Jump to content

Menu

Negative Self Talk in children


Recommended Posts

How do you combat negative self talk in your children? My 6 year old has such a negative inner voice, it's worrisome. He is a perfectionist and if he struggles AT ALL or doesn't get everything right he gets so frustrated. I am constantly hearing, "I'm stupid", "I can't do this", "I am never going to get this", or "My brain is broken". I hear this everyday from him. I explain to him that he is very smart and there are a lot of things he can do well. The brain is like a muscle and we need to practice to work it out and that it is ok to make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn. I am trying to empathize with his feelings of frustration and asking what we can do to help. He is not getting this negativity from any outside sources. We are encouraging and extremely positive with him. I am really at a loss at what I can do to help him develop a more forgiving and positive inner voice. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might check into Anxiety Free Kids (parent book with exercises to do with the kids, based on CBT) and the Bucket Full of Happiness books (there are a constellation of those). 

 

I think this one might also be relevant: https://www.rfwp.com/book/making-bad-stuff-good

Do you think this what I am seeing sounds like anxiety? I don't know about anxiety in children. Or do you think those books will help him too?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly it does sound like he could be dealing with outside the norm anxiety/perfectionism (which can stem from anxiety and feed into each other).  He may very well benefit from CBT based assistance.   I would be proactive about helping him in a very targeted fashion while he is still young enough he may be compliant.  Kids who struggle with extreme levels of anxiety can end up really struggling by the pre-teen years and it is MUCH harder to get them the help they need when they hit that age.  

 

You might consider an evaluation through a qualified professional.  It can take a long time to get in with someone to get an assessment so getting on a waiting list would be a good idea.  If it turns out this is just a phase of some kind or you find help through the books above and end up not needing outside assistance you can always cancel.  On the other hand, if this does not improve or gets worse you know you already have an appointment scheduled.  You might talk to your pediatrician (if they are the type that would have some clue who to refer you to or even that some children need help at this age with anxiety; not all do) and see if they can get you a referral.  In the meantime, I agree, check out the resources mentioned by kbutton and see if they help you/him.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While you can tell him 'mistakes are how we learn'?

 

Rather you could introduce him to the 'scientific process', of Discovery?

Which basically explores different options (variables) along a path ?

To identify how they result in different outcomes?

 

While we can say 'mistakes are how we learn'?   

This can suggest that we try to make mistakes?

 

Where it would be better to explain it as, "we learn by exploring different options'.

With a focus on exploring different options, to arrive at an outcome?

The idea of 'mistakes', disappears.

Rather, we learn how different options can effect an intended outcome?

 

The kitchen could be a good place to explore this with him?  

Where cooking anything, has so many variables?

Which is what makes cooking interesting.

So that we are forever learning about cooking, by exploring these options.

But we wont know the real effect, until we try it.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think this what I am seeing sounds like anxiety? I don't know about anxiety in children. Or do you think those books will help him too?

 

I think that these sorts of things are all related--like different sides of the same coin. One kid might present as anxious and one as perfectionistic, and they both might have negative self-talk. 

 

The Good Things Bad book (or whatever it's called) and the Bucket of Happiness books are more general. The idea of the bucket books is that everyone has a bucket they use to keep themselves happy. There are things you can do to add to your own bucket or someone else's bucket, and likewise, things you can do that deplete those buckets. I think it includes things like how you talk to yourself. 

 

The anxiety book has chapters on taking control of your thoughts. They have confidence boosting activities. I think there is some overlap, and if some anxiety comes out in the process, this book would give you some good information. I think that it's possible to approach this book as a self-awareness sort of thing and then watch to see what your child says. Just having words for things sometimes brings out a surprising load of insight from kids. These really are good tools--they can be used for building resiliency to handle life's stresses. It could be that you find out the negative self-talk is rooted in a different personality style as well. For instance, I am a glass half empty kind of person, and some people find that negative. I find glass half full to be negative, personally. Things go wrong in life, no matter how careful you are. Glass half full sets me up for disappointment and doesn't give me permission to plan a response if things really tank. It also doesn't give me permission to be disappointed, and then deal with it. It says I have no right to be disappointed. Glass half empty helps me moderate my expectations/responses, and if things go south, I am prepared, If they are fantastic, I am over the moon. No harm done. Your child might need some strategies for being positive through mental preparation vs. just positive thinking, KWIM? I think this book could help. It's a tool and doesn't have to be prejudicial. It can be something you use to probe a bit, but otherwise, you are just giving your child more tools for the future. If you hit an unexpected pothole of anxiety, this book would give you resources and help you know if you need more help.

 

I think anxiety in kids is something that presents in a wide variety of ways (adults too, but kids more so because they may not really have enough life under their belt to know that something is different than it should be), I couldn't say for sure whether you are seeing anxiety. I can say this stuff is all bound up together for a lot of people, including kids. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kind of realized that I had not affirmed your approach with your son--empathizing/affirming and assisting him with problem solving. Those are good things! It just sounds like you need more tools to see if this is deeper, or if you just haven't stumbled upon the most meaningful strategy specific to him (some kids have to be the one person who's different and needs a different approach, lol! I am one of those people). Time will tell, but you aren't doing anything wrong that I can see.

 

It occurred to me that you might need to hear that.  :grouphug:

 

There have been some interesting threads on here lately about interoception. There are lots of threads about Zones of Regulation. Some kids need help connecting bodily cues related to stress or feelings with the actual feelings, words, behavior. If there is a spectrum of metacognition about these things, I am proposing there is perhaps a general rule. Kids for whom CBT and talk therapy makes immediate sense are on one side, where kids who respond to Zones or interoception work are on the other. Then, each end might need help connecting the thoughts/behaviors with the body and sensory cues and vice versa. Some kids probably need to start at one end and work their way the other direction, It sounds like your son might really be able to verbalize frustration well, but perhaps, he needs to know about some bodily cues that lead up to those thoughts and feelings coming out. Zones of Regulation or interoception work might be helpful too. He might internalize stress and not notice it until the negative talk comes out. Other kids might internalize the talk (or not have words for it), and the stress leaks out in behavior or chronic GI issues, headaches, etc.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I absolutely agree with kbutton and OneStepAtATime about the anxiety angle, and second the recommendation for What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake. It may be a little much for him now, but there are definitely aspects that you can implement with him. 

 

One of the comments he's made, "My brain is broken," sounds very specific to me, and makes me wonder if he's picked up on something from any of the adults in his life. While I'm sure no one would use that phrase or speak negatively about him, he may have overheard a conversation or comment that he's interpreted this way. I'm not sure if you posted on the LC board because of his perfectionism or because he is a child with learning challenges, but if he does have special needs or learning difficulties I would wonder how much he knows and understands about them. More or less information may be helpful to him at this point, but I would at least want to make sure he doesn't have any misunderstandings. If you have chosen (or do choose) to share information about his challenges with him, I would go ahead and teach him about the specific parts of his brain that work a little differently. Mainly, I would point out how tiny they are compared to the rest of the brain (my kid likes this, and the "we're more alike than different" attitude), and how amazing the human brain is in the first place. Combatting his negative self-talk with specifics and facts may add to the effectiveness of your encouraging words. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I absolutely agree with kbutton and OneStepAtATime about the anxiety angle, and second the recommendation for What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake. It may be a little much for him now, but there are definitely aspects that you can implement with him. 

 

One of the comments he's made, "My brain is broken," sounds very specific to me, and makes me wonder if he's picked up on something from any of the adults in his life. While I'm sure no one would use that phrase or speak negatively about him, he may have overheard a conversation or comment that he's interpreted this way. I'm not sure if you posted on the LC board because of his perfectionism or because he is a child with learning challenges, but if he does have special needs or learning difficulties I would wonder how much he knows and understands about them. More or less information may be helpful to him at this point, but I would at least want to make sure he doesn't have any misunderstandings. If you have chosen (or do choose) to share information about his challenges with him, I would go ahead and teach him about the specific parts of his brain that work a little differently. Mainly, I would point out how tiny they are compared to the rest of the brain (my kid likes this, and the "we're more alike than different" attitude), and how amazing the human brain is in the first place. Combatting his negative self-talk with specifics and facts may add to the effectiveness of your encouraging words. 

He has in the past overheard me talking with his therapists. He understands a little of what is going on. We have been trying to be more careful about this in the past year. It makes it hard to communicate with his therapists and Doctors, since we see them when he is there.

 

Does he have any diagnosed SLDs?

 

Yes, in Reading, Writing and Math. He currently sees a tutor to help in these areas.

 

He has CAS (childhood apraxia or speech)

Expressive and receptive speech delay

Sensory Processing Disorder

ADHD/ Hyperkenetic disorder (basically the same thing but he was given both diagnosis' from two separate therapists)

Poor working memory

Slow processing speed

Recently we have been seeing self harming behavior which we are seeking professional help for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not a health professional. My only experience with this sort of behavior is my own son who is about to be 18 years old. He is 2e with 3 SLDS. His diagnosis came on his 8th birthday, so he was older than your little one. Son's verbal comp and perceptual reasoning scores were good, so whenever the "I'm stupid talk" came up, I mentioned the independent testing and the scores. He quit arguing with me. I also quit trying to convince him that he was smart. Yeah, he is smart but that doesnt stop the fact that learning is hard. DS never had to mention that part because I affirmed and trianguated the difficulties. Somehow, DS started to see that the issues did not define him and he was able to distance himself from the issues. DH and I minimized school work and involved our son in sports (where he is not very good at) and other activities. My DH is extremely hands-on and DS developed many hobbies.

 

When "the talk" began, I looked for signs that he was pushed beyond his limits and then we took a break. There were many hugs. DS was not present when we spoke about his SLDs. Years later with independent standardized testing, he never knew his scores or asked about them.

 

Maybe try to observe when "the talk" starts. My son was never able to really recover after Wilson tutoring because he was mentally exhausted. He used a Wilson tutor 3 times per week at 45mins per session. Sometimes he worked up to an hour. Early on, math was maybe 15 minutes with graph paper, manipulatives, and colored pencils. Handwriting at this age should not be an issue. Scribe for him and be done with that. Anyhoo...

 

My DD rips paper when she gets frustrated. DS takes timed breaks or hops on the elliptical for 5 minutes to reset. When he was younger, he rotated the laundry, checked the mail, and fixed himself a drink. I guess we try to replace the neg talk with some sort of activity.

 

Eta: When you son starts speaking negatively, maybe that means he needs a break. Maybe instead of saying negative things about himself, replace that behavior with him raising his hand to indicate to you that he needs a pause of some sort.

 

You are working with many health care professionals. Maybe solicit their advice since they work directly with your son.

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, in Reading, Writing and Math. He currently sees a tutor to help in these areas.

 

He has CAS (childhood apraxia or speech)

Expressive and receptive speech delay

Sensory Processing Disorder

ADHD/ Hyperkenetic disorder (basically the same thing but he was given both diagnosis' from two separate therapists)

Poor working memory

Slow processing speed

Recently we have been seeing self harming behavior which we are seeking professional help for.

 

Wow! That's quite a list. 

 

Does he have things he looks forward to that are not tied at all to completing work, etc.? Does he get to do them regularly? Do they give him a sense of accomplishment or make him feel capable? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He has in the past overheard me talking with his therapists. He understands a little of what is going on. We have been trying to be more careful about this in the past year. It makes it hard to communicate with his therapists and Doctors, since we see them when he is there.

 

Yes, in Reading, Writing and Math. He currently sees a tutor to help in these areas.

 

He has CAS (childhood apraxia or speech)

Expressive and receptive speech delay

Sensory Processing Disorder

ADHD/ Hyperkenetic disorder (basically the same thing but he was given both diagnosis' from two separate therapists)

Poor working memory

Slow processing speed

Recently we have been seeing self harming behavior which we are seeking professional help for.

 

That is quite a tough situation. It sounds like just by going to various doctors, tutors, and therapists he's noticed that something is going on, and overhearing bits and pieces is a little confusing for him. While some communication with his therapists and doctors is best kept private, as your son gets older he's going to become more aware of his challenges, and will need to be educated about them. Your son really does have a lot going on, and finding a counselor for him, you, or your family might be the resource you need to help him understand and accept his challenges (at an age and developmentally appropriate pace) . Because of the overlap with your son's challenges, a counselor who specializes in ASD would likely have a lot to contribute, and would have experience helping kids to understand and accept that their brain works a little differently, but is far from "broken". 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! That's quite a list. 

 

Does he have things he looks forward to that are not tied at all to completing work, etc.? Does he get to do them regularly? Do they give him a sense of accomplishment or make him feel capable? 

He loves sports, he is very active and he gets a break between each subject to move and be active in anyway he wants. I would like to sign him up for a sports league, he would love that, but honestly with school and his therapies I just can't add anything else right now. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I would prioritize sports (or something where he is successful) over therapy or school.

I will second this. It was an extracurricular activity with a major physical component (Irish dance) that made a huge difference to one of my children who was suffering from a lot of anxiety, perfectionism, and obsessive behavior. No therapy could have done for her what that activity did.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I tend to do is warn DS ahead of time, if I think something may be difficult.  I do it in a fun/serious way.  If you know a subject will be hard (whatever subject), you can start up with ... most people need to do this 1,000 times before they get it right even once!  You may need to tone it down to 100 or whatever, but DS tends to think something will be possible the first time, and perfect the second (or whatever).  I think a more realistic thought is handfuls/dozens of times just to do it right, plus lots more to be okay at something.  

 

Another book that may be helpful is What to Do When you Worry too Much (by the same company as Mistakes make you quake).  They may be a little over him.  It might be better to just use good picture books about failing and trying again, perseverance, etc.  

 

That age is hard, especially with school, tutoring, homework, etc.  Plus, the school requirements are horrible for LD. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would try to build in some therapy breaks, if possible. Even if it's like taking a week off every so many weeks for therapy. I am also wondering if any of your therapies are combined--most places have kids working on language issues along with articulation, etc. 

 

He is little enough that his activities don't necessarily need to be super formal or long-term. Our kids do not do heavy duty sports, but we try to get them in leagues where you have one practice and one game per week. That's it. I think our leagues here that do this run for about 9 weeks, which is longer than I would prefer, but it really helps. 

 

He might still be a little young for scouting, but that sort of thing is usually really good. Do Your Best is really the rule there, and they are exposed to tons of different things. They are usually very understanding about disabilities also.

 

I do think that getting him into something that makes him feel successful is important. If therapies have to shift a little, they have to shift, or you might be looking at bigger problems down the road. 

 

This is not a "be even more a super mom" talk. It's be mama bear and tell your therapists that quality of life is important. Find out how you can cut back enough to do something that would make him feel successful and have fun in another area of life. 

 

If people are stressing you out with "you have to do this" and "but he'll lose ground if you take off too much time," put the responsibility on them to help you figure out how much of a break you can take, how often, etc. Sometimes you do have to lose a little ground to keep your kid (and yourself) sane. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He loves sports, he is very active and he gets a break between each subject to move and be active in anyway he wants. I would like to sign him up for a sports league, he would love that, but honestly with school and his therapies I just can't add anything else right now. 

 

I also lean toward taking breaks from tutoring and therapy or possibly cutting the tutoring hours back temporarily, in favour of some balance and joining an activity that serves as both a social outlet and confidence-booster.

 

I know it's easy to overload a little kid when Therapist A suggests X hours a week, Therapist B insists that he'll regress if you don't do Y hours, and Tutor C guarantees she can get him up to to grade level in 6 months if you go Z hours. Working with tutors and therapists is incredibly draining on our kids. They only see your child for that hour and want to make the best use of the time they have, so in many cases they push hard. Being pushed that hard every day, or nearly every day, takes a toll. I understand that you don't want to drop math, reading, or writing entirely when LDs are involved, but 15-20 minutes of light work with Mom may be more appropriate right now than a full hour of intensive tutoring. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While you initially described it as 'Perfectionism'.

What I wonder, is if he has a lack of trust.

In his own decision making?

 

Which comes back to 'self-talk'.

Where given his awareness of his various 'difficulties'.

That he is constantly questioning answers/ conclusions that he arrived at?

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

HOW TO RESPOND TO NEGATIVE SELF-TALK.

When negative self-talk spews from your child’s mouth, your knee-jerk reaction is to stop it. To give your child some reassurance or to convince them that their thinking is flawed.

Unfortunately, their words may match their feelings. They do not feel “loveable†or “wonderful†(as you may suggest), they feel “dumb,†“stupid,†and “like the worst kid in the world.â€

Instead of moving in to fix it, try these ideas to address the underlying feeling and their internal struggle.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He has in the past overheard me talking with his therapists. He understands a little of what is going on. We have been trying to be more careful about this in the past year. It makes it hard to communicate with his therapists and Doctors, since we see them when he is there.

 

 

Yes, in Reading, Writing and Math. He currently sees a tutor to help in these areas.

 

He has CAS (childhood apraxia or speech)

Expressive and receptive speech delay

Sensory Processing Disorder

ADHD/ Hyperkenetic disorder (basically the same thing but he was given both diagnosis' from two separate therapists)

Poor working memory

Slow processing speed

Recently we have been seeing self harming behavior which we are seeking professional help for.

 

 

...When "the talk" began, I looked for signs that he was pushed beyond his limits and then we took a break. There were many hugs. DS was not present when we spoke about his SLDs. Years later with independent standardized testing, he never knew his scores or asked about them...

 

Honestly, you could fill in your sig a bit? I've seen your posts and I can't remember everything to connect dots here. You have an older dc diagnosed with ASD, yes? And this is a younger sibling of that dc (bio?) who has apraxia, all the learning disabilities, sensory, etc. My ds has that list, and they finally moved him over to an ASD diagnosis. It would be a more complete explanation of what is going on.

 

Now, literally my ds has your ds' list, just he's a little older. I can tell you that my ds has behaviors like that biting when he can't put what he's frustrated about into words. Like he really can't, even though we've worked and worked and worked on language, even though sometimes he has amazing language! Like he has a 99th percentile vocabulary, and this boy CANNOT tell you what's wrong. 

 

That means we're stuck guessing. Trying to figure it out. Putting things out there (A, B, C, D) and helping put words to it.

 

I don't know how you decided to use tutors for all his SLDs, and your sig is not filled in. You have a lot of kids and are stretched thin?

 

There are no good printed materials for SLD math. There just aren't. So chalk that one up that almost anything the tutor is doing is probably frustrating the TAR out of him. The tutor will have no training in language delays (unless they're an SLP),meaning if they're working on writing they're frustrating the TAR out of him. The tutor will have no training in language (again, unless they're an SLP), meaning if they're working on reading they're frustrating the TAR out of him.

 

I got pressure from a really idiot psych to put my ds in with a really $$$ swanky OG tutor in town. Sounds great, they know OG. But that tutor admits her autistic kids get so frustrated they're hiding under the tables. Are you in the room to know what's happening? And you get in there, and she's NOT really,really, really truly multi-sensory, not like a kid with THIS MANY brain disconnects needs. So instead of an approach filled with games and motion (OT activities, Peggy Kaye games, etc) the kids have charts on the wall and interact with text. The tutor had no ability to merge my ds' significant speech therapy hands-on needs with the reading instruction, and how are you supposed to teach somebody to connect speech and print if you can't DO the speech therapy???

 

So the problem is the tutor or the tutors. Fire the tutors. Right now his stress level is through the chart, and reality is he's going to need a lot of compassion, a lot of really gentle, creative, way out of the box instruction. 

 

He's only 6 and it's possible academics aren't THE most important thing right now. I would figure out who has the time to work with him in the way he really needs to be worked with. That's going to mean he's paired in a trusting relationship with someone who has the time to commit to WHATEVER IT TAKES. 

 

At least that's what I've had to do with my ds, and his list is like your ds'. Do what you want. Maybe I'm wasting my breath. I always do.

 

I'm just saying teach him with integrity and truth. One person, paired to him, committed to giving voice to how he's feeling, committed to working on what he really needs. What he really needs is success, a sense of routine, relationships, and foundational skills of social thinking, communication, self-regulation. If you have those, you can get all the rest.

 

At that age were doing Ronit Bird Math (great), Barton + LIPS (not a perfect fit, needed a LOT of adaptation), speech therapy, etc. We started seeing holes here and there (his autism was about to be diagnosed), but now those holes are much more obvious. Yes holes like knowing how you're feeling (interroception), but also holes like categorizing nouns, sequencing a story, putting words to a story, saying how two pictures go together, etc.

 

We got a language bump when we got his reflexes to integrate. Has your OT checked for retained reflexes? 

 

I don't know, I'm not meaning to give you a hard time. When they don't diagnose the ASD, people think things are fixable and they try to fix, fix, fix. Once we finally got the ASD diagnosis, we could be more honest. My ds is just flat 2 years behind. Like put a pin in it, subtract 2 and the kid is suddenly golden. And I guess we could really spend a lot of effort saying be he's SO DANG SMART that we ought to FIX that, and that's how you end up with a kid who is that frustrated. Like is it REALLY necessary?? Or could we really just go dude, if we subtract 2 he actually really makes sense. My ds is getting into a show on Disney Junior (Lion Guard). He's about to turn 9. But the humor, the language, all that was way over him for a long time and he was more at a Paw Patrol stage. Doesn't matter that he also has conversations with you about whether helicopters were in WW2! Reality is, emotionally and in lots of ways, my ds is on his own pace. 

 

So go look at a Timberdoodle grade leveled kit for your ds' age minus 2 and see if some of the things fit developmentally, emotionally, and would be enjoyed by him. They might have the LANGUAGE he needs. Language is where it's at. Nouns, categorizing, all these funky skills later become what allows them to sequence and put together an intelligent paragraph in 4th, 5th, 6th. So when you go up but he needs MATH, you get to the later years and realize he has holes.

 

I don't know that I could have done so much better when my ds was that age. He was really challenging to work with. I would be really cautious about your team. I don't know why you think he knows what those terms and SLDs mean. All he knows is how they make him feel in the moment, that it's shady, that it's something bad. He doesn't know anyone else (an adult, a SUCCESSFUL adult) with those disabilities to put a healthy picture on those terms. I find brilliant, successful people online and I show him the pics and I say see that guy, he's the president of Virgin Mobil, he's rich and creative, and reading was hard for him too. And see that guy with the crazy hair, he discovered relativity and was BRILLIANT, and math was hard for him too. And we do that over and over, because I want to define what those terms mean for him. Autism has been the hardest term, because it's so abstract. He still doesn't get it. We just slowly talk about it. He talks about his need to be alone and says he's just not that kind of boy (to go out, to do things) and we put a word to it (there's a greek word, the prefix AUT), and we talk about who feels that way and has an AUT and whether we give in to the aut or what we do with our aut.

 

That wasn't a conversation we needed to have at 6, btw. He didn't realize he was different. But yes, your dc has ears. You can EMAIL the therapists. 

 

If you have time, fire the tutors and just play with him. Or find a grandma or one really committed, way out of the box worker to work with him. Everything he needs now could be done almost entirely with play. You want to focus on language. Language is so important for him. 

 

This is a marathon, not a short race. I taught my dd all through high school, and I've seen how well it can go. A dd like that makes you look kinda good! With my ds, I'm having to focus on working together in integrity. He has to be successful relative to exactly who he is. Kids want to wake up to joy and pleasure and compassion. Even kids with social withdrawal actually WANT to be interacted with. Now that he's turning 9, we're sometimes doing things that resemble school. All the rest of the day? Play, lots of really intentional play together. Peggy Kaye games, board games, playmobil and soldiers, you name it. We play games for math, games for handwriting, games for LA. My gifted ds is doing a mix of 1st to 4th grade level worksheets. He does quite a few actually but right now he's doing successfully some books he just flat WAS NOT READY FOR earlier, and they're 1st grade level. So he doesn't have to feel dumb and frustrated, because I'm thinking that long-term, that it's OK to say grade minus two. I'm in it for the long haul. If he gets by 10th to where my dd was in 5th or 7th, that's gonna be really brilliant. Gifted IQ.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you get him qualified for National Library Service/BARD? If you have your psych eval, take that to your ped with the forms and you're there, boom. We LOVE BARD. NLS will send you a player. You would think Oh I don't want that, I have a kindle or ipad, but actually the player is really nice and durable. We use ours a LOT. We use our kindle a lot to, but we like the player. He's using it right now to listen to Zootopia. 

 

GPP is one of the best things we did for language. The Grammar Processing Program | Product Info and it's on sale right now. Look at the samples, but this program was HUGE for my ds. If you're going to pay tutors anything, pay them to work on stuff like this. Seriously.

 

216 Fold & Say WH Question Scenes | Book | Product Info  We're getting a TON of mileage out of this. We could have used it at 6. We use it both ways now. He answers the questions AND he then asks them. Asking questions is the whole basis for having a reciprocal conversation. So if you can't look at non-verbals and think up some intelligent questions to ask, how are you going to have a conversation? It's called social wondering, and we pay therapists $100 an hour to teach our kids this. This book makes it easy to work on. Don't max him out and make him melt, kwim? Just do a *little bit* each day. If he can't ask the questions yet, it's good enough for him to answer. Then, go through the book again, this time with him asking.

 

Wasn't Somebody Looking for DeGaetano's "Attention Good Listeners ...  This book was exceptional for helping my ds discriminate sounds in words. We were doing LIPS as well and LIPS is good, yes. But this book was terrific.

 

Ronit Bird - Specialist in Dyscalculia and Arithmetic Difficulties Start with her Dots ebook. It's under $10. If your tutor won't use it, fire 'em. If they will use it, bless their feet and take them cookies regularly. This is THE book. You want this. SLAP anybody who makes your kid feel dumb by handing them stuff they can't do. This is math broken down, so focused on understanding, that he CAN do it. Let it make you angry that tutors would use something that would make him feel dumb. Don't allow it.

 

My ds began speech therapy at newly 2 and is still in it. We've had pauses, etc., but in general he has averaged 2 hours a week of speech therapy. That was only his PROMPT to work on the motor planning for speech. That didn't allow them any time to work on expressive language. Language is an ENDLESS PIT. It's the thing that underlies everything, connects everything, and just about guaranteed it's what's glitching up almost anything that is going wrong in his whole life. Whether the CELF or whatever they're running at the moment shows it or not (they don't consider discrepancy), language is guaranteed underlying things.

 

So for my ds, working on GPP made his reading come in. He didn't have the language to UNDERSTAND what he was decoding. In straight dyslexia, that isn't an issue! So it's almost abusive, because the OG tutor will be like but I teach them and it works. Not this kid. This kid, you have to teach them to decode the words AND you have to build their understanding of what the words mean.

 

It's a very perverse set of disabilities. It's really on the unfair list, if you wanna have a little chat with God about it. You're like REALLY, was it REALLY necessary to make everything glitch like this? 

 

There are more unfair things on the list of life, sure. Like genetic disorders on top of cancer. Downs plus autism. There are some really sucky combinations. But as they go, this is a pretty challenging combo. 

 

I decided my ds isn't dumb--my METHODS are dumb. There's nothing wrong with my ds' ability to learn; there's a problem with my ability to TEACH in the way that he needs. My ds is a brilliant learner, when I finally figure out what the hole was and address it in a way he can connect with. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My ds got into a really negative rut. There's a term "negative perseveration" and it's basically being stuck in negative mode. What I did for that was to start being in there every morning when he wakes up. We do sensory and we talk. I try to get him talking about something really happy, really positive, a happy place. For us, that happy place is Disney. Have you been to Disney? I know money is real, but even our behaviorist was pointing out HOW MUCH mileage we got out of our trip.

 

Don't take the whole family. Just take your ds and have one or two epiphany days somewhere, somewhere where they totally accommodate his list of disabilities and difficulties, somewhere where it's all magical, where he eats what he wants and seems "normal." It could be a hotel with an indoor swim park. I don't know whatever. For us, that place was Disney. They gave us the DAS (disability access service pass) and even things like his (really horrific honestly) waiting behaviors were suddenly not an issue. 

 

So yes, in the morning we do mindfulness, really intentional, positive mindfulness. We go back to our happy place and we talk about it and take our minds back there for 5 minutes. It helped break that negative perseveration. Because that negativity was really, really hard to deal with. And for him, the little stuff makes him happy about his happy place. Like we'll talk about what made the chocolate milk so good, like was it the texture or the intensity of the chocolate or the generous servings or... And it's shocking how much these simple things really help! Maybe you had a family vacation he enjoyed, some place he can go in his mind for a bit and remember and analyze afresh. When we remember, we actually pull up the memory and can ADD to it and reframe it. So you can expand it and make it even MORE happy in his mind, more fresh. So we'll say hey, if you could do any ride in MK today, what would it be, why... how does it feel... Or if you could be there today, would you rather be at HS or MK and why... And he remembers how he felt, the wind, the swirling of the rides, the strong sensory. SENSORY is why Disney is so awesome for our kids, kwim? It was days of incredible sensory input plus no disabilities. Totally awesome.

 

We're going back for a couple days soon, assuming these crazy hurricanes don't wipe us out. It's an expense, but we have gotten so much mileage from it. But you know a smaller thing like a state fair, a local theme park, anything where you can pair sensory and really positive experiences, something you can use as a happy place for positive mindfulness. You can read about mindfulness and use your creativity to adapt it to what you've got.

Edited by OhElizabeth
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...