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Thoughts about my ds13--processing disordeR? or no?


Halcyon
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My ds13 is good at math. But he is very slow with computations. Also, he didn't do very well on his recent algebra2 exam, despite studying very hard for a few weeks prior. He also takes a very long time when doing assignments--longer than i feel is "normal" (and I use that term very colloquially). So while he is good at math, he takes a really long time to do the work. Could this be some sort of processing disorder? Something visual? Looking at the work he's done so far, most of his mistakes are what we would call "careless"--not seeing the coefficient or the negative sign, things like that. we have worked with him on being more careful, but that, in turn, greatly lengthens the time he takes to finish his work, which in turn exhausts him. Could it be that he is just not ready for Algebra 2? Or do you think this is just a case of "it's a hard class, and he's young for it, but let him do his best and leave it at that." DS13 is quiet dispirited about the whole thing, because he's bsically doing everything right in terms of studying, review, but he's not performing as well as he would like to.

 

We are having a tough time trying to figure out how much of this is normal. DH pushes him too hard, and has promised to back off, so that will help.

 

Thoughts appreciated.

Edited by Halcyon
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It sounds pretty classic for a slower processor, whether or not he'd test as low on processing speed or not. 

 

Other possibilities--you mentioned eyes--he could have ocular motor issues, and you check that with a COVD.

Being a global thinker--it can be hard to dot all your i's and cross all the t's when you are a global thinker. You focus on the concept over details when you're learning something new. If you realize you miss one detail one time, you might be it right at the expense of a different detail the next. It may take a strategy for checking work to help with the details. When I worked in my career field, I relied extensively on checklists for mundane tasks, and it was a departmental policy to use them. Lifesaving and really a no-brainer. I am not sure how to apply that to math when there are new concepts each time, but maybe it can be a series of check strategies on note cards for each chapter of the book.

Age--he is young. Ability and stamina don't necessarily go together. A 13 y.o. that is capable of learning this stuff may or may not be capable of learning it at the same rate as older kids. It's kind of a maturity thing, but in a different way than people typically think of maturity.

Trouble multi-tasking--lots of things to remember and do at one time.

Fatigue, especially if he is having trouble with more than one thing at a time.

 

If you were to back off and give him less homework, would he make fewer mistakes? (That might give you an idea if fatigue is a factor.)

 

I would not ride him hard if he's doing his best (it sounds like he is). That doesn't solve your what to do question, but I don't think a child doing their best in an accelerated situation should be seen as a failure for something like this. 13 y.o.'s are learning how to be organized and detail-oriented. If he's doing a class you can grade, I would consider maybe giving partial credit back for correcting "silly" mistakes or something like that. If he's truly understanding the material, I think he should be allowed to continue as is or continue with a modified schedule/pace or some combination of age-appropriate accommodations. If he's struggling to master the material, but not by a lot, I think I would slow things down for him. If he's not grasping it, I would definitely take a bigger look at his placement, but be sure to not pin the blame on him for it. 

 

My son can grasp a lot of things beyond reach of his typical age peers, but it's kind of a situation where he has to be immersed in it, or he loses it. That tells me that we need to slow down, not because he's not understanding, but because he needs more time to organize it in his brain and make it permanent. There is no point in learning something earlier or faster only to have it go in one ear and out the other. More practice generalizing the concept to novel situations seems to be what he needs in order to do this. More of the same or harder/faster do not do this.

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Does he have test anxiety?

 

What would be practical to do now would be to go for a full vision exam because he is at the puberty stage and insurance would cover that. I have convergence issues, insurance covers full testing and theraphy.

 

After that, go for any IQ test that test processing speed. Insurance covered a portion for us and our HSA covered the out of pocket.

 

DS10 who has the "average" processing speed wasn't careless. YMMV as usual. (ETA: he is slower across the board and he reads aloud in a soft voice when doing silent reading. It seems to improve his speed so I let him do that at home but not at the library/bookstore)

 

As for whether he is ready for algebra 2, only someone who tutor your child would be able to gauge accurately.

 

When a child is feeling down is when we feel evaluations are in order, even if all it does is eliminate the what ifs.

 

PM me if you need someone to look over his math. We have nothing to do until after new year since we have no family nearby. I'm free to help via email.

Edited by Arcadia
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In that case, get his eyes check ASAP. If it is a vision issue, the earlier the therapy the better. It is charged under medical insurance instead of vision insurance, or may be split between medical and vision.

 

If it is a processing issue, test prep has helped my DS10 for timed tests. The more familiar he is with the test format, the faster he could accomodate instead of worrying.

 

I have to put content heavy subjects on block schedule (one per semester) for DS10 because that works best for him. I also budget more time for end of subject review before moving on.

 

ETA:

Had vision therapy at college. It still improved my vision substantially.

Edited by Arcadia
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Halcyon, it's pretty common for kids who are gifted or super bright like this to confuse their parents.  One day you're like OH MY LANDS and the next day it's WHAT WAS I SO FREAKED OUT ABOUT???  And you let the highs and lows average and go ok, maybe he's just sorta that way.

 

Evals help you bust that cycle and tell the truth.  We can all tell you that, but until you actually DO them you want KNOW what they'll tell you.  And me, I'd schedule the eyes (simply because it's like the dentist, something you do) AND get the psych eval.  Because it's time to get it sorted out.

 

He could just be molasses slow across the board.  He could get some SLD labels.  You can be gifted AND have SLDs.  My ds certainly is.  You can have SLDs *and* have developmental vision problems.  So I don't see that it helps you much to wait or guess or exclude.  Might as well blow the budget, do both, and be done with it.  

 

So what you want is some kind of psych, either a neuropsych or one who specializes in 2E (gifted with disabilities) and get that done.  And go to COVD and get a basic eye exam done, asking them to *screen* him for the developmental stuff.  The latter will be cheap (under $100) and the former will depend on how many hours they spend.  Could run you $1K or up to $3,500 or more.  But, TIME is what it takes to sort things out and TIME is what you're paying for.  Hoagies gifted has a list, so you could start there.  Just make sure the psych has as their gig learning disabilities as well.  If nothing else, that way you're *excluding* them, kwim?  You want that answered.

 

If he is reading at a speed typical to what one might read aloud, realize that's 1/3 the rate of his peers.  He's literally not taking in as much information as he should be because of this.  Now maybe he just REALLY HATES that book.  Could be.  But if he's that molasses slow for everything, you need an answer.  It can mean HUGE $$$ differences in the end because of his inability to connect with resources and use his abilities.  My ds has SLD reading, yes, but he ear reads with his kindle SO much.  You'd much rather have the answer, whatever it is, and get working on it.

 

Let us know how it goes.  Have you ever posted on LC?  Welcome, btw.  When I first started here, it was like oh my lands I just stamped my forehead with 66666666, kwim?  And then I realized it's a really cool place to be.  It's going to be fine.  He's got a lot of strengths, some weaknesses, and you're ready to figure them out.   :)

 

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Maybe seek a COVD certified VT to evaluate convergence, tracking, and binocular vision and a PhD Neuropsychologist for a full learning evaluation. If a problem exists, start seeking extra time on standardized testing.

 

Also consider downloading the VoiceDream app on either Android or iPad/iPod and have him practice listening to audio books at a high rate of speed. When my son starts making careless math errors, I have him stop and walk away. As a 10th grader, his attention to detail is much improved from logic stage.

 

As I recall, Algebra 2 starts introducing radically new concepts. Your DS is technically an 8th grader? There is no harm in slowing down and working sideways for some time. Extra time and reduced number of problem sets at one sitting are the accommodations for working memory or processing speed deficits.

Edited by Heathermomster
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Remember, you can always cancel a psych appt.  It takes a while to find the psych you'd want, and then there's the wait to get in.  If you work on that now and get that appt made, then you can always cancel when you get the eye exam and realize it explains everything.  Unfortunately, it's not likely to. 

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If he wants to continue, support him at home and then see how he does.  Supposing there is an issue, he will need to learn to study and adjust for classes even with accommodation.  He may need to spend less time on another subject. 

 

One thing about having a 2e kiddo is they have to learn to adjust and persevere.  Low grades will come but the real test is how do they modify and adjust to the situation.  Last year, I begged my DS to drop a logic class because I accidentally signed him up for too much. DS would not allow me to pull him and he studied more and earned all As in his outside classes.  

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can someone who knows what I am supposed to be looking for PM me so I can give you my location and you can help me find a neuropsychologist who is appropriate for these issues? I foudn a COVD optometrist and I will schedule him for the new year. But my DH agrees that getting a neurophysch eval might be a good thing so I'd like to line that up as soon as possible.

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Remember, you can always cancel a psych appt.  It takes a while to find the psych you'd want, and then there's the wait to get in.  If you work on that now and get that appt made, then you can always cancel when you get the eye exam and realize it explains everything.  Unfortunately, it's not likely to. 

 

 

Would you be able to help me find someone in my area if i pm you? I have some links to neurophsych people nearby but not sure if that's what they focus on--or maybe i should just call them? Thanks.

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i am going to start with a COVD evaluation. He does have some eye issues and wears glasses. I really am feeling awfully frustrated.

:grouphug:

It took me close to two years to convince hubby something was off with my youngest. Doesn't help that my youngest tend to cry wolf which made hubby underestimate his difficulties.

 

One step at a time.

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i am going to start with a COVD evaluation. He does have some eye issues and wears glasses. I really am feeling awfully frustrated.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug: . it is frustrating. 

 

I don't feel as though there is anything wrong with piecing together evaluations if you are not just guessing. Taking one logical thing at a time is helpful (or chunks of things that go together speech/CAPD/hearing). We have done it both ways, and I was frankly disappointed with our NP evaluation. He didn't pull together anyone else's data or add to the big picture in a way that our ed psych couldn't have. He answered one small question that our ed psych could have farmed out. We learned so much more from the side evaluations. 

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thanks. found someone in the area who does evaluations so will speak to her asap. Sometimes i just think "it's nothign" and then something happens that makes me think "what the WHAT?" and I second-guess myself again. 

 

If there is something wrong, i would feel awful for waiting this long. But to be honest, it's only in the last year or so that the processing speed has become an issue-he "covered" pretty well, but once he accelerated, it began to feel like something was 'off". Some would say "well then, don't accelerate" but to be perfectly honest, when i sit with him and he talks with me about what to do on a given problem, he totally gets it. but when he sits down to work on it, something happens. 

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thanks. found someone in the area who does evaluations so will speak to her asap. Sometimes i just think "it's nothign" and then something happens that makes me think "what the WHAT?" and I second-guess myself again. 

 

If there is something wrong, i would feel awful for waiting this long. But to be honest, it's only in the last year or so that the processing speed has become an issue-he "covered" pretty well, but once he accelerated, it began to feel like something was 'off". Some would say "well then, don't accelerate" but to be perfectly honest, when i sit with him and he talks with me about what to do on a given problem, he totally gets it. but when he sits down to work on it, something happens. 

 

If you say this to a psych who gets 2e kids, this will speak volumes all by itself. If they don't get 2e, it might or might not compute. 

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If you say this to a psych who gets 2e kids, this will speak volumes all by itself. If they don't get 2e, it might or might not compute. 

 

 

Okay thanks. On his most recent math midterm, teacher said to give the student 2 hours, but more is fine if they need it. Well, my son took almost 5 hours. FIVE hours! OMGosh the poor kid was exhausted at the end. But he wouldn't quit--a good thing and a bad thing. He's a perfectionist on top of it, so it's very hard for him. Then, on a private school test (this happened a couple of weeks ago) he took far longer than any of the other prospective kids on the test. The administrator commented on it--she said they don't put a time limit but that he took "far longer" than the other kids. This is partially his perfectionism, to be sure--he can't let something go if he feels he didnt do it right. But it just seems...off to me. 

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This is partially his perfectionism, to be sure--he can't let something go if he feels he didnt do it right. But it just seems...off to me.

This would affect him for SAT and ACT which are timed tests. Perfectionism can be debilitating. Try to find a psych experienced with 2E and with teens. Some psych are used to testing youngsters and not so good at making teens feel at ease.

 

My DS11 had problem with a subtest on the wisc because he was thinking about what would be the political correct answers and he just couldn't answer. DS10 gave blunt answers that may sound rude in a social setting.

 

If he does his test while reading the questions and his working aloud, does that help? If he does math okay while doing it verbally, it could be the audio feedback he needs. My DS10 does better just hearing himself talk.

 

For comparison on time, DS10 takes double the time to complete a practice test for ACT/SAT compared to DS11. For AoPS questions, he took two to three times longer. For musical instruments he takes longer too but more like 1.5 times.

 

:grouphug:

Good luck with the testing process.

 

ETA:

DS10 hit the time problem with K12 Literature and K12 History in 3rd grade. Both were reading intensive. For math it was when he started aops prealgebra. He was doing SM before that which is lots less wordy.

Edited by Arcadia
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THanks. It definitely began with AoPS Counting and Probability. HE got an A in the class, but it was hard. frickin. work and very very time-consuming--i mean, that class is hard, regardless, but...... And now I'm seeing it again with Wilson Hill Algebra 2. Everything is taking him longer than it "should" and it's exhausting him. He won't give up, so he ends up working a long time. DH has tried reading the problems to him in math, but really, except for the word problems, that doesn't help. We have worked a lot on having him use fresh pieces of paper for each questions, really writing clearly and large and double and triple checking his work. But the teacher actually got annoyed when he submitted that many pages. :(

 

DH went over the test with him today, and it looks like he lost between 12 and 15 points for ONE THING--not distributring the negative sign. Arg. What does that mean? Would that be considered just a "careless" error? He would have gotten an A if he'd "caught" those errors.  OTOH, I think, "okay, it's just one area we can work on". And then OTOH, I think "but he worked FIVE HOURS on the test--he will never be able to do that in a PS setting in high school next year." 

Edited by Halcyon
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DH went over the test with him today, and it looks like he lost between 12 and 15 points for ONE THING--not distributring the negative sign. Arg. What does that mean? Would that be considered just a "careless" error?

He could be too exhausted to check. My DS11 just checked his working for an intermediate algebra homework three times and miss the error in sign. He only saw it when I worked through the same problem and he realised his was the wrong sign for one portion of a polynomial. DS11 was reading a story book for 5hrs straight without stopping for food before that :P

 

For daily work could he check the next day or a few hours after instead of right after he finish his work. For test, maybe check after a toilet/snack break. Staring at a test script after 2hrs is exhausting enough to cause someone to miss careless errors.

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I just want to encourage you to fully explore any areas you have concerns in sooner rather than later. I have always known my kiddo was dealing with some challenges (I am a former SPED teacher), but I had no idea the extent of those challenges. It became really apparent in high school that there was something more AND it was beginning to impact the ability to be successful with course work. 

 

According to the final report processing speed and working memory were low, much lower than I realized. I wish I had known we were dealing with that last year; it would have helped me prepare much better for high school. My very bright kid has been able to compensate pretty darn well, but the wall has been hit. Even if your child will be attending school next year (maybe even more important! if he is!), identifying those trouble areas will help you advocate for your kiddo so much more effectively and you can go into school with a plan, rather than spending half the school year waiting for one to be created. 

 

Hugs!

 

edited for those random words

Edited by AppleGreen
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So his breaking limit is longer tests. That is useful info to know for the tester.

Exhaustion can be due to too many factors:

Vision

Health issues e.g. anemic, thyroid, hypoglycemic, sleep apnea

Perfectionism

Processing speed

Working memory

Physical exhaustion from writing

 

Doing a new question on a fresh sheet of paper is a good thing. Sorry that the teacher is unhappy about that. Do you know if the teacher is annoyed over the large handwriting or with the number of pages?

My english teacher joked that my handwriting was too big for exams, slowing my writing speed. I was writing fast enough for high school exams but my hand did hurt after each exam.

 

ETA:

The psych that tested my boys had a parent interview before testing. Just to get background info on my kids. It is useful for example for the tester to know DS11 has traits of selective mutism and might stim.

Edited by Arcadia
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Halcyon, I'd love to help you (you asked), but I don't think I'm more magical than anyone else.  My suggestion is you make a list of prospects within say a 2 hour circle and then CALL them.  You're going to learn a LOT by doing this, so it's worth the time.  Just my two cents (and rather obvious at that), but whatever they're like on the phone is what they'll be like.  It's not a mysterious genre.  If they're jerks on the phone and talk over you, they will be in person.  Usually they'll make some effort to talk with you and demonstrate that they have some insight into your situation just based on the comments you're making.  That will be helpful to you.  There was one psych I called that I REALLY liked, and then it turned out there was this one test I was *pretty sure* I needed that the psych couldn't run.  Dealbreaker.  

 

So just talk with them and go with your gut.  Not to be tacky, but you're looking for someone smart enough to get your kid, smart enough to interact with him and get him to want to pour out what is inside.

 

And yes, I agree with the others that you're likely to learn a lot and that the details you get are going to help you translate into better game plans.  For instance, if you know he has a serious processing speed issue, maybe ask the teacher if he can be given that test one page at a time over a couple days or spread across the day, kwim?  

 

Everybody has weaknesses.  It just so happens that sometimes super bright kids have serious EF weaknesses.  It can be paired with a label or whatever.  I'm just saying, find out, go ok we'll use these coping strategies, fill in with some EF support.  Have you ever wondered if there are some additional things going on?  (some OCD, getting stuck, anxiety, whatever)  Did Hoagies Gifted turn up any options for you?  

 

This is sort of a journey you're on.  Have you read Bright, Not Broken yet?  It would be a good one for you.  You'll go through stages, but when you come to the other side what *usually* happens is you get to this sort of more *complex* picture of your dc.  Not a picture of brokenness, just more that there are now more colors in his crayon box, that he's more colorful, more multi-faceted than you realized.  Evals help you see all those colors.

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Thank you so much.

 

I spoke to one neurophsych today and really liked her. She seemed to get what was happening with our son and said it does sound like he has very slow processing. I then spoke to my husband and he was really not into the idea of testing. I thought he was sort of on board, but he's not. He thinks that our son doesn't need it, that the problem is not nearly as great as I think it is, and that he just needs to learn test taking strategies. I don't agree. I feel that since he might be going to public next year, we need to make sure we know what we're dealing with beforehand. He thinks that the neurophsychs are "out to find problems" and that maybe our son is just not ready for Algebra 2 maturity wise. 

 

Sigh. He grudgingly agreed to call the woman himself and talk to her, but I don't have much hope. He thinks this is a phase, and even suggested that we should just continue homeschooling him in high school if I am worried that the testing that happens in the IB program will be "too much for him". I told him that the evaluation will tell us if he needs accomodations in high school--and that he CAN successfully complete an IB program if he gets the accomodations he needs (assuming he needs them at all--which is what the evals will tell us).

 

I think he thinks that the evaluators are biased towards finding a problem, and that just by bringing him in there, he will definitely be found to have "problems" because that's what they're prone to do. 

Edited by Halcyon
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There isn't actually a separate DSM code "low processing speed" (so far as I know, hehe), so it's not like someone just automatically gets a diagnosis, kwim?  Sometimes you just go in, do evals, and get told it's a relative weakness.  That happened with my dd with audiology, where she is *1* point from the cutoff for going over to a full CAPD eval.  They just say sorry, relative weakness, use the accommodations and deal with it.

 

I don't think fathers are EVER jumping up and down like oh yeah, put a label on my Only Begotten Son, kwim?  I just don't think they are.  This is their progeny, their genes, the inheritor of their estate, their arrow shooting from their powerful quiver, blah blah.  And I think men want to tell their sons to suck up.  And that's where we as women have to go you know, that's not right.  Suck it up doesn't cover everything.  Sometimes better information helps us make better choices.  Sometimes understanding ourselves HELPS us suck it up with more determination but a little less discouragement.

 

His response is common.  And, you know, it's a choice you make, whether you want to be in the suck it up, oh well, camp, or whether you're in the we're gonna get information and then work our butts off camp.  Those are just choices.  *I* choose to act based on information, not fear.  *I* can't really find a rational reason to skip evals if you have the funds and know you have a serious enough discrepancy that it is causing problems.  That's like saying my head itches, might be lice, not sure, oh well.  Or I know my leg hurts but I don't know why so I'll wait and see what happens.  Or I know I've got a tumor, but it really could be just an overgrown mosquito bite...  

 

It takes two people to make a marriage.  Personally, I think he's right that you should homeschool high school.  :D  I think those high stress programs *can* be overmuch for some kids and they're unnecessarily limiting to the most gifted and interesting kids.  With as precocious as he is, your ds might like the opportunities that come with homeschooling.  But, me, I'd throw that back in his face and say that you're the teacher and therefore you REQUIRE evals.  That's what I told my dh, that I was teaching him and I COULD NOT teach him accurately without evals, end of discussion.

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In our very first round of testing, the educational psych report showed that my dd#1 had a relatively lower processing speed. But a few years later, we discovered through neuropsych testing that her processing speed is actually quite good when you take the motor skills out of the equation. She nearly qualified her for a dyspraxia/developmental coordination disorder diagnosis. That's why a neuropsych eval can be much more helpful than an educational eval or IQ test. It identified the reason for her slowness and gave us information to get the right accommodations. 

 

Now, dd#2 was always a bright but slow worker, but she started making exactly the mistakes you are mention for the first time when she went from working in a CLE light unit with lots of white space to using the densely formatted Saxon algebra 1, incorrectly reading signs, etc. She had an eval with a COVD optometrist, did a three month course of vision therapy, and the problem was fixed. 

 

It is very interesting when I compare dd#1 to dd#3 who also just had an neuropsych eval. My oldest has a processing speed score just about 2 or 3 points below my third dd's processing speed score on the WISC, which was pretty much dead center average. So I'm only looking at the difference between low average and very average. However, in daily work, the difference is night and day, like the difference between walking through molasses and talking off in the space shuttle. After working with dds #1 and #2, working with dd#3 feels like light speed even though she's average. Haha. This translates into math taking under an hour versus the two hours it could take my older kids.

 

In case this helps, dd#1 and dd#3 both have definite visual processing weaknesses but tend not to make mistakes of reading signs like dd#2 who needed VT. So based on my experience, I'd rule out an ocular motor issue before paying for an neuropsych eval.

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I think he thinks that the evaluators are biased towards finding a problem, and that just by bringing him in there, he will definitely be found to have "problems" because that's what they're prone to do.

Evaluators usually get grief from insurance for finding problems that insurance have to pay up for.

Evaluators also get grief from schools because schools aren't usually keen on providing services.

Evaluators do earn from attending IEP meetings; however earning money testing is often a less stressful way to earn their keep than attending IEP meetings

 

What is comical is that DS11 while stim is not autistic, while refusing to talk is not selective mutism, while having sensory issues is not SPD. DS10 was screened for more things since he was more confusing and all that could be found was that he has average processing speed; not low enough for a 504.

 

I think evaluations are hard on guys that are used to taking charge of problems. It is hard for hubby to say he can't figure it out and we need to pay up. Once we started the process and things start to make sense, hubby was onboard. Now he sees the benefits even if it is just to eliminate stuff.

 

DS10 went from thinking he is stupid to knowing that he needs more time than DS11. The boost in morale was worth it.

 

ETA:

My kids has been screened for motor and vision due to my medical history. Based on hubby's medical history, they won't have been screened beyond the standard. Apparently parent medical history is useful for dealing with insurance claims.

Edited by Arcadia
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I just want to add that I don't think NPs are biased to find stuff where it isn't for financial reasons. Once in a while a doc may come from a perspective where they have a hammer and everything they see is a nail, though I wouldn't let that stop me from getting info.

Fwiw, I have a ds with no official LD but with low processing speed..  We will probably recheck some time soon (we are still in the middle of a separate issue for which my dh is very much of the suck-it-up persuasion; fortunately he humors me with the angles I have been pursuing)

Edited by wapiti
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Well, you know your child is young for the subject and you know he starts to make careless errors as time progresses.  Use that knowledge and administer half of the test followed by a substantial snack.  After his working memory has had time to rest, go back and complete the second half of the test. Maybe plan on extended test taking from the outset, and if he still is having problems then you know the subject is too much or he needs to be evaluated.  Test anxiety is no easy thing and you may want to explore coping strategies.  Good luck!

 

 

Edited by Heathermomster
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Oh, and yes, he does have anxiety, particularly test anxiety.

A good psych would be able to tease out the test anxiety portion and also give you tips/advice on that. The psych should be able to tease out general anxiety too. The first psych DS10 saw wasn't as experienced with borderline quirky kids.

 

My DS10 was a little worried during testing because he really wants to know what are his strengths and weakness. The psych works round that. He took longer to test because of breaks to wiggle around and grab a bite if needed. My DS11 was the other extreme.

 

ETA:

The first time it was obvious with computation speed was with multidigit multiplication and division in SM3. My DS10 did all correctly but each question took longer.

 

ETA:

This book was helpful for tips or even just to see that what we did for DS10 were not off-course. I read the library copy.

 

Bright Kids Who Can't Keep Up: Help Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World

http://www.amazon.com/Bright-Kids-Who-Cant-Keep/dp/1609184726

Edited by Arcadia
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Oh, and yes, he does have anxiety, particularly test anxiety. WHen younger, he had some slight OCD tendencies but they disappeared around age 8. He is a perfectionist and hates to fail. 

 

Halcyon, your answer could be in the above the quote?

Where it is important to understand the functional effect that this has?

At the base of it, is the 'rechecking' action.

As one doubts that they did something correctly?

So that one rechecks it.

 

With a single step action, one just rechecks the last action.

But with procedural thinking, with multiple steps. As with algebra.

The rechecking disrupts the flow of thinking.

So that after rechecking the last 'step', one then needs to recheck the step before the last step?

Which can take one back to beginning? 

Where one can get caught up going back and forth, in a cycle of rechecking?

Just in case one step was wrong?

So that one might never complete it, as they are caught up this process of rechecking.

As they need to be sure that it is 'perfect'.

Though this rechecking, often causes errors.

Which confirms the need for rechecking.

 

With perfectionism, 99% sure isn't enough?  As it could still fail?

It needs to 100% sure.

Which we can rarely ever be?

Which can become debilitating, as one can never be 100% certain that we wont fall, when we make the next step?

 

Though if he could come to trust himself as he does algebra, and not recheck each step?

He would probably find that he gets more answers correct?

Proving to himself, that this rechecking is causing the problem.

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Anxiety could be a root problem. DH has recognized that pushing DS is not a good idea at all, and in fact sorely regrets it.  We are considering therapy for DS13 to help him work on his anxiety. We are going to continue to help with test-taking strategies. 

 

DH feels that "hey, he scored in the 98th percentile in his end-of-8th-grade ITBS, so things can't be that bad." But I remember, most specifically, DS's anxiety during the test, his fear of getting the wrong answer in the computation part, that almost paralyzed him from moving forward. 

 

I am going to think more on how much this component of his personality might play a part. 

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Have you read Bright, Not Broken yet?  There's a serious overlap between gifted IQ and SN.  The fact that he's testing so high is exactly why you should be concerned about the anxiety, perfectionism, etc.  :)  And the best way to sort that out, is with a full psych eval with someone who handles 2E and knows how to sort that out.

 

There's nothing worse than being told something is all your fault and that if you wanted to be better you would be better, when there's actually an diagnosable explanation.  You can do counseling *and* evals.  The evals can help you select the right kind of counseling.  You might realize you need CBT or something.  

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DH feels that "hey, he scored in the 98th percentile in his end-of-8th-grade ITBS, so things can't be that bad." But I remember, most specifically, DS's anxiety during the test, his fear of getting the wrong answer in the computation part, that almost paralyzed him from moving forward.

Weirdly my boys OLSAT scores make hubby finally realise that there is a discrepancy between "IQ"/aptitude (OLSAT isn't an IQ test) and DS10's standardised test results. DS10 is hit hard on the reading sections even thought his percentile is still high. Taken by itself, DS10's standardised scores are good so it is easy to say nothing is wrong.

 

Does ITBS allow calculator? For daily work, I let my kids check their computations with their calculator after they have worked them out. The calculator is a useful tool when there is no blind dependency on it.

Physics and chemistry has computation questions even at middle school. Let him use the calculator if he isn't already. If he is using the calculator for other subjects, does it lower his computation anxiety?

 

The ACT and the new SAT does not have penalty for wrong answers. That was why I let DS11 take the ACT and not the current SAT. When he did the practise test for the current SAT, he didn't want to guess because of the penalty.

 

How was your son with the AoPS C&P online class homework? Was he upset if he gets deducted 2 points for wrong answer for a homework question? How is he with Alcumus?

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