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wendyroo last won the day on May 23 2013

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About wendyroo

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    Hive Mind Larvae
  • Birthday 02/14/1981

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  1. My second grader does independently (or, at least 95% independently): - independent reading - handwriting - typing program - Daily Grammar Easy Grams - xtramath - Evan Moor Daily Word Problems - Hands on Equations app - Quizlet - piano practice - app to practice music note reading
  2. Unfortunately, those books are nowhere near decodable for a child who has just finished AAR 1. The first level of All About Reading only covers CVC words, beginning and ending consonant blends and the most common consonant digraphs (ch, sh, th, ck). There is only one brief lesson introducing long vowel sounds at all, and the child has not seen the majority of vowel teams (ee, ea, ou, oy) or any r-controlled syllables. They are very much at the stage of "The hen and the cat run fast", not "Toad pulled the covers over his head." (a sample pulled randomly from the first page of a Frog and Toad story).
  3. The M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) Typically administered at 18 months and again at 24 months. Low-Risk is a total score of 0-2 Medium-Risk is a total score of 3-7 High-Risk is a total score of 8-20 1. If you point at something across the room, does your child look at it? (FOR EXAMPLE, if you point at a toy or an animal, does your child look at the toy or animal?) 2. Have you ever wondered if your child might be deaf? 3. Does your child play pretend or make-believe? (FOR EXAMPLE, pretend to drink from an empty cup, pretend to talk on a phone, or pretend to feed a doll or stuffed animal?) 4. Does your child like climbing on things? (FOR EXAMPLE, furniture, playground equipment, or stairs) 5. Does your child make unusual finger movements near his or her eyes? (FOR EXAMPLE, does your child wiggle his or her fingers close to his or her eyes?) 6. Does your child point with one finger to ask for something or to get help? (FOR EXAMPLE, pointing to a snack or toy that is out of reach) 7. Does your child point with one finger to show you something interesting? (FOR EXAMPLE, pointing to an airplane in the sky or a big truck in the road) 8. Is your child interested in other children? (FOR EXAMPLE, does your child watch other children, smile at them, or go to them?) 9. Does your child show you things by bringing them to you or holding them up for you to see – not to get help, but just to share? (FOR EXAMPLE, showing you a flower, a stuffed animal, or a toy truck) 10. Does your child respond when you call his or her name? (FOR EXAMPLE, does he or she look up, talk or babble, or stop what he or she is doing when you call his or her name?) 11. When you smile at your child, does he or she smile back at you? 12. Does your child get upset by everyday noises? (FOR EXAMPLE, does your child scream or cry to noise such as a vacuum cleaner or loud music?) 13. Does your child walk? 14. Does your child look you in the eye when you are talking to him or her, playing with him or her, or dressing him or her? 15. Does your child try to copy what you do? (FOR EXAMPLE, wave bye-bye, clap, or make a funny noise when you do) 16. If you turn your head to look at something, does your child look around to see what you are looking at? 17. Does your child try to get you to watch him or her? (FOR EXAMPLE, does your child look at you for praise, or say “look” or “watch me”?) 18. Does your child understand when you tell him or her to do something? (FOR EXAMPLE, if you don’t point, can your child understand “put the book on the chair” or “bring me the blanket”?) 19. If something new happens, does your child look at your face to see how you feel about it? (FOR EXAMPLE, if he or she hears a strange or funny noise, or sees a new toy, will he or she look at your face?) 20. Does your child like movement activities? (FOR EXAMPLE, being swung or bounced on your knee)
  4. Not to sound insensitive, but 4.7 million units used over a period of 10 years - it would be a statistical anomaly if no fatalities had occurred in them. Babies die in cribs, in bassinets, in adult beds, in car seats, in bouncy seats, in co-sleepers, and in Rock and Plays. Many of those tragedies happen even under ideal circumstances, and when you start to factor in "improper" use (crib bumpers, squishy mattresses, stuffed animals, heavy bedding, or not using restraints properly), the incidences unfortunately become more common. I am very glad I no longer have a baby, and therefore am not faced with this decision. But I suspect that if I did have a baby who preferred to sleep in a Rock and Play (as 3 of my babies did), that I would continue to allow them to sleep in it properly restrained and obviously minimizing all other risk factors.
  5. Well, except that if it is significant that 3 of my 4 had abnormal nuchal fold ultrasounds, that means that whatever factors would eventually lead to the plethora of diagnoses were already in effect at 12 weeks gestation. Obviously, there are environmental factors that cause abnormalities that early, but I was not drinking, smoking, eating lead paint chips, or living under extreme stress. I find it hard to believe that my fetus' early environment was that significantly different than that of any of the neurotypical fetus' gestating around the same time in my community. And yet, DH and I have clearly produced children who are significantly more non-neurotypical than the average rate in our community. But, more than that, I was originally speaking to the idea that I think it is helpful to look at the genetics of mental illness and developmental differences more broadly and inclusively rather than singling out the genetics of autism. I think we do ourselves a disservice if we look at a family like mine and see one autistic individual and see him as a genetic outlier within the family. The picture looks very different if we broaden our scope and see that while he is the only autistic sibling, that really all four of them mentally and behaviorally form a fairly tight cluster. The differences between them that lead to their various diagnoses, are actually fairly small compared to the differences that set all of them apart from neurotypical children. Wendy
  6. I really like the We Both Read books for that stage. Since every other page is designated for the adult to read, they are able to tell much more interesting stories than if they tried to constrain the whole book to what an early reader can decode. The child's pages are not 100% decodable with AAR 1 level phonics, but they are close. The Progressive Phonics books available for free online also tell silly, more interesting stories because they include decodable words (in bold red) along with other words for the adult to read. There are also free worksheets and activities to go with the books.
  7. Anecdotally, I think my kids support the idea that autism has a strong genetic component with close ties to several other mental health and developmental issues. It was very clear to everybody (parents, grandparents, pediatrician, etc) that something was going on with DS1 pretty much from the time he was born. Even before that, he "failed" the nuchal fold ultrasound which studies are now showing may be associated with autism and other issues. He was later diagnosed with autism, ADD and anxiety disorder. DH and I have searched high and low in our family trees, and have not found ANY mental illness or developmental delays. But of our four children, 3 have now been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, ASD, ODD and/or anxiety...two of our children have a trifecta of conditions, and I expect the third to add at least one more diagnosis in the future. I would not be at all surprised if child #4 was also diagnosed when she gets older, though I feel almost certain she does not have autism. Additionally, ALL FOUR of our children have significant, persistent speech and language delays. Again, DH and I have no such history, and we cannot find any similar issues among our relatives. It just seems to be an unfortunate quirk of our shared genetics. We have taken two parents with strong language, mental health and executive function skills, and produced four children with severe impairments in those categories. Yes, only one of the four has manifested diagnostically as autism, but I think it is clear that many of the same genetic "glitches" are affecting all of them very similarly, even if the DSM-5 labels them slightly differently. Wendy
  8. This morning, I struggled through my sinus-infection-induced misery to read about the Potato Famine in SOTW 4. All four kids decided to sprawl at my feet to listen and color. Peter interrupted every 30 seconds to inject tidbits of wisdom like "Ireland isn't even as big as Michigan". Elliot got up incessantly to sharpen already-sharp colored pencils. Spencer tipped his pencil box twice because he was being too wild and each time broke into sobs about having to pick up his crayons. Audrey industriously used her scissors to cut her coloring page into 38,695,936,742 shreds which were slowly scattered all over the floor. It was really kind of dreadful...and yet, they all begged me to read from SOTW when I would have happily skipped it for the day. They were all interested in learning about the Potato Famine and gave good narrations afterwards. And when I "let" Audrey use the vacuum to clean up her paper mess, she declared it the "Best Day Ever!!"
  9. We study one field of science for an entire semester, but in that time we cover many topics. Next semester we are all diving into anatomy. That will be the cohesive thread that ties together our study, but within that we will be covering a wide range of topics. The 4 and 6 year olds will be focusing on major body systems, health and fitness, human body experiments and art activities (feeling their pulse, looking at skin and hair under a microscope, making "x-rays" by gluing q-tips onto black paper, etc). The 8 and 10 year olds will be learning much more in-depth information about each body system. They will also spend some time learning about the history of medicine, the amazing case of Phineas Gage, puberty, and read Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure.
  10. My 10 year old LOVES Brain Games and Brainchild on Netflix. He also watches Bill Nye, Wildlife SOS, The Who Was show (which I think it dumb), 72 Most Dangerous Animals and its ilk, all sorts of BBC nature documentaries, One Strange Rock, misc other documentaries, etc. He has also started watching great courses lectures. He has really gotten into What Darwin Didn’t Know: The Modern Science of Evolution; others he just watches a couple lectures and then moves on.
  11. Both my older boys seem to be overwhelmed by/intimidated by/abhorrent toward big chunks of text. They are both very proficient decoders capable of reading text well above their chronological grade level, but they will only willing read books that offer text in short snippets. They devour graphic novels, DK encyclopedia type books, factoid books like Ripley's or Guinness world records, Basher books on all sorts of subjects, even occasionally a Who Was biography. But try to nudge them toward something more text-y, and they run into a huge mental stumbling block. They won't even voluntarily read a Dragon Masters or Kingdom of Wrenly book, both of which have large pictures and minimal (huge) text on every page. If I suggest books like How to Train Your Dragon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Stuart Little, etc, they look at me like I am suggesting they tackle Moby Dick. They certainly can read those sorts of books; the three of use are currently buddy reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and during their turns they are reading fluently, expressively and with understanding. But it is only under duress that they will pick up such a book-y book. If we had buddy read up until it got interesting and then I announced they would have to finish it themselves to find out what happens, inevitably they would both drop it like a hot potato and be glad the torture was over. Wendy
  12. Yeah, we do quite a bit of narration. When I read SOTW to them, I can read a couple pages at a time and they give me awesome, accurate narrations of several paragraphs. If they read a smurf comic book they can retell the whole story. OTOH, when they are reading literature (pages of text with limited pictures), it is pulling teeth to get them to narrate, "Charlotte is a spider." That is one of my clues that they are not reading thoroughly or carefully. Wendy
  13. A related question: How do you keep tabs on if a reluctant reader is actually reading assigned books? My older boys are expected to read a book from their book bin for 20 minutes each morning. These books are well within their reading capabilities, and I take pains to only include books I think they would enjoy if they gave them a chance, but they certainly are more challenging than the brain candy, twaddle that they gravitate toward. Physically they do sit near me during literature time and flip pages, but I often think they aren't actually reading. I'm not even sure they are deliberately shirking the assignment, but I just think they apply so little effort and brain power that they end up skimming and daydreaming and afterwards have almost no memory of anything they read. I don't want to kill the love of reading - and they do LOVE reading free choice books - but it does seem like I need to inspect what I expect during literature time. What methods do you use to encourage and require careful reading as opposed to just page flipping? Thanks, Wendy
  14. I think it is important to be clear that physicians don't have this power. They are responsible for reporting their concerns to DCF, just like all other mandatory reporters. After that it is up to DCF and the legal system to determine if children need to be removed from parents. I think it is entirely appropriate for a doctor to state his or her opinion about a child's medical needs (the legal system would view them as an expert if the medical issue is within the purview of their license), but there are checks and balances built into the system which means the doctor does not have the only or final say as to custody. Wendy
  15. Once when I was a kid I was taken to the doctor with a very high fever that was diagnosed as being caused by a bad case of pneumonia. Right in the office the doctor gave me a HUGE dose of Tylenol to bring the fever down quickly. This is what keeps running through my head when I think of a 2 year old’s fever dropping dramatically over a short period of time. Obviously completely unsubstantiated, but if you give a young toddler a big enough dose of Tylenol or Ibuprofen or both then his fever will plummet and he will be sleeping like a baby when SWAT shows up later. Wendy
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