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About Terabith

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee
  • Birthday 05/02/1976

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    Roanoke, VA

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  1. Things really are going well for her. Socially, she really likes public school. It's a better fit for her than Catholic school socially. Academically, the Catholic school was better. I don't think the English teacher is very good (honestly, she's awful), and the math teacher is not a good teacher for HER. Academically, I'm not sure the school is a great fit. She loves the science teacher. The social studies teacher is decent. She likes art and choir. I'm hoping she has better math and English teachers next year. She's even handling riding the bus decently, which we were VERY worried about. (She had ridden it the first week of school and things didn't go well. So we were driving her, but my husband took a new job that precludes him driving her, and I'm doing student teaching, which makes me unable to drive her. We were so concerned my husband really considered not taking the job, but while she doesn't LIKE it, she's coping.) She's almost 14. I asked her if she wanted to come to her IEP meeting, since I think 14 is when they are asked to start coming, but she said no. She says she feels self conscious with people talking about her and she'd rather not be there. I asked her if there was anything she thought would make her experience better, and she said no. Her tutor (who works at the autism school and is WONDERFUL for her) suggested the note card for formulas. I sent her the results of the evaluation to see if she had any other ideas.
  2. I didn't really talk about autism with them or ask them to do any autism testing. I actually didn't ask for anything; they just said they were updating her testing because it's been a number of years. The school system actually hadn't tested her since she was five, since when we entered they accepted the testing from the neuropsych that we had had done. I think I had told the special ed teacher whom she goes to in the morning that her psychiatrist has diagnosed her with autism, but I don't think that was anything official. It certainly wasn't in writing. I don't expect them to add supports. Honestly, I don't think she NEEDS added supports. The English teacher says she isn't turning in the work, but it's really only work that she wasn't there at the time it was collected, so she'd have to make special arrangements to turn it in. She had the flu and was out for a week, and it seems like most of the missing assignments were from that week. And Cat SAYS she's turned it in, and having seen the English teacher's organization, I really honestly think the English teacher has misplaced it. There was one time she said, "Oh, yeah, I did find that." Cat doesn't lie. At all. I don't think it's a moral strength; I think she doesn't know how. If she doesn't remember turning something in, she says, "I don't remember." Honestly, I'm just hoping they don't remove the IEP. If they want to add supports, that's fine, if they're subtle. She adamantly does not want to go to separate rooms for small group testing, and she's getting A's on most tests. I do want to ask if she could have a note card for formulas. The tests she has bombed in math and science have mostly been ones where there are lots of formulas (area, volume, and surface area of various geometric shapes, for instance). She can do the math, but she struggles to remember what formula goes with what.
  3. No, they didn’t run pragmatics or problem solving. The next time we do a private one (probably around 16, for college), I will definitely ask about that. I mean, I will ask anyway. But I don’t know how much good it would do.
  4. Video. It feels awful to set up a camera to record interaction, but it really helped outsiders realize what we were dealing with.
  5. Your descriptions of your daughter reminds me a lot of my youngest. We had similar issues with crying and refusal to do work, and when we were homeschooling, we had issues with her outside of the home, as well (hiding under the table in the fetal position at art class, which the art teacher didn't mention until the end of the year). Honestly, it was really hard. We had a bad experience with vision therapy, and she developed PTSD from it. We had a miraculous response to anxiety meds. We did get her reading at/ above grade level, but it felt like I bullied her into learning to read. I'm not sure in retrospect if it was the right thing to do or not, but I do think reading well changed the trajectory of her life, and I don't think she would have learned to read in public school. I'm currently student teaching in first grade in public school, and I'm appalled about what goes on there. I think public school is really developmentally inappropriate, extremely ineffective, and very inefficient in K-2, and I am so glad my kids did not attend. My youngest would not have done well at all in this environment. However....that said, we sent her to Catholic school (small classes) when she was nine. We put her in third grade (a grade behind) because her birthday is relatively late and she was both behind academically and emotionally young. In retrospect, I'm not sure that was the right decision, but it was the best decision we could have made at the time, and I think it wasn't a BAD decision. She did far, far, FAR better than we expected, academically and emotionally. She really thrived on the increased structure and the herd effect. It also really improved our relationships at home dramatically. There was a lot less screaming. Looking back, I feel like ages 7-9 were probably the hardest of her life so far (she's almost 14). School was a really good decision for her. She doesn't love school, but she enjoys the structure and thinks that she does better in school than on breaks, although she prefers the breaks. She likes having acquaintances but not being forced into deep relationships with people at school. However, when she went to school, she was DONE when she came home. She had no energy for extracurriculars, so all the gymnastics/ swimming/ horseback riding/ physical fitness activities that we used as both PE and OT stopped. Her sensory needs were a bit chilled by that point (age nine), so it was workable, but she got so much less exercise that between that and puberty, she's gained a lot of weight. She went from not even being on the growth curve to being obese. She also hit puberty, too, but I think the lack of movement has been a factor. I don't really have a recommendation. I think school was a good answer for us, because she thrived on the structure and it helped our relationships at home. But I don't think she could have handled school any younger than nine, and I think ten would have been better. And even the best school with tiny classes and really good, nurturing teachers, she didn't learn nearly as well at school as she did at home. I'm glad we weren't counting on the school to teach her to read.
  6. So, the school did an updated triennial evaluation for Cat's IEP. My expectations were pretty low, but I'm (mostly) pleasantly surprised. I would have liked to see an evaluation of written language (ability to write a paragraph/ essay), because that's an area I'm pretty worried about, but otherwise I think it was decent. They did the WISC-5. Her GAI dropped to 118 from 131 on the WISC-4 when she was seven, but I think that's pretty typical for a kid with SLD. Her Verbal Comprehension was 121 (Similarities 12; Vocabulary 16), her Visual Spatial was 105 (block design 10, visual puzzles 12), Fluid Reasoning 118 (matrix reasoning 11, figure weights 15), working memory 82 (digit span 5, picture span 9), processing speed 98 (coding 9, symbol search 10). Her cognitive proficiency was 87. Not entirely sure what that is. In contrast, her WISC-4 scores five years ago were Verbal Comprehension 119 (vocabulary 15, similarities 14, comprehension 11); perceptual reasoning 137 (block design 15, picture concepts 15, matrix reasoning 18), working memory 104 (digit span 11, letter-number sequencing 11), and processing speed 83 (symbol search 8, coding 6). I'm not sure how much of the difference is due to age/ disabilities versus the changes in the test itself, but the verbal domain seems fairly similar, but a sharp drop in perceptual reasoning, but that seems to have been split into fluid reasoning and visual spatial now. They did a Bender Gestalt, which she scored a 115 on, so I don't think fine motor skills are really a major problem for her. They did the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement. Her score on Math Concepts and Applications was 100; her Reading Comprehension was 120; her spelling was 68. Her associational fluency was 103 and letter naming facility was 95. They also did reading and math from the Woodcock Johnson 4. Her broad reading was 123 and her math was 80 on that. Not sure why such a big gap between math on the Kaufman versus the WJ. She is a grade below her age, so it's possible that they haven't covered as much math as expected for her age, but I have observed some issues with math, but I'm not really sure what the specific issues are, since I'm not trying to TEACH her math anymore. She has completed all 12 levels of the Wilson program, and while her spelling is 68, she gets pretty darn close to the correct spellings. In practice, in a "is it right or is it wrong" way, she's usually wrong, in that words are misspelled, but they are misspelled in completely logical, phonetic ways that spellcheck can most of the time figure out what she's trying to say. They had her do the BASC. She scored at risk in "attitude toward teachers," at risk on "self reliance" (not sure what that means), and significant in terms of anxiety and interpersonal relations. Her math teacher filled out the observations of her. (Catherine does not really like nor dislike her math teacher.) Her math teacher mostly scored her as average, with at risk scores in terms of withdrawal, social skills, and leadership. Apparently her math teacher commented that she sometimes avoids other teens, isolates herself from others, and has difficulty making friends. She sometimes appears to be unaware of others or irritable. This all sounds very much like my child. The BRIEF scored clinically elevated on ability to self monitor (99th percentile), shift (99th percentile), task completion (97th percentile), and potentially clinically elevated in working memory (96th percentile), plan/ organize (97th percentile), and mildly elevated in terms of emotional control (90th percentile). I need to do some research on the BRIEF and what it indicates. The science teacher, whom she adores, filled out the Autism Rating Scale. It related her as elevated in social/ communication, peer socialization, and sensory sensitivity; and slightly elevated for DSM scale and social emotional reciprocity. Honestly, the kid has passed the ADOS twice, but everyone who works with her one on one for an extended period of time thinks she is probably autistic, including me. I'm not sure that there is anything to DO about that at this juncture. Every time we've tried counseling it's mostly been a bust. She's cooperative, but she doesn't have any idea of the source of her anxiety, so counseling doesn't really help with the anxiety. We've tried several counselors, and it's always mostly just wound up being her talking about her D&D campaigns (special interest). But I think she probably is on the spectrum. It will be interesting to see what they say at the IEP meeting. I'm a bit worried that they are going to try to remove her IEP, since she's not receiving regular instructional special ed services. She does go to the special ed room for homeroom, which has been very helpful, since it is a much calmer environment in the morning. She really likes public school, and is more comfortable there socially than at Catholic school. The English teacher is terrible (even in honors English), and while she's getting A's on all of her tests, her grade has dropped to a C because of missing homework assignments. However.....I'm pretty sure she's doing the homework. It's possible she's not turning it in. But, I've been in that English teacher's classroom several times. She is super unorganized. She doesn't input grades until the end of the quarter. Cat claims she is turning them in. I believe it is entirely possible that the teacher has lost several assignments, especially ones that she missed when she was absent and were turned in at separate times. She also has some problems in math, both in terms of not really understanding the material (but I have no way of knowing what they are working on or to really help her....there's no textbook or papers sent home) and in terms of organization. But again, at conferences, the math teacher said the stuff that is not getting turned in are assignments that are not asked for "no please turn this in now" and no set place or routine to do so. (Mostly beginning of class assignments that they're supposed to hand in unprompted every two weeks or so. That would really challenge MY executive functioning, let alone my seventh grader's.) She has an A in social studies and B's in science and choir this quarter. (The choir grade is brought down due to her inability to read music. But again...nobody is teaching them to read music. They are just being tested on their ability to do so. I'm student teaching in the same school system this semester, and I have been shocked at how much of the time there is no instruction on topics but a LOT of testing over them. I'm honestly not sure how we're expecting first graders to learn how to read with no real reading instruction, but that's the way it's set up. Just a lot of testing of sight words and ability to read Fountas and Pinnell readers without any instruction, let alone any phonics.) I worry about how high school will go if they remove the IEP. She needs for spelling not to be counted off, and she needs designated adults to go to when she's having trouble with something, as well as a back up adult. This year it has mostly been the stupid locker. But when things go badly and she doesn't know what the plan is, she doesn't problem solve; she melts down, partly because she is terrified of getting into trouble. I had thought her executive functioning was pretty decent, but that screening seems to indicate that at least she does not feel that it is. I sometimes wonder how much of her anxiety is rooted in the absolutely abysmal working memory. I am worried about her math scores, especially since I intend to fight for her to take eighth grade algebra. It's going to be a fight, since she probably will not score high enough on the algebra readiness test, but the high school does not have any honors algebra classes. And in our school district, the non honors classes have a LOT of behavioral issues. When other kids are misbehaving, she completely tunes out and reads a book or otherwise checks out of instruction. I do not think she would be successful in a non honors classroom for that reason. And at the Catholic school, with small classes and a teacher who explained things in a way that she got, she had A's in math. She wasn't in the accelerated class (algebra in 7th grade), but even their regular classes took algebra in 8th grade, and she was on track to manage that there at the end of sixth grade. Her wonderful Wilson tutor (who works at the autism school) is going to work with her now on algebra concepts. I'm hoping that will help. I'm really tempted to get Math U See Algebra and try to start working through it this summer. But I feel pretty strongly that she needs to be in honors math, despite poor test scores and a current C in pre-algebra. I don't have a good feel for what her life plan or post high school goals should be. Marry someone who is rich? I'd like her to do some career testing in a year or two. The high school has a culinary program that she is interested in doing, and I think she might do well in that, but cooking isn't really a well paying profession. She's mentioned engineering, and her personality is very engineer-like, but with those math scores, I really don't know. She loves biology, but I'm not sure how successful she will be going away to college. I think she might be able to handle it, but I'm not POSITIVE. The bigger issue is current college costs. We don't have the money to pay a ton for college. I think my older one has the potential to get significant college scholarships, but I'm not sure this child will. And current costs are so exorbitant, I am not sure having a lot of student loan debt is a very smart idea.
  7. I’m back. Negative for flu and strep. Probably just the really bad cold with fever the rest of the family had. Said rest and fluids. Cat is still asleep. But her cough is a lot better. She said mostly she just still feels tired. I guess we will wait and see. She was discharged from pulmonologist for doing well, but insurance made her change prescriptions, and chest colds take a lot longer for her to get over.
  8. We don’t have an asthma action plan or a peak flow meter. I think she needs to go in. Sigh. And I really can’t miss student teaching. Already missed a few days earlier. I think I need to get swabbed. I have a history of atypical strep. If I wasn’t teaching, I would definitely wait and see. But I would like someone to listen to Cat’s lungs.
  9. My husband and daughter have had what we've been assuming are pretty bad colds this week. Started Tuesday or so. Snotty, bad headaches, sore throats, fever, tired, felt lousy and wanted to sleep. Coughing. My 13 year old has asthma, and she is still coughing a lot and sounding kinda wheezy. She's used the rescue inhaler, but it doesn't seem to make much difference. She doesn't feel awful. And she is getting better. But I kinda think maybe we should take her in. She missed school Thursday and Friday, and we really need to try to get there when it opens again. I also woke up yesterday morning with the pounding head, sore throat, low grade fever, achy joints thing. I'm assuming it's their cold, but I do NOT have time to be sick. Wondering if it's worth a trip to urgent care to make sure it's not flu or strep or something that could be improved with meds. If I wasn't in the middle of student teaching, I'd lay low and drink tea, but I really have to be at school every day unless I'm dying, so.....I don't know. Hate the "should I stay or should I go" game.
  10. Peter Pan, you could really make a bundle evaluating other kids and pinpointing next steps to work on. Like, seriously, I would drive to Ohio to get your take on Cat. You break things down into more practical chunks and give more holistic overviews than most official evaluators. You would be a superb “where do I start” evaluation person. Just throwing that out there for a few years down the road.
  11. I can imagine situations in which I wouldn’t require them to follow the law, but they all pretty much revolve around an apocalypse or major disaster. Gunman is shooting up the church? Squeeze the whole youth group in there and get out. Zombie apocalypse? Pile folks in and head for the safest location. Dam broke and we are in Nebraska with life threatening flooding? Take people to safety. Government is rounding up all your Jewish or Hispanic friends to take them to concentration camps! Hell yeah, drive them to emergency shelters. Sally doesn’t have a ride? Call me or Sally’s mother. If it’s not an end of the world life or death scenario, follow the damned laws.
  12. It’s also entirely possible I cleared it and it’s psychosomatic. But if I develop any symptoms, I will definitely go in.
  13. I was eating a delicious cookie, and the cat jumped on me. I inhaled crumbs into my lungs, and I can't expel them by coughing. I can, however, SMELL them when I cough. It's seriously annoying. Is there anything I can do, other than take an expectorant?
  14. I adored our open concept house in Texas when my kids were toddlers. I still miss it. But we also have a lot more stuff than we did then, too. Could be a problem.
  15. My kids weren't even a quarter that active, but I found a good solid three hours of exercise was necessary for our survival. I definitely second the indoor trampoline/ Rody horse, climber/ slide/ wagon/ whatever works. We went to church gyms to run around in relative safety. We also did lots of swimming and toddler gymnastics. Yeah....the pediatrician doesn't get it. Do you have an online messaging system? I would try messaging him with what you've said here, including how difficult daily routines are. But he does sound condescending. I'd definitely get a second opinion if that's what it takes. Will she engage in activities if you fully engage with her? Listen to a full board book? That kind of thing? Or is it just constant flitting from one activity to another?
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