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Everything posted by zarabellesmom

  1. Bipolar II here. I think I tried every antidepressant on the market over the course of many years to help with my repeating bouts of depression. Some of these were bad, some were worse and some were just awful. It wasn't until I was diagnosed Bipolar II (and not just frequently depressed) that it all made sense (hello my friend hypomania...anyway). As someone above said, Lamictal was an absolute lifesaver. I did use it briefly with Abilify, but gained a massive amount of weight that I am now trying to take off. My psych. tells me there is something that works similarly to Abilify but with less likelihood of weight gain and that if I needed it, we could give it a shot. Hasn't been necessary so far. Anyway, one tiny bit of information... My psych recommended staying with the brand Lamictal at least to start because the dosage is more even on a pill to pill basis. Read more here if you are interested in the difference between generic and brand medications: In any case, I started on brand Lamictal several years ago, and did fine. I transitioned to generic with the ok of my psych with the warning to watch for changes in mood and to ask the pharmacy to use the same generic brand each time it was filled. Everything is great and I haven't been "well" for this long in my entire life. I hope your husband is feeling better in no time.
  2. My local library has audio books that we can download online. I think many do. I don't know if they work on the kindle, but we have no trouble at all playing them on ipod or iphone. They go through the Overdrive App.
  3. I need more information from you experienced moms. After watching some of the videos on the Barton website and starting the book Overcoming Dyslexia, I'm almost 99% certain that A is dyslexic. The one thing that has really been throwing me is that she was not a late talker, she was an amazingly early talker (and several websites made this seem impossible). After watching the Barton video, I sat down to listen/watch her read this morning and noticed a lot more than I had before. I have also watched the Barton video about looking for Dyslexia in writing and whoa was that enlightening. I haven't been sitting idly by since my original post either. We did see the vision therapist and he thought he could help but I've been holding off because I'm just not convinced. I sat through the examination and some of the things he said he saw, I really didn't see or agree with. I know he's in the business of making money off of vision therapy and I don't think he's trying to dupe me necessarily, but it's a lot of money to spend before ruling out dyslexia. In order to that, I've contacted several psychologists in the area in order to obtain the complete psychoeducation evaluation recommended by Elizabeth above. I had this done with my oldest, but I don't want to return to the same psychologist. I feel like she did an excellent job but she was very unfriendly re:homeschooling. Her favorite suggestion was that I put my daughter in an Atlanta school that specializes in Dyslexia. I'm sure that would help her immensely (she was diagnosed with SLD Written Expression among a few other things). The school, however, is more than an hour from our home and has a tuition of $30,000 annually. :scared: There were some other things that I disagreed with as well (she was a big fan of enVision math :confused1: ) Calling local psychologists has been really interesting. The first place I called (recommended by a friend who had her son evaluated for dyslexia) would do the standard testing and additionally some hair analysis and some kind of brain scan. :confused1: With the weird options, I wasn't sure I could trust is other testing results, so I tried a more well known psychology center in Atlanta. I could only speak to the receptionist there, but she tried to talk me into just the dyslexia screening and I really feel like I want the complete picture now. So, once I pursueded her to sign me up for the whole thing, she told me that the testing occurred all in one day. This really surprised me. My oldest's was split into two days and she was exhausted after both sessions. I can't imagine that a child would be at her best by the end of the testing. I ruled that place out. I'm a member of a local co-op so I posted the question on our Facebook group and turned up a few more suggestions (this lady was incredibly helpful and has a dyslexic child, she could probably be a real resource for us). I called around and reached a wonderful psychologist who was willing to talk to me over the phone about some of the things I was seeing. She was super helpful. She told me to definitely not rule out dyslexia just because my daughter was an early talker. She didn't have any opening until February but... She has a couple of other psychologists in her practice that she has trained and she had one that she felt would be a good match for my daughter. I'm waiting for him to call me back, but he could probably get us in sometime in November. In the meantime, she recommended that we definitely NOT wait on pursuing tutoring. She also invited me to come see a movie being screened by GA-IDA next week where she will be answering questions and said she would like to meet me. I feel really good about this woman and will probably go forward with testing here. In addition, I found a tutor who is trained to do evaluations (not local, nobody is local) who can do a CTOPP and a few other things (I've got it written down somewhere). She suggested I get my daughter's hearing checked first, even though she thought it was unlikely to be the problem. If you have stayed with me this long, then you are a real trooper. I've told you all of this to ask... 1.) If you know it's dyslexia without a full psychoevaluation (say we saw the tutor only, $250) would you feel confident going forward with interventions to help with dyslexia? (This is my $250 option which leaves me money to pay for tutoring or other materials). 2.) Would you do both to be absolutely certain? ($2,726 and no money left so we eat ramen) 3.) Could you just do the full psychoeducational evaluation and get enough information? (I'm really not sure here because looking at my oldest's testing she appears dysgraphic and she does seem to be a good reader, but I'm curious after some of the research that I've read. She does some odd things that I wouldn't expect from dysgraphia alone.) And finally and most importantly to me probably (as I try to convince my husband that we need all of it) wouldn't the documentation of a complete evaluation be necessary to obtain accommodations for my daughter later if she decided she wanted to go to school or for accommodations in testing including later ACT or SAT? And then on into college? If you've stayed with me through all of this, I really really appreciate it. I'm very overwhelmed right now. Thanks, Teresa Also, I have decided I do not want to go through the school district because I don't really trust them.
  4. I will check these out. I don't want to dedicate a lot of time to test prep but my youngest especially needs some just because she's never taken a standardized test before. Don't let me derail this thread. There's a lot of good stuff here. Thanks, Teresa
  5. Yes, I get to choose. Is that one timed? My oldest is very smart but has slow processing speed and working memory shortages that qualify her for untimed tests. Where do you buy that one?
  6. Also, this is exactly the kind of thread I need right now as I keep wondering if we are doing enough. This is a standardized testing year for us and for whatever reason, that makes me really nervous. This is probably because we haven't tried to align our studies at all to what the public schools are doing and I'm afraid they won't test well and I'll feel like a failure(because it is all about me, don't you know?).
  7. I think you are right. Spelling before third was torture with my first and I tried starting spelling with my youngest in first and second and it was such a waste. We gave it up after much frustration after only a few weeks both times. Now, here we are in third and suddenly there are no problems. And we can get through a lesson much more quickly because her fine motor skills allow her to write more easily too. Neither of my girls are intuitive spellers. I wonder if that is the difference between children who do well with spelling earlier.
  8. We tried it and didn't get much out of it. There are some other things that are free that I prefer. We just discovered Burning Cargo which is game based and has my daughter actually trying to improve instead of just getting through it because I asked her to. If you don't want a game, is also free and I liked it better than keyboarding without tears.
  9. I'm so frustrated. I love love love Beast Academy, but, this chapter in 5B on LCM and GCF has driven me crazy. It seems like the longest chapter (maybe because I'm hating it so much?) and we are down to the last few pages. They are covering things like numbers being relatively prime and then there are the end of chapter challenge problems. I'm so tired of factoring numbers (I've been working alongside her). I hate to say that the problems at the end of the chapter seem irrelevant because I think there is great value in puzzling over hard problems, but I'm ready to throw the book through the window. Keep in mind that we had moved on to AoPS Prealgebra and we came back to do this book. We were moving along just fine in AoPS, in fact we set is aside near the end of Chapter 3 which covers number theory including GCF and LCM and those problems were not as irritating as these BA problems. Has anyone else completed this chapter yet? Opinions? Advice? Throw the book through the window or just keep plugging away at it?
  10. Thank you. It's always a hard choice when it comes to giving a child medication. I just wish it wasn't necessary but thank goodness it exists.
  11. Yes, the spelling is bad. The handwriting is decent (better than my oldest's).
  12. Yes, I agree I've waited too long. Denial I guess? I've been telling myself, well she's a really young first grader, second grader...and some kids would be a grade back depending on their state's cut off date and blah blah blah. In hindsight, I could kick myself (like really hard). I'm going to google all of these abbreviations :lol:. I do not have any achievement testing as this is the first year we are required to test. I should probably have done it for my own information but I'll admit I was a little scared (stupid, I know). But to be truthful, we've also been struggling with some other issues of hers (extreme anxiety and we've been tackling that with a psychiatrist) so in some ways other concerns have been put on the back burner in order to cope with her ability to just handle every day life. I have read the indicators of dyslexia quite a few times and some things are definitely there and I know you don't have to have all of them, but some things are definitely not there (like really really not there) which again doesn't mean a lot I'm sure. I read that dyslexia frequently occurs in families and I don't know of anyone in either side of our families with dyslexia (but I know they could have it and not really know and just be coping maybe?). Part of the problem too, is money (isn't it always?) but it takes what it takes I guess. The doctor at the vision therapy office has a million initials after his name (O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D.) and the website says that tomorrow they will do a two hour dyslexia/vision evaluation. Does that sound reasonable? OK, so I've looked up CTOPP and SLP. I wish I lived somewhere closer to civilization. It's going to be really difficult to find these people. Atlanta, here I come. I'm guessing these are things that medical insurance typically does not cover? The psychologist evaluation of my oldest cost me $4000. I feel like I'm drowning here. Time to put on my big girl panties. Thank you for your help.
  13. I need some advice. My newly eight year old is not the best reader. She CAN read, but she does a few things that concern me. She frequently loses her place, skips lines and sometimes for smaller words she scrambles them (left becomes felt, was becomes saw, type thing). She had good word attack skills and often sounds out long unfamiliar words correctly. She still confuses b and d frequently when reading though she doesn't usually turn them around while writing. She does sometimes still reverse z and 9 (into s and P) while writing things. Her spelling is absolutely atrocious (in my opinion, but I'm no expert). We started Apples and Pears A in 1st grade, but really made no progress and she was very frustrated. I put it away because she still wasn't a good reader and I thought spelling might be easier to tackle once her reading skills improved. And they improved. They've improved a lot since then, but I wouldn't say they are third grade level. Toward the middle of second grade we started Apples and Pears again and made it maybe half of the way through and then all progress halted and her spelling got worse instead of better. We put it away again. This year, we've dragged it back out. We redid the placement test which put us around level 20 (she was around level 60 when we quit but such is life) and it's been going really well so far. She's completing a lesson a day and I can really tell her writing is improving, though sometimes she hands me something that she has written and I need her to translate. Two days ago, she wrote something and even she couldn't tell me what she had written. She took a long long long time to learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet and remember letter sounds. I know that this is disjointed, and I have no idea what it all means. This morning I called and scheduled an appointment with the vision therapy office that my oldest used (she had amblyopia and some tracking issues but is now a voracious reader and thank goodness for the library). Is there anything else I should be pursuing at this point, or should I wait and see what the doctor has to say? (He had a cancellation and could see us tomorrow which is amazing.) What kind of issue(s) does this sound like? Also, I had my oldest IQ tested (she had some learning issues that I was concerned about like terrible spelling (our nemesis) and an inability to remember math facts despite an insane amount of practice) around age 8 and though her overall score was fantastic, she scored pretty poorly in processing speed and working memory (around the 25th percentile). I see some of these same traits in my youngest but I don't know if these things are at all related to the reading troubles we are having. Help me Hive! Thanks, Teresa
  14. Well, we gave it a shot today and it was great. My youngest finished all of her work by lunch. My oldest got her work done and didn't complain about being tired the whole time. Thanks for all the feedback. I think this could really improve our days. All of the work got done. We finished at the same time as usual and everything went so much more smoothly.
  15. We know all about cranky low blood sugar. My oldest doesn't ever get hungry (which is no doubt why she keeps trying to fall off the growth chart. But not being hungry doesn't stop her from getting cranky when her blood sugar drops. She has to be told to eat or she doesn't even think about it. Also, she's not really motivated to do things for herself (don't get me started) and would rather go hungry then get up and herself something to eat. Is there a ripping your hair out emoji.
  16. We have The Human Body by Tinybop that my daughter enjoyed that age. I know we've had others, but I can't think of them now. I'll continue to think.
  17. I asked her and she thought it was a great idea. She really is a get up, get things done and get on with your life kind of girl. Her feelings might change, but we could reevaluate as we go.
  18. Has anyone tried this? We started first of August and now it's almost the end of September and we still haven't found our rhythm or gotten into a routine or whatever. DD 11's circadian rhythms are shifting and she's having trouble falling asleep at night and waking in the morning. Our routine had previously been to start bedtime at 8:30 with teeth and jammies and then read alouds wrapping up around 9:30 (there's a lot of dawdling in there, especially for the oldest who is ADHD and gets sidetracked really easily). After that, my youngest went straight to sleep and my oldest was allowed to stay up till 10 reading to herself. Well now, even at ten, she's still very much awake and asking to read later and later and then of course getting up is hard. Our other problem is that neither of my children work independently. DD11, because of the whole ADHD thing, needs someone to stay on top of her for almost any task or she ends up staring out the window. DD8 because is still reading to me (this skill is slowly improving but she can't just be sent off for silent reading) and most of her work just isn't independent yet. I think we will get there with her, but she's a young third grader (only 8 as of August 25th) and she needs me there. So what happens is that I switch between them and we all try to sit at the table and they interrupt each other and I get frustrated and they get frustrated and everything takes twice as long as I think it should take. So I had a thought today... What if I get the youngest up at 7 like normal and give her breakfast and then get all of her work done that we don't all do together. The older can sleep in and then when she comes down we will do the work that we all do together. We break for lunch and then my oldest and I work on her work while DD8 occupies herself with all the things she likes to do when her day isn't bogged down by constantly waiting for me to work with her on her next bit of school work. Has anyone tried this and been successful?
  19. My DD11 is in bed by nine and allowed to read until 10. Everyone gets up at 7. (Because otherwise we would all sleep the day away and no educating would get done.)
  20. Sorry, scroll down to the structure of life set.
  21. I don't know if you want to pay money, but these are pretty cool.
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