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Need help regarding cognitive issues

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I feel so discouraged & need help.  My dd has chronic Lyme disease, which I've discussed here previously.  Due to this (and not knowing she had it for so many years) her studies have suffered and have been extremely sporadic and all over the place.  She has gotten treatment, and physically is doing so much better, for which I am so thankful.  She also went from not being able to do any school, or even reading (had to keep reading the same page over & over to try and comprehend anything) to be able to handle a regular schedule.  She does read and enjoys it now.  She loves music, and started guitar last year.  


I thought she had greatly improved cognitively, but hadn't realized until now how much everything is still a huge struggle for her.  She is able to read novels and enjoys them, but it seems like anything else (science, geography, writing) doesn't stick.  She tells me she is able to read & understand the information, but almost immediately forgets the content, so her long-term memory isn't good.  Whenever she does quizes or tests, she has to look in the materials for the answers.  I am not pushing her at all, but she is concerned about the future, going to college, graduating "on-schedule".  She is very worried about how she will take tests in college and just function there, period.


Last year, I searched to resources to help, and found a program used by Bridgeway Academy, "LD Hope".  http://ldhope.org/ .  It is an educational therapy, and she's been using it for 7mos.  She does it for approx. 45min a day, and hasn't seen much progress.  It specifically was supposed to help with her long-term memory.  Since this hasn't seemed to have worked, we are both so discouraged.  I am heartbroken for her, because she feels she won't ever be "normal". (Her words)  


At this point, I am looking for anything else anyone can recommend we try, and also am wondering what kind of testing we can do to see where she's at.  Maybe it isn't as bad as she thinks-I just don't know.  I hate to see this constant, constant struggle.  She basically hates school, but spends most of her time doing it, because she feels she has to, and it's hard to get her to do fun things.  I keep telling her she needs to have fun and experience life, but she always says she can't, she doesn't have time, etc...


Please, please help with any suggestions.



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My son has cerebral palsy, high functioning.

We just finished his second round of neuropsychology testing. They test both short and long term memory and processing speed, among other things. This gives us a great look inside our son's brain to see where he is at on different things. He is wildly 2e and it can be hard for us to challenge him academically.

There might be better testing options that aren't as expensive as full NP eval. Our insurance covers ours because of the cp. you might call local childrens' hospital - normally this falls in behavioral science department.


I would also look at brain foods or post-stroke information, as I think there would be some overlap with Lyme complications. Blueberries, salmon, fish oil, flax seed, etc. Lots of sleep. Short lessons.

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Tammi, is she still being treated? Has she had her thyroid checked? I went through years of treatment for lyme and really struggled with memory and learning during that period and for quite some time afterward. Learning had always been very easy for me and it was eye-opening to see how it felt to struggle in that area. I felt really stupid and incompetent for awhile and it was embarrassing to me. I think the treatment also impacted my thyroid somehow and until I went on meds for that my mind was like a sieve. Since ending treatment, I have gradually returned to my former self. Maybe not totally, but I am also hitting the menopause years, so I'm in a different situation from your dd.


I also have a friend who had a very bright dd who went through a number of years of treatment for chronic lyme and really struggled in school. She's now at a select university and doing well. So, I don't think these effects are forever and I do think they are much worse while going through treatment and shortly afterwards. I think if you have already seen big improvements, you will continue to see more. Also, while there are improvements that you can see, your dd may be comparing her former abilities to her current ones and still really feeling the difference. I know I did and I never thought I'd be the same, but I really have gotten so much better. I hope so much that your dd does as well. It just may take some time.


What about considering a 5th year of high school to take some of the pressure off? Maybe tell your dd, you only want to her to spend from M-F from 8:00-3:00 on school and then if it's not done, then that's okay, but she needs to have a life outside of school. B vitamins might be worth taking as well.

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Try not to get hung up with the idea of going to college "on schedule." She can go on HER schedule, not THE schedule.


I agree that testing by a neuropsychologist would be very helpful. You can't treat what you don't understand. Your doctor may be able to refer you to someone.

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One of my students with dyslexia read really slow but was very smart with a good memory.  His dad did not have as good a memory and was also dyslexic, his dad had to jot down the main idea of each paragraph as he read.  Maybe a similar thing would help here? Write the main idea of each paragraph as she goes.  When my husband wrote his Master's thesis, he made sure that the first sentence of each paragraph was the main idea, then he tagged them all and read them in order and made sure they all flowed, too. (He figured out a way to do it with a macro, I think, he is a computer geek.) He said it was very helpful for seeing the flow of information and ideas. A study of all the main ideas and paragraphs might help, too.  


My kids have had a very bad cold last week that made them really tired, they could not learn anything new, we had a review week in math and LA and I read to them for their science and history and foreign language, my daughter's chemistry I had to use my son's chemistry book the first few days when she was sickest.  My daughter got it a bit earlier and could learn a bit of new stuff yesterday and a lot of new stuff today.  My son is still not well enough to learn new stuff or read science and history on his own.  Also, my son does not have a language brain so we skipped Spanish for him but my daughter could do a bit of Spanish.  But, I did not have to go to a lower level of science with my son and I did with my daughter.  He is naturally better at science and math and engineering than her, and she is better at language arts and foreign languages.


I would try different diet and exercise things and see if anything helps, that is tough.  You could also try some things to build up working memory, there are some posts and ideas about that on the learning challenges board.  



Edited by ElizabethB
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