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What is this strength and how do I tap into it?


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I don't normally come over here, because honestly my ds is just a mixture of levels, everything from years behind to Great Courses, all in the same autistic boy. But here goes. In his sea of disabilities and labels, he has this strength and I'd like to figure out how to tap into it and connect with it or even put better words on WHAT IT IS. He can sit down with a game and figure out all the strategies and moves. So like Star Trek Catan he was playing at 5 and LOVED it. I got him another game last night The Builders: Antiquity and same gig, he's just right there, thinking through all the values of the cards (builders, tools, slaves, add-ons like university educations, which things you could build) and then putting it all together into moves. 

What is that? I know he has a gifted IQ, but this is a dc who, in almost any other area, isn't treated like a gifted kid. He has a language disability and is labeled with all the SLDs (reading, writing, math). I was told by a psych that he is math gifted with a math disability, sigh. And I know those are not mutually exclusive, because I've heard stories. And I know we spend a lot of time working on his weaknesses and not engaging his strengths. Thing is, when I try things (STEM kits, you name it), they don't turn out to be areas he takes off in. They engage him, but they're always held back by something. But when I get these complicated strategy games with zillions of steps, suddenly I'm into something that's incredibly obvious and engaging to him.

So tell me, what in the WORLD is that strength, what is the right word, and how can I translate that into something we can do in the day besides games? I'm cool with games, but can it translate into math or some kind of curriculum or some kind of enrichment material or SOMETHING? Does anyone have a kid like this and how does it show up in other areas that I can harness or use as a big sail to get his boat going with something?

I know a boy going for his PhD in engineering who has this strength, because I got my butt beat at Catan by him, haha. I know these kids are out there. I just don't know what it is. Raw intelligence? A particular area of strength that carries over to other areas?

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Well, my husband is a big Magic:  The Gathering person, and it attracts people who like this kind of thing.

Ime it can be a really wonderful social opportunity for a lot of people.  

I’m not aware of other strengths, but I think don’t lose sight of the social aspect, it is really important.  

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5 hours ago, HeighHo said:

The strength is mathematical thinking and visual/spatial.  The IQ lets him handle the complexity.  The fine motor makes the STEM kits very very hard, then add in their limitations and they aren't too satsifying. More open ended worked better for us.

What we did was go into computer programming...the kid could handle the keyboard and mouse..and music. If I had a do over, we'd have done more math and foreign language& electronics. For fun, teach him map & compass and get into orienteering -- he will quickly be able to do beginner level and it will be helpful in lifetime physical fitness.  Maps alone are a great enrichment unit for his age, and then go right into how latitude and longitude and time and star knowledge helped humans developed.  When he is ready for fine motor, robotics has a lot of room for growth as does cooking.

Swimming is a good sport to get into. Cub Scouts has a lot of intro material to help sample areas of interest.

If he needs volunteer hours, teach him bridge or chess and head for the senior center...

Thanks, those are good ideas! The behaviorist latched onto it like you are, saying that it was an ability to handle lots of details and complexity, to be decisive, and demonstrated strong visual/spatial strengths. She said to check his IQ subtests. Ok, just did, and y'all are right, they're bouncing around at 13-15 for both WISC4 and WISC5. Honestly, I never even DID anything with those scores. I have no clue what they test or what they tell me. WISC4 was block design, picture concepts, and matrix reasoning. WISC5 was block design and visual puzzles. 

So does that basically mean if I give him the math as a visual/spatial exercise (like throw the manips at him and ask him to convert it into numbers and solve) he'd be brilliant? Does it mean actually skip written curriculum? Or is there a math that is very conducive to v/s thinking? 

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I would guess logic and programming sorts of stuff, but IDK. My one kiddo that maxed out the non-verbal WISC scores is not like this with games, lol! He does all right, but it's my other kiddo that is like this about games. That kiddo tests all over the map--not one super duper set of strengths so far.

 

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5 hours ago, kbutton said:

I would guess logic and programming sorts of stuff, but IDK. My one kiddo that maxed out the non-verbal WISC scores is not like this with games, lol! He does all right, but it's my other kiddo that is like this about games. That kiddo tests all over the map--not one super duper set of strengths so far.

 

Ok, so then what does your dc who maxed on non-verbals on the WISC do for math?  You could be right that the games don't connect to this particular section of the WISC. That would mean he actually has TWO things possibly going well, and I could take that interpretation too. :biggrin:

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DS13 who hit the ceiling in WISV-IV for those sections actually finds chess boring. He is into interior design, architecture, urban planning and is good at orienteering. DS12 who did not hit the ceiling for block design probably due to his slow processing speed and he had some tracking issues then (3 years ago), is better at geometry and chess than DS13 but is worse at orienteering. So despite a high visual spatial score, it’s better to rely on the GPS than DS12 for directions as he would likely get you lost. 

Can’t help you with suggestions for math as DS13 scored very high for verbal and DS12 scored high. Both did not like the traditional manipulatives, using Legos and actual coins during their preschool years. They used the classroom math manipulatives as building blocks to create cute sculptures and their public school teachers just let them be. 

Both my kids liked the choose your own adventure books when they were younger.  We borrowed from the library. https://www.cyoa.com

DS13 likes Risk the board game when he was younger and learned countries names from there. He has a planner personality.

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On 6/22/2018 at 1:03 AM, PeterPan said:

Ok, so then what does your dc who maxed on non-verbals on the WISC do for math?  You could be right that the games don't connect to this particular section of the WISC. That would mean he actually has TWO things possibly going well, and I could take that interpretation too. :biggrin:

He has mostly done Singapore (US Edition, then Dimensions Math for 7th and 8th), but we branched out to include Foerster's and A Fresh Approach by Christy Walters. I think Foerster's is going to win. Basically, Singapore wrote DM 7 and 8 in place of their older program for older grades, but they intended to then write an elementary program to catch up to 7 and 8. They have parts and pieces out now. But there are topics in 7 and 8 where you feel like you are coming into the middle of something. We could get through it, but it undermined his confidence, and it was too much for him to hang onto and remember later even though he could do it and do much of it intuitively. It was just missing something. Well, looking at the books that are coming up for 6, it's clear that we were jumping into something midway, but because my son has enough intuition and Singapore presents it well, he'd do really well and then be overwhelmed by turns. Anyway...I think we're going to mop up with Foerster's, but we'll see. A Fresh Approach gives us some cut and dry way for him to see that he can actually do the math, but it's super, super wordy. He avoids reading the text, and then he ends up missing things and has to go back. I do like the straightforward practice of concepts--it gives us good review problems and helps us see what needs work. Foerster seems like it might be just right--gives the words but gives the concepts through demonstrating them (more like Singapore). He really needs to see things from multiple angles to feel confident (the ASD seems to cause that), so we'll probably have to use more than one program--deciding which one is the main one without getting bogged down is the tricky part.

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On June 22, 2018 at 8:24 AM, HeighHo said:

.

 

I actually spent a lot of time pondering what  you had said (which is now gone, hehe). It was so thought provoking I didn't know how to respond, and you know me, seldom speechless! :biggrin: I think what you explained there was why ds feels so odd to teach. He technically has SLD math, and it's not just technically. He really has SLD math. But he also sort of knows things and figures out things. And it's not in the way dd (no SLD) was, where she'd ask me about concepts and discover them. It's more than that. It's that he's sort of very bright about every concept once he can finally get it. Like as soon as he understood numbers enough to do addition (which took months of working on a single number at a time because it was a horrific disability for him), then all of a sudden with ease he could do add/subtr with positive/negative numbers, explaining equations, everything. Same gig with fractions. I introduced the concept, and once he understood what it actually meant (which took a while), then he could seem to understand/intuit anything about them. (renaming, etc.)

So it's not quite that he already knows everything, but he sort of does or sort of goes to a solid point so quickly once he's READY and positioned that it IS sort of weird to teach.

So I really agree with you in the sense of not getting freaked out saying he's behind, because he teaches as different, not behind. I think. I hope, lol. I looked through some MUS manuals this weekend to see, and really he would place late into them. He was far enough along in so many of them that they weren't really worth doing. 

S I think that was an important point not to labor on what he doesn't need to get to where he's going. In a way it's easy and in a way it's hard, both at the same time. I looked at the Hard Math book someone had suggested in another thread, and I'm pondering that too, whether he needs a hard math plus calculator or a medium math or what. Hard Math is how I think, but I think it could be a distraction given the overall nature/significance of his needs. We're not actually doing any math right now at all. We kept hitting language walls, because he didn't understand the words and couldn't get his thoughts out. So he'd needed to say things like "The child grew two inches taller" and he couldn't. So this kid who, at 6/7, was doing equations for +/- positive/negative numbers couldn't get out basic concept words like taller, shorter, all, none, etc. And it's actually pretty disabling, because it bogs down all your comprehension of word problems, etc. SLPs kept telling me maybe he just didn't know the math, but fresh testing made us realize it's a language thing. We're beginning that now, like this week. I think it will be revolutionary and unlock the genius inside, hehe. Our work so far with language has been amazing, allowing him to get out his thoughts and tell beginning narratives more easily. There's no reason to think unlocking the language of math, the language of academia, wouldn't do that for him. 

I like the orienteering suggestion a lot. I think like you're saying, some kind of leisure activity that taps into this strength would be good. I really liked that. 

22 hours ago, kbutton said:

He really needs to see things from multiple angles to feel confident (the ASD seems to cause that)

Yup, story of our lives, lol. And thanks for sharing what you're using. I just let it go into my brain to perk. I have most/all of the Foerster books, and their strength is definitely their accessible, physics-bent and realistic word problems. 

On June 22, 2018 at 1:30 AM, Arcadia said:

They used the classroom math manipulatives as building blocks to create cute sculptures and their public school teachers just let them be. 

Both my kids liked the choose your own adventure books when they were younger.  We borrowed from the library. https://www.cyoa.com

DS13 likes Risk the board game when he was younger and learned countries names from there. He has a planner personality.

This is so totally ds, lol. I think your point about the CYOA books is right on, and that's such a good point that things he doesn't learn incrementally with curriculum he learns, boom, all at once, with the right game/app. He likes to play Risk, yes. If he plays it with someone and has to use the language, that might seal the deal. He plays the app alone, so then he doesn't have to talk and get it out. If you can't get out the language, people don't know you know it. That was what the psych testing alerted us to and why I think Heigh Ho was so spot on, that he's got certain things, brightnesses going on, and not to assume it's not there just because he's not talking about it.

I ordered a bunch of new things from Rainbow, including some HOE fractions kits, the RS fractions book (which I've never used but which looks fun with the games), a prime factors tiling kit (should be fab for him), etc. Really, with him, the way I teach everything is to find something that's way above him that incorporates 4-5 steps beyond where he is. That seems to give him enough challenge that it's intriguing. All of a sudden I'm realizing I knew how to teach him but just hadn't put that into words. That's what we've been doing that really works. I find some game, something we can do together that is WAY above him, and we just sorta Vygotsky ourselves into it. It can take a month or more, but then he's really at this advanced place. That's how he learns. So probably if I just keep doing that with tasks, we'll be fine. And if I try to go all incremental, it probably won't be as good and pleasurable. So far I've been using printed materials more as review, to fill in holes, to make things a little more automatic or to help him be able to generalize and do the task more ways. And maybe I was trying to screw around with that in my mind, wanting to go to some kind of incremental instruction. But for him, the Vygotsky gig (guided interaction into harder materials than what he could do on his own till he can gradually fade the support and do it for himself) works GREAT. I just need to keep smart and keep doing that.

So thanks for letting me hang here ladies. I really appreciate it. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

 If you can't get out the language, people don't know you know it. That was what the psych testing alerted us to and why I think Heigh Ho was so spot on, that he's got certain things, brightnesses going on, and not to assume it's not there just because he's not talking about it.

 

DS13 who doesn’t like to talk and prefers not to write, does comic strips like In the style of Charlie Chaplin silent movies. His comic strips aren’t artistic but gets the point across.  However he doesn’t like the Beast Academy guidebooks saying it’s too colorful and overloaded, he prefers the Calvin and Hobbles or Snoopy style (preferably black and white version) of comics.

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I'm wondering, too.  I went back and looked at Catherine's WISC4 scores, and she had 15's in block design and picture concepts and an 18 in matrix reasoning.  I have NO idea what they would translate to.  I've wondered about this for years.  I asked the psychologist about it, and he said he thought she'd do great at chess and legos and stuff, but she's never enjoyed puzzles or games (perfectionist and afraid of conflict and losing), nor has she enjoyed building stuff.  I've been really searching for a way to use those strengths.  Reading with interest...

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8 hours ago, Terabith said:

  I asked the psychologist about it, and he said he thought she'd do great at chess and legos and stuff, but she's never enjoyed puzzles or games (perfectionist and afraid of conflict and losing), nor has she enjoyed building stuff.  I've been really searching for a way to use those strengths.  Reading with interest...

 

DS13 is interested in figuring out Korean right now. He looks at the Korean words and figures out the pronunciation. He hit the ceiling on those sections on the wisc-iv.

ETA:

Both boys top at matrix reasoning, out of block design, picture concepts and matrix reasoning.

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Probably not music.  She has dyslexia, and learning to read music appears to be more or less impossible.  We did Musikgarten, which had them learning piano more or less by ear, and it....didn’t go well.  The early childhood classes were fine.  Piano was beyond frustrating.  She sings in a choir and enjoys it but doesn’t love it, and is ok but not amazing.  She takes art lessons and enjoys it but isn’t particularly talented.  

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

Probably not music.  She has dyslexia, and learning to read music appears to be more or less impossible.  We did Musikgarten, which had them learning piano more or less by ear, and it....didn’t go well.  The early childhood classes were fine.  Piano was beyond frustrating.  She sings in a choir and enjoys it but doesn’t love it, and is ok but not amazing.  She takes art lessons and enjoys it but isn’t particularly talented.  

 

A friend’s dyslexic son plays the trumpet in a youth orchestra.

DS13 seems to be like me in that we favor creating music to playing music so have no incentive to play a piece really well. While I have tracking issues, he has near sighted issue and rather not wear his glasses for long periods of time. That means that we tend to play by ear and also by touch instead of reading the music scores. While I can’t play at orchestra level by ear and touch, the piano, strings, horn, flute, harmonica are instruments that I could play by ear with my eyes closed. 

For art, ceramics and things like macrame/knotting/knitting works for us because you can go by feel/touch instead of eyesight. 

DS13 is watching World Cup because I am watching and he is amused by me watching. He is not into playing sports. However he can do good play by play commentary on soccer matches just that he goes by numbers since he doesn’t know the players’ names. 

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At this point I wouldn't worry about how he's going to use those skills long term. Rather, I'd load him up with more complex strategy games because are SO MANY amazingly complicated strategic board games out there.   I would just search boardgamegeek for themes he might like, and checking the complexity/difficulty of them and going from there.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/161226/builders-antiquity shows it at about a 1.9 rating which is lightweight for adults (max is 5), but definitely great aptitude at his age. But, there are just tons of excellent games from there on up. There are a couple of gameschooling groups on FB and also a bunch of groups for adults that give good suggestions for what games to try next.

My own personal level of comfort maxes out around 3.5, but DH's favorite game is over 4.5, and he's definitely the type who likes to figure out all the strategy in a game. Our family owns and plays an extraordinary number of board games, but they're fabulous learning tools, especially if he's enjoying them that much. Seriously, don't dismiss how much you can learn from board games!

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1 hour ago, deerforest said:

At this point I would worry about how he's going to use those skills long term. Rather, I'd load him up with more complex strategy games because are SO MANY amazingly complicated strategic board games out there.   I would just search boardgamegeek for themes he might like, and checking the complexity/difficulty of them and going from there.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/161226/builders-antiquity shows it at about a 1.9 rating which is lightweight for adults (max is 5), but definitely great aptitude at his age. But, there are just tons of excellent games from there on up. There are a couple of gameschooling groups on FB and also a bunch of groups for adults that give good suggestions for what games to try next.

My own personal level of comfort maxes out around 3.5, but DH's favorite game is over 4.5, and he's definitely the type who likes to figure out all the strategy in a game. Our family owns and plays an extraordinary number of board games, but they're fabulous learning tools, especially if he's enjoying them that much. Seriously, don't dismiss how much you can learn from board games!

I hadn't heard of gameschooling but that sounds like a great place to look!

i didn't realize there were game weights. I'll have to search by that

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For something fun, what about the Dragonbox iPad apps? They have Algebra 5+, Algebra 12+, and Elements. I haven’t personally tried them, but I did download some of their other games and the graphics are REALLY good. Also, I really want someone to review the Algebra games for me ?

https://dragonbox.com/

My PhD mathematician husband says that anything with numbers isn’t really math, it’s just arithmetic ? 

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I’m autistic with similar visual/spatial strengths.  I loved geometry.  I also had fun with geometric art (making complicated designs with pencil, paper and protractor.)  Origami is good. 

Other games I enjoyed as a kid:  Solitaire, Hearts, Tetris.  Patterns, systems, strategy.

I love languages, and for me it does tap that visual/spatial strength.  Other subjects I enjoyed: urban planning, economics, chemistry, history.  How things are interconnected, how changing one variable causes shifts throughout the system.

I’m a tax attorney now. Same skill set.

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On July 2, 2018 at 10:29 AM, Mainer said:

My PhD mathematician husband says that anything with numbers isn’t really math, it’s just arithmetic ? 

That's hilarious. That probably explains the new Mindset for Mathematics books. I've got some coming. :biggrin: 

On July 2, 2018 at 10:38 AM, Mainer said:

This costs money, but what about using Tinkercad for 3D printing?

Haven't done any 3D printing yet. I'll look into it. He builds so avidly with scraps and parts, I hate to undermine that creativity.

So today was interesting. I took him kayaking with an inflatable kayak I got on a deal on amazon. That child was a WHIZ at assembling the thing! Seriously, the kid who can't even do most math could figure out the whole thing, with all the valves, how to operate the pump with multiple types of nozzles, EVERYTHING. And he was so good at it, I think its the same strength as we were discussing earlier. (visualizing complexity and kjnowing how the parts go together just boom). But that was a more concrete, real world application than I had seen him using it in before. I thought it was really good, something that ought to be able to turn into a marketable skill.

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Analysis. He has an analytic and critical thinking mind. I usually don't come over here because I don't really subscribe to buckets and labels, but... what you are describing is someone who would make an amazing systems analyst. Per LawyerMom's post, tax law is similar because you are figuring out the system and applying it to each situation.

And yes, I love systems analysis! My kids' differences between arithmetic IQ and mathematic IQ are huge--like, probably 40 percentiles each. Mine is greater thanks to a lifetime of pursuing my love, analysis.

Your son would probably love analytics, statistics (yes even with the math), economics, systems analysis, etc.

Honestly anything other than school in which the result matters more than why you did it, your son will probably enjoy solving the problem. "Innate curiosity" is something we have on our list of things at work to hire for. It's above GPA and I promise you the multiplication tables aren't on there at all.

I wouldn't worry too much about the arithmetic. That's what Excel is for, LOL.*

*Anyway, that's what the data engineers and data scientists at work say... because most of us were nothing special at arithmetic, either. Memorization, PFFFFT.

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Tsuga what is the education for that? And it's IT/computers? 

Wide range. Data science, business analysis with a CS concentration or stats concentration, statistics, economics, anything but make sure you get a BS in whatever you do and major or minor in math, stats, CS, data science, or engineering.

Right now analytics is going through huge changes and a lot of new jobs are appearing to deal with all the data. So I used to do systems, data engineering, data analysis, stats, visual analysis and business analysis. Now most big companies have those roles broken out. Nobody really knows what Data Scientists do. The job at this point is "whatever the rest of the data team can't do". In some places it is setting up machine learning algorithms. In others it is closer to a big data statistician, in others it is more like a principal analyst in the stats division. Everyone has their own JD for these people.

It's not IT though. That is hardware. CS is software. Data is all the stuff that produces and what happens with it. Happy to chat with your son if he's interested.

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On 7/11/2018 at 3:06 AM, Tsuga said:

Analysis. He has an analytic and critical thinking mind. I usually don't come over here because I don't really subscribe to buckets and labels, but... what you are describing is someone who would make an amazing systems analyst. Per LawyerMom's post, tax law is similar because you are figuring out the system and applying it to each situation.

And yes, I love systems analysis! My kids' differences between arithmetic IQ and mathematic IQ are huge--like, probably 40 percentiles each. Mine is greater thanks to a lifetime of pursuing my love, analysis.

Your son would probably love analytics, statistics (yes even with the math), economics, systems analysis, etc.

Honestly anything other than school in which the result matters more than why you did it, your son will probably enjoy solving the problem. "Innate curiosity" is something we have on our list of things at work to hire for. It's above GPA and I promise you the multiplication tables aren't on there at all.

I wouldn't worry too much about the arithmetic. That's what Excel is for, LOL.*

*Anyway, that's what the data engineers and data scientists at work say... because most of us were nothing special at arithmetic, either. Memorization, PFFFFT.

I would love to know more about what analysts do. Do they need a lot of gestalt processing skills? What are they analyzing and looking for? I could use examples from several fields. I just really have NO IDEA what exists out there. Do they need communication skills to do well at their job?

My son is good at analysis and has amazing VSL strengths on the WISC V, but I am not sure he analyzes something if he's not told to and told why--he's 2e (ASD/ADHD, language issues). It's funny you mention economics because that is the one high school social studies course he's expressed an interest in, lol! (On the agenda for this year even though he'll be a 9th grader.) He's done fine with the stats stuff he's been introduced to--duck meets water for the most part.

He's a super hands-on kid, so the question on my part may be moot, but at some point, I would think some hands-on stuff needs to be analyzed too.

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3 hours ago, kbutton said:

He's a super hands-on kid, so the question on my part may be moot, but at some point, I would think some hands-on stuff needs to be analyzed too.

 

Both my kids are enjoying Wintergatan Marble Machine X videos on YouTube.  Martin Molin explains all the issues he faced and how it was finally resolved or still unresolved. A different kind of analytical work that is both mental and hands-on.

DS13 is finishing his AP Economics (Macro & Micro) summer class and he enjoys it. It’s a six week condensed class which is fast enough that he isn’t too bored.

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17 hours ago, kbutton said:

I would love to know more about what analysts do. Do they need a lot of gestalt processing skills? What are they analyzing and looking for? I could use examples from several fields. I just really have NO IDEA what exists out there. Do they need communication skills to do well at their job?

My son is good at analysis and has amazing VSL strengths on the WISC V, but I am not sure he analyzes something if he's not told to and told why--he's 2e (ASD/ADHD, language issues). It's funny you mention economics because that is the one high school social studies course he's expressed an interest in, lol! (On the agenda for this year even though he'll be a 9th grader.) He's done fine with the stats stuff he's been introduced to--duck meets water for the most part.

He's a super hands-on kid, so the question on my part may be moot, but at some point, I would think some hands-on stuff needs to be analyzed too.

 

How old is your son?

The strength of this job is the flexibility, constant analysis and critical thinking.

The challenge for someone with special needs is that you must be able to work in a team, compromise, and be able to work in a larger organization and meet deadlines. Depending on whether this is something he is having trouble with completing some meaningless tasks at 6, 10, 14 or 18 would make a big difference. Of course all children push back on their parents and teachers, some much more than others, but many of those same kids will be just fine at a job in which sucking it up is accompanied by stock options, prestige and a blue ribbon at their employee review.

I'm one such kid. My mom thought I would be homeless because I didn't compromise with her. Well, for one thing she is my mom, for another I was only a kid, and finally, her expectations of me were way out of whack in terms of what "compromise" meant. As I went through college I learned that she just had really high expectations from books. 

That however does not diminish the real difficulties faced by adults with ADHD and autism in the workplace. It would be hard to say without meeting your son.

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1 hour ago, Tsuga said:

 

How old is your son?

The strength of this job is the flexibility, constant analysis and critical thinking.

The challenge for someone with special needs is that you must be able to work in a team, compromise, and be able to work in a larger organization and meet deadlines. Depending on whether this is something he is having trouble with completing some meaningless tasks at 6, 10, 14 or 18 would make a big difference. Of course all children push back on their parents and teachers, some much more than others, but many of those same kids will be just fine at a job in which sucking it up is accompanied by stock options, prestige and a blue ribbon at their employee review.

I'm one such kid. My mom thought I would be homeless because I didn't compromise with her. Well, for one thing she is my mom, for another I was only a kid, and finally, her expectations of me were way out of whack in terms of what "compromise" meant. As I went through college I learned that she just had really high expectations from books. 

That however does not diminish the real difficulties faced by adults with ADHD and autism in the workplace. It would be hard to say without meeting your son.

He's 14 and a mature 14 in many ways. He will be employable--he already is in demand for handyman stuff, and he often works alongside the person hiring him. When we had our yard excavated recently, the excavator hired him as day labor, and he did a good job. He has age-mate friends. 

When I say communication, I am really thinking written communication. He struggles (at this point) with this. He struggles with academic load (mostly due to language issues and being a person who needs downtime) and with written output of various kinds. When an area of disability can be minimized, he SHINES. Many people are stunned if/when they find out he has autism and ADHD. 

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Well work is nothing like school in the sense that you are allowed to have downtime. Take walks, rake breaks, take an hour lunch, do your focus work at 10 pm. Etc.

I don't know what you mean by "language issues"--Dyslexia? Not performing as well on standardized comprehension questions as his IQ would predict (those tests are pretty dumb IMO)? Just getting a whole essay out? Or more basic like, it is a struggle to formulate a two sentence email?

He will be thrilled to know I have never written an essay for work in 20 years. Even at Amazon where whitepapers are de rigeur, you don't have to write them on things you don't care about.

That solves a lot of problems for people who hate defending opinions they don't hold, on topics they don't want to deal with, about things that, if it were up to them, don't even need to exist. 

Not to mention, 10-16 year old boys are not known for their high verbal ability and enthusiasm for writing about, say, history. My stepson loves to write. I would not say he excels at expository writing. Their brain don't develop that way. 

On the contrary sometimes the best writers have trouble letting go of the fact that nobody will read their email if it takes up more than one screen. I have seen so many girls interns' faces fall (and a few boys) when I point out that people are going to spend 15 seconds on their mail so keep it simple.

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18 hours ago, Tsuga said:

Well work is nothing like school in the sense that you are allowed to have downtime. Take walks, rake breaks, take an hour lunch, do your focus work at 10 pm. Etc.

I don't know what you mean by "language issues"--Dyslexia? Not performing as well on standardized comprehension questions as his IQ would predict (those tests are pretty dumb IMO)? Just getting a whole essay out? Or more basic like, it is a struggle to formulate a two sentence email?

He will be thrilled to know I have never written an essay for work in 20 years. Even at Amazon where whitepapers are de rigeur, you don't have to write them on things you don't care about.

That solves a lot of problems for people who hate defending opinions they don't hold, on topics they don't want to deal with, about things that, if it were up to them, don't even need to exist. 

Not to mention, 10-16 year old boys are not known for their high verbal ability and enthusiasm for writing about, say, history. My stepson loves to write. I would not say he excels at expository writing. Their brain don't develop that way. 

On the contrary sometimes the best writers have trouble letting go of the fact that nobody will read their email if it takes up more than one screen. I have seen so many girls interns' faces fall (and a few boys) when I point out that people are going to spend 15 seconds on their mail so keep it simple.

Essays are definitely a problem! He can get factual information out, but sometimes he doesn't tie it together with a bow or give it context; however, all the relevant details are there. I think he will get past some of this, but it's taking time. It's not just a matter of not being jazzed about writing about history, but it's also not easy to describe what the problem is (or even test it!). He has GREAT skills at presenting things, but it's hard for him to know what the other person needs/wants to know. It's getting slowly better in some ways. He is very much a person who will sound a bell that something is wrong in time to fix it or prevent a problem, but he just spits out the facts in a way that sometimes you have to SEE there is a problem among the facts, or realize his body language is showing that there is a problem. It's kind of hard to explain.

I hear you on the e-mail thing, lol! I worked as a tech writer, and sometimes important e-mails took longer to craft than the actual product documentation because they had to cover things succinctly but specifically. 

 

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Sorry this reply took so long.

Is your son significantly worse than his male peers at these things? I ask because to me it sounds like you have described an average male... Even possibly advanced for a kid his age.

Not to diminish the difficulty of communicating with a teen boy, but what you are describing sounds pretty normal. I know this is the SN board so I don't want to diminish the fact that your doctor's know best, but if a lot of people are shocked that he has ADD and is on the spectrum, well... You might revisit why they are surprised.

Like what if my dad had looked at a 15-year-old me time at running and compared it to a grown man or even a teen boy's time. He might conclude there was some inherent weakness there and I needed testosterone treatment. But he would have been wrong.

Teen boys are FLOODED with testosterone. That does not lend their brains to articulation. As men develop of course it all straightens out which is why we have so many amazing male poets, essayists, oraters etc. And teen girls getting flooded with estrogen are not the people you always want, as a group, in your geometry study session. They have so many hormones and brain development things going on. Doesn't mean they won't get it eventually. It's too bad that we put so much emphasis on the teen years for assessment. Those years have a lot of change going on.

On the other hand if a teacher is looking at him, and at the 500 other boys his age they have coached through essay writing as freshmen, and saying, "wow this kid needs help", then okay, maybe sign him up for more logic and rhetoric classes.

From what you have described though, it is a developmental stage and he is very bright. I'm not sure if you have a ton of experience teaching adolescent boys and I'm talking down to you--I get how frustrating it is living with a teen and watching your own kid not to be able to do something that you NEED them to do. But from what you are describing he will be fine, even great in the working world.

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1 hour ago, Tsuga said:

Not to diminish the difficulty of communicating with a teen boy, but what you are describing sounds pretty normal. I know this is the SN board so I don't want to diminish the fact that your doctor's know best, but if a lot of people are shocked that he has ADD and is on the spectrum, well... You might revisit why they are surprised.

On the other hand if a teacher is looking at him, and at the 500 other boys his age they have coached through essay writing as freshmen, and saying, "wow this kid needs help", then okay, maybe sign him up for more logic and rhetoric classes.

From what you have described though, it is a developmental stage and he is very bright. I'm not sure if you have a ton of experience teaching adolescent boys and I'm talking down to you--I get how frustrating it is living with a teen and watching your own kid not to be able to do something that you NEED them to do. But from what you are describing he will be fine, even great in the working world.

3

No, this is not a normal teen boy thing. Suffice it to say that profoundly gifted plus a disability often looks normal on the outside. Eye of the beholder varies, but his psych testing is his third round, every round has revealed more layers of both abilities and disabilities, he has an IEP (homeschoolers get services here), and people who have taught him (vs. just knowing him) have encountered a lot of difficulties that aren't readily apparent or even easy to classify. What he can and can't do isn't lined up into neat little categories. He has been assessed using tests designed to diagnose language issues in kids his age with autism, not by poor performance on a standardized test. I don't have much of a problem spilling things on the Learning Challenges board, but we're an odd fit on the AL board on a good day. Yet, ALs with disabilities need mentoring and information as well, so I stick my neck out here once in a while. I think I can learn from you if it's possible for you to be a little more descriptive about the jobs in data analysis, but this post is the last one about my son's particular issues since it's not really helping you understand our situation.

Logic won't make him able to "use his words." He has a diagnostically significant problem with using language in the ordinary way. Everyone who works with him spends months trying to figure him out and second-guessing me only to realize his test results are shockingly correct on both the high and impaired ends, and he really does have problems. I can easily see him getting into a job and then getting dismissed later with no real explanation. I have seen this with 2e people, and I have also been on the receiving end of trying to work with 2e people that seem fine but can't get the job done. It's unpleasant for all. 

I really would like to know more about communication requirements for a job in data analysis (you mention not having to write on topics he's not interested in, but you kind of imply that maybe he would have to write white papers on topics related to the work--it wasn't overly clear), and I would love to know more about what kinds of jobs are available in various fields for people who are analysts. I really have no idea. If you're not interested in helping me bridge that gap, that's fine. If you consider me stupid for not knowing, more power to you. I haven't met people in the field, I didn't know anyone in college studying in this field, and I come from a small town where basically everyone is a teacher, provides healthcare, farms, owns a small business (heavily relying on tourism), or does some kind of government/law enforcement or infrastructure work. I worked in the software industry, but I never worked with analysts.

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2 hours ago, kbutton said:

 

Logic won't make him able to "use his words." He has a diagnostically significant problem with using language in the ordinary way. Everyone who works with him spends months trying to figure him out and second-guessing me only to realize his test results are shockingly correct on both the high and impaired ends, and he really does have problems. I can easily see him getting into a job and then getting dismissed later with no real explanation. I have seen this with 2e people, and I have also been on the receiving end of trying to work with 2e people that seem fine but can't get the job done. It's unpleasant for all. 

I really would like to know more about communication requirements for a job in data analysis (you mention not having to write on topics he's not interested in, but you kind of imply that maybe he would have to write white papers on topics related to the work--it wasn't overly clear), and I would love to know more about what kinds of jobs are available in various fields for people who are analysts. I really have no idea. If you're not interested in helping me bridge that gap, that's fine. If you consider me stupid for not knowing, more power to you. .

Wow.

You can Google an analyst's job description so I didn't think that was the point of the post. I thought you were asking about your son, and his abilities.

From your description, he is on his way to being able to do almost any job--if he continues to work hard and believes in himself.

Doesn't matter if an analyst's job requires writing. If he is willing to learn I believe he can do it. The only thing that I have ever seen stop anyone is lack of hope in their ability to grow.

And yes I have worked with people who have ADD and who are on the spectrum. 

Normal means nothing in the real world. Ability is all about drive and determination. 

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8 hours ago, Tsuga said:

Wow.

You can Google an analyst's job description so I didn't think that was the point of the post. I thought you were asking about your son, and his abilities.

From your description, he is on his way to being able to do almost any job--if he continues to work hard and believes in himself.

Doesn't matter if an analyst's job requires writing. If he is willing to learn I believe he can do it. The only thing that I have ever seen stop anyone is lack of hope in their ability to grow.

And yes I have worked with people who have ADD and who are on the spectrum. 

Normal means nothing in the real world. Ability is all about drive and determination. 

I did google, but it doesn't tell me the specifics about the day-to-day communication requirements, which seem like they would be high and high-stakes. I asked about data analysis when it was mentioned while expressing a specific worry about his communication needs. As a result, you asked for more information about my son, and then talked about challenges with people on the spectrum that are not about written communication (I'm taking a mental note of those--they are not trivial issues). You keep offering a sort of pep talk that suggests I am overworrying rather than that I have a legit worry and that I am not interested in explaining my son to you in greater detail because you could just tell me what communication is like in that job. It's what I asked. I also said that his strengths and people's perception of him as NT are based on areas where his areas of disability can be minimized. You seem to think that indicates he has no real problem that determination wouldn't overcome (which has not been the case with writing).

I think he will be a successful adult, but I wondered if maybe data analysis would be an area to consider given his particular strengths. He has some other interests, but only in hands-on fields so far. This was an intriguing idea for a potential career path to have him consider.

I am sorry to have hijacked the point of the post (I am not the OP--we just have kids with overlapping issues). I really intended it to be a clarifying question since my searching isn't telling me what I want to know. 

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16 hours ago, Tsuga said:

so I don't want to diminish the fact that your doctor's know best, but if a lot of people are shocked that he has ADD and is on the spectrum, well... You might revisit why they are surprised.

 

Or perhaps you might revisit what being gifted and on the spectrum actually looks like. As a mom of an adult gifted Aspie, I'm fully aware of just how often outside observers do not understand the extent of his disability bc he doesn't "appear" disabled.

13 hours ago, kbutton said:

No, this is not a normal teen boy thing. Suffice it to say that profoundly gifted plus a disability often looks normal on the outside. Eye of the beholder varies, but his psych testing is his third round, every round has revealed more layers of both abilities and disabilities, he has an IEP (homeschoolers get services here), and people who have taught him (vs. just knowing him) have encountered a lot of difficulties that aren't readily apparent or even easy to classify. What he can and can't do isn't lined up into neat little categories. He has been assessed using tests designed to diagnose language issues in kids his age with autism, not by poor performance on a standardized test. I don't have much of a problem spilling things on the Learning Challenges board, but we're an odd fit on the AL board on a good day. Yet, ALs with disabilities need mentoring and information as well, so I stick my neck out here once in a while. I think I can learn from you if it's possible for you to be a little more descriptive about the jobs in data analysis, but this post is the last one about my son's particular issues since it's not really helping you understand our situation.

Logic won't make him able to "use his words." He has a diagnostically significant problem with using language in the ordinary way. Everyone who works with him spends months trying to figure him out and second-guessing me only to realize his test results are shockingly correct on both the high and impaired ends, and he really does have problems. I can easily see him getting into a job and then getting dismissed later with no real explanation. I have seen this with 2e people, and I have also been on the receiving end of trying to work with 2e people that seem fine but can't get the job done. It's unpleasant for all. 

I really would like to know more about communication requirements for a job in data analysis (you mention not having to write on topics he's not interested in, but you kind of imply that maybe he would have to write white papers on topics related to the work--it wasn't overly clear), and I would love to know more about what kinds of jobs are available in various fields for people who are analysts. I really have no idea. If you're not interested in helping me bridge that gap, that's fine. If you consider me stupid for not knowing, more power to you. I haven't met people in the field, I didn't know anyone in college studying in this field, and I come from a small town where basically everyone is a teacher, provides healthcare, farms, owns a small business (heavily relying on tourism), or does some kind of government/law enforcement or infrastructure work. I worked in the software industry, but I never worked with analysts.

Your ds is fortunate to have so much support.

2 hours ago, kbutton said:

You keep offering a sort of pep talk that suggests I am overworrying rather than that I have a legit worry and that I am not interested in explaining my son to you in greater detail because you could just tell me what communication is like in that job. It's what I asked. I also said that his strengths and people's perception of him as NT are based on areas where his areas of disability can be minimized. You seem to think that indicates he has no real problem that determination wouldn't overcome (which has not been the case with writing).

I just wanted to quote this to highlight its message. It underlies so much of the misperception that high functioning autistics endure. If only pep talk and determination would lead to overcoming disabilities. 

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12 hours ago, Tsuga said:

Wow.

You can Google an analyst's job description so I didn't think that was the point of the post. I thought you were asking about your son, and his abilities.

From your description, he is on his way to being able to do almost any job--if he continues to work hard and believes in himself.

Doesn't matter if an analyst's job requires writing. If he is willing to learn I believe he can do it. The only thing that I have ever seen stop anyone is lack of hope in their ability to grow.

And yes I have worked with people who have ADD and who are on the spectrum. 

Normal means nothing in the real world. Ability is all about drive and determination. 

I have watched my 26 yos suffer and be completely deflated as his younger siblings achieve success after success, grow up and have adult lives, and meanwhile he plods away as an unskilled laborer.  His IQ puts him in the 99th%. He has ability, drive, and determination, but employment is a struggle. 

Your experiences are obviously incredibly limited considering that our ds's situation far from being in the minority:

Quote

There will be 500,000 adults on the autism spectrum aging into adulthood over the next 10 years. Yet a whopping 85% of college grads affected by autism are unemployed, compared to the national unemployment rate of 4.5%.

https://moneyish.com/heart/most-college-grads-with-autism-cant-find-jobs-this-group-is-fixing-that/

 

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