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I, too, am liking DA. I made it through quite a bit and skimmed quite a bit as well before having to return it to the library. It's now on my Christmas list.

 

Unlike every other book about dyslexia that I have read, I was actually able to see traits that my DD had in this book. I would say she is strongly N with some I thrown in. I didn't make it to the D chapter, but the M chapter really didn't resonant with me.

 

My DD also learns best if information is presented with a story, examples, or novelty (I like that). I've also been contemplating how this can be used for her learning, but haven't come up with much. I know that basically nothing I use for her will be used word for word, but that I'll always need to add or tweak to make it interesting and applicable to her.

 

Regarding her I strength, I have resolved to take more nature walks with her. She learns so well this way, but I have always put it off because she is poor at drawing and writing. Instead, I am going to let her take her own pictures of the things she finds interesting, and then we can look them up and learn more about them. She loves to take pictures.

 

For history I am concerning myself less with her doing narrations or copywork, and instead making sure we read a lot more stories and projects. For science, I basically do something hands-on or demonstrative for each lesson. I have to remind myself to not just show her, but to also let her try because then she gets to experience it herself.

 

I haven't figured out yet how to use her strengths to help with the more core subjects of math, reading, and writing though.

 

Looking forward other people's observations.

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Well I want to bop in and say something really intelligent, but I haven't finished the book yet. And I never has as many fancy words as Yllek. :)

 

Yes, I keep seeing my dd in it. I've sort of gotten bored (since I keep going yup, yup) and I've started jumping a bit. I need to buckle myself down to read. Things have just been a little crazy lately. I scheduled the appointment with the neuropsych, and he holds to the theories of Jack Fletcher, so I got on a rabbit trail trying to research that. Apparently Fletcher is instrumental in the RTI (Response to Intervention) that you have mentioned, so that concerns me. But it's kind of weird to read articles by Fletcher (which are sort of a lot to sort through, mercy). It seems like the *intention* of RTI as an approach was different from how it played out once it got in the hands of the schools. I thought I might learn something more about their method of diagnosing dyslexia vs. parts, but basically all I could take from it was that they want to exclude things that can be changed by instruction. So it was all sort of confounding.

 

So I'm sorry I have nothing more brilliant to say at the moment. Did you see the Eides recent newsletter where they mentioned flashcards via apps? I thought that was funny. Apparently it gets mentioned later in the book, and I haven't even gotten there yet. It was just sort of a logical leap I had made while reading one of the early chapters. So I thought that was interesting.

 

Oh, I did have a little something about your comments. You said your ds learns best with stories but you don't know how to apply that. I had said that for years but never got the full ramifications of it. It's not just about changing or chosing to change, it's that somehow they don't actually UNDERSTAND it till the concept is in a story. So you start of blandly teaching the best you know how, hit a wall, and try a new way. And when you finally find a way that has them forming a mental picture of something, then it clicks, and you've learned how to do that. It's sort of trial and error if you don't happen to think that way. At least that's how it is for me.

 

It was really easy to make early math with word problems, because it usually in fact came that way. But by the time you get to algebra, a lot of it is just manipulating stuff out there in theory land. That's great for me, but it leaves her feeling like she doesn't really UNDERSTAND it.

 

Sometimes you only get these things in hindsite unfortunately. It's like our eyes have to be opened and see the angels, and then we have an ah-ha and know.

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I'm still letting my thoughts about DA sink in. I was just telling someone else that this is the first book that has described my ds to me. I always thought he was a "big picture" or gestalt type of thinker, but because ds isn't really a VSL, many of the posts or books about right-brained thinkers didn't totally resonate with me. The chapters about I and N strengths are the closest descriptions to the way ds thinks that I've found. But even if the descriptions fit ds, I'm still left pondering how to teach to his particular strengths. I mean, I think I do it intuitively, but I can't help but think it might be nice to do it a bit more strategically, ykwim?

 

I've been thinking about a few things that I've done in the past that seemed to work with ds's learning style. Ds is surprisingly good at grammar... well, parsing. When he was really young, I let him watch Schoolhouse Rock Grammar Rock... just for fun... not expecting anything out of it. Then we read Grammarland, again just for fun. Then we flew through Grammar Island. So here are a whole bunch of sources that create a story for parts of speech and simple grammar concepts. All that goes into ds's head, without any expectations about output. Now we are doing Winston Grammar, and ds gets the biggest kick out of it. He genuinely enjoys the analysis, and he surprises me by identifying words that I wouldn't think a 7yo would get. I don't think he would be enjoying this program so much if I had him studying the clue cards one-by-one, out of context from the big picture.

 

Dd is now 15, and like your son, yllek, she had many of the symptoms for dyslexia without being an obvious VSL. It's taken me years to even partly untangle the ways in which she DOES learn and process visually, and to accept that these co-exist with an auditory memory so powerful it is basically a version of photographic memory. No single book perfectly pegs her; and indeed, books on VSL, dyslexia, non-verbal learning disorder, and spectrum disorders all emphasize that there's no one single model or composite that will fit any other actual child. That's frustrating in many ways; it's taken me a long time to find it freeing.

 

Dd was also a child extremely resistant to being overtly taught, possibly because my automatic setting was a linear-sequential mode that did not at all match with how she needed to learn. Like your son, she's also very much a big picture learner, with N and I strengths.

 

This meant that inevitably her best learning occurred outside of ANY standard curricula or textbook. For instance, we didn't follow a math curriculum at all through 6th grade, but instead read math picture books, played math games, did math related to science (lots of early graphing and data collecting), and used quite a large portion of Marilyn Burns material (from http://www.mathsolutions.com ). Marilyn Burns books are great at emphasizing concept and thus "whole picture" overviews, taking an engaging puzzle or activity or problem and turning it into an exploration that takes in hands-on activities, discussion, and different ways to solve problems, only gradually honing in on conventional written mathematical expressions for what the kids have been doing. There are a number of her lesson collections that start off with picture or chapter books and close in to a related mathematical topic or problem. For dd, these worked really well, and she moved in 7th grade to a problem-solving textbook, in 8th to conventional algebra; she's now teaching herself Algebra II using Advanced Mathematics from Key Press. It's not what I would have chosen for her; given her preference for whole context, I was putting in my bid for CoMap's Modeling the World series. But she made the choice, and so far, so good.

 

One thing I have learned about literature and writing for older kids who fit the general outlines of dyslexia and/or VSL is that less is more in terms of required writing; working from sentences up to paragraphs and to longer essays is not the only available way to go -- in fact dd wanted to START with a meaningful, longer piece of writing from a very young age. And rather than require extensive analysis of a book as she reads it, I have discovered that it works really, really well to wait until she's got a number of related books under her belt before we start, and then we start with comparisons.

 

This was really brought home to me through dd's love of theater. We have been going to quite a lot of plays, and I remember at one point we saw a Neil Simon play, and a few months later, Death of a Salesman. Dd commented that both plays revolved around the dissolution of the family in a similar time frame in the U.S., but that the reasons for the dissolution and the person left behind at the end seemed really different from each other. This led to a huge discussion about how the fact that one was a tragicomedy and the other sheer tragedy influenced the disposition of scattered family members in the end, different economic emphasis in the plays, the options for the younger generation in both, etc. It was a terrific discussion, but it never would have happened had we seen only ONE of the plays and had nothing to compare it with. In fact after the Neil Simon play I was struggling to figure out how to even talk about it with dd (theater is not my strong point).

 

This led me to see that the way literature courses are usually structured, reading a single book which gets analyzed as it is read or directly afterwards, works less well for kids like dd than letting them build up a body of work in their minds and letting them mentally range around between them, comparing and contrasting informally, beginning to build up a compendiary of plot devices and standard plot strutures, thinking about how plays or books with only a few characters differ from ones with a huge cast, and all kinds of things that focus on interconnections, transcending features, larger historical themes, and much more. These kids are by and large interdisciplinary thinkers, and we do them a disservice by carving up subjects into tiny little discrete areas.

 

Elizabeth's dd has taken this general, interdisciplinary approach to her own history work, reading multiple historical novels and then comparing their use of actual historical evidence with non-fiction biography and political history.

 

I'll write more later if anyone is interested -- off now to a lecture on pirates and the formation of British empire and an exhibit on pirate literature, maps, portraits, songbooks, and other stuff, after having watched the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie last night.

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I do. That was the section I felt like perfectly described ds. He's still very young though, so I don't know yet how it will all turn out, but that is exactly his archetype, right down to the social skills confusion (which is not Aspergers or ADHD according to the evaluation). Do you have one too?

 

Very much so.

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Very much so.

 

Can I ask you what kinds of instructional techniques have been helpful in teaching him? Particularly in Language Arts? How do you teach to his strengths? Feel free to PM me if you prefer. We are new to this scene and are still waiting for our formal Eides appt. & recommendations.

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:bigear: I just reserved the e-book from the library. Hopefully I can read it soon. It looks like it has some great information. I don't think my son is dyslexic, but I have wondered if it was the case. I'm thinking that he is more asynchronous since his skills have responded well to specific instruction. But it sounds like this book would give me insight either way.

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The N-strengths may help explain why ds is obsessed with myths and SOTW but doesn't like non-fiction in history or science.

 

 

Well clearly I need to keep going! I've been so mystified by my dd's utter lack of interest (and refusal most of the time to read) non-fiction, but I just thought it was my fault, something I had done wrong. LOL

 

I was able to go back and reread M and I tonight (ok, I fell asleep in I--I've concluded I hate the Eides writing), and I have some more questions. At this point what I'm looking at are all these little, loaded terms they use and throw out that I THINK refer to testing if I knew what they were talking about.

 

So on p. 64 they mention that problems with expressive language can be paired with a high or even gifted level verbal IQ. IE the dc would still be dyslexic, despite the gifted level verbal IQ. Does this square with what has happened with anyone else in testing?

 

Two, they mention non-verbal reasoning on pg. 65. Is this part of the IQ test or a normal thing for them to test? Any comments on this? They seem to build the case that the glitch is between translating from pictures and spatial (ie non-verbal) to verbal. So how accurately do the tests show this? And does the SLP therapy modify the brain problem (expressive areas going to spatial processing) that the book identifies? And even would you WANT to change that?

 

And could I say I'm just really stinkin' quirked at the way they blow off as needing more time to "blossom" symptoms which MIGHT have more than one cause? I mean to have someone who can't talk at a late age, not do appropriate speech therapy, and then say it's all ok because the kid became an engineer, well that's just rediculous. If they had done the SLP, maybe the dc would have become an engineer AND been able to get his thoughts out easily. Just because the dc has dyslexia DOESN'T mean there isn't also another problem (motor control, praxis) going on. It doesn't mean it *is* either, but I'm just saying they tackled a huge issue (the huge correlation between kids with late speech and dyslexia) and didn't even MENTION the strong possibility of praxis as well. Lecture over.

 

And did I mention I hate their writing? They take FOREVER to get to the point, don't bullet, highlight the wrong things at the end of each section, and are too stinkin' peppy instead of being technical. Half this book could have been said a lot faster. I was annoyed with their other book and kept skimming too, same reason. I'm TRYING to read this one and be diligent (because I keep finding gems), but MAN they manage to hide them and be annoying. And it's just their writing style. Their blog is also bleh to read. Yes, I'm being overly picky. Another lecture over.

 

And I want to say this, because I've decided I'm with Kelli and Shari on this. At first I didn't MIND (haha, pun intended) the Eides' peppiness in the book, because I thought it was refreshing and warranted. Well after a few chapters of this (and a long while in a cold car) I started having these horrible feelings about what if *my* dc is going to be as romantically brilliant and productive as these kids. What if it ISN'T going to turn out as well for her as they paint it? Then I'd feel just as excluded as some people do already at the get-go. So maybe a few stories of kids where the parents *weren't* PhD chemists and the kids *aren't* headed to become leaders in their field might have been helpful. Maybe a few more middle of the road people we could all identify with.

 

Like the other poster, I jumped ahead to the end and have been enjoying reading the section on high school and college. It's fascinating to ponder that I've been asking the totally wrong questions. I figured once she had the right major, all would be well. They had a section on pg. 229 where they talk about testing and the Nelson-Denny reading test, and I was wondering if anyone's np had done that or if it was common, whether it's reserved for high schoolers or starts earlier, etc.

 

I'll keep reading. I'm not doing very well with it unless I take notes. The goodies are there, but they're just too scattered. You know, I think they should have used a different format. They should have done a wide paperback and put all those stories in sidebars. Then they could have gotten their main points as bullets, had outlines, etc. It would have been much better that way. As is they have to use 3 chapters to cover one topic and can't help organize the material visually. It's just a jumble. I don't know what their editor was thinking. Say I, the opinionated.

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For instance, we didn't follow a math curriculum at all through 6th grade, but instead read math picture books, played math games, did math related to science (lots of early graphing and data collecting), and used quite a large portion of Marilyn Burns material (from http://www.mathsolutions.com ). Marilyn Burns books are great at emphasizing concept and thus "whole picture" overviews, taking an engaging puzzle or activity or problem and turning it into an exploration that takes in hands-on activities, discussion, and different ways to solve problems, only gradually honing in on conventional written mathematical expressions for what the kids have been doing. There are a number of her lesson collections that start off with picture or chapter books and close in to a related mathematical topic or problem. For dd, these worked really well, and she moved in 7th grade to a problem-solving textbook, in 8th to conventional algebra; she's now teaching herself Algebra II using Advanced Mathematics from Key Press. It's not what I would have chosen for her; given her preference for whole context, I was putting in my bid for CoMap's Modeling the World series. But she made the choice, and so far, so good.

 

KarenAnne, I'm so glad you've been drawn in again! :) You know, for ALL THE TIMES you've told about this, it only just now clicked in my mind. I guess I needed a picture of the neurology and what the brain is doing in these kids for it to finally make sense. You're saying they HAVE to do it that way, because they have to do it lots of ways and see lots of relationships. Now I get it.

 

It's amazing the questions my dd asks, the way she turns things, the way she needs to see things 30 wrong ways before she's sure of the right way, lol. Tonight we were doing our math, and I swear we keep going around in circles on exponents and parenthesis and signs. But it's like she really has to sort it out for herself. Then you start to get these clicks.

 

So whatever. It's so much easier to know all this in hindsite than it is to figure out how to go forward, lol.

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I wonder how much of that has to do with his need to formulate his own connections.

 

It does, and it's the giftedness. And you put the two together, and you get a mess. Try meshing that with what you *think* you're supposed to be doing in a few years or junior high or high school. ;) You start to realize that whatever you do is going to diverge and look very different from the norm on the board.

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Can I ask you what kinds of instructional techniques have been helpful in teaching him? Particularly in Language Arts? How do you teach to his strengths? Feel free to PM me if you prefer. We are new to this scene and are still waiting for our formal Eides appt. & recommendations.

 

I didn't know my son had dyslexia until he was in fifth grade and at that point the first hurdle, the reading thing, had been taken care of. Since I didn't know there was anything actually wrong (though I obviously suspected there was) I just used the brute force method for teaching reading. Phonics, and *lots* of practice. He read aloud to me every day for three years.

 

The only grammar that worked was MCT. But this was when he was 13 and so maturity could have had something to do with it.

 

When he was struggling so much with reading, I made sure he felt successful with math. That first year we homeschooled (2nd grade) he did Saxon Math 2 and 3. I read everything aloud and did a lot of the writing. Same with the next year when he did 5/4 and 6/5. Looking back, I should have chosen a different math program for him, one that didn't need to be so heavily modified, but I didn't know any better at the time. He would have done very well with Singapore. (At 15, he no longer needs me to write for him:D.)

 

We focused on reading and math that first year. We added history and science the second year. And once he was reading fairly well, in 4th grade, we added spelling (Sequential Spelling, I would use AAS and start earlier if I had it to do over again) and grammar (Winston). At the end of 4th grade, we tried the IEW keyword outline technique for writing and he was finally able to write a coherent paragraph.

 

Please let me know if I can answer any other questions. These were just the first things that came to me.

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It's amazing the questions my dd asks, the way she turns things, the way she needs to see things 30 wrong ways before she's sure of the right way, lol. Tonight we were doing our math, and I swear we keep going around in circles on exponents and parenthesis and signs. But it's like she really has to sort it out for herself. Then you start to get these clicks.

 

Once again our children are twins.:)

 

When my son was little I remember he used to take hours to do a puzzle because he absolutely had to put each piece in every spot, "just in case". He's like that now with academics, even math which he is gifted in. He has to think about the wrong ways just as much as the right. It makes multiple choice testing torture for him. He could come up with a pretty good argument for every choice most of the time. When he learned Geometry he really *wanted* to switch the x and y axis.

 

As much as I encourage and celebrate his special way of thinking I also have taught him to submit to my dominant authority on this:D. It is a trust thing. He trusts me. We have built up a great trust over the years and once and awhile I ask him to do that which is uncomfortable for him. For example calling the x axis the y axis was just non negotiable. Not that I have anything invested in it being the x axis it's just that I only have limited energy. KWIM? I think the balance we have is that he can be creative till the cows come home but I ask him to pick his battles and to try to be conventional when it isn't such a big deal. Similarly I don't ask him to do too many things that are torture for him. I don't have him do pages of long division etc. I have him take one set of standardized tests a year (I contemplate opting out of these for ethical reasons but I think the practice is probably good for him). I figure one day he'll have to take the SAT or tests in college and I'd rather have his first experiences with this type of frustration be at home with an emotional safety net near by. I hope this all doesn't sound too mean. My son doesn't put up with discomfort too well, almost a sensory thing. I sometimes feel that I am an academic OT.

 

So with DA I got through the first 3 chapters and DS swiped the book and hasn't given it back yet. I have gotten the cliffs notes version as he is telling me all about it. He is through the M, I and N sections. He says he has all the bad things of an M but only a little of the good (anyone have a take on this?). He is clearly a very strong I and a very strong N. I am still waiting to hear about D. It's nice to hear about the book in this way as I was also a bit frustrated with the writing. I am ADD lite. Get to the point already. Very prone to skimming.

 

:party: Yay, for Karenanne coming back to join us. You have been missed.

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I'm glad you're back, KarenAnne! I've missed you and your posts. I wish I could make a trip to SD. Ds would love to see an exhibit on pirates. :001_smile:

 

Your comments about interdisciplinary approaches are really resonating with me. Ds definitely has a comparative frame of mind, though until I read your post, I wouldn't have thought to put it that way. I've got to chew on that some more. And yes, my ds is also resistant to "formal instruction." He hates it when I try to explain anything to him. I can present a puzzle, we can have a discussion, I can read an interesting piece to him, we can look at a documentary together, and we can play educational games, but if I start sounding even remotely didactic, the lights go off. I wonder how much of that has to do with his need to formulate his own connections.

 

Yes, yes, and more yes -- I think you've got it.

 

I started out trying to teach dd in the conventional fashion, but one day when I had explained something before giving her a chance to mess around with it and figure it out herself, she looked at me and said, "You just broke all my joy."

 

I almost burst into tears. And that was one mistake I tried really hard never to make again.

 

About the multiple approaches: it occurred to me that this is similar to the OT's approach to dd's balance. Rather than teach her to perfect her use of one piece of equipment, say a rocker board, the OT (and VT) put her on many different types of balancing things each session. I was confused by this at first, until it was explained that having constantly to adjust and re-adjust actually worked much better and led to more flexible and adaptable results.

 

Then I realized the OT had taken the same approach to handwriting; that is, instead of just working on writing, she had dd learning to knit, working with shaping clay, pounding nails, playing tiddly-winks and jacks, making string figures, all kinds of things to work on fine motor skills.

 

I know that physical processes are vastly different from mental ones, but with the OT model in mind and the caution of the psychologist who first diagnosed dd that my first and utmost goal should be teaching and modeling flexibility in ALL THINGS... it seemed that a multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted homeschool was the inevitable outcome. And fortunately this suits dd's inherently global, gestalt-type way of learning.

 

I emphasized games so much when she was young because dd was very rule-bound, and games were one of the formats where she would often accept fiddling with the rules, changing how we played. They had the added bonus of being ways to practice a lot of skills without rote worksheets or explicit teaching. I tried to give her the luxury of time and space to figure out things for herself whenever humanly possible.

 

As a result, dd has learned some typical skills in very odd ways. She learned to count money when we spent one summer living with dh in Germany while he worked at a lab there. Dd was fascinated by the fact that we had to pay/tip the people in public bathrooms. So she set up our apartment bathroom with a place to leave money when we peed, and at the end of each day she'd count up the leavings! Money never interested her or clicked with her until that summer, when she collected and compared US coins with euros and British pounds and pence.

 

And by the way, the pirates lecture and exhibit was fantastic! The historian started with an ad for Morgan's rum and a shot from Pirates of the Caribbean (the movie), and talked about ways in which they got history right and ways in which they fudged it, as far as piratical life was concerned.

 

Basically he said that the movie took a wide range of pirating behaviors and attitudes toward pirates which existed over a relatively long time period and collapsed it into one composite. The picture they came up with, the pirate as renegade and outlaw, was really only true in British history for a small window of time, about 1700 to 1750 (although I got the feeling that in London itself, piracy -- as opposed to privateering -- was always anathema).

 

The historian's own research focused on Pennsylvania and Jamaica in the latter part of the 1600s, and he had fascinating stuff showing pirates usually had short careers at sea, protected, abetted, and traded with by prominent merchants; they often then married into the elite classes and in a couple of cases even became governor of a colony. Apparently this was the case with Henry Morgan, of all people. Once he achieved a high governmental position, he prosecuted piracy that he had gotten his start by practicing.

 

The accompanying exhibit had books from the 1700s, pamphlets, petitions, ballads, portraits, lists of seized goods (some very small and everyday, like rice and pots and pans pirates had stolen), stories of a couple of female pirates, and amazing statistics showing how many escaped or freed slaves served on pirate ships.

 

We had a really great time! The historian teaches a class every year called "The Golden Age of Piracy," and I found myself wondering how he looks upon auditors...

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Once again our children are twins.:)

 

When my son was little I remember he used to take hours to do a puzzle because he absolutely had to put each piece in every spot, "just in case".

 

This makes sense!!!

 

I sometimes feel that I am an academic OT.

 

Yes, I think the way we work with our kids is more therapeutic than we (or others) realize. We're teaching them both the academics AND how to think or handle issues.

 

So with DA I got through the first 3 chapters and DS swiped the book and hasn't given it back yet. I have gotten the cliffs notes version as he is telling me all about it. He is through the M, I and N sections. He says he has all the bad things of an M but only a little of the good (anyone have a take on this?).

 

Ok, you're breaking my heart here. THIS is what upsets me so much about this book. They make it seem to strong, like if you *really* have it you're going to build national prize-winning lego designs and this and that and the other thing. Well what about our kids who are a bit milder version of it, say just being really (surprisingly) good at interior design? There's no middle ground in the book and not everyone can be in 1st place nationally. Someone has to be at the middle or bottom and still worthwhile. So I guess I'd take that chapter and start looking for more moderate ways where you DO see it in him. If he has the bad side, he probably has the good. But if it's any consolation or explanation, indeed all the notes I made for that chapter were negative, every single one. I could see the positive side in my dd, but it was GREATLY overshadowed by the problems it creates. And for a kid to read it, well he may not have the perspective on himself to see through that at all. :(

 

It's nice to hear about the book in this way as I was also a bit frustrated with the writing. I am ADD lite. Get to the point already. Very prone to skimming.

 

I know, mercy. I don't even know what's wrong with me, but I'm so vomitously sick of reading something that sounds like a neurologist write-up instead of a sensible conversation with a helpful person. It's like when the husband of the K5 teacher I worked for told her she forgot to turn off her kindergarden teacher voice. ;)

 

 

Well that's cool that your ds is reading the book. Maybe someday my dd can too. I think there comes a point where they WANT to understand themselves and find answers. But to only find the negative and not be able to see the positive, well that's really sad. You definitely want to get a hold of the book and balance that out. He's in there in the good way, but they're just making it sound so extreme he can't identify with it.

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When my son was little I remember he used to take hours to do a puzzle because he absolutely had to put each piece in every spot, "just in case". He's like that now with academics, even math which he is gifted in. He has to think about the wrong ways just as much as the right. It makes multiple choice testing torture for him. He could come up with a pretty good argument for every choice most of the time. When he learned Geometry he really *wanted* to switch the x and y axis.

 

I completely understand your feeling that there are some things he just has to know the "right" way and get on with things. But what seems like a huge inconvenience or even a problem right now will indeed be a gift in higher education. That very quality which makes your son so difficult to "teach" will make him an ideal college and/or grad student, an ideal problem-solving employee, some day.

 

Just as an aside, dd also wanted to switch the x and y axes. It just seemed more logical to her that way. I spent a lot of time talking about conventions, and how they are one way of doing things, one out of a number of different attempts to lay something out, and this one just happened to stick. I compared it to a lot of other things like punctuation, algebraic notation (we'd looked at historical examples of the evolution of very complex and wordy notational systems to what we have today), etc. I think it's helpful for these kids to know they don't have it "wrong"; it's just that what we've got is the form which ended up sticking out of a number of attempts to create a system, and that mathematicians have agreed to use it together so that they all could understand each other's notations and work.

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Elizabeth, I take your point about the hype of the book; it reminds me in that respect of The Element (I think that's what the title was), about people finding their passion and becoming experts and tops in the field.

 

That is actually one of the reasons why I keep mentioning Jeffrey Freed's book Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World. Although his own speciality is ADD, he is really talking about VSL kids, which includes most dyslexics, many ADD kids, many kids on the spectrum, and others. And his "hype" is simply that kids who are flailing or failing in the traditional school system, who as a result think they are stupid and who are disenchanted with school and learning, can become academically successful if they are taught in ways that suit the wiring of their brains. He's not "remediating" them, but working with them in a way that takes advantage of how they think and process: he's teaching to their strengths. This involves very different approaches from the ways that math, writing, reading, and writing are traditionally taught.

 

That's all it is. He doesn't claim they're all going to become expert writers and spellers, take 11 AP classes and get perfect SAT scores, go to Harvard, or all rise to the top of dot.com companies, or anything like that. He is simply focusing on specific strategies for working with these kids, to teach them the skills they need to get through high school and in many cases on through college -- and, equally important, to show them that their own ways of learning are perfectly legitimate, they they aren't broken, that they are actually smart.

 

I've said in a number of places that his chapter on spelling transformed my life; but it was also immensely comforting to know that things he suggests for math, reading, and writing were approaches I'd come up with on my own, that I was on the right track for dd. He's a tutor and I think a psychologist (?), not a diagnostician or neurologist, so his emphasis is on specific strategies and techniques.

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Ok, ok, when I get done reading DA and re-reading the Mislabeled Child, then I'll go back and reread and do more justice to Freed! I have him sitting on my shelf. I could probably even stuff him in as bathroom reading. He's much more pleasant reading than the Eides. Oh, but my problem of the moment isn't teaching, just diagnosis. I'm totally in "how does this diagnose?" mode. Not even that the label matters (as we can all tell they're shifting and fallible) but that I'd like someone to show me the nuances of her processing that I don't grasp. I think it's very important to put these kids back together and make them WHOLE after you dissect them.

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Well that's cool that your ds is reading the book. Maybe someday my dd can too. I think there comes a point where they WANT to understand themselves and find answers. But to only find the negative and not be able to see the positive, well that's really sad. You definitely want to get a hold of the book and balance that out. He's in there in the good way, but they're just making it sound so extreme he can't identify with it.

 

Oh he's not at all upset about this. He is pretty matter of fact about his strengths and weaknesses. He's all ego and doesn't frustrate or feel sorry for himself easily. (or rather he is only very sensitive about a few idiosyncratic things)

 

For example DS is a really good musician but he just doesn't have a great talent. Does that mean he is not "good" at it. Absolutely not. He is probably the best middle school aged musician I have ever worked with. He approaches it intelligently and is a hard worker. It's just not his gift. He is this way with spacial things too. I always puzzle over this because in some ways he is very much a VSL but in other ways he just has no spacial sense. I wonder if he would have spacial reasoning in an other dimension. Probably. He's that sort of kid. Hard to describe.

 

But DS is so talented in other areas that he isn't fazed by lack of rhythmical sense or spacial disorganization. He finds ways to compensate. You should see the way he thinks about geometry. It's bizarre. He does this abstract mathematical ju jitso and somehow comes up with a solution in spite of a relative lack of visual reasoning.

 

So the book is not bumming him out at all. He is really into it. Identifying his weaknesses has always helped him become more confident. Years ago when I started to think he might be dyslexic I showed him a list of symptoms and he giggled with glee "that's me for sure".

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See, I think the hype thing doesn't bother me because I've read quite a bit about the Eides background, and they clearly specialize in 2E dyslexic kids & adults. Perhaps applying their research to all dyslexics is unfair, but I expected the book to be mostly examples of 2E dyslexics. That is their primary area of interest and research, and the area they see under-represented in the field. I think they feel that other books have covered middle-of-the-road issues, but not enough attention has been paid to 2E dyslexics. Now you can disagree with the Eide's basic premise, but my expectation going into the book was that it would focus mostly on high-achieving dyslexics.

 

Does anyone else want to talk about their assertion of "diminishing returns" in teaching reading/writing to dyslexics? What are the implications of that?

 

Does that mean at some point we should focus on adaptations like audiobooks or the Intel reader (which speeds up audio processing to the rate of a normal print reader) and just accept that students may need accommodations to achieve rather than pushing them to read Great Books and write essays?

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Please let me know if I can answer any other questions. These were just the first things that came to me.

 

Thanks so much! I'm still thinking through all the suggestions you posted.

 

One thing I did notice is that your ds is doing Latin. It may seem silly, but once I realized ds was most likely dyslexic, Latin was one of the subjects that most bothered me since I feel it would really help him in a scientific field. Obviously, I will need to wait awhile since he still struggles with basic reading, but when did you start Latin with your ds? Did learning another language cause problems?

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I completely understand your feeling that there are some things he just has to know the "right" way and get on with things. But what seems like a huge inconvenience or even a problem right now will indeed be a gift in higher education. That very quality which makes your son so difficult to "teach" will make him an ideal college and/or grad student, an ideal problem-solving employee, some day.

 

 

Indeed, however there are significant hoops that you need to jump through in the undergrad years. Once he gets through those he'll be fine. He needs to be about 4 years ahead of anything conventional (like Calculus) so I'll be homeschooling college (or at least college math) for the high school years.

 

I don't mind and as much as my son is an "inconvenience" he is a great joy.

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See, I think the hype thing doesn't bother me because I've read quite a bit about the Eides background, and they clearly specialize in 2E dyslexic kids & adults. Perhaps applying their research to all dyslexics is unfair, but I expected the book to be mostly examples of 2E dyslexics. That is their primary area of interest and research, and the area they see under-represented in the field. I think they feel that other books have covered middle-of-the-road issues, but not enough attention has been paid to 2E dyslexics. Now you can disagree with the Eide's basic premise, but my expectation going into the book was that it would focus mostly on high-achieving dyslexics.

 

Does anyone else want to talk about their assertion of "diminishing returns" in teaching reading/writing to dyslexics? What are the implications of that?

 

Does that mean at some point we should focus on adaptations like audiobooks or the Intel reader (which speeds up audio processing to the rate of a normal print reader) and just accept that students may need accommodations to achieve rather than pushing them to read Great Books and write essays?

 

Even in 2E kids there will be a range. I guess we'll see with the NP testing, but I would consider my dd 2E.

 

And yes, I sometimes wonder to what extent the Eides' comments are based on what *they* have seen accomplished rather than what *can* be accomplished. Yllek's ds for instance is going to have a very different outcome because of all the early interventions and the shockingly precise instruction. I think the internet has definitely changed the curve on this, allowing people to find therapies and options much more quickly and filter through options.

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See, I think the hype thing doesn't bother me because I've read quite a bit about the Eides background, and they clearly specialize in 2E dyslexic kids & adults. Perhaps applying their research to all dyslexics is unfair, but I expected the book to be mostly examples of 2E dyslexics. That is their primary area of interest and research, and the area they see under-represented in the field. I think they feel that other books have covered middle-of-the-road issues, but not enough attention has been paid to 2E dyslexics. Now you can disagree with the Eide's basic premise, but my expectation going into the book was that it would focus mostly on high-achieving dyslexics. I appreciate the 2e perspective of the book.

 

Does anyone else want to talk about their assertion of "diminishing returns" in teaching reading/writing to dyslexics? What are the implications of that?

 

Does that mean at some point we should focus on adaptations like audiobooks or the Intel reader (which speeds up audio processing to the rate of a normal print reader) and just accept that students may need accommodations to achieve rather than pushing them to read Great Books and write essays?

 

I haven't gotten to this point. My son is a VERY strong reader and actually a pretty decent writer if you give him five million years to write. The biggest accommodation I give my son is I reduce the volume of written work expected. For years he did teaching company courses before he was ready to read and write about things. It kept his interest and excitement alive while his skills were catching up.

 

I would think pushing is generally a bad idea but I do gently encourage skill development. If he were more severely dyslexic I would adapt accordingly. I think once your child is hitting a wall it might be time to change directions and perhaps go around the corner.

 

I keep skill work short and daily. It used to be 10 minutes when he was little. I thought" anyone can do anything for 10 minutes". We gradually increased it. Now I would say he works on skills 45 minutes to an hour. He has made incredible strides in his writing this year so we haven't found the wall yet. Perhaps this is because I required such little written output in the elementary years. He's in 8th grade now and it seems he is taking a developmental leap right now.

 

I didn't bother forcing my son to memorize his times tables. It was silly and he couldn't. He is past geometry and still doesn't have them memorized. He just reasons them out "really fast". You wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless you asked him. He can't memorize random facts. I think there might have been some of these "walls" if I had been more linear in my teaching. I am fairly fluid which has always been a pretty good fit for my son.

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Has anyone else read the book My Dyslexia by the poet Philip Schultz?

 

Here's an example of a fairly severe dyslexic who fell in love with language and poetry and managed to make a life work out of it despite his continuing difficulties. This is where I have problems with lumping all dyslexics together and saying there's a law of diminishing returns in teaching them reading and writing.

 

Well, actually I have more than just this one problem with that. But Schultz's memoir shows that when these kids develop a powerful drive, their difficulties can sometimes (not always) be almost miraculously overcome. And Schultz also demonstrates that much of his development was not "taught" from the outside, but came from his own explorations.

 

When dd was around eight, her balance and general physical disabilities were so intense that the OT expressed utter amazement that at the time, she was taking ice skating lessons. "How can she even stand up out there?" she marveled, as dd fell over trying to get on a low swing.

 

But dd had the drive; she loved skating, she pretended she was flying on a broom playing Quidditch, and so she progressed despite the fact that none of this transferred over into other areas of balance or physical strength.

 

Same with reading: dd has always been narrative-driven, she loved books so much that she taught herself to read despite my belated realization that perhaps I should teach her phonics at age four (she was already reading). Fluency and stamina took a VERY long time, however; but she was always driven by books, and she was able to take her own time, using audiobooks, parents reading and reading and reading aloud, using her own choice of material for reading practice (which turned out to be catalogs).

 

I think one huge problem the Eides are dealing with is that many of these kids are having to conform in the public school system, having to be independently reading fluently at a certain age -- using decreed books or excerpts which may not engage them, and engagement is crucial for the way their processing and memory works -- having to perform certain writing tasks at ages when dyslexics are just not ready to do so. They're expected to produce a single form of output (or maybe two: essays and standardized test) at the expense of a whole range of other ways in which they can demonstrate and share what they know.

 

Aside: for those of you concerned with foreign languages, Schultz has a very vivid chapter on his attempts to learn Hebrew. In that area he had the drive but simply could not manage. He talks very poignantly about feeling like an outsider in the midst of a congregation.

 

Like several others, dd has found Latin to be most congenial to her because of its logical structure and the fact that there need not be a spoken, conversational component. She did not begin until this past year, at just 15; but she's made very fast progress and doing beautifully -- we could have struggled with it earlier, but she wouldn't have gotten anywhere sooner, if that makes sense. I had to find out how to work with her in spelling English words and general writing before she could really make Latin work for her; and Latin was her choice, not mine, which also makes a difference (she wanted to be able to read all the quotes she was coming across in some satirical fiction). I'm not pushing her at all. She works half an hour a day, no more. I'd rather she go slowly and really process all the complicated endings and declensions and cases rather than try to have her meet someone else's scheduling expectations and have her struggling and feeling miserable.

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Even in 2E kids there will be a range. I guess we'll see with the NP testing, but I would consider my dd 2E.

 

And yes, I sometimes wonder to what extent the Eides' comments are based on what *they* have seen accomplished rather than what *can* be accomplished. Yllek's ds for instance is going to have a very different outcome because of all the early interventions and the shockingly precise instruction. I think the internet has definitely changed the curve on this, allowing people to find therapies and options much more quickly and filter through options.

 

:iagree:The internet is a game-changer and has allowed me to have ds evaluated in many ways far sooner than I would have otherwise.

 

And yes, from what you have posted, I'm certain your dd is 2E also ;). Have you read the N-strengths section yet? I think you may find more of her fit there. Even the Eides don't suggest that all kids will have all MIND strength categories evenly. I know ds certainly doesn't profile as strongly for N or I even though I see flickers of them.

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I regret my use of the word "pushing". I'm sure you all are not pushing your students. I should have said something along the lines of "expectation". I'm wondering if the expectation of a standard essay, or test may need to be adapted based on the individual dyslexic's need and what that might look like.

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I think one huge problem the Eides are dealing with is that many of these kids are having to conform in the public school system, having to be independently reading fluently at a certain age -- using decreed books or excerpts which may not engage them, and engagement is crucial for the way their processing and memory works -- having to perform certain writing tasks at ages when dyslexics are just not ready to do so. They're expected to produce a single form of output (or maybe two: essays and standardized test) at the expense of a whole range of other ways in which they can demonstrate and share what they know.

 

I get this sense too, and I have already run into it myself. The charter we are using has a fluency requirement of 69+ words per minute on a cold read passage by the end of 1st grade. It's crazy even for non-dyslexics since kids will have a variety of reading speeds that young, and it is one of the factors that pushed me to test and label early. I'm really disappointed that the educational definitions of success have become so narrowly defined.

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I regret my use of the word "pushing". I'm sure you all are not pushing your students. I should have said something along the lines of "expectation". I'm wondering if the expectation of a standard essay, or test may need to be adapted based on the individual dyslexic's need and what that might look like.

 

I get what you meant. When DS was little everything felt like

"pushing". He could multiply 3 digit numbers in his head but writing 2+2 on paper got tears. Happily he is now writing 5 pages of math a day. Whew.

 

I think expectations do need to be adjusted. I just don't think that adjusting them necessarily means that you have to do it forever. I think you just have to go with what your child is developmentally ready for. If that means they don't write a 5 paragraph essay at the end of 8th grade, then I don't think it's a very big deal. Maybe they won't ever be able to do this. However you don't really know unless you have a little time machine. "Inch by inch row by row..." It does make it tough to plan years in advance, I have found that I really have to be "in the moment" with where my son is. I never know how long something is going to take. Sometimes he can grok a typical "years worth of material" in a day and sometimes it's the reverse a small concept takes all year for him to get. I just never know.

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I get this sense too, and I have already run into it myself. The charter we are using has a fluency requirement of 69+ words per minute on a cold read passage by the end of 1st grade. It's crazy even for non-dyslexics since kids will have a variety of reading speeds that young, and it is one of the factors that pushed me to test and label early. I'm really disappointed that the educational definitions of success have become so narrowly defined.

 

:ack2: I homeschool through a charter too. Luckily mine is pretty hands off. I try to avoid talking to the teachers though because I often get ridiculous comments. A teacher last year was worried when my son reported having difficulty with tedious math (long division etc.) she was giving me this big thing about how we needed to address this. I had to remind her that he had a perfect score on his tests the previous year and he has completed high school geometry in the 7th grade. I swear these people are like mice in a wheel.

 

I mean, come on, just because my 7 year old child is testing at the 8th grade level, that doesn't mean we need to fill in standard 5.17 for fear that he might have gaps. Sheesh.

 

It does frustrate me that there seem to be so few people who actually have any idea what they are talking about. I have ached for "expert advice" and other than friendly moms like you and the vast internet I often feel pretty alone. Thank god for the internet though, right?

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Karen's onto something here with engagement. My dd did take off reading, but everything she read was either comics or historical fiction. In fact, she finally said to me one day (around 5th grade) that OF COURSE she likes history, because it's all there was lying around to read. Hehehe... It was this happy convergence of materials and budding skill that could stretch to read the books that were so fascinating to her (Queen Hatshepsut bios, that kind of thing). The result would NOT have been the same with grade-leveled readers, mercy.

 

Clairaluna--on the flashcards, I think we talked about this before, but I recently mentioned it to dd and actually got a positive reception. I think, like KA is saying, that it's like she's so far to the other side that it's comfortable now. Or as Dr. Cotter said, the only kids who enjoy flashcards are the ones who don't need them. So I do want to fiddle with them a bit at some point. I told her I might let her do that Quarter Mile math game. Or maybe I'll find an app, I don't know. I'm just saying that now she perceives it as a lot less stressful than it would have been a few years ago.

 

If anyone is interested, dd has been really blossoming in the writing co-op class I put her into. I had debated back and forth, but it turned out to be a WONDERFUL choice. The lady is quirky as the hills and has this ability to draw them in with humor and flexible but clear assignments. It's just working exactly like what you would dream. She has also recently started narrating books and movies and events to me, which is something that she had basically NEVER done voluntarily. I honestly don't know if that's a growth spurt or an offshoot of the writing class or what.

 

Because it's a co-op class with already moderate amounts of writing, I don't suggest modifications. So like this week she might have two paragraphs due. One week it was four. She works VERY hard on them, and it takes her a very long time. I could crank out 4 paragraphs in an hour, and frankly I think that's what her teacher expects it to take most kids. She spent *6* hours, 6 full hours, doing those 4 paragraphs the week they were due. And it leaves her very tired. But she's DOING it!

 

So I have no idea where that's going, except to say that I don't think reading instruction and written expression are the same thing. We worked on our SWR materials very intensely when she was young, and it paid off in HUGE rewards. I don't think you have diminishing returns there. I think with an OG-based program and good, solid instruction that fits the child, the work and results are proportional. (in general, barring developmental delays, eye problems, etc. etc.) Written expression is totally different with her. It's all in there and can't come out easily, I suppose because of the brain structure stuff the Eides describe. Whatever the reason it's hard, the point is that more "writing instruction" would not make it easier. She doesn't need IEW. She's a fine writer. She just has the hardest time and needs so much effort to get it out.

 

There was someone else here who posted that the frequent writing she had to do for her job in a law office was actually therapeutic and helped her over a hump. I think there's something to this, but I think there's also TIMING and readiness for that. I think what Yllek's SLP is trying to do is get the same effect but in a more age-appropriate way. So I definitely suspect there's a way to build the pathways and make it easier (without killing them in the process), if we knew how. Don't you hate being fallible and having limited budgets? I mean dude, if we could all try everything, eventually we'd know everything and have it all sorted out! :)

 

(I joke.)

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Have you read the N-strengths section yet? I think you may find more of her fit there. Even the Eides don't suggest that all kids will have all MIND strength categories evenly. I know ds certainly doesn't profile as strongly for N or I even though I see flickers of them.

 

I'll get a move on it! I have to go pick peppers, but maybe later this evening. :)

 

This is so fun, reading the book to discuss it as a group. I was getting all side-tracked doing it by myself. :)

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If anyone is interested, dd has been really blossoming in the writing co-op class I put her into. I had debated back and forth, but it turned out to be a WONDERFUL choice. The lady is quirky as the hills and has this ability to draw them in with humor and flexible but clear assignments. It's just working exactly like what you would dream. She has also recently started narrating books and movies and events to me, which is something that she had basically NEVER done voluntarily. I honestly don't know if that's a growth spurt or an offshoot of the writing class or what.

 

Because it's a co-op class with already moderate amounts of writing, I don't suggest modifications. So like this week she might have two paragraphs due. One week it was four. She works VERY hard on them, and it takes her a very long time. I could crank out 4 paragraphs in an hour, and frankly I think that's what her teacher expects it to take most kids. She spent *6* hours, 6 full hours, doing those 4 paragraphs the week they were due. And it leaves her very tired. But she's DOING it!

 

 

Wow, yay that's great news. FWIW it's as long as it would take my DS. 4 paragraphs would definitely take a week. Yay for your daughter getting it done. I figure whatever it takes. Just to get it out. I can relate to that, my son is an excellent writer in his own mind. Even getting to the point where he could do 4 paragraphs in 6 hours was pretty huge for him. It used to be one paragraph a week or a sentence a week. It's been a long haul to get him to this point.

 

I have got to go get my hands on that book. DS is almost done.

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Does anyone else want to talk about their assertion of "diminishing returns" in teaching reading/writing to dyslexics? What are the implications of that?

 

 

My son is 15 and could be a poster child for M strengths. I agree with the idea of diminishing returns. There is a point where you move from remediation to compensation and accommodation. For us this transition took place when my son was 12-13.

 

This is just my own wild speculation, so take it with however many grains of salt you wish, but I think there is a window for remediation that closes to a great extent at puberty. That's not to say that kids won't make great strides after puberty because they do. It just means that those strides don't seem to have much to do with external input.

 

Anyway, back to that remediation window. This is why I am so hyper about suggesting the possibility of learning disabilities to folks here when everyone else is attributing a child's difficulties to youth.

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This is why I am so hyper about suggesting the possibility of learning disabilities to folks here when everyone else is attributing a child's difficulties to youth.

 

AMEN. I wish so much someone had taken the time to comment and steer me toward some evals with all the VERY OBVIOUS things I said over the years that indicated we had dyslexia, etc. going on. I mean man, I said over and over my kid couldn't sound out words (age 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11), and NO ONE stopped and thunked me and said that indicated a problem. They just started talking about their glorious workbooks.

 

It's almost like we have a culture that doesn't WANT to be confronted. (My kids is 12 and not talking, but I homeschool so I know what I'm doing!) Man on man. And some of it is probably that the people who know these things disappear from the regular boards and aren't catching it.

 

I'm just glad we have somewhere to fit in, where we can discuss all these weird things. :)

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AMEN. I wish so much someone had taken the time to comment and steer me toward some evals with all the VERY OBVIOUS things I said over the years that indicated we had dyslexia, etc. going on. I mean man, I said over and over my kid couldn't sound out words (age 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11), and NO ONE stopped and thunked me and said that indicated a problem. They just started talking about their glorious workbooks.

 

:grouphug: How sad that here you were, calling out for help, and no one helped you. I'm so sorry!

 

I was luckier in that I had a psychologist friend who remarked early on that clearly my child was not a phonetic reader. He didn't seem to think this was an issue, but I was puzzled by the difference between what I saw in her and what I heard from the educational culture around me. Dd had learned to read before it ever occurred to me to begin teaching her phonics.

 

When she was around 7ish, she'd approach a big new word like a truck, barging into the first bit, then looking at the end and guessing at the middle. She'd back up and try again, like a truck reversing and then revving up to climb a hill. I read that children like this needed lots and lots of practice with phonics and segmenting words into syllables.

 

However, dd was the Queen of Resistance to my few belated attempts to introduce her to phonics and syllabification. She was simply not that kind of reader. Years and years before I found Freed's book, she had become an ace reader in her own way; but I was glad to have Freed's back-up that not all kids do read phonetically, that phonetic remediation is not necessarily the best way for an individual child to go, and that it is possible for a child to be a stumbling oral reader with no difficulties whatever in reading and comprehending silently and quite quickly -- that in fact the speed of their silent reading is one of their great strengths, because it is part of their tendency to go for the whole picture. He even suggests speed reading courses for some of these kids.

 

What I don't know is how rare this is. Dd is a gestalt/visual reader, just as she is a visual speller who has now developed a really good visual memory for how words look. I don't know anyone else in real life whose child found phonics useless, but again, I don't know whether that's because the phonetic model is currently so dominant in our educational culture that people don't really know how many kids would/could learn to read in other ways.

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I don't really know what to make of ds's uneven skills and knowledge. The other day, dh was telling one of his medical stories to the kids, taking an aside to mention that HIV specifically attacks the body's helper T-cells. Ds then chirps up, "But that means that your patient's immune system won't activate!" Ds has never heard of HIV before, but he knows enough about immune cells to understand this. Now I realize that this isn't the typical kind of information that your average 7 yo carries around in his head, but is this a reflection of giftedness or simply the fact that this kid has a doctor for a daddy? I ask this type of question a lot, because ds's learning issue (expressive language disorder) makes it extremely difficult for him to articulate what he knows. There was a time when asking him a direct question almost always shut him down or evoked stammering or silliness. He's better about that now, but even now, if I asked him what he knew about the immune system, he probably couldn't answer me readily. But, given a more free-wheelin' discussion, he would reveal a whole lot, particularly if given the opportunity to tell one of his rambling, circular stories (he makes EVERYTHING into a story).

 

I am wondering, given similar experiences with dd, whether this relates to the way that certain kinds of kids (many VSLs) have "retrieval hooks" in their memory that have nothing to do with linear-sequential/neurotypical ways of storing knowledge in tidy bins labeled with a noun -- "immune system" goes in this bin, "Civil War info" goes here, etc. Instead, it seems that they have their own classification system that is very much dependent upon such things as emotional response/engagement, narrative, accompanying sensory information (it was really hot that day and I was eating a popsicle and I read that...) or even date/place they came across the information. Many of us have this last kind for major traumatic events like the Kennedy assassination (showing my age), the shuttle explosion, or 9/11, but many gifted and VSL kids have this for EVERYTHING. Jackie has described this kind of storage system as a 3-D spiderweb rather than the kind of tidy little filing system most of us use.

 

In this case, it seems absolutely natural and utterly reasonable that your son has more to say in a free-wheeling, free-association type of conversation that is triggered and guided by his engagement and narrative associations.

 

I suspect this is related also to the struggle many 2e kids have to put their thoughts into the linear format required by so many essay formats. Basically what they're having to do is translate: for some, from pictures to words, then from words in their own unique organizational form to the form required by school output. No wonder it takes them forever and wipes them out!

 

When I was 17 I was a foreign exchange student in Paraguay, and I can still remember how despite four years of Spanish in school, I was just wrung dry by the end of a day trying to translate, and this was simply language to language. Many of our kids are struggling everyday with a much more difficult translation job. And it's tragic when the amazing thing they are doing is not even recognized as difficult for them, that only their deficits or issues are seen at the end.

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Wow, all of the stories here are so familiar, and it really helps me feel better somehow just knowing that it's not just us dealing with all of this! ;)

 

I need to check my library for this book and start reading it, even though I've got my oldest figured out. Ha! Every time I say that, something changes or, not really changes, but just needs to be different, and I feel like I'm back at the beginning again.

 

His "official" diagnoses are moderate-to-severe dyslexia and expressive-pragmatic speech disorder. He's visually/spatially gifted, if that's what you'd call it, and has won numerous awards for his filmmaking. And if I had a dime for every time that I've heard the word, "spectrum...", although we've decided not to add that official diagnosis since it wouldn't change the therapies but would simply add another label. We know it's there...

 

He's absolutely a global learner, as am I. He wants to know what the point of things is, why we're learning certain things, what the big picture is, how things apply to real life, etc, etc. We've done Latin for a couple of years, which he likes, in his own way. It has meaning for him, since it's the language of our church, although Mass is always said in English in our parish.;) However, he doesn't like parts to whole, in anything. So this year, we've switched to Cambridge, and he's much happier.

 

Math...AAAHHHH!!! What do I do here? He's pretty good at math, but when it's disconnected from "real life," it's so much harder and his comprehension falls considerably. He actually loves word problems. And he's done a lot of Life of Fred, which is great, but I want him to complete an actual curriculum, too, since this is one subject where that is totally possible.

 

It's a lot to think about, for sure. I don't know about my youngers, yet, but so far, no one here is an "average, do the workbook/textbook" type learner. It's hard, but I figure they're ours for a reason, right?

 

Off to check my library's list...

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...This thread and the other 2E thread in the Accelerated board have me thinking about my discomfort with labeling ds as 2E. I'm not entirely sure that he is truly gifted, although "2E" sure is a handy shorthand notation to describe a kid who is accelerated in certain ways while being... well, challenged in others. But it's not clear to me that he's some sort of wonder boy of the sort the Eides are describing. So yes, count me in among those who are taking the case study accounts in DA with a grain of salt. ....

This discussion is truly fascinating! I haven't bought the book yet because my bookshelves overfloweth. I want to get DA on Kindle--but I need a Kindle first. :tongue_smilie:

 

I going to join in this discussion anyway. It sounds from reading this discussion that the dyslexics who were mentioned in the book had achieved greatness. Greatness takes time. Few people achieve it--and even fewer achieve it as "wonderboys". We're going to have to wait to see how our dc turn out--and even if our dc are destined for greatness, we might not see their achievements in our lifetime.

 

I don't know what people usually mean when they say "gifted". When I think of "gifted", I think of the character Charlie on tv show Numb3rs. I've known people who are close to that level of gifted. My sister was gifted in all academic areas and music. She's now an engineer and she's good engineer. However, objectively speaking, my husband is "more gifted" as an engineer. No one would have called my dh a "wonderboy" as a child, but he's a natural at engineering.

 

My ds may or may not be able to "cut it" in college to ever become an engineer--but it runs through his blood. Even if he doesn't become an engineer, I can picture him becoming an inventor. In that regard, I sometimes think my ds's memory problems may one day be an asset for him. He may come up with some great innovation--all because he couldn't remember the way something was suppose to be designed. :lol:

 

(It's kinda like spelling, where my husband and son also display their creativity. :D)

Edited by merry gardens
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He's absolutely a global learner, as am I. He wants to know what the point of things is, why we're learning certain things, what the big picture is, how things apply to real life, etc, etc. We've done Latin for a couple of years, which he likes, in his own way. It has meaning for him, since it's the language of our church, although Mass is always said in English in our parish.;) However, he doesn't like parts to whole, in anything. So this year, we've switched to Cambridge, and he's much happier.

 

Math...AAAHHHH!!! What do I do here? He's pretty good at math, but when it's disconnected from "real life," it's so much harder and his comprehension falls considerably. He actually loves word problems. And he's done a lot of Life of Fred, which is great, but I want him to complete an actual curriculum, too, since this is one subject where that is totally possible.

 

Two things for you to look at:

COMAP Mathematics: Modeling Our World is a 4-year, integrated math program (that is, algebra, geometry, trig, and pre-calc are mixed together rather than separated out into different years and programs). It's entirely based on real-world problems. So for instance, you'll get a scenario and description of something like making a fair test design, doing animation, measuring land area from satellite images, designing efficient packaging, thinking through game strategy, etc. Then for each unit/topic the question becomes not immediately how to do it, but what sort of math would you need to know for a problem like this? How would you start to break the problem down? How would you approach it?

 

I really loved the books (I found used copies on amazon quite cheaply). The research they've done shows that kids going through all four years come out with a very slight edge on kids who go through traditional programs, but the main difference is that they LOVE math, they see its real-world applications, they see all kinds of careers in which it can be used.

 

http://www.comap.com

 

Dd, my non-fiction hater, resisted this approach, which I was secretly plugging for -- I would have really loved knowing not only why and how math worked, but what in the world it was actually used for.

 

Key Curriculum Press: the "Discovering...." series.

 

This is what we now use, dd's choice -- she's currently working her way through Algebra II. The books seem to me to hit a middle ground between the abstract and the COMAP approach; there are LOTS and LOTS of word problems, lots and lots of applications, but they are a bit stilted, not always as thoroughly integrated into real world uses as the COMAP series. Still, they do very well at linking the topics to many aspects of finance, science, art, and the like, although through individual problems rather than an overall approach like COMAP. It seems to be a good fit for dd; she's even getting excited when she gets something, and some of the word problems intrigue her (a recent one was figuring the average age of actors and actresses when they received Oscars, figuring the standard deviations etc.).

 

http://www.keypress.com

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Years and years before I found Freed's book, she had become an ace reader in her own way; but I was glad to have Freed's back-up that not all kids do read phonetically, that phonetic remediation is not necessarily the best way for an individual child to go, and that it is possible for a child to be a stumbling oral reader with no difficulties whatever in reading and comprehending silently and quite quickly -- that in fact the speed of their silent reading is one of their great strengths, because it is part of their tendency to go for the whole picture. He even suggests speed reading courses for some of these kids.

 

Are you referring to the Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World book? I read through that book about a year ago and must have missed that point. If that is the book I'll read it again. I'm at this point with my ds. Phonics is difficult. He can be a stumbling oral reader, but he seems to read so impossibly fast silently. When oral reading he will mumble a word he doesn't know and just keep going or he will read a word incorrectly that doesn't make sense for the sentence and just keep going. This has led me to be hesitant to moving him toward primarily silent reading, but I'll probably move to splitting his time between reading aloud and silent reading. He can sound things out, but it isn't a strong skill. I'm still working on phonics as well as a phonics based spelling program with him. I've seen good progress in his phonics and spelling skills in the past year, but I find the ideas you mentioned quite interesting.

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