Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

sbgrace

inattentive math errors--how to grade, how to help

Recommended Posts

My son has ADHD, and some other stuff going on that also affect attention to a greater or lesser degree--OCD, generalized anxiety, and autism.

 

With all this going on, executive skills are really weak, and that includes the ability to sustain attention. Medication helps, math is "impossible" without, but he still struggles with attention. 

 

He's working in Algebra, and he's placed correctly. He was half way through a course (CLE Algebra), and insisting he wanted to do it all without me. He would takes hours due to distraction, and then have tons of silly mistakes also due to distraction. We have started again with a new Algebra program (Lials) that will allow for more adjustment to the number of problems he does in a day and I am, again, sitting with him to help him maintain focus throughout the lesson. 

 

It's going better in terms of time spent on Algebra. Still, he makes lots of inattention type errors, some days worse than others. He knows what he's doing and how to do whatever, but he might copy the problem wrong initially, forget he had a negative, divide by 5x by 4 in an equation to isolate y and write 4/5x. I'm sitting there now, so if I indicate a hesitation...um, what's happening there? he'll say oh, oops, notice the error and correct immediately. He just makes a lot of inattentive mistakes.

 

Some days are worse than others, but he's struggling with insomnia so lots of days he's tired. Math attention takes a big hit with fatigue on top of the underlying issues. He knows how to do whatever, yet he makes a silly mistake way too often (this has always been an issue/it's not new to Algebra)

 

Is there a way to remediate/work on this?

 

He'll be in 9th grade next year. 

 

How do I grade math in 9th grade? If I just let him make lots of these kinds of mistakes and assign a percent correct, his grade won't at all reflect his base understanding of the material.

 

 

Edited by sbgrace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At first glance, this sounds like a working memory issue more than inattention. There are ways to try to remediate working memory issues (you probably know that, and I'm sure others can help more than I can.)

 

In the short term, I wonder if asking him to go back over each problem after completing his work, to make sure he's copied or interpreted questions correctly, might help? If they're side by side, and he doesn't have to look up from a paper and take the time to write and think how to do the problem, he won't have to hold as much information in his mind at once.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any chance you could scribe for him? I think that would remove a LOT of those kinds of errors. My kids make transcription errors too, but one more so than the other. If he knows how to do it, chances are, he'll say it to you correctly, and then you will write it correctly. Scribing is an actual accommodation in school, FWIW.

 

We are currently using an algebra program for generalization in addition to our main program. The supplement has a lot of white space and leaves room for writing in the textbook, which is very nice. http://aplusses.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1&zenid=earb9ga2b4llc2471409tuakc4

 

I would let him redo anything that has a minor mistake for partial credit (or whatever you deem appropriate). I would also take off less for silly mistakes than process errors.

 

I think pass/fail is an actual option, but I don't know all the pros and cons.

 

Could you grade based not on specific assignments but on how many times he's gotten something right? For instance, instead of grading an assignment, maybe you could say that he gets such and such a grade once he gets x number of that type of problem correct over the course of the unit? The longer it takes to reach that level of accuracy could influence (in a minor way), whether you assign an A, A-, B+, etc. if all other factors (understanding, generalizing the skill over time, etc.) are equal. 

 

I really do think that scribing would be super helpful to you.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And on the idea of getting x number correct over the course of the unit--you could specify things like easy, challenging, enrichment levels if you want to--it doesn't have to be that he gets all the easy ones done, so he's done. You could structure it so that he has to get 10 easy, 3 challenge, and 1 enrichment (or however your curriculum lays this out) correct before it's considering mastered and then "graded." 

 

You might also do a quick blog search on formative assessments in math. It's kind of a thing right now, and it has some merit. You still have to watch (esp with ASD kiddos) that skills are generalized before moving on, but from what I gather there is a lot of immediate feedback and categorization of skill levels, kind of like having a math rubric. I am not explaining it well, but I think it might help you get more ideas if you can see some examples. I like Math Equals Love blog and Scaffolded Math and Science for starters.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee Binz has helpful info on grading. Although some people in theory keep traditional score-based grades, there are other valid, reasonable ways to do it. My dd was saying that in college, same thing, that some profs are very numbers-driven and some profs use their judgment as part of it. So I would look into Lee Binz, see what she's saying, and see if some of her ideas seem good for you. 

 

You could also look at 360Thinking for the self-monitoring piece.

 

He's doing Mighteor, right? That insomnia sounds horrifically hard to do with. Is anything you're doing helping with that? I just ran genetics on my ds, so that's the rabbit hole I'm in, following those paths. Like sometimes you get forward faster working on something else, rather than on the academics. It sounds like his body is just not cooperating right now, oy. Working on methylation defects is turning out to be stellar for my ds, and the genetics have helped us fine-tune that. It could be something to look into.

 

He's also at an age where people will bring an educational therapist or CBT therapist onto the team and start working on strategies.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a side note, I can't remember but does he have any developmental vision issues?

 

I was scribing for my son today and my vision issues were causing ME to miss signs, misalign math problems, misread decimal points, etc.  I have some pretty profound developmental vision issues.  When I review I can usually catch the error (not always) but in the moment I don't always notice.  Visual input is too corrupted. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is anyway you can resolve the insomnia?  That is the very most important aspect I could recommend. For myself I am someone who can not function well without sleep and missing details is the first to go. If you can get him physically tired through exercise that can really help him get to sleep. Creating a bedtime  routine if you can. Which is always tough with teens. I am pushing hard for my daughter to Have a consistent 45 minutes of just calm settling down. I am encouraging her to come up with 5 things she does at bedtime to tell her body it is time to get ready to go to sleep.  No screen time for an hour before bed maybe longer if you can swing it.  Turn the lights down.  Timing the medication so that it doesn't keep him awake. Anything you can do to get the sleep on a consistent schedule. I also have one child who's performance goes down by orders of magnitude when he is ill or has poor sleep. I am working on getting him 20 minutes of cardio before doing math and schoolwork. I also give him a good breakfast -protein if he will eat it.  

 

Everyone works better at certain times of the day. I always chose math to be when I am the most focus because it is detailed oriented and mostly abstract. You have to get into a certain state to do math anyway so maybe have it at a specific time of the day or when he feels the best.

 

For math errors I would recommend that he read the problem and talk outloud "even to himself" about the steps that he is following......"Divide by x times by 3 " this can be very helpful. Also have him work the first 5 problems from the last lesson to review then start some new things. If the book explanation is lacking there are some online good math programs at that level. I will have to ask my daughter was she uses I have noticed that it keeps her engaged and motivated to figure things out if she didn't understand her teacher. 

 

Also have him create a crib sheet of each kind of problem he works and let him keep it by him. It helps to pass the tests at the end of the chapter but it also helps form a "map" in his mind of the big picture. Basically all the math he learned that unit. 

 

Third switch to graph paper. Have him do all of his math on graph paper. There is also a trick that works great. I learned it the hard way my first sememester in college algebra. Always write things in a a column or in a very logical progression. so for example each line should be the logical step from the line above. This keeps details straight and over time it trains your mind to think in this way. It also makes checking your work easy so if something goes sideways you just move up a line. 

2x+7 = 5

2x=5/7

x=5/(7*2)

X= 5/14

 

 

Third to the right of the problem draw a picture, doodle or model of what your problem is saying. I use the left side for working problems and the right side for models graphs etc in a problem. This allows visual people to think of what is going on.

 

Math is about learning a new language and an abstract way of thinking so to keep details in sight. Its best to keep the information organized. 

 

I personally really like the graph paper composition books. My daughter uses this in her advanced math class and its very easy to glue stuff in ( like sample problems etc) and the pages don't fall out. I buy a lot of those at the back to school sale.  She has one that she works all of her problems in and one she writes all of her notes in. Also I write quite large so I skip lines or I fill up the entire square. but it does provide a good way of thinking about math and helps organize it in my mind. We go through a lot of notebooks and are not paper savers. I usually only write on one side of the notebook but my daughter uses both sides. 

 

 

 

I am not familiar with that particular textbook you are using but I absolutely hated working in tiny spaces under presented problems. It didn't allow for an orderly way to build the problem. As the steps increased it didn't build good habits in remembering what I was doing.  The method I outlined above allows a student to check their work easily and to do a quick look back at the end of the problem to make sure they got everything. These are just good habits in learning to think like a math person. 

 

 

Also I love the webinar "He's not Lazy" on the Additude website. I learned to just be a cheerleader and a coach with my son. As he gets older I am less of a drill sargent and less of trying to catch each error as he is doing homework/guitar. There is also one called  How sleep diet & Exercise impact a child's ADHD I highly recommend that as well. 

 

Edited by exercise_guru
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all.

I am going to check into and think through these ideas for alternative evaluation. I didn't know I had options. Very helpful! 

 

It does help when he reasons out loud I think. I have him do that when he's missed something. I need to try to have him do that routinely

 

I do scribe for him quite a bit. I'm not entirely sure whether that makes it easier or harder for him to tune out mentally. I may trial writing the initial problem, and then having him take over--speaking as he goes. 

.

 

We've seen the top pediatric insomnia people in our state. We've been through their behavioral side (they can't offer more/he's as good as we can get him I guess) and we've tried all the safer sleep medications from the medical side. We're on a "as needed" basis, because they just don't have more ideas. His issues are mainly the ADHD mind spinning and, when it flares (often due to sleep deprivation itself), the OCD can affect it too. The last suggestion was to trial Prozac, which can cause insomnia itself and which he's resistant to trying, just to see if that helps. I wish I could fix this. I think it's the root of a lot of the present issues, including the anxiety, but it doesn't seem to be fixable. 

 

He went through vision therapy when he was young (around 5, maybe a bit younger). I could see if there might be returning issues.

 

I think, though, it's mostly just that his mind is only partly on the math (or anything else he does school wise, except composition type writing). He's just not fully attending ever, and when he's tired it's worse. He has a therapist that is supposed to specialize in this--but she's been doing things like attending means eyes, mind, hands on task and mindfulness stuff. 

Edited by sbgrace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son is not on the spectrum, so what I say might be moot.

 

DS is diagnosed with reading/maths/handwriting SLDs. His careless math errors started decreasing after I made him type all of his chemistry math problems out using Word. About 5 weeks of that, and he was a changed animal.

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heather, I know you've said this before, but what's your favorite app for typing out math? Is there one that would be appropriate for a dc younger than high school? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heather, I know you've said this before, but what's your favorite app for typing out math? Is there one that would be appropriate for a dc younger than high school? :)

We used Word with a math add-on that Geoff recommended.

 

Suggesting a child type math is the equivalent of telling them to go build a house. It takes a lot of effort, persistence, and was not easy for us.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah sounds like that would be understatement of the year, lol. That's why I was wondering about an app, something made to do it nicely, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could try the Math Mod App on the iPad. We played with it, but it got more difficult with algebra. For early math, it might work better. I think it is free.

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With his combination of anxiety and sleep issues.  Have you had a test of his Cortisol levels?

Which involves taking 6 mouth swabs,  starting when he wakes, and the last one when he goes to bed.

 

Cortisol causes the production of Adrenaline.

When we wake in the morning, we get a surge of Cortisol and then Adrenaline.  Where the Adrenaline puts on alert.   

Over the day, the level of Cortisol slowly drops.  Reaching its lowest level in the evening, when we go to sleep.

 

This decay is important, as Adrenaline also causes the 'Fight or Flight Reflex'.

But if Cortisol levels remain high? Then this will cause anxiety, as the Fight or Flight Reflex remains active. 

This Reflex, keeps in a state of alert to danger. 

Which will be distracting.

 

Though if Cortisol levels are still high when going to sleep?

This state of alert to danger, prevents one sleeping.

 

So that doing a simple test of the daily variations of his Cortisol levels, could identify whether this is an issue?

 

As you mentioned Autism, I would note that their have been many studies of Autism and Cortisol.

Where some studies have shown a disruption to it, during puberty. Which gradually returns to normal levels in later adolescence.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best math app would  be if mathpad would marry modmath.  I haven't found one that works really well. I think they have "math keyboard" apps/programs and such you can use but I have used a lot of math programs. I have never been a fan of them. My brain doesn't think the same way as when I have a pen in my hand. My husband at work has a giant doodle pad where he stops working on the computer and does a calculation and then goes back to it. I know it is tough because I have a boy who is allergic to pencils and hates when it doesn't look perfect. He is very hard on himself. 

 

would he work better on a dry erase board? With my son who has Dysgraphia and was unmotivated, I would create a stack of problems on dry erase boards. He would solve the problem and we would pass them back and forth. I would check them and when he got to the bottom of the stack he knew he was done. Thinking and writing with math really helps because it activates a part of the parietal lobe that isn't activated without handwriting. If he leaves a lot of white space he can worry less about whether it is legible. 

 

I used something like this but the ones I had were blank on the back so we could flip them back and forth. 

Learning Resources 9"x 11" Double Sided X-Y Axis Dry Erase Mats, Set of 10

I also used erasable pockets and just slid his problems in there and had him work them. For whatever reason he was willing to fly through those and didn't feel as stressed he got in the flow and did well passing the problems back and forth . He knew once the stack was done he was done. We also did create a crib sheet of the problem we worked that day so we could review it. 

 

 

I also have a friend who has 5 kids. Her youngest one has ADHD and insomnia. Her child is younger than yours but out of desperation she decided to start turning down all the lights and turning off the screens 3 hours before bed. She would light candles and do dim light stuff. She calls it "Return to little house on the Prairie"  She also uses a weighted blanket to settle down her child so if you have a heavy quilt you could open the window in your sons room and put something heavy on him until he falls asleep. She also used magnesium at night I think. If you have animals encourage him to jog with the dog and maybe let the dog sleep in his room to reduce anxiety. Maybe consider putting him in Karate or something that is goal building and athletic. Run club, biking club, whatever to get him tired at night. I feel for you because my son is totally lost without sleep and no amount of patience on my part can get thing in his brain when he is tired. He also becomes defiant and just difficult when he is tired. 

 

 

This is the book that went along with that webinar. I wish it were on audiobook because I have a stack of things to read right now but the webinar  so powerful. 

by Dr. Adam Price (Author)
Edited by exercise_guru
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Careless/inattentive errors in math can be remediated.  As a math tutor I do this with most students.  What you have to do is classify and track the errors.  Nagging a kid won't help, nor will poor grades.  You have to have the conversation that algebra requires an error rate of close to 1 in 1000, and that different people miss different things.  I for example muck up squares -- I seem to simply forget to square numbers.  So what I do is when there is a square, I write "sq" in the margin when I see it so that I am more aware of it, and I check my margins every minute to make sure I am seeing what I know I typically miss.  You need to highlight in this first conversation that this will be a lifelong effort, and that it is normal.  

 

So the process:

 

1) After the setup conversation, on the first day when you see an error, you classify it.  Is it negatives, fractions, forgetting to do the same thing to both sides etc? Then you make a tally chart somewhere, and write down the type of error you see.  As you do math over the week, you classify and track what you see.

 

2) You help the kid decide *how* they will make sure not to make that kind of error again.  It can be using the margins for a brief note like I do, it can be highlighting, it can be circling in red pen.  Doesn't matter, but the kid has to *do* something to fix that specific problem.  

 

3) You then track the error types on a daily basis with the goal of reducing different types of errors.  You will find some are more persistent than others, and with those you may need to utilize extra checking techniques.  You can even make a graph of the number of careless errors you make in a day, and watch it go down. This is very motivating.

 

I have always seen improvement with this approach.  But remember it is about ownership, and pleasure in improvement -- not nagging and worry and negative reinforcement.

 

Good Luck,

 

Ruth in NZ

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a brilliant suggestion. I would add that if you are doing this its important to reward when the student gets 3 problems in a row error free or catches the error. Its motivating to see progress and to tune into spotting those little details. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things I usually suggest for students who make lots of careless mistakes is that they need to work the problem a second time with fresh eyes.  If he's looking over a problem he's just worked and reading it one line at a time, he's probably not going to catch a careless mistake such as a missed negative sign.  But if he isn't allowed to look at his first attempt, he might fix it.

This probably wouldn't be good advice for homework assignments because they would take two or three times as long, but I would suggest that you try it for tests and quizzes.  I would suggest that you have your son take the test or quiz, then take a break for 15 minutes (or maybe take a break from math until tomorrow, depending on how severe his ADHD is and how much you have left to do in the day).  Then have him come back and take the test or quiz again.  Don't let him look at the previous version.  Then, after he's done that, have him compare his answers.  If he got the same answer both times for question #1, it's probably correct.  If not, have him figure out why not and correct any mistakes.  Then do the same thing for question #2 and the rest of the test.

 

I hope this helps, and please feel free to send me a private message if you have further questions or comments.

Christy Walters 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you pick a few problems each day to work at suuuper slow speed? You won’t have time to do this with all the problems or math will last for 3 hours.

 

But perhaps, pick some of the problems and look each other in the eye and say, “We’re going to do these suuuuper slow and stop and think and check before we write anything down or before we think anything and look carefully at the problem as we’re working it and write each step down exactly right.â€

 

Demonstrate for him how you’d do that for yourself. Take a couple of problems and do them suuuuper slow, thinking aloud of all the steps before you write, and then slowly writing them down taking care to bring down all signs and parentheses, etc.

 

Do not do this for all of them. That would be misery. But for maybe 2 or 3 each day? Teach him how to go slow enough to catch everything.

 

It’s an idea that might work and might be horrible, but sometimes with my ADHD husband and child I want them to stop flying around and settle down and THINK for a second. I don’t know if they’re capable for any stretch of time, but maybe for two o three problems they could. And if they do it for a problem or two, they might slowly learn how to think through all the problems systematically and stop missing bits here and there.

 

When he copies those problems, have him do it like they say that monks did when they copied the bible—letter by letter. Instead of writing In...the...beginning..., they’d write I...n...t....h....e...b... and check that they’d written the correct letter each time, back and forth. I don’t know if they really did that, but I’ve heard they did. Anyway—have your son copy the problems slowly, as a monk might have. Maybe not quite as dramatically as letter by letter, but with that sort of mindset—to copy it little by little and check after each bit that it’s been copied correctly. And so forth as he works through the problems.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

geodob,

I will look into the cortisol. Can you address it if you find a problem?

 

exercise guru and Garga,

I used to use white boards more. I think I'll try that, maybe in conjunction with Garga's idea of doing a small set very carefully. He may actually like the idea of doing it like a monk.

I will look into those books too. He does have wind down time with low lights at night, but I think he could probably build a better routine in terms of what he does during that time (he just reads now). But he's big on self agency at this time in his life, so I need buy in more for this stuff (ie, if you're doing a breathing exercise at night because mom said you should/had to and you're mad that she "made you", well...not so effective). I do think I'm going to say you have to practice x relaxation skill at set times in the day. Lots of people have mentioned weighted blankets. I think he'd like it actually, it's just a lot of money and most everything I've spent money on for sleep has worked for a week or less. It's his mind that's the problem. 

 

Christy,

I think I will have him re-do test or quiz problems. I kind of do that, in that we re-do whatever he misses, but I haven't thought to have him just start fresh so to speak. I'm going to try that. 

 

Ruth,

I talked to him about what you wrote today. He likes the idea. We started tracking today. He actually had a good day, because he had the first decent night's sleep in probably a week, but he still made two errors that we noted. We both agreed that one of them is something he tends to repeat often. I think I may add something like exercise guru mentioned too. He responds well to goals. Though tracking and reducing may be enough of a goal for him. I'll think on that. 

 

I really like the idea of trying to remediate this. I'll probably go ahead and assess differently with ideas suggested here. I think it's more appropriate for him. I feel good about this going forward. Thank you all so much for giving your thoughts!

Edited by sbgrace
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sbgrace,

 

You asked if a problem with Cortisol can be addressed?

Where their are 3 basic types of problems with Cortisol.

Firstly, a chronic over production of Cortisol  (Cushing's Disease).

Secondly, a chronic under production of Cortisol (Addison's Disease).

 

But their is a third one, that I think might be more relevant to your son?

Which is a disorder with the Diurnal Rhythm of Cortisol?

Where the Diurnal Rhythm is a 24 hour cycle that Cortisol functions with.

 

Cortisol also pays a critical role in our level of Alertness.  

Which operates on a 24 hour cycle:

About 4 to 5 hours after we go to sleep. Our Cortisol levels start to rise, and then reach their peak, when we wake up.

(Which is called our Cortical Awake Response).

The level of Cortisol, gradually declines through the day, and reaches its lowest level around 9 to 10 in the evening.

 

Though this Diurnal Rhythm can be disrupted?

Where I just read a study into sleep deprivation.  Showed that after just one night of sleep deprivation

That it caused Cortisol levels to peak in the evening of the next day.

Which had reversed the process.

 

This 'evening peak', can then disturb the next night's sleep.   Causing an 'evening peak of Cortisol' again.

So that this reversed process, becomes established as the Diurnal Rhythm.

 

While this effects being able to sleep in the evening.

I am looking for research into the effect this has on the above mentioned Cortical Awake Response?

Where our Cortisol levels start to increase after 4 or 5 hours of sleep, and reach their peak when we wake up.

 

Though if we don't get 7 or 8 hours sleep?  It wouldn't provide enough time, for the Cortisol to reach its peak when we wake up.

So that we would still be half asleep when we wake up.  With a low level of alertness, continuing throughout the day. 

Only rising again, in the evening.

Which could directly relate to the difference that a decent night's sleep makes to him?

Where he had time for his Cortisol, to reach a peak. By the time that he woke up.

Raising his level of Alertness.

 

But coming back to addressing this? 

It has been shown this Diurnal Rhythm can be changed.

When people move to a different time zone, people's Diurnal Rhythm will change to suit the new time zone.

Also when people change to Night Shift work, it will also change to suit it.

 

So that it would be possible, for him to establish a new Diurnal Rhythm for his Cortisol.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, he's got Mighteor, right? Have you tried doing it multiple times a day instead of just once a day? Some people find it helps them fall asleep at night, but those people aren't on the spectrum. With my ds, I have him doing it, just in general, twice a day (morning and night), and when I'm working on a problem (he's especially unstable, whatever), we'll do it over and over, like every hour for 3-4 hours. Mindfulness normalizes cortisol levels, and Mighteor is working on mindfulness. So anything you do in that vein is going to add up.

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

geodob.

 

That's very interesting, particularly about the sleep effect. We don't get bad night, good night. We get bad night, worse nights. That seemed to surprise the sleep medicine people, as theoretically sleep deprivation ought to make falling asleep easier. But the cortisol may be the issue there. He's often widest awake when he should be setttling to sleep. But after getting out of bed (getting up is so hard), he's sometimes hyper too, so I don't know. I'm going to look into this area. 

 

Hey, he's got Mighteor, right? Have you tried doing it multiple times a day instead of just once a day? Some people find it helps them fall asleep at night, but those people aren't on the spectrum. With my ds, I have him doing it, just in general, twice a day (morning and night), and when I'm working on a problem (he's especially unstable, whatever), we'll do it over and over, like every hour for 3-4 hours. Mindfulness normalizes cortisol levels, and Mighteor is working on mindfulness. So anything you do in that vein is going to add up.

 

No, he does it once a day generally (or every other day, depending on the week). He hates stopping when he starts (loves that Race the Sun they release not long ago). It's also hard for him to find a sweet spot on goal rates. It feels hard to stop quickly when he gets a good goal. 

 

I can see how it might help to do it frequently like that, though.

 

At times my son has practiced a mindful type stuff, say progressive relaxation, a few times a day per therapist assignment. I have seen impacts on over-all regulation and sleep in those times. When he becomes resistant to the practice, it doesn't work as well. Maybe I could use Mighteor as a way to encourage it without that resistance. The opening on the mighteor could certainly be a similar affect here. I can see it helping. 

Edited by sbgrace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bingo. When my ds is having a rough patch, we'll do Mighteor almost as compliance drills. Like watch a tv episode, do 10 minutes of Mighteor. Watch another tv episode, do another 10 minutes of Mighteor. We'll do that 3-4 times, and it visibly helps.

 

Just as a general routine, I try to have my ds do it morning and evening. That seems to be a good amount for him. I think it's concerning that your ds is having trouble taking breaks and transitioning from it. That's EF and transitions. I get what you're saying about resistance, sigh. You might try to find a way to work on this, because some things he needs to push through to get skills aren't going to happen on his own. He's not going to build his own ability to transition, kwim? You're probably going to have to quietly give him some discrete motivations and opportunities and nudges. 

 

The Mighteor people make it sound romantic, like he'll LIKE it so much that he'll just DO it and whatever he does is good enough. It's not true. This is therapy, and short frequent bursts of intensity are always better with therapy. So 10 minutes do with real effort 2-4 times a day will get him way further than occasional bursts or being lackadaisical.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't get bad night, good night. We get bad night, worse nights. That seemed to surprise the sleep medicine people, as theoretically sleep deprivation ought to make falling asleep easier. But the cortisol may be the issue there. He's often widest awake when he should be setttling to sleep. But after getting out of bed (getting up is so hard), he's sometimes hyper too, so I don't know. 

 

There's some imprecision here that isn't helping you problem solve. I agree, I know someone using sleep docs and the docs have been bunk, utterly worthless. They push drugs, but they don't really THINK. I think these issues are just complex, way more complex than what they want to wrangle with. Think about it:

 

-sensory

-methylation defects (which he assuredly has, do the testing) which affect melatonin levels

-fright/flight on and off all day affecting cortisol levels

-perseverations

-anxiety 

-attention (mind going and going)

-interroception (not realizing how you feel)

 

on and on. It's crazy complex.

 

And they make it sound like oh just give him melatonin and it's solved. It's not because it was so many things. I don't even sleep if I'm not super careful. I don't feel tired, I forget to sleep, and just don't. So just for me personally, I've had to wrangle with these issues. Each time you walk down a road you find a little something, and for me it has been percentages adding up. So like realizing ok my mind does this and I need to wind it down and draw the line, that gives me 10%. Decreasing light levels over the night gives me 10%. Doing some form of repetitive stim (solitaire) gives me 10%. Acknowledging I won't feel it and to get horizontal, 10%. Adding sensory before bed, 10%. Improving vitamin D levels, 10%. It adds up.

 

There's a vitamin D gene that turns up in the 23andme testing. It affects methyl levels and is rate limiting for dopamine. I have no clue what I'm talking about. 

 

Neurofeedback is really interesting. I'm not necessarily saying do it, but just reading about the brain waves and why it can work is interesting. The methylation defect testing you can run on 23andme (download the regular, $99 test results and run through KnowYourGenetics) and see what shows up. Each thing is a percentage. 

 

I think when you're saying he's tired but zingy, you're trying to figure out what of that is rooster peak and what is brain waves. It would explain the contradiction. Just my *guess* would be that the zingy would be his rooster peak but the fatigue is that he's an under-methylator. If you believe the stats, the majority (98%??) of people with autism are under-methylators. Makes them feel like CRAP, utter crap. All this sluggishness and obesity and... it's the undermethylation. You could do genetics. But unless he has adrenal fatigue (from trauma, from being a middle aged woman, from...), I wouldn't *think* it was low cortisol levels in the morning.

 

Melatonin is one of the offshoots in the methylation cycle. So if he has methylation defects, trying the melatonin is a patch without dealing with the larger problem. There's a gene for the 5-HT cycle thing. Like when people say they're using 5-HTP, that shows up on the 23andme testing too.

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Methylation is just one element of gene regulation and expression. As their is also acetylation, phosphorylation, biotinylation, ubiquitination, sumoylation, and ADP-ribosylation.

With methylation, its action is limited to the insertion of a molecule in the DNA sequence of a gene.  While the other processes, can cause modifications to 'histone' and 'chromatin' structures.

So that their far more to it, than just methylation.

 

In regard to testing with 23andme ?  You might want to wait until the outcome of the 'class action lawsuit' against them, which was just submitted on January 13. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up about the 23andme lawsuit. I was not aware of it at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's stupid. Not to get political, but that was a restriction under the FDA of the previous administration. The new administration has changed so many things with regulations, etc., we (I) have no clue what the current position is of the FDA and whether the current administration will pursue it the same way as the old one did.

 

Also, it has nothing to do with the VALIDITY or accuracy of the testing, only in whether the claims 23andme made in their marketing were lawful at the time. 

 

I did not use the 23andme health services and don't care about the court case. It sounds like a stupid money grab and an overreach of the government and medical system monopoly anyway. We need MORE access to information and testing, not LESS. People are constantly banging against the stupidity of doctors and the systems and outdated restrictions that don't reflect our ability to access and process information.

 

You can pay for the basic (heritage) kit from 23andme, download the entire set of raw data run with their chip, and then run it through other services. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What test would I order? Their ancestry or their ancestry and health? I don't see a heritage.

 

You know, his sleep medicine doctors did recognize that there are many factors that all need to come together. I remember his doctor drawing a diagram for him--he had things like stress hormones (can't remember the name..I don't think it was cortisol but what you describe sounds like what he was talking about/could have been), sleep phase disorder pushing body clock, exercise, etc. So it all has to come together, and it rarely does.

 

I was thinking last night that part of me wants to just let him sleep until he wakes. We're nearly a year of dragging him out of bed every morning (9 am fwiw), and he's chronically sleep deprived. The behavioral sleep said to try it and see, but the risk is he likely will be even less tired at bedtime and his natural tendency toward delayed sleep phase (extreme night owl), would intensify. But then what we're doing isn't actually working either. I just wish, if I did that, I had a pill that could shift him back when needed so he could wake up at a reasonable hour without extreme sleep deprivation. And, also, we've been in the falling asleep at 3 or 4 am range, or later, with him and that's just ick in lots of ways. Maybe I'll try it anyway. This fatigue is really affecting him. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I do get the teenager thing and wanting them to have ownership and buy in. I also have horrible insomnia. Have they done a sleep study ? My nephew has sleep apnea and he is only 14. I think it is definitely worth exploring. 

 

Circling back to the math thing though. It probably is best to get in math mode. Work problems efficiently and positively and use different color pens etc. The more it can be about mastery and get the brain awake and in the mode the more important the retention will be. Either morning or evening after dinner is best. Afternoon is the worst. 

 

For bedtime you could do a few things that just moves everyone into that mode by playing the same music each night or lighting some jasmine scentsy stuff. I like the music app that goes with the dreampad even though we don't use the dreampad anymore. There is a lavender oil or lotion I am not sure what it is but you can apply it to a satchel and place it in the pillow. Sometimes looking at things with fresh eyes makes a difference. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They told you to wake him up? Ugh what time does he take his last D? When is he getting daylight? Are you turning down lights (including screens) at night?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've been tracking his error types, and will use that information when we've got it "compiled" as we try some other suggested ideas. I do think talking out loud really does help. It also probably helps him to write it as he talks. We pulled out our old lap white boards. I found my graph paper. We're trying both. He's had a really rough week or so, but I feel hopeful about being able to try to work on this while also perhaps being able to assess in a different way. This thread has helped me so much. 

 

exercise_guru,

He did actually have moderate apnea. He had surgery that corrected it. His most recent sleep study just showed severe sleep phase shift (they hooked him up at 10 pm, he got melatonin at 11, he finally fell asleep at 5 am I think it was). 

 

I do wish he was more agreeable to doing a more involved bedtime routine. He will use oils sometimes--I have Rutuvala in his room. I don't have any lavender. I may look into that. We have some others things, liek progressive relaxation, that he uses sometimes. But he really needs to make things routine and every night so they become sleep cues, and he's been resistant to doing that. He's at a hard age. 

 

 

Edited by sbgrace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They told you to wake him up? Ugh what time does he take his last D? When is he getting daylight? Are you turning down lights (including screens) at night?

 

It has been a very ugh year, yes. 

 

What do you mean by taking his last D? Vitamin D? He takes that at night with magnesium, just before he starts his night routine for bed. 

 

On the 23andMe testing--do I want ancestry alone or do I need to do their health/ancestry choice? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take my vitamin D in divided doses throughout the day. If I take my D late (after 5 pm), it keeps me awake. I would try changing that immediately. Go to divided doses, half in the early morning (7-9 am, which is early for me, haha), half at lunch. Don't take any later in the day.

 

It would be nice if something so simple could solve it. Worth a try. It's intuitive when you think about it. you're trying to give the body what it should be making from sunlight and isn't. 

 

Yes, the ancestry testing on 23andme. I'm not too hot on names, lol. Be careful because I think a scammer is on amazon right now. Make sure the vendor is legit, not some weird name. I bought my kit from amazon during a sale, but it was a legit name, like amazon themselves or 23andme through amazon or something, not a weird name. Fwiw, camelcamelcamel shows they ran a sale last March. Or bite the bullet and run it now for the $99.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You wrote that: 'We're nearly a year of dragging him out of bed every morning (9 am fwiw), and he's chronically sleep deprived.'

Which is really important.  As this indicates that his Diurnal Rhythm is basically in a different time zone.

The solution could be to allow him to sleep in and wake when he does.

So that you can identify his Diurnal Rhythm.

 

A really crucial part of this, is that this extra sleep time in the morning. Will allow his Cortisol levels to rise to the normal peak level,  

Which will cause the Cortical Awake Response, to wake him up.

His Cortisol level will then decrease normally throughout the day, until he is ready to sleep.

 

When you drag him out of bed, you are waking him before his Cortisol levels have risen enough.

This disrupts the whole Cortisol process, and causes it to rise in the evening. Instead of dropping to its lowest level.

So that letting him wake when he has slept enough, will return his Cortisol process to normal.

 

You could try letting him sleep in, for a week or two and see if he is getting good sleep. 

Albeit, in a different time zone.

If his sleep has improved?  Then you could begin adjusting his 'time zone.

Which just involves, going to bed half an hour earlier. 

Continuing with this, until he can easily go to sleep half an hour earlier.

Then bring it back another half an hour.

 

Take your time with this, and allow each half hour change to become normal. 

It might take a few weeks, but his sleep times will then be normal.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

23andme can only provide an ancestory DNA report.

Most of which, will show your Neanderthal genes.  

With a small percentage of Homo Sapien genes added to it.

This report, will just show what different Primate genes that you have.

 

What it isn't, is a diagnostic report.

Previously, they had been advertising and providing a diagnostic report.

But their diagnostic reports were providing inaccurate information, and false diagnosis.

With some people being informed, that their their genes showed a fatal disease.

People were then undertaking treatment, based on their report.

Only to find out later, that the report was wrong.

 

As a result, some of these people took up a 'class action law suit'.  For being given a false diagnosis.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, with 23andme, when you pay for the ancestry report, you still have access to the entire raw data download of all the SNPs and genes they tested for with their chip, the same chip that they use for the health testing. So the raw data download is the same whether you pay for ancestry or the more expensive ancestry + health reports. 

 

I uploaded the raw data from the kids' 23andme files to promethease and knowyourgenetics, know problem. It takes a lot longer to figure out what it means and isn't as pretty. Promethease doesn't really give you any analysis. They connect it to publicly searchable genetics info databases and put the data in tables to make it searchable (magnitude, percentages, what larger gene the SNP was from, etc.). So then it's easy to search by term or use their handy pulldown menus. Knowyourgenetics is trying to sell supplements, so they go crazy with it. Still, the charts are helpful.

 

As I found genes/SNPs that interested me or seemed important, I was then googling them for more info. There's a lot they DON'T know yet, so it's not like you just open it and go wow. But you start to see patterns and things become obvious. There are genes that are known to be connected to how you metabolize different drugs. There was more. Just saying I had to spend a lot of time looking for those bits myself because I didn't pay for a $$$ to make it obvious. If I actually found a geneticist who was crazy into autism, I'd probably go just because, having gone through enough of the data, I have questions someone else really into it has probably asked.

 

Some stuff was just low-hanging fruit, really obvious and easy to see. All with a $10 promethease report.

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have heard of something with jet lag, where some people have a really hard time moving backward, so instead they move forward, over several days or even two weeks. I think it’s still hard but I’ve heard it can be easier. So they do just sleep in the day and move the time they fall asleep later and later, until they are falling asleep at night and getting up in the morning.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, my dad has a lot of trouble sleeping all night long. He gets up when he is awake, and then he usually takes a nap during the day (retired). It hasn't hurt his night sleep or flipped his sleep upside down, and he feels a bit better. He's still chronically sleep deprived, but it's less awful. Sleep studies told him nothing. 

 

If he wakes in the night and can't go back to sleep immediately, he just gets up and reads (or does something quiet) until he is sleepy again. If he stays in bed when he's even a little bit awake, it just gets worse and worse and he never gets back to sleep.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is also another idea could he take a nap from 2-3pm ( they do this in Europe) its the bodies natural downtime. I have read the best time to be productive is 2 hours after you wake up to 2pm and after dinner to bedtime. Even if he just rested during that time ( not video games because my kids are always grumpy after that. )

Edited by exercise_guru
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lecka, it's flying west to east that creates the problem.

Cortisol levels rise significantly, during the last 3 hours of sleep.

So if we go east, and perhaps wake 2 hours earlier.  Then our cortisol levels will be lower when we wake.

 

But if we go west, then this wont shorten the time for our cortisol levels to rise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds familiar! I was an exchange student in college and I did fine going, but coming home was horrible and it took me about two months to really adjust. I was staying up late, getting up for a morning class, then going to my dorm room and napping. I couldn’t help but nap, but then that kept me from falling asleep at night. But I shortened my naps a lot and then got my bedtime to a regular time. But it was really hard! I heard about staying up and making the cycle, but I had things I had to do during the day so it was not an option for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really great information all of you.

 

It's funny, because he told me yesterday that he thought he would do better if I just let him wake up on his own. Same thoughts mentioned on this thread! So we're trying that.

 

I did pull out an old prescription for Rozerem, which is for people with a shift in sleep phase. It worked previously for about a week, then was less helpful, so we stopped. We did one night of it the night before last, because it was clear to both of us that his sleep/wake cycle was way off, and it seemed to reset him somewhat. He was tired at the right time at least the last two nights.

 

I may be able to use that as needed going forward. Or, as we see how his sleep shakes out with him waking himself, I may shift him forward as you guys mentioned here or just leave him. or I could see if he'll try a nap.  I'm curious to see how tonight goes, 2nd night post rozerem.  

 

I switched his vitamin D today.

 

I think I'll try the 23andme. He actually had a full DNA test for research on metabolics quite a while back. They published his findings on the genes they were studying in a journal, because he was the only one who had two bad copies, one from each parent, of the gene in question. I wish I could get my hands on the whole testing they did! 

 

 

Edited by sbgrace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes, absolutely, get those genetics results!!!! If they will send you the raw data file, then you can run it through promethease, etc. yourself. Do you know what the genes in question were? Interesting stuff. 

 

I'd be interested to hear how switching the D goes. 

 

I hope he feels better with getting to sleep in. That would be really nice. You know, the other thing you can do is take him the morning dose of D, have him swallow/chew it (whatever he does), and then let him go back to sleep. So that way his body is getting the input of ok, this is what we're doing, let's start to wake the system up, but he's still getting his rest. 

Edited by PeterPan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rozerem could be helpful in combination with letting him wake by himself. As it will help him to get to sleep. 

It would be good if he was able to go to sleep at about the same time each night.  As this will help establish his Diurnal Rhythm.

 

With taking Vit D, it has the effect of inhibiting Melatonin, just after it is taken.  

So that it should be taken in the morning.

 

But Vit D should be taken, to raise its constant level in the blood.  

Research has shown its main effect on sleep?  Is that a deficiency will cause disrupted sleep.

So that if he has a deficiency, then it will give him a better nights sleep.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How's it going with the D? I would definitely try dosing it by 8 or 8:30 AM. He can totally sleep till 10:30 or whatever, no biggee, but let that early dose start to help him. You could even shoot for 7-7:30. Like in my ideal world, that's what I do for my body. I'm very sensitive, maybe like him naturally, and for me I try to take my vitamins that perk me up pretty early in the morning like that, like 7-7:30. For my ds, I'm starting his by 8:30. I don't think it's a wrong answer, just saying as an adult that's a pretty functional compromise for me. If I wait till like 10:30 or 11:30, even though I might get all the doses in for the day, it doesn't feel the same. It pushes everything late. So making some effort there to do the early dose (7:30 or 8:30, doesn't matter) and then a 12:30 could be noticeable.

 

If he takes a balanced calcium/magnesium product, which he should be instead of just magnesium, it will also have D. That's another one to be really cautious about. I take mine 5-5:30, and with that and evening exercise (working with my terrific adrenal fatigue, haha), I can get tired around  10:30. Some calcium/mag products with D have more D than others. Like the liquid I give my ds has double the D of the capsules, even for the same amount of calcium/magnesium. With the lower dose, it doesn't mess up sleep so much. The liquid though has enough that it's an issue. So just kind of play with it and notice. 

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×