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Barbara H

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Everything posted by Barbara H

  1. I saw the message this morning but didn't have time to respond and was wondering where it was when I checked this evening. At any rate, I have a child who entered college while middle school aged and I'd be glad to answer questions about early entrance if anyone has them. My main advice would be to start with having the child take the SAT or ACT before you approach colleges. At that point, I would think about approaching on a department level in the student's area of strongest interest/ability. Ready to do college work in some areas is not necessarily the same thing has being ready for or needing full time college. I would strongly recommend that parents think about an individual course or two before thinking about full time college.
  2. Maybe this is off track, but I'll toss out an idea... What helped give us most structure around that age was to build routine into the day as much as possible. Taking a walk each morning weather permitting or having indoor exercise time helped. Having set times where we did a little clean up (before lunch and before dinner). Taking some reading or quiet resting time after lunch each day. Playing a game or doing a craft each afternoon. Baking together on Tuesday, library on Wednesday, etc. I'm not suggesting that exact schedule, but I'm wondering if you have much routine or rhythm to the day and if the affects how people feel. Knowing what to expect with the narrow space between bored and frustrated.
  3. Coming in very late but I wanted to toss out another idea to consider. It can be both anxiety AND a physical problem and both could run in the family. If you are open to the idea, it might be worth meeting with a natural medicine doctor who could look at possibilities such as gluten intolerance, Lyme's, or thyroid problems. These are often associated with CFS, fibromyalgia and arthritis.
  4. One thing that makes it all so tricky is that every specialization looks at it from a different perspective. PTs really aren't there to diagnose as much as to treat. They count on docs to have made a diagnosis and determined that there is a problem that PT should treat. A PT can't determine the cause of hypotonia. That's why you really need to see neurology and possibly genetics. I would not beat yourself up because the reality is that treatment may not change anyway. For a lot of kids with hypotonia it will be PT and it will be a slow, ongoing process. As you may have figured out hypotonia can be frustrating because at best it is a very vague descriptor of a real problem. Think of it as something like dizziness. Dizziness is real but there are so many causes and levels of severity. As far as supplements, I'm sure it depends greatly on the child and you likely will need to play around with it some. What helped our child most dramatically was use the of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. It really helped our child's balance. This isn't a universal thing though and some kids it might make them worse. We also found very clean whole foods, organic when possible, no processed stuff - no food dye, no high fructose corn syrup, etc. makes a significant difference. We also have a series of supplements recommended by the geneticist.
  5. If she wants to I would bypass the teen stuff all together for now. Adults are going to be more predictable and nicer. They key is getting her positive social experiences, not what age the people she's with are. Even in a small town there are opportunities and homeschooling gives you a good excuse to do some of the stuff. It could be something as simple as a retired neighbor teaching her to sew or garden or build model airplanes. It doesn't have to be the perfect activity - just stuff with other people where she is successful and can begin to build back her confidence. Anything where she's getting back positives with interacting with other people.
  6. I would like to join the chorus of strongly encouraging you to seek out a pediatric neurology evaluation. If your pediatrician is opposed to that: FIRE HIM OR HER. Don't feel like you have to be nice, these folks work for you and if you don't like what they are doing, don't be afraid to get assertive. Depending on what you hear from neurology I would also strongly encourage you to seek a genetics evaluation. The good thing about genetics is that in some cases of low tone there are metabolic factors at play that if you understand them net helpful treatments. Our story sounds so much like yours in many respects. Low tone, lax joints, late walking, and terrible balance. What helped: PT, OT, Supplements, Therapeutic horseback riding, lots of persistent hard work. He is doing VERY well now so it was all worth it. I do think it is important to understand that muscle tone typically doesn't change. He may still be floppy and hypermobile no matter what you do. However, muscle strength which is what PT should help with, can make a world of difference. It may improve his endurance and his balance. And, it will make it so he doesn't have have to work so hard at everything. Not to scare you, but hypermobile people can risk more damage to joints and are at risk for scoliosis too. Good PT can help lower those risks so even if progress seems slow it is definitely worth doing. As your son gets older any activities he can do that help with strength and coordination are great - martial arts, horseback riding, yoga, dance, swimming, etc. Finding an exercise that he can enjoy may be a big help. Hang in there.
  7. Anxiety can be helped by homeschooling.... at the same time you really do need to go into it mindful that too much retreat from the world can actually increase anxiety (and then a sense of isolation and depression) So, I think you are doing the right thing to be thoughtful and make plans. One thought is that you might want to look a bit at developing a learning contract with her.(Google learning contract and you'll see lots of examples). This is something her therapist could participate in. The idea would be to spell out specific responsibilities and expectations, as well as consequences. In that process I would think about having a clear plan to keep her in a good routine and help her out of the house multiple times a week. I love the idea of volunteering. That may get her some very positive experiences with adults. Also, I would look to whatever other options there might be that will get her on a regular schedule. That might include: taking a walk every day, having a set day of the week to go to the library (and to be dropped off on her own if that's possible, being a mother's helper for a neighbor, getting dropped off to do the grocery shopping for the family, petsitting, co-op classes or community college classes when she's ready, and possibly participation in some positive community activities where you are sure she will be treated well -it could be anything from church to karate or astronomy club - anything that is gently encouraging her world to get bigger. Her therapist could work with her to plan for how she will handle each new situation. It doesn't need to be everything at once, but bit by bit she needs these experiences. This could be a fantastic opportunity to help her develop the skills she will need to be an independent adult. But, I think it will take dedication from both of you to make that happen. I have seen some anxious homeschooled teens really shrink away - staying up late, lots of time online, barely leaving the house... that is the road to serious depression.
  8. Another vote for Fiske and Colleges that Change Lives. I would also suggest Princeton Review's Paying for College Without Going Broke.
  9. We found what worked best was a very heavy glass mug - like a beer mug. The weight makes it much harder to knock over.
  10. Colleges are the major source of merit based scholarships. Sure, it is great to apply for private scholarships but I would keep your eye on merit scholarships as you apply to colleges. Your best chance of money is going to come if you are a very strong student (great test scores, rigorous high school classes) AND you are willing to look at colleges where you will be at the very top of the applicant pool. Also, if you think you may be good at testing, I'd suggest taking the PSAT for practice this year. It is an inexpensive test to practice your skills. When you take it junior year that score is the first step to qualifying for National Merit Scholarship which can come with some big scholarships if you are willing to be flexible about where you go to college.
  11. For what it is wroth IQ testing is often not particularly accurate for kids on the spectrum. If you had to guess, is that where you'd put her IQ or does that seem off to you? It sounds like she's not too far off grade level, so whatever you are doing is really working. I'm sure 3rd grade isn't what you wanted to hear but I would take a moment to recognize that if she's entering 5th grade she is learning and is not that far off grade level. The person who tested her should be able to give you some specific suggestions as part of the evaluation.
  12. I agree with the suggestion that you just fill out the "official" part as your homeschool. Note that you are a homeschool, check the appropriate qualifying box and send to the colleges.
  13. http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/sub_calab.html You may want to download the course description from the College Board site. You'll find detail about the exam. It has both multiple choice questions and free response questions that require a student to show his work. Our son used Thinkwell for lectures for BC calc but he also used a textbook to work problems on paper. I don't think the Thinkwell lectures would have been sufficient preparation without putting work down on paper. Hope that helps!
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