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Joyful Journeys

Suggestions for us? Vision, Dysgraphia, ADHD, Retained Reflexes, come on in!

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I think if it is SLD writing, it's still going to be SLD writing in a year or two or three.  I wouldn't sweat that.  I think the vision problems + the ADHD explain the spelling.  I would encourage you to use a multi-pronged approach to the spelling.  She can visualize the words and spell them aloud backward.  Also get them into apps.  Also do dictation.  That's why the VT is so important.

 

Many kids with ADHD will have retained reflexes, so yes an OT eval.

 

As far as your 3 yo, I'd encourage you to bring help into the home and pronto.  As soon as you have the diagnosis and qualify.  I understand what you mean about your ds being this black hole, sucking up energy.  You're going to need help.

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I think if it is SLD writing, it's still going to be SLD writing in a year or two or three. I wouldn't sweat that. I think the vision problems + the ADHD explain the spelling. I would encourage you to use a multi-pronged approach to the spelling. She can visualize the words and spell them aloud backward. Also get them into apps. Also do dictation. That's why the VT is so important.

 

Many kids with ADHD will have retained reflexes, so yes an OT eval.

 

As far as your 3 yo, I'd encourage you to bring help into the home and pronto. As soon as you have the diagnosis and qualify. I understand what you mean about your ds being this black hole, sucking up energy. You're going to need help.

My 8 yr old doesn't have ADHD as far as we can tell. She had a computer eval through the ped (same place that said dd6 DEF does) and she passed with flying colors. She can attend really well. Spelling then, must be vision. If she's so focused on having the letters the right way in her mind (during testing she hardly was able to say when they were reversed) then it stands to reason that spelling is super hard.

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How does being African American affect this? She is half AA, half Mexican American. 

 

It does make sense. The psych said on paper that the raw scores alone would qualify for SLD written expression. But that there is a clause in the DSM that if the child has not had exposure to some of the tasks in the testing, that should play a role. I find it kind of silly though since odds are even public school kids may not have been asked to do these sort of things before? For instance building a sentence out of two: The dog is brown. The dog likes to run. Combining them you would say, "the brown dog likes to run." She answered instead "the dog is brown and the dog likes to run." I asked her to write a sentence about her favorite thing about the summer as another poster suggested. She wrote "i like watr becus it is cool." I just don't know that there's anything wrong, but then again, I've not asked for more before. 

IDK why I even mentioned the AA aspect of the IQ discrepancy and diagnosis.  A mom that had adopted a biracial child mentioned it on the forums.  I don't even know if this is a national thing or restricted to the State of CA.  I looked it up and found this link.   Ask your tester and please correct if I am wrong.

 

When I mentioned the ASD aspect of OT, I was in fact thinking of your 3 yo child.  I just want to be clear that OT work can help a lot, but it is not a cure all for motor issues.  There are moms that have literally been taking their ASD children to OT for years because reflex issues keep arising.  I just do not want to sell at home OT like it is the end all be all of remediation because it is not.  

 

OT and ped PT work was huge for my son.  He had the STNR, ATNR, and the spinal galant.  Those reflexes affected his ability to sit in a chair properly.  His posture and gait were seriously affected.  He developed a left side weakness.  The kid would literally stretch out every time he sat in a desk, and he would trip people.  When forced to sit straight, he curled up into a little ball and hunched over his school work.  Once the reflexes were integrated, he had to perform postural exercises and work on overall stability and balance.  Those exercises enabled him to improve his bilateral coordination well enough to learn how to swim.  After all of the ped PT work, we placed him in an adult swim class.  DS was 1 of 5 adult students and began swimming after about 3 lessons.  It was awesome.  Lastly, the VT sent us for the OT work because she felt his vision issues were based upon developmental motor aka prim reflexes. Anyhoo..

 

Good luck and congrats for getting the testing.  

Edited by Heathermomster
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I don't know whether the IQ issue is just a CA thing...I found this paper titled Riverside County Special Education Local Plan Area Assessing African-Americans for Special Education.  I suggest you speak with your NP and discover whether this info affects your child's testing results.  If you reside in another state, it may not matter.  A mom came on the boards and mentioned this info several weeks ago.  

 

ETA: Here's more CA info.

Edited by Heathermomster
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It really does appear to be a CA thing. I'm not going to worry about it. We've only been a psychologist, not an NP, and now I kind of wish I had, though I believe she ran all the possible tests that would be needed. 

 

On the reflex point, I think you're right. I can't do that at home myself with DD6,  so I'll have to figure it out. We went to visit DS's prek today and again she freaked out. She goes into fight or flight mode so easily, stressed by noises, crowds, other children in general in addition to her inattention. She's just very socially immature and anxious.  The ATNR presents with her awkward handwriting grip which I have no idea how to correct.

Edited by Joyful Journeys
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We discussed a book on ADHD a while back that suggested STNR and ATNR go together and gave treatment protocol.  

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We discussed a book on ADHD a while back that suggested STNR and ATNR go together and gave treatment protocol.  

 

 Oh I will search for that thanks! OT says STNR is not retained.

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Fascinating stuff!  The book (Stopping ADHD? I forget) seemed to imply treating STNR would automatically integrate ATNR as well.  I get them all muddled.  Our OT was RMT trained, so that's what she liked.  You can google image to find pictures of some of the exercises.  I'm really not an expert or anything on it.

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On the reflex point, I think you're right. I can't do that at home myself with DD6,  so I'll have to figure it out. We went to visit DS's prek today and again she freaked out. She goes into fight or flight mode so easily, stressed by noises, crowds, other children in general in addition to her inattention. She's just very socially immature and anxious.  The ATNR presents with her awkward handwriting grip which I have no idea how to correct.

 

Fight or flight is often Moro. As for ATNR and STNR, we've had kids evaluated by two different kinds of professionals, and my DH (who has a medical background) looked at reflexes, and all three lists were slightly different! They all used slightly different methods to evaluate as well. It's not a cut and dry thing, unfortunately.

 

You might proceed as if ATNR, STNR, and Moro are retained with home exercises. We found good results through duck and pigeon exercises for Moro (in a progression of skills), and with a progression of skills that targeted ATNR and STNR--they were bilateral exercises that included bear walking. lizard, and some other stuff that I often see as separate exercises. Our therapy was very structured in a series with no moving on to one until you had the first one down. Then, you kept at the first one and added distractions while work on the next, and so on.

 

My other son's fight or flight (presumably Moro, but he was not checked at that OT place--we were just told his reflexes appeared integrated) was resolved with a brushing protocol for maybe two weeks. You definitely want OT advice on that. If it's not helpful, it can really ramp things up.

 

With all the exercises, we found that things kind of peaked after a couple of days and got really hard, then they got inexplicably easier, and we would move onto the next step. That was true of brushing. My son that had brushing was a hot mess several days into it, but by the end of the two weeks, he was chill. It was wild.

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I gotta check my Moro. I scream at the top of my lungs when someone startled me. My poor postman. I screamed right in his face and couldn't stop. I also have frequent run-away fantasies.

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Fight or flight is often Moro. As for ATNR and STNR, we've had kids evaluated by two different kinds of professionals, and my DH (who has a medical background) looked at reflexes, and all three lists were slightly different! They all used slightly different methods to evaluate as well. It's not a cut and dry thing, unfortunately.

 

You might proceed as if ATNR, STNR, and Moro are retained with home exercises. We found good results through duck and pigeon exercises for Moro (in a progression of skills), and with a progression of skills that targeted ATNR and STNR--they were bilateral exercises that included bear walking. lizard, and some other stuff that I often see as separate exercises. Our therapy was very structured in a series with no moving on to one until you had the first one down. Then, you kept at the first one and added distractions while work on the next, and so on.

 

My other son's fight or flight (presumably Moro, but he was not checked at that OT place--we were just told his reflexes appeared integrated) was resolved with a brushing protocol for maybe two weeks. You definitely want OT advice on that. If it's not helpful, it can really ramp things up.

 

With all the exercises, we found that things kind of peaked after a couple of days and got really hard, then they got inexplicably easier, and we would move onto the next step. That was true of brushing. My son that had brushing was a hot mess several days into it, but by the end of the two weeks, he was chill. It was wild.

 

Yes, OT said Moro! I just realized I didn't put that in my post. So yea, reading all the symptoms it was a big a-ha moment, she goes from just fine to complete breakdown in 5 minutes. Socially I'm very concerned, I mean it could be her just being an introvert, but if almost any kid talks to her she physically retreats. She told me yesterday she hates going to stores because there are so many people and people just scare her.  :ohmy: I'm just so floored with the more and more she tells me she feels and I think sending her to PS in this state would be akin to torture.

 

Ah, so the evals aren't standard either, ugh! I think I definitely want a structured progression. Better get her set up to start next month. OT recommended a "wiggle seat" too as just sitting in a chair is apparently super hard beyond just not wanting to eat dinner. She frequently will be at dinner with one foot in the chair and one of the floor!

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There's a retained reflex that makes it hard to sit.  Sounds like you definitely need some reflex work, mercy. 

 

Amazon.com : Inflated Stability Wobble Cushion, Including Free Pump / Exercise Fitness Core Balance Disc, Blue, size: 13 inches / 33 cm diameter : Sports & Outdoors

 

This is working well for us. It also comes in a 14 inch.  If you can get the 14 inch in the color you need, go for it.  13 fits our chair and had the right color, but I would have done 14 if I could have.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Insisting that DS sit with the retained reflexes over the years started to literally wreck his posture. Prior to reflex integration exercises, we accidentally discovered that he worked best standing at a counter or working at the counter while sitting on a stool so that he could keep his legs straight and shift to a standing position.

Edited by Heathermomster
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