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Everything posted by specialmama

  1. What would you recommend for a 12 yr old girl with a brain injury whose oral language and auditory processing is a relative strength (roughly 18th-27th percentile) but whose word decoding is a great challenge? She presents at the 8th percentile for her age in Expressive Vocabulary and word decoding is very low. (I didn't record that one, but I believe her word decoding was at the 3rd percentile for her age.) Aside from getting her eyes and ears checked, what program is suitable for a 12 yr old (not too babyish) but really works that word decoding? If it helps, this child's brain injury is FASD, so memory issues will come into play as well. Bonus points if it is engaging! :)
  2. Such a tragic loss! Such a precious life! Rosie, my heart goes out to you and your daughter as you learn to live without this precious boy whose fingerprints are all around you. May sweet memories bring you comfort.
  3. I signed my dd up for an online Great Ideas course which is Language Arts, History, and Worldview all rolled into one course. It looks great, so we're really excited. It is through Tree of Life at Home. I love what I hear about TPS, but for the price I thought that we'd spring for that the final year of high school.
  4. Thank you everyone for your responses. I should have clarified that she has been in school for 3 years and returning home for grade 10 next year. I agree Algebra is deserving of blood, sweat, and tears, and perhaps she will have to have that shift in thinking for next year. I will look into each resource mentioned, thank you so much!
  5. I was set on TT as we've used it before quite successfully, but now she's wondering what else is out there, and I just don't know. She is not strong in math (she can get an 85 with a little blood, sweat, and tears) and needs some extra hand holding and time to absorb. Is there a grade 10 math program that I wouldn't have to teach? Or grade? :blush:
  6. Matryoshka, we are in the exact same boat! My daughter announced last week that she'd like to come home next year after 3 years in school. My dd will be home for grade 10 then, and yes, one way ticket here as well. My dd is in the youth orchestra (flute and piccolo) and has an amazing teacher. Her dream right now would be to spend more than her current 4 hours a day on flute/piccolo; she'd really like to spend more time on music theory and skip the wasted time she sees at school. She also feels that Language Arts in school is incredibly dumbed down. I'm not much help with your plan, I just thought I'd chime in as you're singing a familiar song! It's an exciting song though, with a faint backdrop of coins clanging in the distance. :tongue_smilie:
  7. I would focus more on life skills, such as Menu Math, Burger Hut Math and Department Store Math. For reading I would look into a box set called Practical Reading, from Remedia Publications, which will introduce some essential comprehension skills. Mayer-Johnson.com often has it cheaper than other places. For history I'd use a visual method, like LindamoodBell's See Time Fly series. I'm a big fan of special material developed for special people like our kids. :)
  8. I just took a really good special needs course, and it was suggested to have learning look like this: 25% academics which includes art and music first, then language and numeracy. 25% life skills which includes getting dressed, laundry, shopping, asking for directions, etc. 25% job skills taught as early as junior high, using of course, their interests as a guide (get creative, if he likes something, where can he use that?) and 25% volunteering and service in a community setting which allows for interaction and a sense of purpose and accomplishment. I really appreciated the breakdown of the above in a pie chart with space for me to write examples and brainstorm. As far as math goes, look into Teaching Math to People with Down Syndrome and Other Hands on Learners. There are 2 books total, but you only need the first one for now. We also use Menu Math and Market Math to help with basic money skills. I also appreciated the presenter saying to teach inter-dependance. We all depend on each other and we've wasted so many years reaching for "independence" when it doesn't really exist in today's culture. An adult with exceptional needs can survive with a debit card instead of cheques, a phone with pictures of mom and social worker on them, a system of support built up around them. So teach them to ask for help and let go of the independent illusion. *insert release of held-in breath, it is ok to be dependent* I'm sure you are aware of PECS and visual schedules and all kinds of hands-on learning, but wanted to mention it again. Visual learning and hands on learning is often easier on this crowd. For communication and language, Laureate Learning Systems has been a God-send. It is computer based, self-adjusting according to the child's ability, and most importantly, my son is learning, retaining and transferring what he has learned into other environments. I have found it helpful to focus on his happiness first, then, because like you said, I don't want to limit my son, I do imagine what he could be like as an adult. I open my eyes more to opportunities to teach him things he will need to know. Some examples: safety signs on roads, how to cross the street, how to ask the owner to pet the dog, how to take turns at the park, how to make a sandwich, how to dial the phone, how to get a drink, how to turn off the tap, how to ask for help, etc. One of the most helpful things I have heard is to teach manners, because if your child can use a tissue and say excuse me, please, thank you, and hold open doors for people, everyone will take note and want to be with them when they're adults. That came as a golden nugget while overhearing two women talk about the special person who joined their weight loss group. They were simply delighted just because the person was so polite, and they both carried on about what a great job her mother did to teach her such manners. I have also found it helpful to make use of executive function material, namely the book Learning the R.O.P.E.S for Improved Executive Function. My son has blown me away with what he can accomplish using those methods and printouts that come with the accompanying CD. In just a few months he has mastered many self-help skills, such as getting dressed in the morning, recalling the day's activities, and completing the bedtime routine. For a 12 year old, to finally be able to do these things independently (with mom or dad fading out as much as possible but still present) is pretty noteworthy! As for the job skills and volunteering, take inventory of what you have at your disposal. Get creative. My son loves languages that have different fonts (arabic, chinese, hebrew, greek, etc.) and he loves playing with little kids and their toys. I have a preschool across my street in my church, so I've been toying with the idea of once a week going in to let my son write a word on their board in a different language. If they are studying colours he can write the word blue in a different language for them. So he would be using his love of languages to serve others, then he gets rewarded by playing with their toys for a few minutes. I'm still brainstorming, and perhaps us moms always will have to, but I do find it so rewarding to come up with neat ideas using their strengths. Continue to expose him to outside sources of "undiscovered interest". Along the same lines as "strangers are friends you don't yet know", well, you never know what he will strike a fancy with. Take him everywhere (zoo, space centre where he can look at clouds through telescopes, science centre to handle all kinds of things, all field trips, all kinds of exposures, etc.) let him explore and take note of what holds his interests. There could be many more potential leads just around the corner! Lastly, take care of you. Enjoy your relationship with him. Life is a sweet, sweet thing, and we are blessed mamas to get to enjoy such precious innocence for a longer time than most. :wub:
  9. We have been very pleased with Gumdrop's DropTech Series. Many falls and thrown around, still perfect.
  10. Our church is starting a Friendship class. Check out Friendship Ministries. They've done all the work for you and have excellent resources. They have a CD and info packets that you can share with your congregation. I took a lot of training classes from the late Director, Nella (she passed away last month) and they were so informative!
  11. Momto2Ns, thank you, that inspired me. We did purchase 2 swings which we can switch around, and they'll be going up next month for his birthday. Excited! So happy to finally do this! thebacabunch, thank you, that was quite real, reassuring, and doable! I'll be returning to read this a few times I'm sure. Thank you.
  12. Here's another one, called Educate Autism. They have some great articles there that are probably useful for many special needs or visual learners.
  13. aw, the link is gone... the material is gone... I don't suppose anybody saved all that gold as an alternate file?
  14. I'm familiar with Jump Math, and have poured over their entire website for months. My son has autism, and this is what we'll be using next year. I've never heard of Mastering Mathematics until now, so I just spent a bit of time on their website. My initial reaction is that Mastering Mathematics is hard on my eyes. Not just the website, but the samples they have up. The blue, the size of the blue font, oy! The page that has the lesson on it is WAY too wordy for my son, and if other lessons are similar, then we'd scrap that program really quick. Jump Math's slow, incremental approach by (most often) showing rather than telling (and when they do tell, they are less verbose) is more up my son's alley, but I can't speak for your children. ;) Can you print off the samples from both and see which your dc prefer? I was torn between several programs, and it did take months to decide. I still get *almost* pulled in by Touch Math, but not quite. As much as you have my sympathies for having to decide, you also have my envy because it's a fun thing to be doing! Keep pouring over both and trying the samples and you should be able to figure out the best fit for your dc. I hope someone else can chime in here as well and help more than I did! :)
  15. My boy has autism, and I know several intimately with aspergers. Their obsessions are typically come and go, but some become lifelong passions and will be a huge part of who they are as an adult. We just never know, as parents, which is which. :tongue_smilie: I would look for ways in which he can enjoy his screen time, and also learn something or create something. If he's going to be a computer programmer one day, or an animator, or a game maker, then why not introduce him to the hows and whys of it now? Buy a StopMotion Animation kit and let him play with that as long as he wants. Or an early robotics programming program like Terrapin Logo. Or maybe he wants to create 3D environments and games from scratch with Level Crafter and Challenge You. There are many software packages out there that could transform this into a highly creative and educational opportunity for him, one that you would not have to limit the time spent on. I'd seize his interest and milk it. He just needs you to direct that interest into something meaningful. I've seen what happens when we empower our kids to fly, to give them the tools they need to excel in their interests... you won't regret it. :hurray:
  16. I've been looking at many things for my own special learner over at the Remedia Publishing website. What do you think about Sentence Fun? There are sample pages on a different website (link here.) I liked the look of it, but it's a little too complicated for my boy. If you wanted something simpler (and cheaper) what about some of their other books, like What is a Sentence? I agree that a physical limitation could be improved with typing, especially if you get one of those larger keyboards. If you don't think that would help, then what about something very simple, that involves cutting, gluing, visual perception, and knowing that there is a limit to the writing (ie: write 2 sentences)... if that sounds like it might work, then check this one out: Visual Sequence: Writing Activities. It sure is a challenge knowing where to begin, I hear you!
  17. I'm signed up for some of their teaching seminars online and hope to do one in person next month. Will be doing it next year with my special needs son. I love that it's slow and incremental and the teacher's manual (free online) is amazing. They offer so many hands-on activities and sites to explore in order to meet every learner's needs. I agree, it looks very promising. I also like the extra worksheet option (Jump at Home) for those that really need the extra time to achieve mastery. A little gem is that if you start early enough in the lower grades, you can save a ton by ordering all the grade levels at once. I may do this because my son is actually working at a grade 2 level. Pasted from their site: Special Offer: AP Book Sample Pack If you want to evaluate our student resources, you should know about our special offer: a sample pack containing one copy of each of our 16 grade-specific AP Books for just $100. That's more than $40 less than the regular volume-discounted price for this full set of AP Books. To place this sample order with our distributor, please cite ISBN 978-1-897120-98-9. Please note that no other discounts are applicable to this order, it is non-returnable, and it is restricted to one order per customer. Please note that the Sample Pack does not contain a copy of the Introductory Unit Using Fractions (Grades 3 & 4), Introductory Unit Using Fractions (Grades 5 & 6), or the Teacher's Manual for the Introductory Unit, all of which may be downloaded and copied for free (see below). For a list of JUMP Math print titles and ISBNs, see our order form.
  18. Hang in there, baby! Don't come too soon! My dream was just a dream, nothing more! :o Hang in there, too, mama. Frustrating for sure... but I take comfort in knowing they're being cautious. Difficult considering pain and frustration, but I vote for turning this into some sort of vacation. Do you have one of those mini televisions? Does your bed have the buttons that can move your body in all sorts of positions? Are there any good books to read? Does the hospital have a hair stylist or anything that you can indulge in?
  19. Hey! What's the score for food vs nurses? Hoping they've let you eat and have a Tims! Sending hugs and prayers for all!
  20. Sorry if someone already posted. Just remembered that Wolf had left a message asking me to post on the Hive to keep everyone up to date... Imp is in hospital ready to put doctors and nurses on the stretchers. She's to have gall bladder surgery and hasn't eaten in 2 days. She's a little irritable because they haven't wanted her to eat (or drink coffee!!!!) due to the impending surgery. Seeing as they didn't have a scheduled time decided, I did encourage her to eat for the baby, and insist on a time frame. Please pray for the baby to be fine, for safe pain reduction, and a speedy recover. You might just want to pray for those nurses too! If they want to survive they should be letting her eat and drink soon!
  21. YES!!! I borrowed that book from the feeding clinic and appreciated it so much! Thank you for reminding me of that, even though I'm not the OP :)
  22. (((hugs))) All I can say is, the Word is the only thing that can fill you up. I know devotions are good, but they're kinda like Twinkies and Ding Dongs. No athlete training for a marathon would dream of getting very far on such a fluffy diet. But the Word is sustenance for you soul and for your journey. Steak. Potatoes. It will prepare you for running a race, not slodging through with small puffs of energy. (((hugs))) I'm glad you found some light/er reading, but as your sister in Christ with a special lamb of my own, I wanted to help redirect your eyes up. He is where your true rest lies. :grouphug:
  23. (((hugs))) Been there. Am there. Living it. It is not true that one can only be hyper or hypo sensitive. My son has been examined thoroughly every year by an OT and always tips the scales on severely hyper and severely hypo sensitive in every sense. This makes life... interesting! You just never know when it'll switch. He'll be seeking-seeking-seeking, then in a milli-second he'll be avoiding-avoiding-avoiding. As for diet, I have a ton of ideas, just not a lot of time right now. I will write what I can... My son regressed around 18mths of age. He lost a lot of the foods he ate, and settled on bland and beige foods. This is his entire repertoire: plain waffles plain pancakes plain toast bananas sliced with applesauce vanilla yogurt pb&j sandwhiches chicken nuggets french fries crackers That's it. That's all she wrote. We have breakfast items and 2 meal items. Sandwiches for lunch and nuggets and fries for dinner. Every day. For 11 years. Not a single veggie. Anyhow, I have had him to a specialist. Learned a lot about pairing items. Take a food that is similar to what she may eat, that you want her to eat, that your family eats all the time. Serve it every other day. Put it on her plate. The goal is to tolerate it on the plate. If she does good, then ask her to kiss it. If she does, then ask her to lick it. If she does, then ask her to take one bite. It may take months, but persist without getting angry and celebrate every little success. Always pair a favourite item with a less favoured one, to increase the chances that she'll tolerate the less favoured. Watch carefully for gag reflexes and if they exist, introduce non-food play items of similar consistency to decrease the gag reflex. Engage in frequent and fun food play. Paint with peanut butter, pudding, ketchup, yogurt. Laminate her favourite colouring pages and have fun. The goal is tolerating and associating fun with food. Use any hard food for paintbrushes: celery, carrots, hot dogs, etc. Read lots of fun books about food: Now I eat my ABC's is a favourite around here. We try to recreate the art and that's always a hit. Design food in fun ways. Be sneaky. If you noticed, my son does not eat a single veggie. With kids like these, with profound sensory issues, they WILL starve before they eat what they don't like. There was no winning on the veggie front. So we bought a high quality green powder (all organic real veggies, not 20 kinds of grass) and began to put a pinch in each serving of his juice. We very gradually increased the pinch. He didn't notice because it was so gradual. One year later we were up to 1/4 tsp. It's been 4 or 5 years now and we're up to 1 tsp in every beverage. It may not be a lot but it's way better than no veggies! Use only real juice, not the frozen from concentrate crap. Real juice, not from concentrate. Dilute with 1/2 water. The intention is good calories from fresh fruit, but you can't allow a child to get all their caloric intake from fluids. Analyze what she eats, and modify the recipe or introduce similar things to that item. For example, she likes the Honey Roasted BBQ sauce, so use that wherever you can with different foods. Or grab a similar sauce and add a bit of it to her standard. Slowly over time you can introduce several different flavours without too much hassle. Add a different veggie in your jambalaya. Keep the menu up! Don't skip a favourite for too long, or she'll lose taste for it! My son used to eat roast beef with noodles the way my MIL made, but when we moved across the country he couldn't eat it. One year later when we visited her, he just about threw up at the sight of it... so keep all those great menu options on the table. As for your dh, I think you both need to have a heart to heart and come to a clear understanding. No food item, menu or lack thereof is worth disharmony. Am I tired of cooking the same darn meal for 10 years straight? You bet! But I keep plugging away because he needs to eat. I keep up the food play and sometimes he'll bite a new food. Although I didn't put it on the list, he does regularly eat pizza now, and cookies (I can make them healthy) and these are both new wins due to food play and consistently pairing foods. Life is too short to not enjoy sitting down for a meal with our family, regardless of how some choose to self-limit. When we're dealing with sensory issues, we need to have compassion, understanding, and creativity. It usually means that we need to yield, because they often will starve rather than eat new foods. Parenting involves, as you know, many sacrifices. I think your dh needs a hug, a safe place to commiserate, but then to take a deep breath and accept what it is and make the best of it. Will try to write more later...
  24. I would look into Gander Publishing kits. They're expensive, but cheaper than one-on-one at a Lindamood-Bell speech centre. Mind you, if she has the funds, she may well want to look into the centres because they can dabble in all avenues and accurately assess what the challenges are. We're doing their VV program to work on comprehension and creating an image gestalt in order to increase recall, but Talkies might work better for him as an intro to VV if he struggles with responses. These programs have great results and research to back them, with most kids improving 5-6 grade levels after intensive work (4 hours daily, 5 days a week, for four weeks.) Hope that helps a bit! I hope she knows she's giving him a wonderful gift out of love that will benefit him for the rest of his life.
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