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I need help :).

 

My 10-yo DD - grade 5, is an awesome storyteller, fantastic voice from her extensive personal reading time, but needs work on writing structured non-fiction and writing to answer a prompt/question.

 

She hates direct instruction from someone else and prefers self-directed materials that are written to her. She highly values personal autonomy.

 

She refused to watch EIW samples (we have used it for another child)...someone teaching her.

 

I need to be able to provide WRITTEN feedback instead of verbal, preferably - doesn't do well with auditory instruction.

 

It should be very structured, open and go, and lecture free :).

 

Hit me with your suggestions!

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We're actually having success with WWS this year, but mine is going into 7th. It's very structured, and it's written to the student. My son did tend to skip introductory material in each section until I showed him that the stuff he couldn't figure out was in those sections--he just roped them off mentally as "teacher stuff."

 

I know the diagnosis is somewhat new. Are you considering behavioral therapy of any kind? She's probably not ready yet for this specific recommendation (age and new diagnosis), but my rising 7th grader has a behavior plan for accepting feedback and instruction. :-) We had a lot of work under our belts before we got to that place, but I thought you might want to know that there are strategies for that eventually. A behaviorist would start smaller, lol!

 

For now, would you be able to do something genre-related, like studying essays, biographies, etc. so that she can discern a pattern? My ASD kiddo is really into reverse-engineering stuff, and looking at the structure of writing and different kinds of non-fiction helped him a lot. We also use The Reader's Handbook, which I specifically bought for this purpose. Shortly after we started using it for study skills, literature, etc. he declared that it should be called The Writer's Handbook instead. It didn't translate directly to better writing, but it made things more explicit for him, and now we're on to WWS. Oh, he also liked Wordsmith Apprentice. He did Jump In, but that doesn't mean your qualifications at all (and he did it with a tutor).

 

Edited by kbutton
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What about R&S? My kiddo on the spectrum loves it. Clear instructions, clear assignments, uncluttered pages, teacher is unnecessary. You could skip the grammar and just do the writing, but the grammar is good. My oldest does it independently (just the odds) and I correct it. You could put feedback for revisions on paper rather than orally. I typically work on one thing only with feedback, and we honestly don't revise every piece. I do change out writing assignments that are boring or preachy, or think of ways to make them funny. My favourite so far is when he did a compare and contrast of an electric keyboard with our acoustic piano. It would be a heavy slog for a kid who didn't like to write, but for one who does, it's dull but clear and efficient, and it gets the job done.

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I need help :).

 

My 10-yo DD - grade 5, is an awesome storyteller, fantastic voice from her extensive personal reading time, but needs work on writing structured non-fiction and writing to answer a prompt/question.

 

She hates direct instruction from someone else and prefers self-directed materials that are written to her. She highly values personal autonomy.

 

She refused to watch EIW samples (we have used it for another child)...someone teaching her.

 

I need to be able to provide WRITTEN feedback instead of verbal, preferably - doesn't do well with auditory instruction.

 

It should be very structured, open and go, and lecture free :).

 

Hit me with your suggestions!

This sounds incredibly familiar. Mine is also a rising fifth grader.

 

We used Just Write 1and 2 last year. And we'll use Just Write 3 next year.

 

You could also look at the Paragraph Book series.

 

Meaningful Composition is also independent.

 

Climbing to Engish has very nice writing lessons that directed to the student. Cheap, too.

Edited by Tiramisu
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Daily lessons for clear expectations are a big plus.

 

I just saw those Just Write books today and was wondering about them. I also was looking at the Wordsmith series.

 

Has anyone tried Winning with Writing? It looks pretty clear, independent, and daily lessons, but I've never had it in my hands.

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Daily lessons for clear expectations are a big plus.

 

I just saw those Just Write books today and was wondering about them. I also was looking at the Wordsmith series.

 

Has anyone tried Winning with Writing? It looks pretty clear, independent, and daily lessons, but I've never had it in my hands.

I went through Just Write 3 and divided it into chunks for lessons. Last year she did an exercise a day, I think.

 

Meaningful Composition has daily lessons with ver clear expectations.

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Well at that age what I did with my dd (ADHD only, not ASD) was to have her outline Muse magazine articles with mindmapping.  We used the app Popplet, but now we have Inspiration.  

 

I personally think the emphasis on non-fiction writing at this age is overblown.  They have nothing they want to say, so they're not saying it.  If she actually has good sentence variety, language development, etc., I think it will all come together later, when she has something she wants to say.  The main thing is understanding structure, and outlining interesting articles a couple times a week was more than enough for us to accomplish that.  Longish articles give you the whole flow of an essay, so you start to see WHY they were doing what they did.  

 

We did WWS later, (8th, 9th, I forget), and it's the same idea, thinking in terms of what you're trying to accomplish rather than just the linear outlines of typical school programs.  We don't have linear thinkers, so those are never going to fit.  

 

Wordsmith is written to the student.  Is she beyond Wordsmith Apprentice?  My dd did that in 4th I think.  

 

The JumpIn tm has writing prompts that are nice.  They sort of vary with the season.  Can she type?  You could get her on discussion boards for her special interests.  It's really going to blossom when she has a reason.  You could do some fun "other" types of writing like Listography, How to Report on Books, entering writing contests, that kind of thing.  

 

Really though, the focus on at least understanding the structure for when it all came together later was good enough for us.  Dd is now doing mind-boggling stuff for her college classes, and I'm like WOW, how did this happen?  But finally all the language from the reading, the structural analysis from the writing and WWS, and the MOTIVATION from a topic she was engaged with came together.  

 

I think you could also consider a tutor who has ABA training.  They might be able to find a comfortable way to work with her and break through some of that reticence to work together, to see another person's perspective, etc.  I'm using a tutor like that, and I'm not the only person here on the boards who has done that.  Your insurance might cover it under the label of ABA.  For us, it's a good thing.  They do the materials I choose, so it's not like I'm just turning things over and leaving him to wolves who want to drown his soul in drudgery or something.  It's stuff I know he'll be motivated to do, but it's stuff that needed him to stretch and interact a BIT to be able to get there.  That ABA tutor process helps him do that, helps him learn those skills with someone fresh, and lowers my stress.  Just a thought.

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I personally think the emphasis on non-fiction writing at this age is overblown.  They have nothing they want to say, so they're not saying it.  If she actually has good sentence variety, language development, etc., I think it will all come together later, when she has something she wants to say.  I think this is part of the equation, but here, it became clear that time wasn't going to fix it. We had to give my son the tools to realize he could generate something to say. Then we had to learn to keep him on topic, and then...

 

The main thing is understanding structure, and outlining interesting articles a couple times a week was more than enough for us to accomplish that.  Longish articles give you the whole flow of an essay, so you start to see WHY they were doing what they did.  We do find outlining helpful, but it was not an easy thing to teach. One person's outline is another person's summary, lol! Our outlines definitely digressed into summarizing. It is very difficult to overcome this--it's been helped a lot by the first sections of WWS.

 

We did WWS later, (8th, 9th, I forget), and it's the same idea, thinking in terms of what you're trying to accomplish rather than just the linear outlines of typical school programs.  We don't have linear thinkers, so those are never going to fit.    Well, I beg to differ on that. Thinking patterns are just different for ASD kiddos, and they don't quite match linear vs. non-linear in some ways. My son tends to need both the big picture and the details, but even at that, it doesn't look like it does with other kids. Assuming an ASD kiddo is non-linear might backfire. I think it helps to be as explicit as possible about all the pieces.

 

Wordsmith is written to the student.  Is she beyond Wordsmith Apprentice?  My dd did that in 4th I think.  We found that Wordsmith Apprentice was good for specific writing skills that he'd need later and would not pick up without explicit teaching. He enjoyed it and did pretty well, but it had places where he struggled too. We did it part-time over a couple of years.

 

I think you could also consider a tutor who has ABA training.  They might be able to find a comfortable way to work with her and break through some of that reticence to work together, to see another person's perspective, etc.  Yep! 

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On the behaviorist thing....I not even sure how I would find one. Our local city has a greater population of 5,000 people. Everything seems to be in our capital city...3.5 hours away :/. We are working with OT and a psych tech, but they sometimes seem a little mystified themselves. Right now our priority is emotional regulation and decreasing SIBs, but it's nice to know that accepting instruction is something we could work on.

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Well in our state we have disability scholarships, so the state dept of ed has a listing of all providers registered with them to take the scholarship money.  Makes it easy to find things you need.  

 

Yes, the challenges you're dealing with would be a reason to bring in a BCBA.  You could google or ask your county board of disabilities.  There are sometimes behaviorists who aren't BCBA certified because they were doing this before BCBA.  That's another way.  Or call psychs and ask for names.  Or call a further away BCBA and have them *supervise* a local tutor.  This can work.  I talked with BCBAs an hour away who do this.  Where I live (a small town), pickings are slim.  The local is good enough for us, but we did have that option to have a farther away one supervise.

 

It's just an idea.  Sometimes when you don't know the help is out there, you don't look.  Now you know and can keep your eyes peeled.   :)

Edited by OhElizabeth
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On the behaviorist thing....I not even sure how I would find one. Our local city has a greater population of 5,000 people. Everything seems to be in our capital city...3.5 hours away :/. We are working with OT and a psych tech, but they sometimes seem a little mystified themselves. Right now our priority is emotional regulation and decreasing SIBs, but it's nice to know that accepting instruction is something we could work on.

 

What are SIBs? Sorry, that's a new one for me. 

 

Agreeing with OhElizabeth--keep your eyes and ears peeled. I mentioned behavioral stuff because we didn't really know enough to take advantage of it early on in our late diagnosis, and it's been helpful.

 

Rural/small area is difficult sometimes. You might find a resource in the city that would give you some kind of parent training, and then go from there--at least you'd have accurate ways to describe things you see, and that could lead to additional resources and information. 

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I will ask my psych tech tomorrow at our appointment.

 

SIBs are self-injurious behaviors :(. It has been a tough year. I don't think the pre-puberty hormones are doing us any favors.

 

It's very hard to know where to start. She has a lot of inflexible thinking, and I'm not sure whether to try to address that, or emotional regulation strategies for when we run into the thinking issues.

 

I have almost no idea what I'm doing.

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I will ask my psych tech tomorrow at our appointment.

 

SIBs are self-injurious behaviors :(. It has been a tough year. I don't think the pre-puberty hormones are doing us any favors.

 

It's very hard to know where to start. She has a lot of inflexible thinking, and I'm not sure whether to try to address that, or emotional regulation strategies for when we run into the thinking issues.

 

I have almost no idea what I'm doing.

 

Oh, how frustrating!!! Remember this is still pretty new for you. It's a learning curve.

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Oh my Jennifer. I will be praying for you. Sounds like you have tons on your plate. And I am right there with you about not knowing what I am doing. Thankful that great people seem to be falling into my lap to help my little guy. Praying the same thing happens for you.

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Oh, please let us know how the ASD screening goes. My little guy is doing better. We are making better decisions for his care now that we have a little more experience. But his progress is slow speech-wise. He has gone from 14 months expressive to 18 months expressive. He is able to stay regulated for longer periods and we just know how to handle him better these days. Still overwhelmed but I think making steps in the right direction. 😃

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Little guy will have an ASD diagnostic this fall, but he does have a lot of nice social skills in place. Which is why I've been so torn. We did get an EIBI referral in any case - which is what we were after :). Yep, we are in Canada - Nova Scotia. It definitely is a bit different here.

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Little guy will have an ASD diagnostic this fall, but he does have a lot of nice social skills in place. Which is why I've been so torn. We did get an EIBI referral in any case - which is what we were after :). Yep, we are in Canada - Nova Scotia. It definitely is a bit different here.

 

Do you have what you need to receive services, or is the problem the fact that they are farther away than is useful? I feel bad if we're all suggesting behavioral stuff, and you can't get it. However, we might be able to make some suggestions that would be accessible to you if you want to hash that out on the boards. 

 

It's not always a clear thing, that's for sure! My son has pretty decent social skills, but he still can't read social situations the way that NT do. 

 

Is EIBI some kind of early intervention program? I am glad you have what you need referral-wise for him! 

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  • 6 months later...

Private services are far away and $$$, local services are rather lacking :/. We did start medication with this DD and it has been so, so phenomenal for her. I can't even describe it. She's less resistant, more social, and has stopped hurting herself. I am so, so thankful.

 

EIBI is early intervention :).

 

Over th last year we have had 5 kids diagnosed with ASD and co-morbid disorders of all kinds, I'm still adjusting, I guess.

Edited by SnMomof7
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Wow, what a year for your family! Sounds like you've been working hard to advocate for them and get good answers and get things on a good path.

 

I'm so glad the medication has been a good step for you! Sounds like it has been a profound change.

 

Is there something you want next, or are you hanging and catching your breath? :)

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My oldest DD (13 - diagnosed this fall ASD/ADHD/low processing speed/depression) had microarray DNA testing done (hospital-ordered by psychiatrist) last month and the results just came back last night.

 

She has a rare genetic syndrome. It's likely the rest of us do too. 15q11.2 - Burnside Butler. It would explain a lot (one of our guys has a known birth defect that may require surgery). It also explains why we are the 'pleasant' autistics, which has made some people doubtful.

 

Genetic tests all around here over the next few months.

 

Thanks for praying and thinking of us - it feels mightly lonely sometimes.

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My oldest DD (13 - diagnosed this fall ASD/ADHD/low processing speed/depression) had microarray DNA testing done (hospital-ordered by psychiatrist) last month and the results just came back last night.

 

She has a rare genetic syndrome. It's likely the rest of us do too. 15q11.2 - Burnside Butler. It would explain a lot (one of our guys has a known birth defect that may require surgery). It also explains why we are the 'pleasant' autistics, which has made some people doubtful.

 

Genetic tests all around here over the next few months.

 

Thanks for praying and thinking of us - it feels mightly lonely sometimes.

:grouphug: about the diagnosis and additional testing. We're in the waiting game with genetics, though our issues are mostly physical in this particular genetic instance.

 

Private services are far away and $$$, local services are rather lacking :/. We did start medication with this DD and it has been so, so phenomenal for her. I can't even describe it. She's less resistant, more social, and has stopped hurting herself. I am so, so thankful.

 

EIBI is early intervention :).

 

Over th last year we have had 5 kids diagnosed with ASD and co-morbid disorders of all kinds, I'm still adjusting, I guess.

 

:hurray:  about the meds!!!

 

For anyone searching and not finding much, this organization has a brochure: http://www.rarechromo.org/html/home.asp 

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I mention the pleasantness because it has made therapists and lay people alike doubt the diagnosis. Our kids are 'too happy', 'too nice', I am well known to 'smile too much' etc. I well realize every autistic person is different. I have 5 diagnosed at this point and they are all different :).

 

One of the markers of this syndrome is 'happy'. If it's maternally inherited it tends to look a bit like Angelmans - it's very closely located - which also has a lot of smiling and excitability.

 

Here is something to read that isn't a technical paper and is somewhat shorter;

http://evolvegene.com/genetic-disorders-familyready/15q11-2-deletion-syndrome/

 

It's estimated at 1/12000 occurrence

 

Our kids are all verbal (now) - thanks speech therapy, and are all fairly high functioning. It does have variable expression, like autism, it runs on a spectrum of effects.

 

We mostly have cognitive stuff - the four deleted genes are central nervous system related. We have one known birth defect that they told us could be a genetic disorder while I was pregnant (no tests done then for the safety of the twins). We have some stuff that could be heart related in a couple of kids that we will have to chase down (abnormal hearts in the mix of the syndrome). As always we have to watch for schizophrenia, one child has some early concerning behaviour.

 

So...I'm glad for more testing, glad it was found, and hope to track it down.

Edited by SnMomof7
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I mention the pleasantness because it has made therapists and lay people alike doubt the diagnosis. Our kids are 'too happy', 'too nice', I am well known to 'smile too much' etc. I well realize every autistic person is different. I have 5 diagnosed at this point and they are all different :).

 

 

I think if I heard therapists say this more than once or twice, I would have to develop a very smiley way of saying, "I'm unhappy you are having cognitive dissonance about my child's presentation of their genetic condition. I am happy to point you to literature that documents the happy affect of my children and happy to point you to counseling resources to help you deal with this issue on a personal level so that you can continue to support my family." If that didn't stop it, I would inform them that I'd be happy to help them figure out the function of the behavior (their comments) and happy to help them extinguish it.  :toetap05:

 

They shouldn't make it your problem.

 

Hang in there! I am glad you are getting answers.

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