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About Expat_Mama_Shelli

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    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

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    Hong Kong

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  1. Our current year ends in 3wks, and our next will begin mid-June. In the past 2mo I’ve tweaked and clarified a couple of things (bold), but nothing too major. Looks like the plan is sticking, at least for now!
  2. I was discussing next school year with DS this morning & asked if there was anything specific he’d like to learn about this year or any skills he’s like to acquire / develop. I noticed a strong trend of “How Does XYZ Work?” topics. I’d like to brainstorm ways of organising topics to be at least somewhat cohesive, because I can see it devolving into chaos... but was thinking that would be a cool science focus for the year. Specific examples of his interests are: how a plant forms fruit, how plants “fight” for resources, seed dispersal methods, how burning fuel is able to power a vehicle, how we make rubber / steel / concrete, how we find and collect natural resources (metals, coal, etc), & how instruments make sound. I was thinking we could use episodes of How Does it Work / How It’s Made as a springboard for research, model-building, & experiments... Has anyone done anything like this? Any there good resources you can recommmend?
  3. DS has mentioned wanting to learn more about plants. We covered basic Life Science this year so he knows about life cycles, basic parts, & cell structure. He is a fluent reader. He is specifically interested in different methods of seed dispersal, how a plant forms fruits or flowers, and how different plants fight for resources. I’m thinking Mendel genetics would be interesting to him as well. He has had no formal intro to chemistry or physics, but I’m happy to incorporate those as needed. I have a black thumb, & we have limited outdoor space (no yard) so I’d prefer to limit the growing of various plants. Secular materials only, please.
  4. We’re not sure if he has ADHD or is high-energy with low impulse control but still within the normal range. The OT was able to confirm that he was sensory-seeking, but of course wasn’t qualified to give us an answer re: an attention deficit. Due to his age and the cost we’re trying to meet whatever other needs he may have & see what resolves before pursuing a full Psych Assessment. Yes, he can distinguish between types of discomfort. In familiar environments he is able to identify when he’s overstimulated and can manage it himself by asking to have a quiet moment away... but when he’s in a new situation & there’s lots of interesting things he wants to get into or he has an “audience” then it’s far harder. He has to WANT to calm himself - he likes the wild excitement feeling, even though he knows it gets him into trouble.
  5. Nothing yet for the STNR. I found some stretches / exercises online that I can do with him at home on my own, though. Despite my best efforts (arriving early, having a snack, free playing for a bit) DS was really squirrely while we were there. I tend to forget that he gets this way in new situations & it catches me off guard because while he’s always “full on” he is much more mellow by comparison at home. The first task we were given was the flippers. DS haaaated this! Glasses being a reality and not just theoretical is not going over well, so glasses + colour lenses + the flippers making the task challenging = resistant kiddo. The DO backed up and gave us an easier level flipper so he can work his way up with less frustration. We have both so we can adjust difficulty whenever he’s ready. The next was a tracking activity where he scans for individual underlined numbers / letters in a row of text, reading them off as quickly and accurately as possible. He managed to do this in 30sec with 2 errors (skipped one line). Goal is 20sec with 0 errors. If he masters the task we also have sheets with several letters grouped together (asr tyn drl zvq). DS didn’t mind this, as it was straightforward and he felt confident it was achievable. The final task was the one DS enjoyed most. It’s a series of mazes, and he has to direct a pawn through the maze by telling it to turn left or right each time it hits a wall. DS loves mazes and enjoys coding, so despite being challenging this activity is right up his alley.
  6. Got DS’ reading glasses & had our first session today. We have several versions of 3 distinct exercises. He’s asked us to work on each one for 10min a day (not back-to-back) & otherwise continue reading as usual, just with the reading glasses. Of the exercises he did today DS enjoyed one, was “meh” about one, and really resisted one. For the last, the DO moved him down a level so he could feel more successful. He included tools for both that level and the harder level in our “took kit”. We’ll be coming back every 2-3wks for new exercises & tools.
  7. I am sooooo glad it’s not just us!! DS spent two full days this week simply unable to comprehend ANYTHING. Parts of speech? What are those?? (Hint: we’ve spent a good chunk of the year on them). Recalled none of the vocabulary from the past 2 months of poetics. Spent an entire hour on staring blankly at a whopping 6 math problems. The next day? Absolutely zero issues. Knocked out his sentence analysis, blew through reading, completed 6 full pages of math without even breaking a sweat. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️
  8. The stark financial dichotomy here is indeed very sad - and humbling, as someone who grew up in poverty myself. We were able to see some progress in the time he was in OT, but we dropped because we simply couldn’t afford it anymore. Weekly sessions were running us nearly $700/mo 😩She focused primarily on his sensory-seeking behaviors while we were there because they were the most disruptive / problematic. We were only able to attend for a few months.
  9. This part, at least, is easy! Everything is “pay by session”; no packages or pre-payment to worry about.
  10. Okay, there’s a lot to dig through here but I’ll do what I can... Most families here consist of parents both working 60+ hrs a week, and kids who are in class all day with tutoring and then heavy homework loads each evening, I have a feeling this is where the issues with “compliance” would come in. Many parents here hardly see their kids at all during the week. Domestic helpers are stretched too thin to perform like a Western nanny; they are house-cleaner, errand-runner, and child-rearer all in one. The only reflex tested (so far) was spinal-galant, based on observations the Optometrist made during the initial assessment. I did some “home tests” for others and didn’t notice a response, but it wouldn’t surprise me if all are systematically checked at our first therapy appointment next week. DS had OT for a while about a year ago, and that was identified by her as well. None of the others were. He does not have any issues with bedwetting - he was fully potty trained at 3yrs. Hong Kong is a business epicentre, but is incredibly split flinancially. There are a lot of wealthy expats, a smattering of wealthy mainlanders, a select handful of locals who have “made it”... but the majority of the population lives in poverty. The healthcare system is socialised, so those individuals have access to completely separate providers once they make it off the waiting lists (easily a year or longer). They absolutely could not afford private therapy. Because of this, there are relatively few private providers (compared to population) for any specialty. There simply isn’t enough need to support them from populations that can afford care.
  11. Hong Kong is a “big city” but a very small region. While HK is a territory of China the two are still very much separate entities. The languages are different, the medical system is different... we need visas to even cross the border. Our provider is far & away the most experienced practitioner available. His thesis was (and specialization is) vision therapy interventions for children. There are about half a dozen total optometrists offering vision therapy services. Most work almost exclusively with ambyliopia. Few who are fluent English speakers / have English-speaking therapy staff. None of them are covered by insurance. We’ll have to work with what we have access to. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  12. I’m not entirely sure his reasoning for the timing. I had no idea what to expect, so the frequency didn’t stand out to me when he mentioned it. I assume it is to give each activity / tool ample time before coming back to switch or modify. He mentioned that sometimes parents have a hard time getting the home therapy done, and I assured him that as homeschoolers we could simply work the activities into our “school time”. I do know that the developmental optometrist will be doing all of our in-office therapies personally. I remember that when we were doing OT (SPD: tactile/vestibular sensory seeker) coming in weekly it felt like we didn’t really know how well techniques were working after only a few days. He has retained Spinal Galant reflex and very clearly struggles with separation of upper- and lower- body movements (though that is a milestone for 8-10yrs and he is newly 6yrs, so possibly within the realm of normal?) If it feels like too long once we get started I won’t hesitate to push for increased frequency.
  13. Hello Everyone 👋🏼 First time posting here. Last week I had DS meet with a developmental optometrist who confirmed my suspicions of a tracking issue as well as noting a weakness in visual focus, retained reflexes, and potentially something to do with visual processing (an inability to distinguish “forward-facing” letters from those which were “backwards”). He will receive reading glasses and we’ll begin vision therapy next week. DS is a strong reader, but fatigues quickly and avoids books with more than a few lines of text together. Hoping the therapy will help him get more enjoyment from books, as he LOVES stories! Would anyone be willing to share their experiences? I really have no frame of reference - what did vision therapy “look like” for your child?
  14. We used Logic of English Foundations & played around with Mad Libs. 🤷🏻‍♀️ My son has absolutely loved MCT Island this year! He’s young, so we’re taking next year “off” and focusing on creative writing, but definitely look forward to continuing the series!
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