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Storygirl last won the day on April 11

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  1. The discrepancy in writing mentioned by Peter Pan is that there is a 20 point difference between her verbal score and her writing score. That is statistically significant, even though the writing score technically falls within the average range of the bell curve (which means the school does not have to intervene on it).
  2. Okay, keeping in mind that I know nothing about your daughter or situation, I'm going to offer my opinion anyway. DS15's tics are mild. Most people would not notice them. We did not even seek help for them, although the tics were a factor as we figured out what ADHD medication he could take (some meds increased tics). Before he started the ADHD meds at age 9, we had not noticed tics ourselves, although in hindsight, I can see that some things were tics, but we didn't realize. We only got the Tourettes diagnosis because the pediatrician noticed and sent us to the neurologist. So that's the background for my opinion. There is therapy that might help with the breath holding issue, and it seems like that would be worth pursuing, because the breath holding seems like a big deal, in that it affects her communication. There are meds -- clonidine and guanfacine -- that help with controlling tics AND ADHD and so could make a large difference. They are low in cost (DS15's clonidine costs about $2 per month) and are not stimulants or controlled substances. They started as blood pressure medications, and they don't come with the concerns that scare people off of taking ADHD meds. And they help tremendously with sleep. These are low risk and easy things to try. If the tics are bothersome enough to have sought a diagnosis, I wonder why they aren't worth treating. I don't know if that is the neurologist's opinion, or yours. I would not necessarily accept that opinion, if it is coming from the doctors. If there are ways to help, why not try them?
  3. So that article says that 80% of people who have both an LD and TS also have ADHD. That is very significant. Do you think ADHD is an issue for your daughter? Here's an additional short article outlining the links between ADHD and TC and OCD. Okay, here's another one. It's easy to find a bunch of articles about conditions co-morbid with TS when you google. I haven't read all of these before, so I'm perusing for myself. In that Johns Hopkins one, the academic difficulties listed sound eerily like DS15.
  4. Did the neurologist suggest anything you can do to help the Tourettes? Because our neurologist suggested medication and a specific kind of counseling. I would hope that your doctor gave you good information and that you already know. But if you would like some details, I'm happy to share.
  5. Okay, I'm going to dive in a bit about the Tourette's. DS15 has it, so I know a bit. DD13 has dyslexia, so I know a bit about that, as well, but others have covered the language stuff. The thing about Tourette's is that it is actually a very simple diagnosis. If the person has both motor tics and vocal tics (vocal includes things like coughing or sniffing and does not have to mean tics with words) for a year, it's Tourette's. That's it. For the diagnosis, there is no long testing or searching for underlying root causes. It is just whether the tics are there. So there is not a generally need for a neuropsychological exam due to a Tourettes diagnosis. UNLESS the neurologist suspects there is a bigger issue underneath that needs exploration. It sounds as if she told you specifically that she suspects there are other things going on and that they are complex enough that the school evaluation will not be able to sort it out. It is very common for kids with TS to also have other life impacting conditions. Here is an article I found about common comorbid conditions. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that TS is simple. I am just saying that all that you need for the diagnosis is the symptoms. The diagnosis basically says "yes there are tics." Scientists don't know why the tics are happening, at this time, although there are some speculations, which that article also mentions. I think the recommendation for neuropsych testing is the way for the neurologist to say that she thinks there are other complex things going on that you haven't uncovered yet. I would take that seriously (I'm not saying you are not; just giving you support). The other posters are right that you can figure out some ways to move forward on reading, while you wait for the NP appointment. But I think I would keep the spot on those NP waiting lists and not choose school evaluations instead. The school would be able to give you more testing data and should be able to diagnose Specific Learning Disability in Reading, since you don't have that documented yet. But they are not the ones to go to for figuring out underlying complexities. And the NP would be able to diagnose the dyslexia.
  6. Well, phooey. I mean, it's good that his scores were in the average range, but unfortunate that he won't qualify for extra support, even though you can see that it's needed. Just because the teachers don't see the ADHD does not mean that there is no ADHD. Really and truly. When DD13 was tested by the neuropsychologist, he said his tests showed ADHD. But when the teachers at her school fill out their ratings forms, they don't indicate that they see attention issues. We do see them at home, however. Also, I think part of what makes the teachers kind of immune to noticing DD's ADHD is that she goes to a school for kids with LDs, and there are LOTS of kids with ADHD there. Which means she kind of blends in with the crowd in that regard. I mention this, because I know you have not been pleased with your school, and if teachers there are seeing a lot of kids who have low attention or who under perform, your son might seem just fine in comparison. Because those rating scales are subjective. Just because the teachers don't recognize it doesn't mean it is not there. I know that you have wondered about the validity of the ADHD diagnosis previously. I just don't want this report to make you think that the ADHD diagnosis he received is wrong. From what you have written over time, it is apparent to me that the ADHD is real (in case you care about the opinion of a stranger on the internet 😀).
  7. I agree with the NIrV. We have not used the others, so I'm not offering a comparison, just that we have liked the NIrV. We are actually gearing up to do some family devotionals this summer, and the NIrV is what we will use, even though my kids are teens now. Although I love the beauty of other versions of the Bible, I'm not reading it with my children for the beauty, but for the messages. The more straightforward the language, the better, for my crew.
  8. It's great that the school is offering intervention, even though you are homeschooling (I am assuming you are homeschooling). Did they give you a report with recommended accommodations? Have they written the IEP yet? So the way the IEPs work here is that there are goals written for the areas of disability. And then those 20 minutes sessions would target those specific goals. So it would not be covering the general math concepts in total, and so you will still need to have a math curriculum to use at home. And those 20 minute sessions would usually be in addition to the daily math lesson, not in place of it. If you don't know, I would ask specific questions about what they plan to teach her and what methods they will use. Some schools mainly use computer programs for the extra math help. Others might do specific teaching on topics, but this could be in a small group, or it could be one on one. Think about what your daughter really needs and whether what the school plans will actually help her. The processing speed is low. Processing speed often affects math and writing, which may be related to the lower written expression score. Even though that writing score is in the average range on the bell curve, I would expect that you may find writing to be more challenging as she gets older and the demands increase. You can look up a definition of fluid reasoning, if you don't know. It's a measure of problem solving ability, so that may also be affecting the math and writing, even though it is technically in the average part of the bell curve. You can google low processing speed to get ideas for what accommodations to ask for in the IEP, if they did not give you any recommendations in the report. If you are homeschooling, you will be naturally accommodating for these things, but it's good to have it in writing. And you may get some ideas for things you can do to scaffold that you may not have thought of. Generally, lower processing speed means the student needs more time --- extra time on tests, extra time to complete assignments or assignments shortened, assignments broken into smaller chunks -- and may need accommodations for writing, such as speech to text, or typing instead of writing by hand. The specific accommodations needed will vary, depending on what the child struggles with.
  9. I am totally not an expert, and I don't even have college aged children yet (but soon -- eek!), but here is what we've been told by DD13's dyslexia school (which does not even offer foreign languages, but has graduates go on to college): If a student goes to a school where foreign language is not offered, so that they have not had an opportunity to take it, colleges will not hold the absence of foreign language credits against them for admittance. That is the blanket statement offered to parents at the school. I'm adding my own caveat that, of course there may be (and probably are) colleges that would still refuse to admit. And also, that what is true for our state /area may be different than what happens elsewhere. Once the student is admitted, there still may be foreign language requirements to meet at the college level, even if high school foreign language was skipped. Having the letter of exemption from the psychologist is probably a good idea. Colleges are going to really vary in how willing they are to accommodate for disabilities, though. Just because a psych wrote a letter doesn't mean they will grant the exemption for their programs. I haven't been through the process yet, but we've been told that there are colleges in our state that are better than others when it comes to disability services.
  10. Are you homeschooling? If you are homeschooling, do you need to follow your state graduation requirements? Is foreign language actually required? I falsely thought that foreign language was required in our state; in actuality, it is an elective. Universities usually require it, but it is possible for there to be exceptions. My kids with language disorders -- DD13 has dyslexia, and DS15 has pragmatic language issues and a reading comprehension disability -- are not planning to take foreign language in high school.
  11. I'm so sorry, Dawn. I don't know when the end of your own school year is, but if you are able to take any time off, maybe it's a good idea to go. Seeing you might prop him up enough to get through the last week. Although my kids are younger, I know how frustrating it is to not be able to get DS15 to listen to reason or change his point of view, even when it would benefit him. And he also doesn't buy in to therapy. Dealing with issues from several hours away would be even harder. So I get it, and I'm sorry. I hope that the school counselors can help. The other son's paper..... so head-banging frustrating, too!!! Maybe he can learn from the experience? One can hope!
  12. We got rid of most of the toys and picture books when we moved last summer, because my kids are now all teens. We saved LEGO, American Girl, and a few other things like that, and they are now in a closet in the basement and don't get used, unless we have young visitors. I also saved a large box of preschool toys and puzzles that are sturdier and higher quality. I thought they would last until I have grandchildren, maybe. And I thought my teens might use them when babysitting (they don't babysit, however there is still a chance of that). The not-worth-much early childhood toys were given to Good Will. The nicer things -- Barbies, books, puzzles, games, doll clothes, etc. -- were passed down to my grand nieces, who are 4 and 6 now. I have not regretted getting rid of anything. I did keep some Barbie and doll clothes that were made by my grandmother when I was a child. But most of the toys saved from my childhood were not really in great shape by the time I had kids, and I learned that it's not worth doing if there is a big gap between generations in the family. We did save the wooden kitchen and little wooden table and chairs from my childhood -- those are about 50 years old and still look like new, despite heavy use, so they were definitely high quality and worth saving. Things like toy trucks can be gotten rid of. Although I do have a nifty metal truck and trailer that was my dad's toy in the 40s, and I'm glad I have that. For display, though, not play.
  13. I keep sentimental blankets -- afghans knitted by my grandmother and DH's grandmother (one each), a quilt made for DH by his grandmother (even though it is stored away, because I think the colors -- orange and brown -- are ugly, and baby blankets made for my oldest by people that I know. I also have a pink crocheted baby blanket that I believe my grandmother made for me. Store bought baby blankets I did not keep after my kids stopped using them. We have some older twin sized comforters that are no longer used on beds, but we kept them to use when we go to a picnic. We keep most of those in a stack in the basement by the tv where we watch movies, for snuggling. My kids and I do like those blankets, because it's colder down there. So those are extras, but we sometimes use them. I do have a few fleece blankets in my linen closet that are not currently used, but I think they may be used again, so I am hanging onto them. I just pulled one out recently to take to a track meet when the weather was frigid. I also have an extra blanket and an extra comforter for guests to use if we need to unfold our pull-out couch. It is hard to get rid of them, for some reason. And old towels; I tend to keep them in case we need rags, but then they just sit there, taking up room. When we moved last year, I finally cleaned the excess towels and blankets out. Bottom line -- keep sentimental items if they mean something to you. Keep things that you have a use for. Get rid of the rest without qualms.
  14. Yael, I have not been in your position, so I don't have advice to offer, just concern. However, I did notice that in your most recent post, you mention that your son has switched his political beliefs and perhaps has adopted some more radical views. You may be aware of this, but there have been news articles about extremists deliberately recruiting teens over the internet. I am not going to post a specific link, but you can google it. I have no interest in espousing any political views. I am just suggesting that it is an aspect for you to consider, since internet addiction has also been mentioned. I think it's definitely something to point out to anyone you go to for help.
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