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  1. Bumping this because a free 5-day podcast on the topic of Children Who Struggle with Anxiety was created during the time of this thread, but the series is just now releasing. It will air all week, May 1-5, in two-minute segments and will then archive for listening later. No easy answers, but someone here might find this conversation informative or encouraging. This online article, Hope for the Worried Child, prompted the series. Cheryl Swope, M.Ed. Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  2. Yes! Prior to age 18, prep for obtaining guardianship before the child turns 18. As soon as you obtain guardianship/conservatorship (if applicable), begin the process of applying for disability. Each step assists the next. Another unfamiliar aspect of this transitional period can be taking your young adult to visit daytime placement options. Visit the local adult day programs, sheltered workshop(s), or talk to any adults your child might already know about opportunities for employment, even if only a few hours a week. Consider continuing homeschooling too. Both of mine wanted to continue some formal lessons at home, so we gradually transitioned from full-time to part-time homeschooling to more relaxed independent study. Also (learned the hard way), find out when insurance stops funding therapies. If you can continue OT, PT, Speech, etc. up to or through 21, you might want to plan for these more intensively prior to their rather abrupt cancellation. Many options ....
  3. In the same boat here. It seems that in our state they formally reassess at age 5, 18, and 22. I just learned this, because our adopted twins with disabilities (both with schizophrenia, medical conditions, autism spectrum) turn 22 soon. In addition to this periodic assessment, we are required to complete annual paperwork, annual financial statements, annual reports, annual meetings, and annual phone calls. A tip: The first year, save copies of your forms as templates for all of the remaining years. The first year is by far the hardest. The rest is merely tedious. :) In our state, we must also update with a phone call regarding any change (e.g., if someone begins working anywhere, no matter how part time, even if only at the local sheltered workshop). However, as someone mentioned, this provides access to services now. For me, this also provides a measure of security knowing that they are firmly known by "the system" and can receive services if anything happens to me. Another tip: If you are also conservator (we are both guardian & conservator for both children), open a separate account just for this purpose. This has made the annual accounting much easier. When we approached our twins' 18th birthday, I found little information, so I jotted down 9 Tips for Navigating the Process of Guardianship, in case anyone else might find this helpful. Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  4. Thank you for the update, SnMomof7. Just be sure to tell the psychiatrist about the family history, if you have not already. You can also request standardized testing to include cognitive testing. Our schizophrenia clinic's researchers have found some prodromal (early stages) cognitive indicators to be common among those developing psychiatric disorders. If your psychiatrist is not familiar with these, you might ask for a consultation with someone more familiar with prodromal identification and treatment. At the very least, you might request the KIDDIE-PANSS. [The PANSS, for 18 & up, is often administered to assess positive (hallucinations, paranoia, delusions) and negative (apathy, withdrawal, flat affect) symptoms.] The KIDDIE-PANSS is normed for children under 18. See other schizophrenia assessment tools here, in the first full paragraph, left column, of this 2015 reference on child & adolescent psychiatry. Sometimes subtle signs can indicate prodromal psychosis, so if you're not familiar with the "prodrome," I would encourage you to ask about or read about this. Dr. Tyrone Cannon, now at Yale, was the first to open my eyes to early i.d. and treatment. I heard him speak, and was persuaded! If you are interested and have time, here are some of his published articles on the topic: http://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/43724402/North_American_Prodrome_Longitudinal_Stu20160314-15101-8kv4yu.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1485298334&Signature=FhLamjerrBQBDVbMRc5YSjSlmkk%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DNorth_American_Prodrome_Longitudinal_Stu.pdf http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/482556 http://cp3a.pclhs.net/~cedar/images/stories/pdfs/schizophr%20bull-2009-woods-894-908.pdf a larger compilation -- https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ehPe09YAAAAJ&hl=en So good to hear your daughter is receiving help, especially when you now have other children's needs to address. Research findings also indicate "High structure, Low stress" as being helpful for both mom and kids, so take good care of yourself. This book was a godsend for me. Even if you are not facing schizophrenia, the information may be helpful. And it looks like you can now obtain it used for just a penny! https://www.amazon.com/Juvenile-Onset-Schizophrenia-Assessment-Neurobiology-Treatment/dp/0801880181/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1485295246&sr=8-2&keywords=juvenile+schizophrenia (Pardon not hyperlinking.) Thanks again for the update. I often wondered. Cheryl
  5. I noticed that no one responded to this, and your daughter reminds me of my own. Like your daughter, mine struggles with processing, attention, coordination, and calculations, yet she is loving and considerate. She also speaks very clearly and projects well, which older people appreciate, so she began volunteering at our local nursing home several years ago. I stayed nearby in the activity room for extra supervision and support. She took all of her orders from the activity director who was especially understanding. Not long ago, at age 21, she was hired as the Activity Aide one brief shift each week. She even "clocks in" with a staff card and takes her lunch break in the staff break room. This was her dream since she turned 13. She is thrilled. As for this: she loves animals and taking care of them, loves little kids, scored well in social, writing and reading skills. She is VERY social, loves to sing, dance, collect rocks and snuggling/caring for her cat... This is wonderful! If your daughter is not bothered by noise and sensory stimulation, she might also do well volunteering in a small preschool. If you let the director know that your daughter does not like to get dirty, perhaps they could have her assist in areas that do not involve outdoor play, fingerpaint, etc. We have a local church friend with brain injury and related special needs who volunteers at a local early childhood program during the school year. This young woman cannot have children, so this also helps satisfy her maternal inclinations. The arrangement works well for this girl and for the program. Or perhaps your daughter could begin by volunteering at an animal shelter? After she proves herself gentle and helpful, this might become a more long-term situation for her. For suggestions beyond this, consider Developing Talents by Temple Grandin. You would need only the sections on those specific recommendations for young adults with slow processing, so maybe you could find this at the library, rather than invest in the entire book. The best to her ... and good for you for seeking ways your daughter can serve, in areas she enjoys! Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  6. Dear SnMomof7, As a homeschooling mom of two children with schizophrenia, I have some suggestions I wish I would have received years ago. I hope this helps: -Even if this episode can easily be explained as being something other than schizophrenia, create a log before your appointment. -For this log, take time to interview your daughter privately in trust and support. Ask about (at least) three topics: visual disturbances, auditory misperceptions, and paranoid or suspicious feelings. Think of more, if you can. Word these in whatever way will best elicit honest answers. Examples: -Ask her to tell you about other times she has seen odd things or seen things in an unusual way. Where was she? What did she see? -Ask her when she has ever heard odd things or heard things in an unusual way. What did she hear? When did this happen? -Ask her when she has felt suspicious or mistrustful of someone. Anyone else? What happened to make you feel this way? Let her talk. Allow plenty of thought time and response time. Tell her she can follow up with you later, if she thinks of anything she did not mention. -Jot down anything, even if it seems small. -Add your own observations. Think back to other times when she has been suspicious or mistrustful when such suspicion was unwarranted. Think of any time she might have said, "Yes, Mom?" when you did not call her. -Add all family history of mental illness. You mentioned that your husband had a brother with schizophrenia. I am so sorry. I am told that life expectancy is 25 years less for this. However, as with anything, early intervention is key. I am hoping for a much longer life for my two! -Request a professional, standardized screening for schizophrenia, given the family history, at your next appointment. Get a referral to someone, if this person cannot do this. Our story: My daughter's childhood-onset schizophrenia manifested insidiously with visual hallucinations (age 4), paranoia (ages 5-8), disorganized, odd behavior, and then finally hearing voices (age 11). We caught my son's at age 11-12, although for him this was earlier in his progression. The children are twins, adopted, and their biological mother had schizophrenia. When we took my daughter to a university clinic for Early Schizophrenia Identification, my son was evaluated too. Both children now want others to benefit from their experiences. Both have attended NAMI meetings and shared their stories. My son presented with "one day the street was slanted, so I could not figure out where to place my legs when I walked," and, "Sometimes I think my mom is calling me, but it turns out she's not." Like your daughter, my son also had ODD, sensory issues, ASD, and ADHD. I added my reports of his paranoid delusions in normal social family settings. They followed up with testing. His symptoms had been so subtle, I was shocked (to tears) by the dx of pre-schizophrenia (schizotaxia, they called it); yet that diagnosis may have saved his life. Moreover, because he received treatment very early, he retained far more of his cognitive function than, I believe, he would have otherwise. All of this was ten years ago for us. Both children continued their education through high school and now serve others in many ways. Homeschooling was a Godsend for us. Classical education specifically assists their thought processes in profound ways to this day. I know this is a very long response and, I'm hoping for your sake, may be completely unnecessary for your daughter's situation. However, little exists on this topic in homeschooling communities, so I wanted to respond when I saw the subject heading. I do hope that your daughter's experience will be rather easily explained away. Even so, please consider proceeding with the above suggestions, if only to rule out what you fear. And if it turns out that you are, in fact, seeing some symptoms, your support of your daughter will be invaluable. Even if those worst fears are realized, we have learned that insight into what is happening, trust in someone who loves her, and early intervention predict a much more favorable outcome. Again, I hope all of this was unnecessary. However, if I can help at all, let me know. Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  7. Pardon me for posting, as I have not visited here in a while. However, your post caught my eye. You might appreciate these articles. Some are specific to dyslexia. Others offer more general information: http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/parent/help-with-handwriting http://eida.org/why-bother-with-cursive/ https://eida.org/write-makes-right/ http://davidsortino.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/10221/brain-research-and-cursive-writing/ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html?_r=1 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211949312000038 http://thefederalist.com/2015/02/25/ten-reasons-people-still-need-cursive/ This one includes tips: http://www.ldonline.org/article/6206/ Thanks- Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  8. This sounds like my daughter! Her language therapist helped by focusing on "semantic pragmatic language" through extensive formal vocabulary exercises and by teaching us to make necessary corrections informally during conversation. (Other times, we just enjoyed the often delightful use of words!) You might find some help under any of these terms: "pragmatic language," "semantic language," "word finding," or "word retrieval." This article on pragmatic language may provide some direction: https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/media/18922/communicating_phonics_pragmatic_language_impairment.pdf Even as you address the needed language skills and find pieces to your puzzle, if your child enjoys the sounds of words you can encourage this in a productive way through poetry, rhyme, and song. Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  9. Your post caught my eye, because my son (and we along with him) suffered from this for years. We found this book helpful: Transform Your Child. The author's website offers free articles. I have not read these, but you might find something applicable here: Child Behavior Problems. Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  10. Thank you! They were fun to do, especially with my daughter. You asked a good question, and I do not know the answer. You might want to ask the WTM Online Conference staff in the "Got a Question" section. Thanks- Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  11. Just a reminder -- The Classical Education & Special Needs webinar recordings (six sessions, 1 hour each) will be available only through July 30, 2015. To obtain these before July 30th, please visit here: Part One Part Two To view or purchase any other sessions from this unique conference, you can view ALL of the available WTM Online Conference recordings here, ranked in order by the average ratings of attendees. If interested in any of these recordings, purchase soon to support the work of the WTM Online Conference. Thanks- Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  12. Thank you for the link. I will share this with a local friend. Have you seen these? Sensory Jeans. While in California last month, I saw this news story featuring the company (ABL jeans). Thanks- Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  13. Just couldn't bear to see this unanswered. Yes, you belong here! I have a daughter with a similar full-scale IQ, slightly lower. In some ways, this knowledge became a new freedom for us. When I released myself from unnecessary standards, my daughter became free to study more deeply the areas she truly loved. (Ironically, her achievement improved, as a result.) You can now officially remove from yourself -- and your daughter -- the burden of "attaining grade level," and begin exploring more fully a love of learning to serve her for a lifetime. You have already turned things around by realizing that you cannot continue as you were before. Begin with areas she already enjoys. With a view to the future, not fearfully, now fully empowered with better information about your daughter, you can begin to cultivate areas of lifelong leisure pursuits, create long reading lists of good books for enjoyment, and discover new areas of interest within her studies. For us, this began with a private heart-to-heart talk. No need to mention the testing. You can simply tell your daughter that you would like to take a new approach this year, because you know the old approach to education has not been satisfying for either one of you. Take her to lunch or just sit on the back porch with a notebook, ready to hear her heart's desires for her own education. Even if she has only one area of interest, you can devote 30-60 minutes once a week (or more) to this. My daughter (now 20) and I have had many such talks, and her interests always surprise me. Such an approach will likely surprise your daughter too, as she realizes that she can view learning much differently. We often began these talks with, "Now that you're growing older, ...." If or when you feel she is ready to hear some of the new information, she might find the information helpful for understanding why things have been so hard. She might even become more of a "team member" in her own education as a result. This has been true for my son (also 20, a twin) with many difficulties with working memory and processing. He now understands, objectively, why he must work harder to retain information, to manipulate information in his mind, and to respond to incoming information appropriately. He now works part-time in a small history museum and says with good insight, "I need to study harder, so I can remember everything during tours." This insight came over time, but small pieces of information helped him see his difficulties more objectively, rather than fearing they were character flaws, such as "not applying himself," or "being lazy." He also learned ways to accommodate. Now he understands the challenges of his own mind, and he knows we intend to address them together. I hope some of this helps. You and your daughter have accomplished much together already! As you shift your focus to view the upcoming years as a "team effort," -- with an ongoing list of good books you want to read together, and art, music, science, or history museums you want to explore -- this will serve both of you well. Over time, your daughter can develop lifelong, formative pursuits, even as you consider a new slow-and-steady approach to academics. Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  14. Thanks to the WTM Online Conference, these sessions are now available as "Recordings" (audio w/slides) through July 30, 2015: Classical Education for Special Needs - Why & How (Part One), Classical Education for Special Needs - What & When (Part Two). See all available WTMOnline Conference recordings here. Thanks- Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
  15. Thank you! She has an encore reading to share on Monday. It appears that registration is still open for all three days: Classical Education for Special Needs - Why & How 12-1:30pm EDT June 1, 8, 15 (Part One) Classical Education for Special Needs - What & When 2:30-3:30pm EDT June 1, 8, 15 (Part Two) As soon as you register, you should receive links to each previous session. This will include the audio and slides. (If this does not happen for you, please let me know.) Thanks- Cheryl Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
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