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Hey all,

We are in the process of having my dd tested for ADD, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety.

I'm pretty sure ADD is an issue (I and 2 of my family members grew up with it and still have issues today, so I know a thing or two about what it looks like) but need to figure out the other things that are at play.


Anyway, my 7yo dd is lagging behind in math.  Her attention span only lasts about 5 minutes so getting through a concept can be a bit of a challenge.  Another big issue that is contributing to her success is a highly perfectionist personality.  She has a complete meltdown and flat out refuses to even try something new.  She wants assurance that she is 100% capable of getting it all right on the first try or she won't even look at the game/worksheet/etc.


I don't want to push it and cause further anxiety but wonder if anyone out there has been through a similar situation and what you were able to do.  

Any fun, fast paced games that aren't highly stressful/competitive to help her increase confidence?




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Welcome to the board! I've been through a similar situation...We were working our way through Right Start for a year, which I loved, and at first DD (5 at the time) loved it as well. It's a wonderful program that starts out gently, very hands-on, with a lot of games. But then midway through RS-B, she started getting bogged down as the program got more difficult. She could still do the work, but it taxed her too much, just wasn't fun anymore. (And, as you know, with ADHD if it's not fun it's going to be a struggle.)


So after suffering through that struggle, I started basically creating a framework around the teachings in RS, using her passions (currently bugs and dinosaurs.) I actually still use many of the RS manipulatives, but create a story around their use. (Even something as simple as pretending the Alabacus beads are colonies of ants...) She still doesn't love math, but she's a lot less resistant, and has actually started adding to the story we're creating herself.


Because she loves stories LOF has also been fun for her, and I'm looking forward to her being old enough for Beast Academy, because I really think she'll enjoy the story and puzzle elements.


This is a great thread, with lots of ideas: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/499692-looking-to-do-some-relaxed-math-here-want-to-share-ideas/We like Living Math books, and for fun out of the box math/logic we've enjoyed Family Math. Peggy Kaye's Games for Math book also has some great ideas. I just try to keep it all as fun and low stress as I can. And I never use worksheets, not only because they're boring and overwhelming but because of those same perfectionist tendencies in DD. Worksheets only have one right answer, and the fear of getting it wrong must be paralyzing. We also do a mix of math that's easy for her, so that she feels extremely capable, and some that's more of a challenge, working on the challenging learning together--I treat it as a puzzle we both need to figure out together: "Oh, this is complicated! I don't know what to do...How do you think we should start?"


It's all a lot more work on my part, I'd love to be able to follow a scripted program, but in the end it's actually more fun for me as well.

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Hi MillyDilly,

You wrote that she : 'is a highly perfectionist personality.'

Where this really needs to be looked into further?

As it has been recognized as a 'Disorder', and really needs to addressed.   Before she gets any older.

As it will seriously impede her learning, as she will not be open to learning anything new.

Also as she gets older?

It will effect her social relationships, as she will come to expect others to meet her 'perfectionist standards'?

Her anxiety will just continue to increase as she, as her perfectionist standards get higher and higher.


It is critical that she develops a new mind-set, and opens herself up to new learning.

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Hi Milly, I agree that it's good that you're getting the evals.  You need to get to the bottom of that anxiety and perfectionism and focus on treating that.  That is going to affect her progress more than anything.  Is she getting OT?  For the anxiety, OT can help, neurofeedback can help.  Sometimes meds for the ADHD can help.  There's also CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).  I would talk with a behaviorist and look at getting her lined up with some therapy.  I would take that VERY SERIOUSLY and do a multi-pronged approach.


As far as the math, I'm going to suggest Ronit Bird.  It's interactive, mostly games, and has super small steps that would fit a short attention span and possible learning disabilities. You can get the Dot Patterns or C-Rods ebooks for less than $10, and she has a free sampler Math Games ebook. Since you don't know what's going on, it's something that you know you can do with her under those parameters.  I would *not* focus on written math right now.  I would do together math (games, dominoes, Ronit Bird stuff, etc.) and figure out the rest when you get the results of the evals.


Is she getting an OT eval?  We've also had some books mentioned for perfectionism, anxiety, etc.  Amazon.com: what to do when you worry too much a kid's guide to overcoming anxiety  Here's a good one on sale for only $9.  Your library will have it also.


When will you get your eval results?  Are you considering meds?

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Thanks so much for the pointers, Anna's Mom.  For my dd worksheets are less stressful because there is only one right answer.  For her the overwhelm of more than one right answer causes more stress which is something we're slowly working on by doing lots of stories as you were talking about.  I'll definitely try out Right Star to see if it fits her.


Geodob and OhElizabeth, no fear.  We are early on in the process but working with OT, psychologists, and psychiatrist now to get some course corrections now so she is better able to manage it as life goes on.


Thanks OhElizabeth for the book recommendation. We have a few books we've been through but not that one so I'll pick it up on our next library day.  I will also have her try the Ronit Bird program you mentioned.  See what she likes better between that and the Right Star Anna's Mom mentioned.


Next eval is on the 24th and then probably won't get the results until mid April (I loathe how long it takes to get results.  If we were getting a blood test done to check for something physical it wouldn't be 2 months out for results! Oh well, a soap box for another day)

I'm not opposed to meds but not excited to jump on them as a magic bullet.  As mentioned in my first post some of these things are not foreign territory to me.  Anxiety, depression, and ADD are more common in my family than not.  Through the years I have found that diet and lifestyle (CBT and other therapies I consider lifestyle) can be very effective treatment modalities, sometimes in conjunction with pharmaceuticals and sometimes in lieu of them.  Just a matter of trial and error to find what combo works best for the individual.


Thanks again for the replies, I'm excited to work towards finding the best answer for her and hope it comes sooner than later.

Edited by MillyDilly
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