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Calming Tea

So my dd is finished her 8 hour learning eval...

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Doc is going to look over all the tests and results, and think about it before creating a report and official Dx. During the first session she said for sure dd has ADHD which is no surprise to anyone.  We started her about a month ago on the book Finally Focused, following steps to feed the brain the nutrients that ADHD kids are typically starved of.  (She's also Highly Sensitive and breaks out in major rashes- even to the point of weeping rashes- when she eats any type of preservative, and also reacts when she eats food coloring and dyes) ....she's definitely allergic to preservatives...

Docs remarks after the last session-

1.  DD is in the gifted range for IQ no doubt about it

2.  DD is struggling with impatience.  Her mind moves faster, quicker and extremely intuitive as well so she needs to work on the skill of giving others a chance to think/speak (Don't i know it! haha!) 

3.  She is not sure dd has dyslexia.  This is a total and complete shocker to me.  DD has had six years of intensive phonics- 3 with regular phonics programs and 3 with synthetic phonics, and still can't spell to save her life.  She doesn't know right from left, she reverses letters, she has trouble reading aloud although her reading speed is literally speed-reading range, she CANNOT distinguish or sound out syllables in new words...

Anyway doc isn't saying she doesn't have dyslexia, she just feels like it's something else. She even mentioned that dd could learn to spell in a foreign language well enough to pass, in college, if she truly applied herself because she felt like her high IQ and good study skills might help her get through.  She is definitely going to ask for accommodations and she was saying that as much to encourage my dd as to get her thoughts out there, but I was a bit miffed.  To me, if you are gifted but you can't spell, something is wrong. 

This doctor is awesome and super thorough, so I'll be looking forward to her report, and we will have a chance to corrent anything in the report, or discuss it and even re-test if we feel something doesn't jive.  So it's not a done deal once the first report is finished, but I will still be super curious to see it.

Edited by Calming Tea
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I would be prepared to ask some detailed questions about the dyslexia question. Commonly, the psych will run a CTOPP to test phonological processing. DD13 was tested by a neuropsych just as she turned 10, and the CTOPP indicated dyslexia. But then she had intensive tutoring, and the next time the CTOPP was run on her, her scores were in the average range. Even though DD still cannot spell typically.

So intensive remediation work can pull up the standardized scores when testing for phonological disability. I would want to see a pretty convincing explanation of what is causing the issues you mention, if dyslexia is not going to be diagnosed. Someone with dyslexia who has had remediation can pass the CTOPP, so if that is what the psych points to to say no to dyslexia, you might want to push back and question whether the history of intervention is affecting the outcome of the testing. 

It may be possible for something other than a phonological disability to be at the root. But it's also possible for dyslexics to improve test scores after intervention.

From what you describe, it sounds like she has a high processing speed. My daughter does, too (it is an outlier high score for her) and definitely struggles to wait for others to speak before breaking in. It also makes it hard for her to slow down to decode words, even though she knows how. Her mind wants to leap ahead.

 

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10 hours ago, Storygirl said:

I would be prepared to ask some detailed questions about the dyslexia question. Commonly, the psych will run a CTOPP to test phonological processing. DD13 was tested by a neuropsych just as she turned 10, and the CTOPP indicated dyslexia. But then she had intensive tutoring, and the next time the CTOPP was run on her, her scores were in the average range. Even though DD still cannot spell typically.

So intensive remediation work can pull up the standardized scores when testing for phonological disability. I would want to see a pretty convincing explanation of what is causing the issues you mention, if dyslexia is not going to be diagnosed. Someone with dyslexia who has had remediation can pass the CTOPP, so if that is what the psych points to to say no to dyslexia, you might want to push back and question whether the history of intervention is affecting the outcome of the testing. 

It may be possible for something other than a phonological disability to be at the root. But it's also possible for dyslexics to improve test scores after intervention.

From what you describe, it sounds like she has a high processing speed. My daughter does, too (it is an outlier high score for her) and definitely struggles to wait for others to speak before breaking in. It also makes it hard for her to slow down to decode words, even though she knows how. Her mind wants to leap ahead.

 

 

Thanks! I will definitely save this post and talk to psych if she doesn't dx dyslexia.  My dd had three years of remediation with Synthetic Phonics /A&P so I feel that was a huge game changer for her.  

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My son has some quirks on the CTOPP, but he did well on it. The second psych to look at the dyslexia question opted to give him the diagnosis. She said that many gifted kids with dyslexia present this way if they had intensive phonics, and my son did have intensive phonics as well. She also gave him a dyscalculia diagnosis too, which shocked me. He has trouble with routine calculations (makes simple mistakes even when he knows his math facts--though some of those are sketchy too) but not so much with number sense, and he is slightly advanced in math.

I think I would look for backdoor ways to get dyslexia-related accommodations, if the psych won't diagnose dyslexia. Maybe look up ideas for accomodations that would be given if she had it, sift through what you think would help, and ask for it to be suggested in the report (things like getting extra help with proofreading papers, spelling, etc. or for spelling to not count off significantly (or even at all) in work where spelling doesn't matter that much). I would want something in the report to indicate the depth of the issues with spelling with or without the dyslexia diagnosis.

Good luck with the food stuff! I have some serious reactions to foods, preservatives, etc., and it's been awful to figure out. The weeping rashes are awful. I do not have those, but my DH will get them if he doesn't wash conventionally grown fruit really well, particularly berries. 

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

My son has some quirks on the CTOPP, but he did well on it. The second psych to look at the dyslexia question opted to give him the diagnosis. She said that many gifted kids with dyslexia present this way if they had intensive phonics, and my son did have intensive phonics as well. She also gave him a dyscalculia diagnosis too, which shocked me. He has trouble with routine calculations (makes simple mistakes even when he knows his math facts--though some of those are sketchy too) but not so much with number sense, and he is slightly advanced in math.

I think I would look for backdoor ways to get dyslexia-related accommodations, if the psych won't diagnose dyslexia. Maybe look up ideas for accomodations that would be given if she had it, sift through what you think would help, and ask for it to be suggested in the report (things like getting extra help with proofreading papers, spelling, etc. or for spelling to not count off significantly (or even at all) in work where spelling doesn't matter that much). I would want something in the report to indicate the depth of the issues with spelling with or without the dyslexia diagnosis.

Good luck with the food stuff! I have some serious reactions to foods, preservatives, etc., and it's been awful to figure out. The weeping rashes are awful. I do not have those, but my DH will get them if he doesn't wash conventionally grown fruit really well, particularly berries. 

 

 

Thanks! We ironed out the food stuff years ago- my other child (my 17 yo ds) cannot eat non-organic fruits!  If he eats them his entire throat and trachea will get this weird itchiness and a cough for hours.  We finally realized it was the pesticides 😞  Hopefully you'll get a handle on your own issues soon ((hugs)) 

Thanks for the backdoor idea- I think that the psych wants her to have accommodations and she does think she needs it so she was already considering different ideas of what she'd suggest or how she'd get the Dx in there, even if she really didn't feel it was dyslexia.  We can't afford another eval (3500.00) nor would my dd put up with going through that again, (not that I think we need it, the doctor is really thorough and wonderful, we love her) ....but we definitely need communication tools so I am super thankful for how you worded your post!

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ok, so we got our report and Dx back and it's great, very thorough.

She is diagnosed:

Gifted 98th percentile IQ

Learning Disability for Visual Memory

ADHD

Basically even though she is gifted, her spelling is in the 4th percentile and her visual memory tests overall were less than 15th percentile.  

Doctor recommends the following accommodations for schools:

1.  All in class assignments, quizzes and tests be allowed to be typed

2.  Time and a half for all written tests, quizzes and in class graded assignments so that she can use spellcheck which takes extra time.

3.  Any foreign language be 100% oral with absolutely no written or spelling component.  If oral foreign language cannot be offered, doctor's recommendation is the foreign language requirement be waived.

She also pointed out I need to formally write out accommodations used by current co-op teachers, and at home, and have them signed by the teacher and our umbrella school principal, because colleges are reluctant to give accommodations to someone who was successful in high school "without them." So I have started the process of documenting her accommodations and reaching out to her teachers.

I feel she still shows signs of mild dyslexia and the doctor agreed but every single test having to do with dyslexia came back within the range of normal, even as compared to her IQ.  So basically, even if the doctor wanted to Dx her with that, she just wouldn't have the backup documenation to show it.  BUT overall, I feel like this is a better Dx anyway becuase there are a lot of telltale signs of dyslexia she also does NOT have.  

Thanks for reading this and listening as we went through this process.  My dd is so glad it's over!

 

Edited to add : the doctor included a three page report of her spelling throughout her education, and her three years of synthetic phonics remediation so that colleges would not dismiss the issue as "homeschooler didnt' do their job." She said we more than did our job even moreso than many school districts would have done.  🙂

 

Edited by Calming Tea
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There is not a lot of information online about visual memory LD. Did she give other recommendations or connect what you are seeing in her work to the diagnosis? I am very curious.

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,I am not a doctor or an education specialist...I am just glad we have an answer, even if it is not 100% perfect (and I think no LDs are usually fully understood, they're often co-morbid and they come in varying severities) ...

And now she can get accommodations.  

I think she has some mild dyslexia going on, but even if she did have mild dyslexia, the testing for that really didn't came back conclusive - and the doc does have to document her Dx, so I'm not sure it would be fair for her to put something in there just because I want it 🙂 I mean, I hear ya- it's weird this visual memory thing.  

ON the other hand, the more I looked into dyslexia the more her symptoms don't totally match, and the more the visual memory stuff really matches....

I guess for me I am just happy she has the paper trail now and at least some clear answers.  My dd doesn't care what it's called so much as that she now admits there is a pretty serious issue, what it affects, and that she needs to get accommodations.  She isn't the kind to, (now or ever) obsess or spend a lot of time reading about such things, or trying to understand it.  But I can always say- "you seem to have a touch of dyslexia, so be sure to read up on that too, but your tests just didn't show it because of other factors.."

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I am glad you're finding information that seems to match what you are seeing. I just know it's difficult for people to get answers that provide day-to-day help when the diagnosis is not as high-profile. 🙂 If this gets what you need in place, it doesn't matter if it's not as well understood. 

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I have a 22yo who has dyslexia and is gifted (probably highly gifted, but the way the dyslexia messes with testing, it's hard to know for sure).  The gifted thing can really throw an evaluator who isn't familiar with how it messes with how dyslexia looks.  Also, my son was easily diagnosed with ADHD, but looking back on everything, I see now that what almost everyone (including me)* thought was ADHD was probably a combination of dyslexia and high creativity.  Unfortunately, he spent years on medication that made him feel bad because it *did* help him focus (it is a myth that ADHD meds only help folks with ADHD).

*There was one evaluator (well known in the gifted/dyslexia world) that was certain he did not have ADHD.  I agree with that assessment now.

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