I feel like I am chasing my tail with all of this. I know I will have questions once I read through everything. I really appreciate everything!

Edited by Lauraruth, 02 December 2017 - 04:40 PM.

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#10 City Mouse

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 10:15 AM

Since they didn't test for dyslexia, that could still be an issue, and I really hate that they are saying a kid with obvious ADHD issues is just being "lazy".

But I will say that I don't necessarily think that her writing should be better sometimeshe "only" Even if she looks to you like she is focused on a writing task, her mind could be going a mile a minute. Making a Christmas list would have my kids going down so many rabbit trails that they might forget what the are writing from one minute to the next.

I also know a child who did not like the physical aspect of writing because she could not stand the sensory input of pencil to paper. My DS also has a physical issue that makes writing difficult, but is not a "learning disability".

So I guess my view is the school test might or might not be accurate, but it doesn't hurt to pursue additional testing, but in my state schools do not test for dyslexia until after the child qualifies for an IEP (per state rules), so I higher functioning student with dyslexia characteristics would not be identified with rough public school testing.

#11 Storygirl

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 04:33 PM

Yes, I also agree that that "lazy" comment was uncalled for by the school. I'm sorry they said that to you.

 

Problems with writing are weird, and dysgraphia or Specific Learning Disorder in written expression (what the school calls it) is a really subjective diagnosis.

 

DS13 was diagnosed with SLD written expression by the neuropsych but not by the school.

 

DD12 was diagnosed with SLD written expression by the school but not by the neuropsych.

 

It really doesn't matter for them, because they both get writing help in their IEP anyway. But it shows how subjective the diagnosis is. There isn't a specific test to diagnose dysgraphia, and writing difficulties can be due to different root causes.


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#12 Lauraruth

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 04:39 PM

Ok, I'm going to try to answer some of the questions you had.

I have started doing more of the writing for her when she needs to write longer answers. She does ok in workbooks with a one or two word answer. It is still mostly illegible, and the spelling iffy, but she doesn't fight me on that. We are doing IEW this year and taking it extremely slowly. She will underline the words in the paragraph for the keyword outline and will will put it into a paragraph together. I am also having her practice typing so she can do more of that in the future.

For spelling we are also using IEW. We started with AAS, mostly because that is what I had used for my older daughter, and it did not work at all for her. We also tried Spelling You See which was a disaster, but at the time I was not aware of the writing difficulties. Phonetic Zoo has been going pretty well. On the words she struggles with, we take extra time to break them down and practice more. The crazy thing is, she actually does well with some of the tougher words. When she has to write words for other subjects, everything is forgotten. When I notice a misspelled word, I'll ask her about the rule. She almost always will tell me the rule, but it gets mixed up between her head and hand.

They did not give her any tests other than the three I mentioned. I specifically told her that I suspected dysgraphia and maybe dyslexia. I knew they could not diagnose, but I told her I was aware that they had a test that could at least tell us if there were tendencies toward either. I was not sure what the tests were called, so I guess I assumed they would be evaluating that since I had specifically mentioned it. We are not planning to send her to a traditional school. I wasn't having her tested so much for a diagnosis as I was to figure out what was going on so I could help her. I did tell them that even if she qualified for services based on the results, we were not sure if she would be receiving them.

She is a very strong reader. She has always read above her grade level. She does great reading out loud. She asks to read out loud to her younger siblings quite often. Someone in this board had mentioned a couple of online tests to give her. One was a nonsense word test. She did ok with it. I can't seem to find it right now, but I remember thinking that while she didn't do great, she did better than I thought she would. We also did the TAAS, and she had nine correct and then missed 10 and 11. Instead of saying clap without the k sound, she said ap. She dropped the whole blended sound.

Here are her test scores from the school:
Basic reading 108
Total reading 119
Reading fluency and comprehension 123
Mathematics 126
Math fluency 83
Written expression 103

Verbal comprehension 111
Visual spatial index 122
Fluid reasoning 123
Working memory index 103
Processing speed 98
Full scale IQ 115

They did say that with the processing speed being lower than the other scores, that may be causing a little bit of a slow down I her work, but there wasn't enough of a gap to signify any issues to be concerned about.

On the Conners test her scores were:
Inattention 86
Hyperactivity/impulsivity 87
Learning problems 66
Executive functioning 73
Defiance/aggression 64
Peer relations 44

She had been previously receiving speech therapy at the same school. She finished that about a year ago. I was really impressed with the speech teacher and how she worked with my daughter. She was also always willing to answer my questions or get me the information I was looking for. I was hoping I would find the same assistance with the other issues. I did question them quite a bit during the meeting because so much of what they found was not what I see at home. They really couldn't give me any good answers. I kept getting suggestions on how to make sure she had plenty of sensory breaks, and to make her work space conducive to her learning style. They told me her reading comprehension score was high, but couldn't explain why she can't remember what she read two minutes before. They never said it, but I left there feeling like it was all me.

I have a few questions about some of the answers I received from everyone. I'm going to put those on another post so I can keep everything straight and not loose anything.

Thank you all for your help.

#13 Storygirl

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:05 PM

Was her speech therapy for an articulation issue, or was it for social skills?

 

I can see why they didn't think there were learning disabilities from those scores. At the same time, I totally believe your description of the issues.

 

The problem with getting her thoughts onto paper and with being able to spell, even though she knows the rules, sounds more like dysgraphia than dyslexia to me. Because she knows spelling rules, can apply them when you ask, and does well with nonsense words, it doesn't really sound like dyslexia to me. Her trouble with spelling may be related more to attention, the working memory, and the possible dysgraphia. All of those play a part in writing, so when they are combined, they could cause some real difficulty.

 

About the reading comprehension...DS performed well on the reading comprehension part of his school evaluation, even though he was having extreme troubles in class (as in, he was reading second grade readers in fifth grade for the Accelerated Reader program). We wondered why, and the school psych said that the comprehension test involved auditory input. So she was reading the selections out loud to him or playing a recording of a selection. It did not test for how he would do when reading silently to himself. That auditory input makes a huge difference to him and explained his higher scores.

 

Also, DS can answer explicit questions about a text but cannot do inference at all. So the kind of questions asked on the test can make a difference. The questions may not have hit on the areas that your daughter struggles with.

 

And then there is the issue of memory. It sounds like she may be able to answer questions immediately after reading something but then forgets it a few minutes later. So perhaps she can answer direct comprehension questions immediately on a short passage, but when reading something like a chapter or longer passage, she loses the train of thought of the passage.

 

Also, if she has underlying expressive or receptive language issues, they can impact reading comprehension. If she lacks social awareness (suggested by that low peer score on the Connors), it can also affect reading comprehension.

 

There are a lot of layers that can affect comprehension, and she could be struggling with aspects that didn't happen to show up on the test that they ran.


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#14 Storygirl

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:10 PM

Are you considering meds for the ADHD? Have you talked to the doctor? I'm wondering if that would make a difference for her.

 

Meds make a big difference for DS13 with ADHD, but DD12 so far has been able to do without. Not everyone with ADHD needs the meds, but they do make a big difference for some.

 

Also, the sensory issues, comprehension issues, trouble with writing, peer relations, need for speech therapy of some type, and emotional regulation / frustration tolerance / meltdowns ..... I think those are the red flags for autism mentioned by Crimson. Kids can exhibit those things and NOT have autism, but it's something to consider, and it can be harder to diagnose in girls.


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#15 Storygirl

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:13 PM

Another thing that affects reading comprehension is background knowledge. Sometimes we think kids know things, because they have been exposed to them in the same way that all other kids have. But because of the ADHD or SPD or whatever, they did not process the same input that other kids did, and so their brains did not retain it. Literature and other texts assume a lot of background knowledge, and when it is not there, it can affect comprehension as well.



#16 Lauraruth

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 06:27 PM

Her speech was for articulation not social skills. She actually has fairly good social skills. She will talk to almost anyone, and has some good friends that she interacts with very well. She is, however prone to melt downs if things upset her just a little with her peers.

When we went to the OT for testing a couple years ago, I asked her to test for dysgraphia. She told me she found no issues. I realized later that she would have tested for the physical issues, not the brain disconnect. Even with that, I've suspected it for a while. Someone mentioned dyslexia to me as well. I had never thought that because of her strong reading.

The reading comprehension is hard. Sometimes she does better when I read to her, but not always. We're reading Percy Jackson out loud right now, and she usually does well with the questions. I thought it was an issue of school books vs enjoyment books, but there are enjoyment books that I will ask her about and she can't remember. There are times she will read two sentences, I ask her a question about them, and she won't remember the answer. She will get frustrated when she can't find an answer to a question, I'll give her the paragraph where the answer is, and many times she still can't find it. The inference questions you mentioned above make sense. She is very black and white, very analytical so I can see how inference questions would be difficult. I asked about the reading comprehension on the evaluation. She said it is a very short paragraph. I honestly don't remember if it was read to her or she read it herself.

We have not talked about meds at all. I'm still trying to process everything and figure out next steps. Could you explain what an SLP is? What should we be looking for in one? Are there certain things we should request? Is it worth going back to the school to ask them why certain tests were not included in the evaluation or is that just wasting time? I originally told them I wanted to do the full evaluation, so I could finally stop trying to guess what was going on. I don't want to "chase" a diagnosis, I just want information. I feel like I'm that person who didn't get the answers she wanted so she's going to find someone who will tell her what she wants to hear.

Does anyone have any good resources to recommend for figuring out how to help a child with these issues. I'm at a loss with what to do with her school work. Are there good programs or curriculum to look at while we try to figure everything out?

One more thing I thought about. My daughter is 9. I have an older daughter who is 11, and boy/girl twins who are 5. The two older girls spent a couple of weeks at my parents with their cousin who is 10 this summer. We went to their house for a couple of weeks when we picked up the girls. We noticed that when dd was with the older kids she acted her age and got along great with them. When she was playing with the twins, it was like she was five as well. They fought and she would through tantrums. After watching it this summer, I've been keeping an eye on it at home. She acts the same way here. I don't know if it means anything, but I would be interested if anyone has seen this in kids. Is this an ADHD behavior?

Thank you again! I'm so overwhelmed and so thankful to have someone to "talk to" about this.

#17 Heathermomster

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 07:26 PM

Welcome!

Your child has a diagnosis of SPD, and you suspect ADHD/dysgraphia. She also had speech issues. Well, 50% of children with motor planning type issues have attention issues.

Your girl sounds like she needs to work with a highly qualified SIPT and requires a private assessment precisely as Crimson mentioned. Did anyone mention vision? With the motor and sensory issues, she may also have developmental vision issues.

In the mean time, scribe for her. For spelling, use letter tiles or a keyboard.

#18 Heathermomster

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 07:29 PM

Her speech was for articulation not social skills. She actually has fairly good social skills. She will talk to almost anyone, and has some good friends that she interacts with very well. She is, however prone to melt downs if things upset her just a little with her peers.

When we went to the OT for testing a couple years ago, I asked her to test for dysgraphia. She told me she found no issues. I realized later that she would have tested for the physical issues, not the brain disconnect. Even with that, I've suspected it for a while. Someone mentioned dyslexia to me as well. I had never thought that because of her strong reading.

The reading comprehension is hard. Sometimes she does better when I read to her, but not always. We're reading Percy Jackson out loud right now, and she usually does well with the questions. I thought it was an issue of school books vs enjoyment books, but there are enjoyment books that I will ask her about and she can't remember. There are times she will read two sentences, I ask her a question about them, and she won't remember the answer. She will get frustrated when she can't find an answer to a question, I'll give her the paragraph where the answer is, and many times she still can't find it. The inference questions you mentioned above make sense. She is very black and white, very analytical so I can see how inference questions would be difficult. I asked about the reading comprehension on the evaluation. She said it is a very short paragraph. I honestly don't remember if it was read to her or she read it herself.

We have not talked about meds at all. I'm still trying to process everything and figure out next steps. Could you explain what an SLP is? What should we be looking for in one? Are there certain things we should request? Is it worth going back to the school to ask them why certain tests were not included in the evaluation or is that just wasting time? I originally told them I wanted to do the full evaluation, so I could finally stop trying to guess what was going on. I don't want to "chase" a diagnosis, I just want information. I feel like I'm that person who didn't get the answers she wanted so she's going to find someone who will tell her what she wants to hear.

Does anyone have any good resources to recommend for figuring out how to help a child with these issues. I'm at a loss with what to do with her school work. Are there good programs or curriculum to look at while we try to figure everything out?

One more thing I thought about. My daughter is 9. I have an older daughter who is 11, and boy/girl twins who are 5. The two older girls spent a couple of weeks at my parents with their cousin who is 10 this summer. We went to their house for a couple of weeks when we picked up the girls. We noticed that when dd was with the older kids she acted her age and got along great with them. When she was playing with the twins, it was like she was five as well. They fought and she would through tantrums. After watching it this summer, I've been keeping an eye on it at home. She acts the same way here. I don't know if it means anything, but I would be interested if anyone has seen this in kids. Is this an ADHD behavior?

Thank you again! I'm so overwhelmed and so thankful to have someone to "talk to" about this.


SLP is the speech therapist. SIPT is the OT trained to work with SPD. I think you need a developmental ped for ASD assessment.
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#19 PeterPan

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 07:52 PM

It's not diagnosis shopping when they haven't even run the tests you would run to diagnosis things. You're just looking for someone who will actually run the tests.

 

They didn't calculate a GAI, but there was a 20 point spread in some of the scores. I'm not really a guru on scores. Was this the WISC 3, 4, or 5? You could check and google how they decide when to calculate the GAI to see if it was warranted. No matter what, she's clearly a bright girl. She's scoring well on her achievement tests, in spite of ADHD and cognitive differences, and has achievement scores in line with her IQ scores. That's all really good stuff!

 

That low computation score is something my dd had, and it's REALLY common with ADHD. Also, what you're describing with the reading comprehension sounds to me like she's not attending. I'm being precise there. There's attention and attending. If the brain checks out, then it isn't attending, isn't processing, and she won't know diddley of what she read. You could consider meds or you could consider a trial of very low dose caffeine. You can find the charts online for dosing caffeine for ADHD. It's VERY LOW so I'm not saying funnel coffee into her. 

 

You have SPD plus cognitive rigidity plus meltdowns. You're really, really close to an autism diagnosis. Even your ped could do this. There are very good interventions now for the social thinking. Autism in girls is going to look different from boys, so you're not going to want to look at one little thing and say oh but she does THIS. Yes she has a couple friends. Lots of people on the spectrum do. Do you know how many women on the boards here are diagnosed and have spouses and kids? It's really a misnomer to say well she has friends so she's not on the spectrum. You're showing enough flags that it ought to be addressed. Addressing it would allow you to open doors for the best interventions.

 

You're looking for an SLP who is trained in Social Thinking. You can go to SocialThinking.com and see if anyone on their list is near you. That list is of people who went to their clinics for extra training. You don't have to do that, just saying if someone like that is within a sane drive it would yield you a very informative eval. Otherwise, just start networking and calling around. See if the SLP lists Social Thinking on their website. Ask what tests they do for Social Thinking and pragmatics. Look for an SLP who is dealing with a lot of autism, because they're more likely to be trained in this or know someone who is. Be picky, because this is extra training they do, not stuff just anyone knows.

 

How is the IEW going? I kind of wonder if what you're seeing is that she's beginning to hit walls as the difficulty of the material increases. She's bright enough that maybe it was masked and you're going but something isn't right, something isn't right. I use with my ds the Spectrum Spotlight on Reading series of ebooks. They have printable ebooks for summarizing, inferencing, cause/effect, and compare/contrast. Look at the samples and see if they would be challenging for your dd. You could back up and find the right place to jump in. If she's having difficulty with IEW, these more detailed materials would go in and fill in the holes in her thought process.

 

What are your options for making more evals happen? The kicker is not what we can tell you. The issue is what you can make happen. People can try to give you options if you can tell us what you can make happen. If your insurance will cover xyz but not another thing, then you have to go that way. If you have no insurance and no funds, then you'll need to go through the dispute process.

 

You can't decide what to DO until you get more data to demonstrate the problem. Right now the school's interpretation of the limited data they made (IQ and achievement and Conners) seems fair. They're correct that an ADHD dc would present that way. What you're describing is a LOT of how my dd was at that age, and her diagnosis is straight ADHD with sensory issues. She had retained reflexes and really terrible visual memory. The visual memory problems caused the poor spelling. The writing issues were due to poor working memory, needing more time to mature, and WORD RETRIEVAL. That's a score they didn't run on you that the SLP could run. A neuropsych did it for dd, but again I'm trying to find ways that get the pricepoint down for you, kwim? 

 

If she's having issues with inferences, sequencing, cause/effect, etc., that's stuff they can test with the language testing by the SLP (or neuropsych or whoever you can make happen). My dd did *not* have issues with that, while my ds (who has autism, btw) does. Right now I'm using that Spotlight series with him because it seems to have enough steps and detail to help things click. If IEW is not going well, I would back up.

 

I strongly agree with getting back to OT and at least checking for retained reflexes. I did metronome work with my dd following Heathermomster's instructions, and that plus work on handling distractions, using working memory, etc. made a RADICAL difference for my dd's ability to get her thoughts out in writing. Not everything gets you an SLD label. It's kind of the difference between hard and impossible, sigh. Anyways, I want to validate that not getting the SLD label does NOT mean it's not hard or going to need some intervention. With my dd, I got really desperate! She had all the language, but it was so hard for her to get it out (aloud, on screen, on paper, anything). I used to make posts about her sweating great drops of blood like Jesus, and it was so real! Now she's a really good writer btw. It's still hard for her, but she got enough tools that she CAN get it out and enjoys it. 

 

Keep asking questions. Evals aren't fun because they feel like you're dissecting your kid. However they give you the info you need to target your interventions. Right now you don't have enough info. Personally, I'll suggest it could also have been a mistake to tell them you weren't interested in their help. Not every district or state requires them to provide services to homeschoolers, but sometimes the services could be really good. You're talking people who are used to do this, who get the amount of breakdown and steps. If they connected you with a good Intervention Specialist, you might learn a lot! These are not issues that are just going to go away, and frankly the homeschool community popular materials leave a lot to be desired. 


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#20 Pen

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 08:57 PM

Can she copy a correctly spelled word and maintain the correct spelling?  Can she copy a neat one or two word writing sample and do it fairly neatly? 

 

Are you dealing with cursive or printed letters?  If with cursive, can she read cursive easily even if she cannot form it easily?

 

How is her comprehension of non-written materials, such as a movie suitable to her age?


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#21 Storygirl

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 08:58 PM

:grouphug: I know it's a lot to digest. 

 

Where to start? I would say that you have the school's diagnosis of ADHD, so it would make sense to go talk to the doctor about treating the ADHD.

 

You can also do a little reading about autism in girls to see if any of it sounds like it might apply, and if you think she should be screened, ask your pediatrician about that as well. There are various people who can evaluate for autism, and your pediatrician may have a certain place they want you to go.

 

Then you can decide on whether to pursue more help from a speech therapist (SLP) or OT. There is a lot of info about what each of these therapists might do to help in the previous posts, but it is all mixed together. You could make yourself a chart and, while reading through this thread again, list under each therapist the issues that they can address.

 

When DS13 was first evaluated (by a private neuropsychologist), we got a huge report of suggested ways to help him, and I didn't know where to start. So we just picked an area, began there, and kept moving forward as time went on.

1) I think in your case, the ADHD is an obvious starting place.

2) If you think you need an autism evaluation, it's common to have long waiting lists to get in, so you may want to get that started.

 

Don't be discouraged that you didn't get complete answers from the school and need to keep looking. It's not really the school's forte to evaluate the whole picture; their mission is to look for anything that will impact the child's ability to keep up with peers in the classroom. Your daughter's scores suggest that she would be able to learn along with peers, so they think she is doing fine. They aren't seeing the barriers that you are encountering at home as you try to teach her, because they are not there alongside you as they happen.

 

By the way, did they come to your home to watch her have lessons from you? Or did they have her come to the school to see how she learns from a teacher? Technically, under the law, they are supposed to have a classroom teacher observe her in action.


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#22 PeterPan

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 10:26 PM

https://www.pearsonc...01471228127.pdf  Here's a doc that explains a bit how to interpret the Conners. It's percentiles, not standard scores like the WISC and WIAT, and it looks like the cutoff for significance is pretty high. Chart shows how terms correspond to IDEA categories. 

 

Pragmatics and social skills testing in general is kind of tricky. Like if you look at the sample at that doc, the dc could score in the average range (for that age on that test) with a raw score of 2. Just 2. So what would bump it over, kwim? So I think where results mesh with what you're thinking, you're good. When maybe the dc is on the young end for the tool or it's just not meshing, it's ok to want a more detailed tool. But the school could say well the Conners was screening a lot for us, kwim? 

 

I just know I've filled out forms a zillion times now, and every time I find myself doing it a little differently. It depends on what has been going on, what is most prominent in my mind... So when the question is important, it's helpful to have a more detailed tool that is going to ask you 100 questions on the topic and really sort it out, not let you skate by with a raw score of 2, kwim?



#23 PeterPan

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 10:28 PM

There's something to what Story is saying. It really was not satisfying for me when they said ADHD about dd. It really doesn't seem to explain her. But I think it's just the limitations of the term and how the DSM works. 

 

It took a long time for me to get comfortable that our evals were right, that dd did not have xyz going on, etc. 



#24 Lauraruth

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:37 PM

Can she copy a correctly spelled word and maintain the correct spelling? Can she copy a neat one or two word writing sample and do it fairly neatly?

Are you dealing with cursive or printed letters? If with cursive, can she read cursive easily even if she cannot form it easily?

How is her comprehension of non-written materials, such as a movie suitable to her age?


She has issues even with copying words and getting the spelling correct. If she really tries, she can copy a few words much more neatly. The school psychologist showed me the words she wrote during the evaluation. when she wrote only a few words, they were much neater than she writes at home. What I don't know is how long it took her to write the letters like that. If I can get her slow way down, she will do a better job.

We are right now working on writing in cursive. Honestly, she does better with cursive. Right now though she is only doing the HWT workbook. She's not ready yet to do more cursive with the other subjects. So I'm not sure if the neater writing is because she does better with cursive or because she is taking it really slowly right now. We don't have a lot of things written in cursive for her to read, she does struggle reading it a little, but that may be because she's not used to seeing it.

Her comprehension of non-written things, like television, is actually pretty good. Audio books are hit and miss.

#25 Lauraruth

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:41 PM

:grouphug: I know it's a lot to digest.

Where to start? I would say that you have the school's diagnosis of ADHD, so it would make sense to go talk to the doctor about treating the ADHD.

You can also do a little reading about autism in girls to see if any of it sounds like it might apply, and if you think she should be screened, ask your pediatrician about that as well. There are various people who can evaluate for autism, and your pediatrician may have a certain place they want you to go.

Then you can decide on whether to pursue more help from a speech therapist (SLP) or OT. There is a lot of info about what each of these therapists might do to help in the previous posts, but it is all mixed together. You could make yourself a chart and, while reading through this thread again, list under each therapist the issues that they can .



#26 Lauraruth

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:55 PM

I like the idea of the chart. Thank you for that. My head is spinning right now. I honestly never gave autism a thought. It is never anything that came up in discussions. Sometimes it is even more difficult with the internet, because there is so much out there and it seems like everything I research fits her to some degree.

I did check Social Thinking's website and they do not have anyone in our area. The closest is four hours away. The other thing is everything we do is out of our pocket. Our insurance will not cover anything until we reach our deductible (which is not small). We worked with the OT for a few months, but close to $200 a few hours each week is not something we can afford. I just can't take her to every specialist and run every test out there, as much as I would like to.

I'm going to sort through all of the posts and see if I can put something together to wrap my brain around. I'll be back with more questions! Thank you!

#27 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:57 PM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:



#28 Storygirl

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 05:55 PM

It really can take some time to sort things out, and that's okay! DS13's initial evaluations were four years ago, and we are still working through whether we have complete enough information yet, or whether we should do more testing to make sure certain things were not missed. He's also had some additional diagnoses added on since then, as time has gone on and new things have cropped up.


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#29 Pen

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 07:03 PM

She has issues even with copying words and getting the spelling correct. If she really tries, she can copy a few words much more neatly. The school psychologist showed me the words she wrote during the evaluation. when she wrote only a few words, they were much neater than she writes at home. What I don't know is how long it took her to write the letters like that. If I can get her slow way down, she will do a better job.

We are right now working on writing in cursive. Honestly, she does better with cursive. Right now though she is only doing the HWT workbook. She's not ready yet to do more cursive with the other subjects. So I'm not sure if the neater writing is because she does better with cursive or because she is taking it really slowly right now. We don't have a lot of things written in cursive for her to read, she does struggle reading it a little, but that may be because she's not used to seeing it.

Her comprehension of non-written things, like television, is actually pretty good. Audio books are hit and miss.

 

Could you try working on reading comprehension with significantly easier materials? Percy Jackson is fairly complicated.

 

 

I'm thinking that when writing a Dear Santa list she would have her focus on the list content and Xmas experience--not  on the spelling and handwriting. That when all she has to do is copy something and not be thinking about what she is writing at the same time, you'd be seeing more of what she can do when her focus is on the actual task. It sounds like even then, she has trouble, but less trouble.  

 

How is her fine motor / manual coordination for other tasks such as, say, sewing, or knitting?  

 

And has her vision been checked?

 

My ds who is considered to have dysgraphia could make the shapes for cursive writing quite well, but did not have a mental connection between the shapes he was making and that they were forming words.  It was like he was doing art or form drawing that was separate in his mind from having meaning.  He could not focus on both content and letter formation at the same time till a good bit older--and still is not all that strong on letter formation or spelling.

 

I ended up concluding that in the larger scheme of things handwriting and spelling were relatively low priorities, particularly given that word processing software and machinery exist nowadays.

 

The best composition program we found around that age for my ds was Bravewriter (kidswrite basic with me mostly scribing).  We had tried IEW and he did one good essay with it, but it generally resulted in tears and distress after that first positive moment.  The BW system where the focus could be on composing something of his own, rather than on the mechanics of the process and trying to reword what someone else had written worked better for us.



#30 exercise_guru

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 08:17 PM

This is not laziness. It's something keep looking you are on the right track. Accept you need to dig into the data and find the glitch. Otherwise you might head off in the wrong direction.

First absolutely a SLP needs to check receptive and expressive language and that should be cheap. I paid less than 150 without insurance.

Here's a few open Questions you might want to explore to dig into the info and find what is going on

If she is a strong reader I would have to look up the wisc for working memory but look up a digit repeat app and also a working memory test. Does she remember what she reads?

Does she follow directions and remember what she hears? Does she have her own address and phone number memorized?

I have some ideas about the dysgraphia. There are a few things I would test first. To get an idea is this is visual motor or inattentiveness

Have her draw a straight horizontal line
How is her pencil grip
Is the line shaky?
Can she draw basic shapes?
Can she copy a Panagram sentence "the quick brown fox ...." if it is on the line above in a good size script?
Look up a vison tracking reading of letters passage. Have her read it note any letters or numbers missed film it if you can and then on playback watch her eyes and observe if they are both flowing across the page.


If any of this sets off alarms do have a vision therapist screen her and definitely check on retained reflexes.

For sensory processing if she had an ipod/Internet phone consider getting some good headphones and have her do the listening system therapy subscription. It's cheap if you have her do exercises with it that helps a lot.

This wasn't available to us or I didn't know about it instead My son did integrated listening systems and that helped beyond measure but it took almost a year and we purchased the system and used it at home for over 100 sessions. It was with 5 other things so I can't figure out which one worked but after a year of intensive therapy it has been life changing even the handwriting. It's slow but legible now.

I think you might homeschool but even for regular school consider a few other ideas.

If you want to teach her a better handwriting for someone who struggles I love love love printed Getty and dubay. It flows and is so much easier than HWT or anything else I have seen. We spent the summer doing this after all kinds of problems and handwriting methods I sing it's praises.


Over a year of doing these things it changed my sons life

For spelling I really like "all about spelling" and logic of English but group group group. Keep similar spellings together. Leaen rule breakers seperately.
Give her an old fashioned small spelling book. They are small and only contain the worda not the dictionary stuff. Before Google professionals had them at there desk so they could quickly check a spelling. Encourage and reward her for looking up words she doesn't remember It encourages her to want to learn and not feel like she is falling short. Also I love learning about phonics groupings for spelling I used all about reading and Saxon phonics I also want to point out that English is horrible spelling wise. My husband had a PhD in a very difficult science field and has horrible spelling.

The other aspects worth exploring are definitely autism,ADHD etc but this isn't laziness this is something and I am not qualified to talk about those areas

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#31 exercise_guru

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 08:20 PM

For ADHD medication can be life changing it can take a child from D to B's but in some kids it doesn't work also some kiddos are misdiagnosed and so parents go down the ADHD rabbit hole only to find it was not an accurate diagnosis the glitch was in other areas.
The school system probably won't help you sort that out.

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#32 PeterPan

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 09:03 PM

For her sensory, is she very *over* sensitive or under? Amazon.com: too fast too loud too bright  If she's over-sensitive, this book is about that. 

 

I'm trying to think about what I did with dd around that age. My dd is straight ADHD with sensory, no SLDs, maybe similar scores to your dd though my dd's processing speed was lower. There was sort of a treading water there for a few years, where it seemed like she wasn't progressing. She just needed time for things to come together. But there was definitely a stage where it seemed like other people's kids were surging and doing these involved things (research papers in 7th, etc.) and that wasn't where dd was. And yet she did DE (dual enrollment) and did fine, now is fine in college. She uses accommodations and services, yes, but she's fine, holding on, hopefully keeping her scholarship, having a good time.

 

So it would be good to have some more data, yes, but some things aren't fixable. Some things you kind of take your time, stay longer at some stages, get more creative, and it all comes together in the end. It doesn't mean you're doing something wrong if you do that.

 

Can she type? Learning to type was EXTREMELY helpful for dd. Working on retained reflexes is good. Pursuing Zones of Reg and more strategies for calming is good. 

 

On the attention thing with reading, here's the thing. My ds with autism has language issues and he has needed really careful intervention. His scores show that he has funky holes and gaps. So data would tell you if that's happening with your dd. But also it can happen that the kid just plain is not attending. They're bored and their brains check out. And you can do meds or you can up the consequences and force it. There are some strategies that can help improve attention when they aren't engaged. There's something 4SQR or something. But really, the less they care, the less they're going to attend. And conversely, if she's really into it or really motivated, she'll probably find a way. Her actual comprehension scores were good enough to make you think it really is an attention issue. 

 

What it functionally meant was that I had to decide how important xyz was and whether it was worth dealing with that for or whether it didn't matter. And we chose, rightly or wrongly, to rework a lot of things and focus on engagement. It's a way. Most adults chose to do things they're interested in, so it's mainly school where people are told attend to something you find utterly irrelevant. My dd didn't retain things where she was forced to attend, forced to slog through it. She just did it and forgot. So again, we had to decide how important that was. She had the ability to do those things, but I concluded I had better things to do than to PRETEND we were educating her. I moved in a direction where she was actually engaged, actually interested, actually thinking.

 

You might find it interesting to read Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides and see if any of it applies to her. It might give you some ideas on strengths to harness. Nobody has talked strengths in this thread. Did the psych at the school? If not, that's a travesty. Psychs have always talked strengths with me about my kids. It's VERY IMPORTANT to balance your approach to teach to strengths. 

 

The #1 piece of advice my $$$$$$$ neuropsych gave for dd's $$$$$$ evals was GO OUT OF THE BOX. He was pretty much of the opinion that she would be fine in college, fine in anything she pursued, but that she needed to be worked with so she'd engaged. We spent time going through all kinds of options, but the jist was the farther out of the box I could go, the better. The more connected to her interests or involving projects or media or creativity or... the better. We've had threads on the boards about this idea of "going out of the box" and ways to do that. It could be big or little. Personally I think it goes back to the strengths question and how she processes and thinking about what angles she might enjoy on something. It was an approach that worked well for us. My dd had scores about like yours in her testing, and on the ACT she ended up with STELLAR scores, which got her very nice scholarships. 

 

So don't assume this is all a bust, just because she's crunchy. If something is going on, identify it, get data, intervene, yes. But if it's just crunchy from the ADHD and the EF delays, that's really ok to roll with. Learn more about EF (executive function). Get more into tech. Tech totally changed my dd's life. If you get her connected with tech, she can have calendars on all her devices, timers and alarms, learn to type, make notes, use mindmapping software, connect to people with similar interests, etc. Empowering my dd was really good for her. It made her confident to use her accommodations in college. It made her functional, because she can actually make things happen.


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#33 PeterPan

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 09:06 PM

Around that age my dd liked some Beautiful Feet unit studies. She liked doing hands-on like Snap Circuits. I don't know if your dd is this way, but my dd would remember anything we DID, not so much what we read. She's still a doer. Now she works in the costume department and she's a fabulous cook. 

 

So definitely look for this flip side of positives and things you can roll with to improve engagement. It's ok to do things later. You've seen about WWS here on the boards. My dd did this in 8th and 9th. You won't see a lot of people saying that, but you can find my posts. She just wasn't ready for it before. And she's FINE now. It's kind of a scary stage where you are now, but rolling with her doesn't mean it's going wrong or going to end badly. It might end FINE.



#34 exercise_guru

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 04:37 PM

So it would be good to have some more data, yes, but some things aren't fixable. Some things you kind of take your time, stay longer at some stages, get more creative, and it all comes together in the end. It doesn't mean you're doing something wrong if you do that.

This 1000 times. Testing can help find strengths as well as weaknesses. My son has strong visual processing and poor auditory processing. He has strong Visual memory not as much with what he hears. Having the testing helps me figure out how to help him play to his strengths but also understanding that there are some areas that are just not going to be a great fit for him. Hearing in noise is awful for my son. He definitely will not be a stockbroker on the floor of the NY stock exchange. He too surges in areas later than other or bumbles through at times. We re mediate, accommodate, and play to his strengths in our house. I just hate it when professionals claim it is laziness. 

 

This testing is like being a researcher or a detective. Only you know your kid. The testing helps but sometimes the recommendations after the testing are not as helpful as they could be. I have had to just keep trying things and working to move through life with my child in the most positive way 


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#35 Lauraruth

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 05:28 PM

Could you try working on reading comprehension with significantly easier materials? Percy Jackson is fairly complicated.


I'm thinking that when writing a Dear Santa list she would have her focus on the list content and Xmas experience--not on the spelling and handwriting. That when all she has to do is copy something and not be thinking about what she is writing at the same time, you'd be seeing more of what she can do when her focus is on the actual task. It sounds like even then, she has trouble, but less trouble.

How is her fine motor / manual coordination for other tasks such as, say, sewing, or knitting?

And has her vision been checked?

My ds who is considered to have dysgraphia could make the shapes for cursive writing quite well, but did not have a mental connection between the shapes he was making and that they were forming words. It was like he was doing art or form drawing that was separate in his mind from having meaning. He could not focus on both content and letter formation at the same time till a good bit older--and still is not all that strong on letter formation or spelling.

I ended up concluding that in the larger scheme of things handwriting and spelling were relatively low priorities, particularly given that word processing software and machinery exist nowadays.

The best composition program we found around that age for my ds was Bravewriter (kidswrite basic with me mostly scribing). We had tried IEW and he did one good essay with it, but it generally resulted in tears and distress after that first positive moment. The BW system where the focus could be on composing something of his own, rather than on the mechanics of the process and trying to reword what someone else had written worked better for us.


She actually has done well with Percy Jackson. We are reading it out loud right now, and I have questions we review after each chapter. She is able to stay engaged in this book. On the flip side they are reading a fiction book in history alone. She is not able to answer any questions other than the name of the main character.

She does have some issues with coordination. She plays soccer and is great. Catching and passing a ball in basketball is a bit of a challenge. My mom actually attempted to teach her to crochet, and she couldn't figure it out. She has made the fleece blankets with the knots. She also made one of the sewing kits that you sew together an animal and then stuff it. She was working on a 1000 piece puzzle with her sister and had no problems with the little pieces.

I have not had her eyes checked, other than at the pediatricians office. I was actually planning to schedule an appointment for her and her brother, I just haven't scheduled it yet.

She is working on learning to type right now. It's been slow going and there are times she gets frustrated because she can't do it perfectly. We've had a couple sessions end in tears.

#36 PeterPan

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 05:33 PM

The ball thing is a common place where convergence issues show up for vision. You go to COVD and look for a developmental optometrist.
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#37 PeterPan

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 05:39 PM

Her ability with puzzles sounds like a strength!! That is not necessarily common, especially with ADHD. Also indicates some good things for visual memory, discriminating figure/field, etc

What does she really LIKE to do? Hobbies or arts?

Why do you think she's not engaging with the history? Have you tried a comprehension guide of mapping activity or something to do as she reads? What if you have her read the book herself or watch a video on the person first? You can google AFHD reading comprehension strategies. There are lots of them. Might just be a disinteresting angle for her. She might not see how the pieces fit together so she's getting lost. VP is great for getting to the big picture...

#38 Lauraruth

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 05:55 PM

This is not laziness. It's something keep looking you are on the right track. Accept you need to dig into the data and find the glitch. Otherwise you might head off in the wrong direction.

First absolutely a SLP needs to check receptive and expressive language and that should be cheap. I paid less than 150 without insurance.

Here's a few open Questions you might want to explore to dig into the info and find what is going on

If she is a strong reader I would have to look up the wisc for working memory but look up a digit repeat app and also a working memory test. Does she remember what she reads?

Does she follow directions and remember what she hears? Does she have her own address and phone number memorized?

I have some ideas about the dysgraphia. There are a few things I would test first. To get an idea is this is visual motor or inattentiveness

Have her draw a straight horizontal line
How is her pencil grip
Is the line shaky?
Can she draw basic shapes?
Can she copy a Panagram sentence "the quick brown fox ...." if it is on the line above in a good size script?
Look up a vison tracking reading of letters passage. Have her read it note any letters or numbers missed film it if you can and then on playback watch her eyes and observe if they are both flowing across the page.


If any of this sets off alarms do have a vision therapist screen her and definitely check on retained reflexes.

For sensory processing if she had an ipod/Internet phone consider getting some good headphones and have her do the listening system therapy subscription. It's cheap if you have her do exercises with it that helps a lot.

This wasn't available to us or I didn't know about it instead My son did integrated listening systems and that helped beyond measure but it took almost a year and we purchased the system and used it at home for over 100 sessions. It was with 5 other things so I can't figure out which one worked but after a year of intensive therapy it has been life changing even the handwriting. It's slow but legible now.

I think you might homeschool but even for regular school consider a few other ideas.

If you want to teach her a better handwriting for someone who struggles I love love love printed Getty and dubay. It flows and is so much easier than HWT or anything else I have seen. We spent the summer doing this after all kinds of problems and handwriting methods I sing it's praises.


Over a year of doing these things it changed my sons life

For spelling I really like "all about spelling" and logic of English but group group group. Keep similar spellings together. Leaen rule breakers seperately.
Give her an old fashioned small spelling book. They are small and only contain the worda not the dictionary stuff. Before Google professionals had them at there desk so they could quickly check a spelling. Encourage and reward her for looking up words she doesn't remember It encourages her to want to learn and not feel like she is falling short. Also I love learning about phonics groupings for spelling I used all about reading and Saxon phonics I also want to point out that English is horrible spelling wise. My husband had a PhD in a very difficult science field and has horrible spelling.

The other aspects worth exploring are definitely autism,ADHD etc but this isn't laziness this is something and I am not qualified to talk about those areas

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk


Thanks for the tips!

She does follow directions well as long as she does not get distracted and forget she was supposed to do something. She does know our address and phone number.

We tried AAS with her first because it was what I had used for my older daughter. It did not work for her at all. She did a great job learning the rules. She could get through the list with no mistakes fairly quickly. No matter how much we broke down the words and reviewed the rules, when I came time to review words from past lists, she couldn't remember how to spell them. I am actually doing Logic of English with my five year old twins. We just started with Foundations A. I haven't really looked at Essentials. Is it spelling or grammar or both?

Is the listening system therapy part of the integrated listening therapy? I didn't see anything about a subscription on their website, so I thought it might be something different.

#39 Lauraruth

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 06:17 PM

Her ability with puzzles sounds like a strength!! That is not necessarily common, especially with ADHD. Also indicates some good things for visual memory, discriminating figure/field, etc

What does she really LIKE to do? Hobbies or arts?

Why do you think she's not engaging with the history? Have you tried a comprehension guide of mapping activity or something to do as she reads? What if you have her read the book herself or watch a video on the person first? You can google AFHD reading comprehension strategies. There are lots of them. Might just be a disinteresting angle for her. She might not see how the pieces fit together so she's getting lost. VP is great for getting to the big picture...


She loves soccer, and also does Tae Kwon Do. She likes playing games on her tablet (she is allowed a certain amount of tablet time depending on the day). My husband is trying to teach her to play chess. She enjoys it, but again gets frustrated when things aren't going her way. She loves to build Legos and will play with them forever. She really likes to read, but even books she reads for enjoyment she has trouble telling me anything about them. Now, Harry Potter she has read multiple times and can give me more details about them for some reason. I thought it was a school vs. fun book issue, but that is not always the case. It really puzzles me. I'll check out the AFHD strategies. Thanks!

#40 Pen

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 07:01 PM

She actually has done well with Percy Jackson. We are reading it out loud right now, and I have questions we review after each chapter. She is able to stay engaged in this book. On the flip side they are reading a fiction book in history alone. She is not able to answer any questions other than the name of the main character.

She does have some issues with coordination. She plays soccer and is great. Catching and passing a ball in basketball is a bit of a challenge. My mom actually attempted to teach her to crochet, and she couldn't figure it out. She has made the fleece blankets with the knots. She also made one of the sewing kits that you sew together an animal and then stuff it. She was working on a 1000 piece puzzle with her sister and had no problems with the little pieces.

I have not had her eyes checked, other than at the pediatricians office. I was actually planning to schedule an appointment for her and her brother, I just haven't scheduled it yet.

She is working on learning to type right now. It's been slow going and there are times she gets frustrated because she can't do it perfectly. We've had a couple sessions end in tears.

 

 

 

The answers above on reading and comprehension sound like they could well be ADD related.  As it sounds like she improves relative to how engaging the material is for her, rather than the simplicity of the material.  As do her frustrations with typing, perfectionism, meltdowns and so on, also sound like they could be part of ADD.

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Pen, 05 December 2017 - 10:46 AM.


#41 exercise_guru

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 08:22 PM

for listening therapy there are a lot of options there. We religiously did integrated listening systems  (ILS) with the exercises and bone conduction headphones. But it was expensive. Even used the equipment was 1000. I just recently found out about "The listening program" I called them because I saw that they have a monthly online subscription for far less but it had to be supervised by an SLP and our SLP for listening therapy moved.  the nice thing about the ILS is that once you own it you can use it for all your kids any way you want. don't tell ILS I said that but I now use it with my preteen for anxiety. I can't say how effective it is by itself as we were doing vision therapy and another therapy this past year.

 

spelling in English is tough without a doubt. I had to cobble together different things to help my son. I used snapwords for the fry words. I know that is  frowned on by many but I made up stories and songs with them and my son is so visual it really helped he spells all fry words correctly now because he can see them in his mind.  I still am not sure about LOE and saxon phonics and AAS all of them have good parts and bad it was a mixed bag and still is. What works for one child doesn't always work for another. 

 

I actually use a system for spelling that I invented using those materials. I group spellings together by phonics. like green for ea,ee and teach my son spelling in groups. He had a very hard time understanding that the same phonic sound could be spelled different ways. If I can find my  materials I used I will explain better. we also have words that break the rule . we put those in jail etc.  I think much of this was in All about reading. I came to LOE later on.

 

 


Edited by exercise_guru, 04 December 2017 - 08:36 PM.


#42 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:39 PM

On a side note, what are you using to teach her typing (if it was mentioned and I missed it, I apologize)?



#43 Lauraruth

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 10:10 PM

On a side note, what are you using to teach her typing (if it was mentioned and I missed it, I apologize)?

We are using Typing Instructor Platinum. For the most part it is working well so far.

#44 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 10:23 PM

We are using Typing Instructor Platinum. For the most part it is working well so far.

I've not used it but I hear that is a really good typing program.  Where do you think the stress is occurring when she gets upset about the typing?

 

FWIW, my kids have needed years to really improve in typing.  We had to focus on accuracy, not speed, to develop consistent muscle and procedural memory.  Once the accuracy was under control, we could increase the speed.  Could her wpm expectation be too high?  Can you set the wpm expectation or does the program do that?


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#45 Pen

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:53 AM

We are using Typing Instructor Platinum. For the most part it is working well so far.

 

 

When you answer about individual components, it ends up sounding like most are working well for the most part.

 

But your first post said that one or the other of you ends up in tears most days.

 

 


 School time has been beyond difficult with her this year. Most days one of the two of us will end up in tears at some point.

 

 

There seems to be a disconnect.

 

Can you evaluate what happens for each of you to result in ending up in tears?

 

Maybe her tears are less clear to you, but, as a start, if you are ending up in tears yourself, what is going on with you when that happens?  

 

What sort of tears are these? Sadness? Frustration? Something else?

 

 

And could your frustrations or sadness be leading to her own frustrations or sadness?

 

 

Could you perhaps ask her what she thinks is wrong and how she herself thinks it might be better?

 

 

 

Also,  what is happening different on those rarer days where neither of you end up in tears?


Edited by Pen, 05 December 2017 - 11:04 AM.

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#46 Pen

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:36 AM

I've not used it but I hear that is a really good typing program.  Where do you think the stress is occurring when she gets upset about the typing?

 

FWIW, my kids have needed years to really improve in typing.  We had to focus on accuracy, not speed, to develop consistent muscle and procedural memory.  Once the accuracy was under control, we could increase the speed.  Could her wpm expectation be too high?  Can you set the wpm expectation or does the program do that?

 

 

I think this is the same one my ds uses. (unless OP has the adult version, while we have the kid version) WPM can be set starting with 5 WPM. If you reach your goal multiple times the program suggests raising your WPM goal. (5WPM is lowest and 100WPM is highest it allows).  If they are higher than 5WPM it might be a good idea to go back to that.

 

Ours starts with a cheerful cartoon ship's parrot showing proper positioning, posture, etc. and saying that it will take a long time to learn to type, and to "practice, practice, practice", and not to get discouraged, but to keep on practicing and to concentrate on your improvements.  If they have the adult version, maybe they need the kid version, since all the built in encouragement may be helpful for someone who tends to melt down.  

 

Font size is also adjustable. And there is an initial "Easy" or "Not so easy" selection for typing skill level, as well as other adjustments, music, possible.

 

It begins with basic instruction.

 

Then after that you can do games.  Also you can work on just the Home Row, or add in other rows to work on for most games.  

 

Since each game has its own learning curve to it, some can more readily be done and some seem to need a lower WPM just because of the game itself.  And you can be at one WPM level for home row only, but another for using other rows too.  


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#47 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:41 AM

When you answer about individual components, it ends up sounding like most are working well for the most part.

 

But your first post said that one or the other of you ends up in tears most days.

 

 


 

 

There seems to be a disconnect.

 

Can you evaluate what happens for each of you to result in ending up in tears?

 

Maybe her tears are less clear to you, but, as a start, if you are ending up in tears yourself, what is going on with you when that happens?  

 

What sort of tears are these? Sadness? Frustration? Something else?

 

 

And could your frustrations or sadness be leading to her own frustrations or sadness?

 

 

Could you perhaps ask her what she thinks is wrong and how she herself thinks it might be better?

 

 

 

Also,  what is happening different on those rarer days where neither of you end up in tears?

Good points.

 

OP, where do you think the exact disconnects/tears are occurring?  



#48 exercise_guru

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:45 PM

Classical education worked great for my 2 older kids. I thought I was the best teacher in the world at time but now I realize they were just self starters who worked well with book work and encouragement. my younger two are kicking my butt. 

 

my situation is a bit different because my son has late start public school I basically run home school/Therapy  from 7:00 to 9:00am and I focus on areas where my son is just not getting it at school We don't take summers off when he is out of school I homeschooling all summer for 3-4 hours because I am off work and this is when I focus in on the areas my kids have glitches and try to boost them over the summer. My day job I am a scientist/engineer so I think of things as experiments and most of the time my son is my guinea pig so be warned I am a little weird in my methods. 

 

For homeschool I do get the tears thing. I find the tears start and fatigue starts on days that.

  • What we are working on hits up against a very weak area in my sons skill set. His therapist calls  this "tapping the bruise". When this happens I have to take my game day attitude. Break it down into microsteps and keep it short with a lot of positive smiles when he gets the microskill. For example for us it is dichotic listening. Its just awful and it makes my son climb under the desk. so we do it in the afternoon for 10 minutes when he is fed and has had a break. Its all smiles from mom and we try to get 3 in a row. then when we get 10 or whatever number in and then we stop or after a certain time we stop. We never get as far as I want but we do it and we are making progress.  
  • sleep food or routine are off .......this is the day that things go poorly and no acting by mom is going to get us there. If  either of us are stressed it comes through so we focus on our strengths those days. My son hates handwriting but enjoys the tracing board and certain fine motor art work we work on that. We also have these little cards we read and take turns answering questions on for auditory closure and comprehension. We hit those  that day. For spelling we have ping pong balls we shoot in a basket when each of us spell a word right I keep those grouped phonetically and makes sure the skill is mastered. I actually do not break those up. I stay in the rule group of what I am teaching. I also circle back so I can make sure somehow its getting into long term memory. For writing my son uses the little spelling book I recomended if he isn't sure he asks me or we hurry and look it up. It has increased his awareness. I also never care about the first draft with spelling I let him edit that for a final draft. If its an area that isn't about spelling I ask his teacher to cut him some slack don't ding his math homework for spelling etc!!!
  • Certain times of the day or times of day or certain times in the session he fades. I change up the activity. I plan those times for learning activities. like jumprope spelling whatever. I always group them in logical phonetic groups or make up stories and visuals for the sight words. I try to bring in as many sences as I have to splint around my sons auditory processing weakness. 
  • I  coast in areas that he is good at and have him do independent work there or let his teacher deal with that. I  am a cheerleader and bring my game attitude for the glitch work because its just stinking hard and we are hitting the bruise. 

There are a few things I learned from different therapies I implement. I do not know a thing about a forest ( teaching kids) but I know a lot about my little tree( my son). I know the strengths and the weaknesses. I know the triggers and the bruises so I work to keep things on track. This is where testing helped me a lot because I dug into the tests to see where he did well and for my son it was obvious because the scores were off in only the auditory and working memory.  I admit the first two years I cried a lot after I dropped him off for school but I do believe in neuroplasticity because I have seen areas in my son improve. They might not always show up on the testing  but I see it at home. 

 

I have learned a few things from therapy these are my basic rules for working with my son but keep in mind his teacher at school does the heavy lifting I am basically focusing on the areas the school isn't cutting it for my sons needs.

  • If a method isn't getting through modify it or try something else that hits more strength(90%) less weakness(10%) and then over time increase back to the expectation over a long period time building on success. Accommodate or try a different teaching modality ( visual  tactile etc ). Also since my son is at a very traditional school I fill in around the edges. He struggled with reading until I stepped in and tutored him etc. But I didn't copy what he was doing in regular school I thought outside the box and worked to splint the area that was weak. My son hates flashcard stuff. I have to really work to get stuff from short term memory to long term memory. 
  • Break it down into microskills and micro micro skills if needed but not in a ditch digging kind of way make it a game and keep it interesting and fun. The brain has to stay engaged to learn.
  • mix games and learning especially on the tough stuff. 
  • Consult experts and think outside the box. 

 

About the attention component. Gosh that is the hardest onion to peel. food sleep and routine. Define the expectation. Work  like crazy when the meds or the energy is at its highest. Coast at the down part with things they can hyperfocus on or that play to their strength so they can work on redirecting their focus because even with meds they have to train themselves to come back when their mind drifts. That is just a tough thing to work with. I am still working on strategies but I keep the routine,sleep and allergies and food in my sights all the time. 

 

 

I have two kiddos that both have a very hard time with anxiety, and frustration some distractibility. I am brainstorming on that right now but it seems like it would be helpful to have her get a rating scale on her frustration like Zones of regulation. I just started having my son try to find the color he is in and a technique for getting back to green. I had to add an orange  zone and a purple zone because my kids don't just fly off the handle it builds up I want them to become more aware of their body and feelings. 

 

Before testing I was sure my kids had attention issues...that didn't apear to be true in the testing profiles  but maybe this will be interesting.  I  used a book called The gift of learning  by Eldon Braun and spent an entire year on helping my son to refocus. If he would drift I would practice those techniques and have him pump his hand open and closed three times and say " I have a great brain I am focused"  and then have him breath. I wanted to implement a mindful meditation for my kiddos but haven't figured that out. 

 

For my son I explained it like a dial on the stereo. I told him at recess you are amped up but as you line up turn the dial to learning mode. When you walk up the stairs and into the class turn the dial down. Picture it turning to the new mode and when you sit down you need to be in learning mode not recess mode.  It did help but I still think either maturing or vision and auditory listening therapy helped more because we made gains after those that were light years to what we tried before. 

 


Edited by exercise_guru, 05 December 2017 - 01:07 PM.

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#49 OrganicJen

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 01:01 PM

I really think an actual neuropsychologist could help. With one of my kiddos the neuropsychologist was able to tease apart exactly what was causing all of the difficulties we were seeing and provide specific suggestions. In our case he has tourettes, ASD, generalized anxiety disorder, and adhd but the neuropsychologist was able to explain in detail how each disorder was affecting things and how to help him.

Edited by OrganicJen, 05 December 2017 - 01:02 PM.

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#50 Crimson Wife

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 01:08 PM

I like the idea of the chart. Thank you for that. My head is spinning right now. I honestly never gave autism a thought. It is never anything that came up in discussions. Sometimes it is even more difficult with the internet, because there is so much out there and it seems like everything I research fits her to some degree.

 

I've told this story before, but my youngest had FOUR autism evaluations within a 3 month period (private developmental pediatrician, school district IEP team, Regional Center psychologist, and private pediatric neurologist) and it literally took until all 4 evaluations concurring on HFA for me to accept it. I was SO SURE that she couldn't have ASD because she is friendly and affectionate. The opposite of the stereotypical loner who can't stand to be touched. I'd known she struggled with social interactions but had chalked it all up to the speech & language delay. I didn't realize how HFA can present in bright girls.

 

What took several years and whole exome sequencing to discover is that her autism is actually part of a rare neurological syndrome. She still meets all the criteria for ASD under both the previous DSM-IV and the current DSM-V so her doctors have not undiagnosed the HFA. It's now considered part of this Bainbridge-Roper Syndrome the way autism is considered part of Fragile X Syndrome or Rett Syndrome.


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