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PeterPan

Scribing for math, typing for math...

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So I don't know if this was a day or a trend, but I want to talk about this and see what y'all think. Ds has the diagnosed SLD math and his number sense is pretty affected. He's also considered gifted in math, and he's a really bright little problem solver, really enjoyable to work with, and he pretty much gobbles up anything I throw at him. I try to do a mix of fun stuff and word problems, though sometimes we make some effort on computation. Right now we're doing word problems.

So the thing with the word problems is they're like 18 layers of disability for him. Not really, but legitimately they're at least 3:

-math disability--This the easiest part. I'm letting him use a calculator for computation and we alternate seasons of Ronit Bird (intervention) and seasons of application with word problems. Right now we're doing word problems.

-receptive language--He needs to comprehend the language in the word problem and have his brain actually have a clue what it means. That's why I do word problems with him rather than computation, because the language trips him up. He likes the word problems, but the language will stump him. It can be like today with a sequence problem (so and so was more than one person, less than another, another person was between another two, what is the sequence). It can also be translating what he has figured out in his head into the symbols and buttons on the calculator. Sometimes he has no clue, which I consider a language issue.

-expressive language--In order for me to scribe for him, logically I should be scribing what he SAYS. I'm fine with scribing, but what happens when his language shuts down? Or do we just say language shut down so he's stressed so pause and do something else? But my concern is this is something that is naturally hard anyway (saying your steps for the math) and then we're adding on his apraxia and expressive language issues ON TOP of that. And some people are like oh his articulation is fine, why are you saying the apraxia is an issue? But it's always just harder for him. Even with $80k in speech therapy, it's hard. And it's hard on top of everything else.

And today was the first day where I stopped and said my lands, I'm frustrating someone who literally has like 3-4 disabilities in play all in this very task. It really made me question whether I've gone FAR ENOUGH, whether just saying here's a scribe is adequate. I need to know what it means to scribe in integrity, what it means with a dc who has that many difficulties. For us to work at instructional level, there's going to be some stress just inherent. Had a funny moment when he was walking away and I'm like YOU'RE QUITTING! He's like yeah, I quit when it's hard. Cracked me up that he could finally say that. He had a maturity jump and it's clicking. But reality is he does have to have breaks to stay calm and could be having his ability to get out his language affected because we're trying to work at instructional level in something. 

So what does it look like to scribe in integrity if he can't get it out??? I offered to have him POINT and he still wasn't getting there. Now he's also an opinionated cuss, I get it. And it's hard, and he's like well you know so you write it... So that isn't cool.

But is there some smart way to side-step all this? We need like the old printer tape on adding machines and calculators, haha. Is there a way to type into an app that LOOKS LIKE A CALCULATOR? I do not, do not, do not want to give him a regular keyboard right now. I know there's math software or apps, but I what him to use a calculator and have it generate paper trail that "shows his work". Does this happen? Is that at all legit? If he could do that, then we could side-step this for a while. This is not algebra. These are like 3rd and 4th grade level common core daily word problems for math from major publishers. Nothing too complex, just the language is at instructional level for him and useful and the CC stuff has enough thought that it's interesting. Actually it's crazy charming stuff every week (3 pages) has a different theme, so it could be dinosaurs, magicians, whatever. It's really cute stuff, engaging.

I don't know, what do you see there? If I DON'T try to get him to give me an equation, then I'm failing to work through the "show your work" part. But if I write the equation myself based on what he put in the calculator without him saying or otherwise communicating it, then I'm not letting him learn that language skill. If he doesn't need the calculator, then he's even farther removed from showing his work. But if I'm shutting down his love of math (well love is a strong word, but at least pleasure in math) by making it arduous or stressful with the expressive language, that's counter productive.

This is not something that is going to get radically better. It's probably going to get worse and his ability to communicate to the scribe is going to go down as the difficulty of the instruction increases. So then how in the world do we legitimately scribe??? I need some ideas here. Something. I whack on the head. Something out of the box. Tiles on a magnet board? Some kind of app that has a calculator screen and above it something else? But then how do I save that to have paper trail to show my reviewers? See that's the thing, I have intervention specialists and all these people coming in my home. I try to have paper trail of what we do. If I have to sacrifice paper trail, I will. But it seems to me it's important that he is in some way able to communicate and translate his thoughts into something that he recognizes as forming an equation, that he can look at and say yes that's what I meant, that's what it would look like.

What do you think?

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My reluctance on the regular keyboard is one he's only formative on the typing we've been successful with so far. He's literally pecking with his left hand, with his right, 3 vowels and 5 consonants. I don't want to screw that up or distract from that. I also don't want him figuring out his keyboard has been altered for Dvorak. My plan is to win and I must continue the subtrifuge.

Fwiw using a calculator is kind of tricky for him. Sometimes he gets the order of the numbers wrong, gets flustered. We've used physical calculators and apps on a small iphone. I think it's just kind of complex for him. This is a kid who only started dialing a phone number this year.

So anyways, I'm open to ideas, even placating ones, lol. We'll see what the behaviorist says too. She has enough teen and older clients that she's usually pretty btdt.

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Disclaimer- I’m uncertain if I’m reading your question right as it’s early... 

I’m sure you know about modmath, the non calculator typer for math problems?  You can print out your work.  It does have a slight learning curve beyond the four basic operations.  

Maybe physical/manipulives/acting out a word problem.  Like after reading the word problem (or it read aloud to him), he can put himself in that real situation.  Money problems would be easiest, but LEGO minifigs can be used for people, and frequently their little props.  Or he could play act each sentence?  

If using a LEGO scenario, after he sets up each sentence, or one by one, that gets transferred to a typed math translation.  Idk if that makes sense.  Sort of like unboxed but lego-ed or brought to life.  Or, of course, just manipulatives?  

Edited by displace
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Two things.

One — definitely use a break card if you are worried about him being frustrated with his speech when he is getting mentally overloaded. You have a lot of options.... there are things with green/yellow/red that can go along with.... I don’t even know.... but my impression is things like “what color is your engines” or “zones of regulation.”  My son hasn’t done this.  Does anything you use have any color or icon (etc) that would go well with a break....  We have only used boardmaker icons for break — I bet this is on Pinterest....

For teaching asking for a break, and using break cards, the goal here (which has been assigned to my son by others, not my personal goal, and I don’t know all the ins and outs — you could ask people for your son) ———- but anyway, the goal has really been to get him to notice he needs a break, early enough, that he is not that SO frustrated.  And then — we have had a lot with prompting him to “notice” he may need a break, etc., so he can really notice before he gets to a point of bolting.

Two, I see a lot where there are pre-made manipulatives or “file folder games” — like there has been a visit to the “teachers pay teachers” store, and some cut-outs for kids to manipulate, if they are probably going to be doing that.  I don’t think this is inherently better when a parent is available to scribe.  But it is an option.

Three, I have seen rectangles of paper with digits written on them, that can be generic for quite a few things.  

Four, I have seen things made on index cards on the fly, to go along with a question or a few questions.  

Five, I’m not sure what kind of word problems, but maybe add a step of representing the word problem as a picture, and highlighting the key words, etc.  There are various ways to add steps to word problems that I think can make them seem less complicated.  I have seen lists saying steps to take when seeing a word problem, that kids can use.  It will be things like:  read it, highlight or underline the key words, decide what kind of problem it is (sometimes this is with a box bailable showing what kind of key words go with an operation, or with a picture sheet showing a visual to go along with key words), draw a picture, write a number sentence, etc.  

It sounds like he is doing great!  

I think scribing is good too, but I know from experience sometimes my older son would feel like there was pressure on him that I was right there waiting for the next thing to write, and he would feel like I was rushing him.  I could get up and do something in the kitchen and then come back when he was ready.  This worked best when he was at the kitchen table.  I wouldn’t do this if he would just get frustrated and worked up, but I could tell from how he was asking if he could productively think about it on his own a moment without me right there.  When it was the right time it worked great for him.

It’s also fine to give more prompts or hints sometimes.  You can model looking back at an earlier problem, a textbook explanation (I have gotten textbooks for this purpose, and just looked up a concept in the index), google a video, etc.  Those are all prompts that are pretty minor.  You can go from there to prompts that are basically telling him a step or saying “look at this.”  

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I have no experience in math LD. I only have experience with getting work samples to submit for my oldest who handed in blank sheets for writing class work in public school.

Regarding “evidence” from a calculator, there are printing calculators e.g https://www.amazon.com/Casio-HR-100TM-desktop-printing-Calculator/dp/B000I3C4EY

Regarding handwritten work samples, my kid drew some and write some. If your son can draw something like the Singapore Math model diagrams, it does work as work samples. I know kids were allowed to draw apples, oranges and pizzas for multiplication and division for daily work and work samples. Public school teachers do prompt, my youngest was prompted because his teacher thought he was daydreaming. My oldest was in public school until end of 4th grade.

e.g. 

https://singaporemathsource.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/548-Navigating-Word-Problems-with-Models-CMC-2018-Cassy-Turner.pdf

https://singaporemathsource.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/1150-Strip-Models-Tape-Diagrams-Bar-Models-Oh-My-NCEA-2018-Cassy-Turner.pdf

Above two PDFs are from here with more math teaching handouts https://singaporemathsource.com/resources/handouts/

page 4 of 4 might be useful (my dad and brother have difficulties with English, my dad is officially ESL, my brother barely passed English in school. https://www.singaporemath.com/v/sf_tmbm.pdf

ETA:

Regarding typing, my kids typed with four fingers (pointer and middle finger) until they were in 7/8th grade. 

Also my oldest likes to use a stylus to write on his laptop in tablet mode. He can just print to PDF and submit the homework.

Edited by Arcadia
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YFor all the ideas with drawing, I have seen “counters” used instead (the little math manipulative counters).  

I have seen foam stickers.  I have seen regular stickers.  I have seen ink stamps.  I have seen blocks.  If he has any OT goals related to picking up tiny objects or peeling a sticker etc etc then it is something people do to work on the OT also.  

I have scribed drawing things, and drawn things for my son.  

This is also where cute cut-outs can be used instead of drawing.  Or — people make cute manipulatives with a sticker or theme (etc) related to a favorite character or video game, and then kids can be excited to see the manipulative come out.  Or they can be a bit of a reward to bring out for the end of math and help make sure math ends on a good note, or can be brought out when fatigue is starting, etc.  Edit:  or just a preferred manipulative of any kind — this can be food, play doh, legos, etc etc a lot of kids will really like some kind of manipulative, and there is a lot with games or activities that can use them

There are a lot of options if drawing is a problem but you want a “drawing” step.  

 

Edited by Lecka

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Depending on the word problems too, sometimes they can be changed to be about  favorite video game or cartoon.  This is a thing, too, and can go along with themed manipulatives (or not).  

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If you are talking about possibily using a 10-key, then I should warn you ahead of time about them. Yes, they will produce a tape of your calculations, but since I use a 10-key (CPA here), then it has made me not able to use a regular calculator as well. I can use a 10-key and go super fast with calculations because I don't think about it when I do it.because a regular calculator does not work quite the same way.

Regular calculator:

For additon/subtaction: It's number function number equal.

For 10 key: It's number function number function equal because it uses postfix notation.

Division and Multiplcation are still like a regular calculator. If you had me a regular calculator and ask me to add things up, I invariably will not be as quick on a regular calculator because I am so used to postfix notation when adding and subtracting. That may or may not be an issue for you or your student.

Also depending on how far you go with calculators, the functions of a 10 key is pretty basic. It's basically designed to be an adding/substracting machine.

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5 hours ago, displace said:

I’m sure you know about modmath, the non calculator typer for math problems?  You can print out your work.  It does have a slight learning curve beyond the four basic operations.

I'll go check it out. I've seen things mentioned, but it just wasn't the time, sigh. And it may be more than he can handle. I'm looking at it now and it does exactly what I was thinking, giving a calculator type screen that displays a math-typical equation, etc. Looks like I need to fiddle with it. I might even be comfortable with me scribing what he makes appear on that screen. And if he's not ready, he's not ready. But he's getting close I think. And yes, 4 operations will be sufficient, lol. Thanks!!!!!

And yeah, for the most part he gets the math of the word problems. He's cranking out the right answers out of his head and figuring out how to punch it into a calculator and make it happen. It's just happening really fast in his head, so things drop, thing one, and it's not setting him up to be able to do more complex work where he needs to show his steps. It doesn't help him take a deep breath and come back and find his errors, because he's trying to do it all in his head. And he can, but it's not completely sustainable. He's not THAT bright, lol. I need a compromise that works.

So yeah, for some things I break out the manips. I was using paper napkins with him for the sequencing. But he's really pretty solid there. It's this whole idea that numbers can turn into equations and that equations mean something. It's another language for him. You could say it's the slight disadvantage of not sluffing him through some traditional computation program. We've written equations, but it's a foreign language for him and not how he's thinking through the math. And I'm concerned that if I scribe and he doesn't do SOMETHING that generates those equations actively he's not going to learn the language. It could happen. I mean a year ago we were working on "is" and pronouns. It could happen.

2 hours ago, Lecka said:

definitely use a break card

Good point. He's taking his breaks so peacefully now and staying calm. He just needs breaks. And with this growth spurt, there's room to talk about things he wasn't ready to talk about before, like quitting vs. taking a break and coming back at it, lol. 

3 hours ago, Lecka said:

t my impression is things like “what color is your engines” or “zones of regulation.”  My son hasn’t done this.

My OT is driving me crazy. She's been saying for 3 months she'd start doing Interoception work with him and she STILL hasn't bought it and gotten it going. I'm about ready to just take a mental health break from OT and do it myself. I'm talking with the behaviorist about it and we'll decide. I'm exasperated because it's his GREATEST NEED in the whole wide world, the way to keep him out of jail and on a path to a happy life, but no they prioritize handwriting. And he is a little more comfortable writing!! But that doesn't keep us safe or help him self-regulate to do his work. And if I pause my 1 hour therapy blocks, she'll probably have to toss us quickly. We were just in the big city 4 days last week and are getting burnt out. Everything is great, but if they aren't doing what is most important, I have to drop things and do it myself. And I can't do it if I'm worn out from driving like a loon.

3 hours ago, Lecka said:

index cards

I did that with my dd, giving her prompts for the words during her math. Even that was hard, but she could do it. He's actually shutting down, but the way his praxis affects his speech is more significant. I think it's one of those where hers showed up more globally with a little for speech and his is largely speech with a little global, same genes. That's what I think. But yeah, that's what we did. And I think if it's too slow he won't do it. He's already doing the entire multi-step problem in his head in a flash. Even though his processing speed is discrepant for IQ it's actually a pretty good speed, way, way, way better than dd's was. So it feeds into the impulsivity, making him impatient. He's probably faster than I am, really, for processing speed. I'm not sure, but my dd has commented on that, that I'm slow. Hahaha. But since I actually have numbers to back up that he's not just being bad, that he really is fast, I need something fast, sigh.

3 hours ago, Lecka said:

highlighting the key words

Oooo, oooo, this he likes!!!!!!!!! We've done marking with highlighters and he's a fanatic for it. It's low motor planning demand, very powerful. I would probably be happy with just him highlighting the key numbers and writing a sign. Like literally, for me, I'd probably accept that. Because right now, for the amount he writes comfortably, that's really realistic. He would LOVE to be able to do his math independently. He actually really likes it and comes back to the pages after his breaks and is ready to go again. 

4 hours ago, Lecka said:

sometimes my older son would feel like there was pressure on him that I was right there waiting for the next thing to write, and he would feel like I was rushing him.

If this were computation, that would work. He's at instructional level for these and needs support. It's not homework where he's already independent.

3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Regarding “evidence” from a calculator, there are printing calculators e.g https://www.amazon.com/Casio-HR-100TM-desktop-printing-Calculator/dp/B000I3C4EY

Oh you're right, that's the bees' knees!! Don't know why I didn't think to just look for a smaller one. That's very affordable and has big buttons. So did you end up doing that for him? 

3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Regarding handwritten work samples, my kid drew some and write some. If your son can draw something like the Singapore Math model diagrams, it does work as work samples.

We've done some with that. We usually do them on a whiteboard and then I take pictures. Honestly, the teachers for our portfolio reviews and end of year IEP update aren't hyper-picky. I bring out a big work with the worksheets we've done (mostly me scribing), look at some for each category, we talk about things, and it's done. It may be more that *I'm* worried than they are, lol. Reality is at this point, because of his IEP, he's exempt from state testing and will get a pass on EVERYTHING. A teacher will sign saying "performing at ability level" and they no longer care. Basically. Like for the IEP they have to update goals, but for state homeschooling law it's pretty blanket like that, just performing at ability level. And our behaviorist told us if his year was working on language instead of math and we have less math evidence, then he was still performing at ability level, that that was his reality.

 

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1 hour ago, calbear said:

I can use a 10-key and go super fast with calculations because I don't think about it when I do it.because a regular calculator does not work quite the same way.

Thanks for clarifying that!! You're right, he needs to be able to use a regular calculator without feeling frustrated, because that's what he'll have for later testing. 

1 hour ago, Lecka said:

ideas with drawing

I'm not really interested in drawing at this point, only the writing the equations. He's done enough representations and has it in his head, so I'm trying to make sure he can actually use the language of math and write equations.

It's looking like ModMath is spot on for what I was thinking. If I can get it loaded on something, then we can play with it. If he generates equations using that and I scribe them onto the paper, that's pretty tidy. It's basically AAC for math, lol. 

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4 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Don't know why I didn't think to just look for a smaller one. That's very affordable and has big buttons. So did you end up doing that for him? 

 

We didn’t get a printing calculator as our public charter only need two pages of math work sample per quarter. I did get a big display four function calculator for my youngest due to vision tracking issues years ago.

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Oh man, I hear you. My math students also have language disabilities, and it's so much effort to get the language part of a problem figured out, and then to have the calculation on top of it - it's exhausting. Heaven help us if there are two part word problems! 

Scribing with integrity is no easy feat. I just had to scribe for state tests. It's not perfect by any means. Just like how text to speech is helpful, but also often really not that good... I feel the same about scribing. And kids kinda look at you like, am I doing this right...? Like Lecka said, there's also an embarrassment factor, like they know they're not doing that well, or they feel judged in some way. Scribing is definitely not equally as good as being able to do it on your own.

Personally, I might only scribe "with integrity" for tests where you need to know what he can actually do on his own. For regular work, I'd probably just have him help me get it down correctly, kinda like an errorless learning way of teaching.

Learning how the math symbols associate with the actual math, well, that's a whole different situation 🙂 

 

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45 minutes ago, Mainer said:

Oh man, I hear you. My math students also have language disabilities, and it's so much effort to get the language part of a problem figured out, and then to have the calculation on top of it - it's exhausting. Heaven help us if there are two part word problems! 

Scribing with integrity is no easy feat. I just had to scribe for state tests. It's not perfect by any means. Just like how text to speech is helpful, but also often really not that good... I feel the same about scribing. And kids kinda look at you like, am I doing this right...? Like Lecka said, there's also an embarrassment factor, like they know they're not doing that well, or they feel judged in some way. Scribing is definitely not equally as good as being able to do it on your own.

Personally, I might only scribe "with integrity" for tests where you need to know what he can actually do on his own. For regular work, I'd probably just have him help me get it down correctly, kinda like an errorless learning way of teaching.

Learning how the math symbols associate with the actual math, well, that's a whole different situation 🙂 

 

Yeah, that's it exactly. He has to do the language AND the calculation, and it's a lot of work. He's taking several minutes each, even when they're easy. Now they're meant to (daily work, warm-up type things, so meant to be cut in half and take several minutes) but still. And yes, they'll have two parts. https://www.evan-moor.com/p/20077/Evan-Moor-Daily-Word-Problems-Teacher’s-Edition-E-Book-Grade-3  That's the book we were doing. We started with the gr4 and by the math it was fine but the language needed a lot of support. We already had the 3rd grade earlier edition (not common core), but I liked this one so much I bought it. So instead of just a few, in this book he can do 6 pages (2 weeks' worth) a day. 

I think that's the thing. Like we always say on the boards we're so cool with scribing, but my gut is I'm short-changing him a little bit, supporting mental steps he should be doing. But if I don't scribe, I'm slowing down the amount we get done. And yes, I think we're giving subtle prompts and clues.

I think what I could do is an in-between, like he draws a diagram and I actually require him to write something like that and then I write the equation of what he's typing. You're right that in the end it's probably going to pan out. I think it's more important that we go forward than it is that we turn this into a writing exercise.

So you scribe with integrity for tests and compromise for the rest and stop worrying, sigh. Lots of worrying, lol. 

Oh, I pulled up the ModMath app. It works on the ipad, but I'm not sure if it will actually calculate. I need to try it. 

Usually what has happened in the past is I've written equations and he has taken over. You're right that it could happen if we're just consistent.

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So the behaviorist's suggestion was writing blank forms of the equations onto index cards so he could point to what equation type he's using. I thought that was smart and kind of merged everything. Not too hard to make happen either.

I also thought about whether the OT could help make writing for math work. I think it's just a slog. I'll probably mention it but not force it. He's just starting to write for pleasure again after that last dragon OT, so we don't want anything that shuts him down.

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I definitely don’t think you need to feel bad about helping as needed even if it is more of a tutoring or doing-it-together kind of thing.

One, definitely this is how ALL my older son’s homework was done for YEARS, and this is true for quite a few kids.  Now my daughter just sits and does her homework and it’s no big deal.  But that is definitely not the case for everybody.

Two, in a lot of classrooms he might be able to work in a small group and see some of what other kids were doing or ask a question if he were stuck.  It’s a good way to practice and learn.  I think it’s good to be that way with a parent, and I think that’s what a lot of help is like.  It is an aid to learning and practice.  

I think it’s easy to feel like you are doing “too much” to help when really it is appropriate because it is what is needed.  

I agree about there probably being prompts and cues when scribing, but that is not bad.  It is just prompted.  Prompting is good when it is going well and is a good level.  

I think it’s the same as looking like a helicopter parent sometimes — if the help is needed then the help is needed, it doesn’t matter if it’s an amount of help that might “look” bad or be more than you really want to need to give.  It’s the same for math.  If it is needed then it is needed, it’s not too much.  

If you wanted to have an independent level for him you could look at doing something at a lower level (lower than instructional) and making a point of limiting prompts and cues, or having it where he could set up manipulatives and then you look at them.  

You don’t need the same standards for instructional level and independent level, and you can spend less time on independent level, if you want to focus more on instructional level. 

 

Edited by Lecka
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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Usually what has happened in the past is I've written equations and he has taken over. You're right that it could happen if we're just consistent.

This is great! Could you have him write for math that's super easy (like, you give him a too-easy problem on purpose), so he doesn't have to contend with the language, calculation, math-to-symbol stuff, AND writing at the same time? Maybe if the language/thinking load is lighter, he'd be able to write the math. In any case, it would be interesting to find out if that would actually happen!

Now I'm curious. 🙂 

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Is he more comfortable writing say on a white board?  Or a doodle board (those now have an option to print out)?  I've had great success with the white board and then I found on Zulily one day the equivalent of a notebook, spiral bound, that is a few pages of white board/wipe-off.  My ds prefers because it seems to flow easier in the hand to write.  I was going to suggest the index card idea but maybe take it even further and use individual numbers, the signs, equals, etc. that he could lay out and move around as he works through the word problem and then do the calculations on the calculator. 

I know scribing is hard but I've preferred to teach to 100% mastery so once my ds would set the problem up I'd tend to gently instruct a rework using the wording of the problem so that he didn't get frustrated when the answer was wrong -- too much of that caused shutdowns.  (We had great success with Mathtacular 4 that Sonlight sells)

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There was a time when we used the magnetic dry erase board with number fridge magnets and a dry erase marker for math.  You may be able to find a dry erase board with a built in grid pattern.  DD used to take pics of her spelling on the dry erase board and save to Evernote. 

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3 hours ago, Mainer said:

This is great! Could you have him write for math that's super easy (like, you give him a too-easy problem on purpose), so he doesn't have to contend with the language, calculation, math-to-symbol stuff, AND writing at the same time? Maybe if the language/thinking load is lighter, he'd be able to write the math. In any case, it would be interesting to find out if that would actually happen!

Now I'm curious. 🙂 

I'd have to think about that. You're right that with so many goals doing math *independently* hasn't really been a goal. Like even when I toured one of the autism schools, they didn't set kids up for independent time with math. They had a computer station and the kids would rotate maybe 5 things in an hour, so time with an aide doing manips, time with the teacher, time writing from a prompt, etc. I've thought about Teaching Textbooks, and that would be a tidy way to get some independent math. I don't know if he'd retain anything, but it would be independent.

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1 hour ago, Heathermomster said:

There was a time when we used the magnetic dry erase board with number fridge magnets and a dry erase marker for math.  You may be able to find a dry erase board with a built in grid pattern.  DD used to take pics of her spelling on the dry erase board and save to Evernote. 

Ok, I'm SUCH a dingbat. I got a set of magnetic numbers and never got around to actually using them that way. There sort of wasn't that convergence of math level and whatever. But you're right, he's finally at the level where it could be fun! The novelty would get him to do it I think.

And fwiw he did better today. I think yesterday was an especially bad day. He was willing to do today some of the strategies I had tried to get him to use yesterday, like he pointed to the quantities. 

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Peter Pan — does he sometimes do well with novelty, and other times do horrible with anything new?

If so — you might introduce things like you’re showing it to him on the first day, offer it as a choice the 2nd-3rd day (or whatever), and only expect him to use it or participate after it has been introduced.  And then if he likes it the first day — he can pick it.  

It might be something if he doesn’t like new things.

My son has definitely had independent work goals for math, along the lines of a worksheet or a file folder where he puts the cut-outs in the right place.  Depending on the computer program that could be independent.

Maybe look for a lower level for a computer program.  He may do better starting with something easier and working up.  

You have a lot of options for sure.

 

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PeterPan, I just want you to know that I hear you. Younger DS is gifted at math and has dysgraphia which means coding his thinking into recognizable mathematical statements is crazy difficult.  Slow and steady wins the race. You can do this!

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I was thinking about this last night and trying to figure out what impact ds low VMI and motor-speed precision (eye-hand coordination) scores are having on this. I mean, it's almost stupid OBVIOUS that they're the cause of his handwriting difficulties, yes? His visual processing with moto skills removed (test of visual perceptual skills III non-motor revised) were STELLAR. So the VT place didn't want to do squat therapy and wanted him to continue OT. But the OT isn't giving us homework and is making terribly slow progress, even at 1 hour a week.

It seems to me if I had something stellar for visual-motor integration, the actual eye to hand motor planning part, I could make a big difference. Like maybe I need an additional OT, some kind of VT books that bring in the motor planning component, something. I was up looking into it and didn't get anywhere, and I've tried in the past. I found some workbooks, but will they do it? Maybe?

 https://www.visiontherapycalgary.com/2014/07/27/visual-motor-integration/ This site shows writing improvement with the Multi-Matrix product, which is funky dice you use to play games.  But is it tackling the motor planning or only the visual perception? If a kid has no praxis and bumps visual perception, then the motor piece should improve. But ds has consistently had funky bits of global praxis. Not like irrectifiable, but present. So like with swimming, he needed hand over hand to get the strokes and needed like 6 times longer than everyone else.

So I'm miffed that our place didn't offer him therapy, but they're saying it's a motor planning problem. And it's just frustrating, because my impression even most run of the mill kids with dysgraphia can write their math. Ds is shutting down with motor planning on so many levels. 

I can go through the pile of OTs in the area and see. I don't know. I'd rather have a workbook series I just bang him through, an hour a day. 

https://www.bernell.com/category/Workbooks  These are workbooks, but only the geoboards, seems to me, would come close to using motor planning. Maybe the mazes? 

https://www.bernell.com/category/Perceptual-Products  These are their products for visual perception, but again my issue is motor planning.

Haha, maybe I need to look for a site that sells OT products?

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6 hours ago, lewelma said:

PeterPan, I just want you to know that I hear you. Younger DS is gifted at math and has dysgraphia which means coding his thinking into recognizable mathematical statements is crazy difficult.  Slow and steady wins the race. You can do this!

Thanks, no matter what we'll plow through. I had just made some assumptions, based on what other people had said, where they were like oh once they have grids they're fine or dysgraphia kids can usually write their math. But, as usual, nothing that works out for other people is working for us. And looking back at things that have been said by people around me in the past, I see how those sweeping generalizations DON'T HELP anyway. That's great if it works out for someone else's kid not to get therapy for their speech apraxia or that their language came in enough to read and comprehend books by age 10 or whatever. None of those sweeping generalizations and broad proclamations seem to work out for MY kid. I mean, it's almost just laughable.

And yeah, we had a fun moment yesterday where he was able to tell me how *he* had solved the problem, and it was a different way than what I would have done. He was doing a workaround for the computation so he could get there mentally, without the calculator, and it was really sharp! So I scribed what he said.

I'm really excited to get a cheat sheet of equation formats made. I really think it has potential, because then I can say "Was this what you meant?" and let him point. I think as long as we know it's in his head (the symbolic language and how it relates to what he's thinking) we're good. 

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14 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I think as long as we know it's in his head (the symbolic language and how it relates to what he's thinking) we're good. 

 

It's a great opportunity to model language use for him (that goes with) and see if he starts to use it himself, too.  It is a great learning opportunity.  

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30 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

It seems to me if I had something stellar for visual-motor integration, the actual eye to hand motor planning part, I could make a big difference. 

 

Piano or any other musical instruments? lewelma has mentioned in the past about violin playing a part in improving processing speed for her oldest son  (I might be quoting her wrong). 

I have seen visual-motor improvement with DS13 who had mild tracking issues when he had to sight read for musical instruments. He tried piano, flute and cello. He was most “confident” with piano because he could “cheat” and look at where his fingers are to make sure finger placement is correct. Tennis is helping DS13 with visual-motor integration too. His recreational table tennis skills improved after a year of regular weekly tennis lessons. He had the hardest time at summer camp with badminton two years ago out of trying out tennis, badminton and table tennis for the first time.

Vision Therapy was most helpful for my visual-motor improvement coupled with me being in piano, school band and choir. Mine was an accommodation squint which led to difficulties with sight reading and most sports. Snooker and bowling were easier for me because these sports allows plenty of reaction time compared to basketball. 

Lots of trials and errors in the process.

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I think it's shutting down because of the apraxia. I just hadn't realized that was going to happen, so it's kind of a mental shock leaving me needing to regroup. I'm getting over it, but it's definitely what I was seeing. Dd does it too, but I hadn't seen it so clearly in ds yet. Like we've suspected or assumed it could happen in behavioral situations, but this was pretty definite.

I need to cruise more. That's all. And retire. I've got 10 more years of this. But really, it's another point that there WILL COME a time developmentally when he doesn't want to work with me anymore, when he's like give me it to work independently. I was just realizing he hasn't asked for that, which shows how radically behind he is developmentally. Dd was a little in 2nd and 3rd and heavy/hard by 4th. It's not even on his radar. He functions much younger, just very happy to work together. But it will happen. It's not like we'll be working this way till he's 20, lol. Or maybe we will? 

At least he's fun.

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2 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Piano or any other musical instruments?

that probably explains why he has refused piano viciferously. And typing, oh my. He's cool with the single finger peck, but yesterday I was like we're gonna pink peck, and I tell you IT WAS ONLY TWO WORDS!!! And he was just over the top. Which tells you it's THAT HARD. 

It's really unfair. Like I don't want to say that before G*d because really like a lot of things could be worse. Having your body turn into tree fungus or having a vestigial twin or I don't know. And he has intact IQ, which balances out some other things not working. He's got a lot going for him. His personality is great and he's creative and fun. He's just not very functional on some things and it's going to result in some kind of life, I don't know. 

But yeah, sometimes you're like ok we didn't need to add that to the list. Apparently G*d thought otherwise.

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5 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

His recreational table tennis skills

He's really good at table tennis!! Like seriously, he really is. Dh taught him how to serve and thwack like they do in college. So outta my league, lol. That's the thing, the vision stuff is there. He's unbelievable at baseball too. You can tell we do a lot of sports stuff for our breaks, haha. I'm like playing baseball, that's a big ask, you're gonna have to do *3* worksheets for me to do that, lol.

Yeah, I was flabbergasted the VT place didn't want him. I think they're like if it's ONLY the motor planning piece and how it goes from vision to motor planning, they weren't equipped to tackle it. There's a VT place in town that has an OT on staff. I need to see if they can help. I'd drive for that. I'd drive for anyone who had their heads on straight and would actually go at something. Our OT is wonderful (Hanen trained, etc.) but it's all just whatever she does in office. I think we need to be making tracks.

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13 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

that probably explains why he has refused piano viciferously. And typing, oh my. He's cool with the single finger peck, but yesterday I was like we're gonna pink peck, and I tell you IT WAS ONLY TWO WORDS!!! And he was just over the top. Which tells you it's THAT HARD. 

 

My observation with my kids was that as musical instruments playing (doesn’t matter which, even GarageBand on iPad works) improve the dexterity of their fingers, their ability to type properly improved from their original two finger pecking. Their pinky finger was the weakest finger.

When DS14 is composing music or playing by ear, he is fast on the piano. His sight reading is slower and his near sightedness is the main issue. I can enlarge the music score and he plays better though he won’t admit it 😛

That’s great that your son enjoys sports. Go on a cruise (or many) with lots of sports activities for both of you to recharge 🙂

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14 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

My observation with my kids was that as musical instruments playing (doesn’t matter which, even GarageBand on iPad works) improve the dexterity of their fingers, their ability to type properly improved from their original two finger pecking. Their pinky finger was the weakest finger.

Oh that's interesting. So then working on piano, even with slow progress, might actually be worthwhile, hmm...

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

I was thinking about this last night and trying to figure out what impact ds low VMI and motor-speed precision (eye-hand coordination) scores are having on this. I mean, it's almost stupid OBVIOUS that they're the cause of his handwriting difficulties, yes? His visual processing with moto skills removed (test of visual perceptual skills III non-motor revised) were STELLAR. So the VT place didn't want to do squat therapy and wanted him to continue OT. But the OT isn't giving us homework and is making terribly slow progress, even at 1 hour a week.

It seems to me if I had something stellar for visual-motor integration, the actual eye to hand motor planning part, I could make a big difference. Like maybe I need an additional OT, some kind of VT books that bring in the motor planning component, something. I was up looking into it and didn't get anywhere, and I've tried in the past. I found some workbooks, but will they do it? Maybe?

 https://www.visiontherapycalgary.com/2014/07/27/visual-motor-integration/ This site shows writing improvement with the Multi-Matrix product, which is funky dice you use to play games.  But is it tackling the motor planning or only the visual perception? If a kid has no praxis and bumps visual perception, then the motor piece should improve. But ds has consistently had funky bits of global praxis. Not like irrectifiable, but present. So like with swimming, he needed hand over hand to get the strokes and needed like 6 times longer than everyone else.

So I'm miffed that our place didn't offer him therapy, but they're saying it's a motor planning problem. And it's just frustrating, because my impression even most run of the mill kids with dysgraphia can write their math. Ds is shutting down with motor planning on so many levels. 

I can go through the pile of OTs in the area and see. I don't know. I'd rather have a workbook series I just bang him through, an hour a day. 

https://www.bernell.com/category/Workbooks  These are workbooks, but only the geoboards, seems to me, would come close to using motor planning. Maybe the mazes? 

https://www.bernell.com/category/Perceptual-Products  These are their products for visual perception, but again my issue is motor planning.

Haha, maybe I need to look for a site that sells OT products?

Are you aware there’s a whole VT program online for sale (workbooks?). It’s one of those gifted homeschool curriculum sites like royal something... I’ll try to find it. 

Definately modmath (though even using this for years, DS still wants to do everything mentally and hates showing work).  There’s a free version and a paid.  I paid to support the family but the free is definately good enough.

Eta- link for royal press home VT - https://www.rfwp.com/series/vision-therapy-for-early-learners-by-kenneth-a-lane-od

ETA 2- teachers pay teachers has some VT stuff, but not awesome from my perusal.  I don’t own the home VT program but I want it and have been planning to get it for a while.

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17 minutes ago, displace said:

Are you aware there’s a whole VT program online for sale (workbooks?). It’s one of those gifted homeschool curriculum sites like royal something... I’ll try to find it. 

Eta- link for royal press home VT - https://www.rfwp.com/series/vision-therapy-for-early-learners-by-kenneth-a-lane-od

I was just looking at those to see if they might help. Some of definitely for the visual motor part, but at least one has some motor skills with hands that relate to copying. Another has gross motor.

So, do you know if he still has and ATNR or STNR or Moro? One of those (or maybe the combo), can cause the hand and the eyes to move together. So, if you are trying to look at something and then write it down, every time you move your eyes, your hand moves, which makes you lose your place writing. And vice versa--if you move your hand, your eyes move too, and then your eyes lose their place in what you're trying to copy. This was a big deal for my younger son. Huge. 

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23 hours ago, PeterPan said:

And yeah, for the most part he gets the math of the word problems. He's cranking out the right answers out of his head and figuring out how to punch it into a calculator and make it happen. It's just happening really fast in his head, so things drop, thing one, and it's not setting him up to be able to do more complex work where he needs to show his steps. It doesn't help him take a deep breath and come back and find his errors, because he's trying to do it all in his head. And he can, but it's not completely sustainable. He's not THAT bright, lol. I need a compromise that works.

So, maybe this is a language problem in a way that you aren't realizing. You are thinking apraxia. I am wondering about the fact that math itself is a language with its own syntax, its own parts of speech (so to speak), and it's own phrases and clauses. I wonder if his math is affected in a syntax/phrase/clause way like his language is.

Also, just like kids clutter their speech when it's hard to get it out correctly, they can do this with any area of learning--they go faster to not forget what they are trying to get out or to cover up the bumps they're going to trip up on. So, sure, it can be that he's processing fast, but even my slow processor does this with math. It's really the writing it down and doing the steps correctly part that he gets hung up on. Like, in a long division problem, he would rather try to do it in his head because when he has to write it down, he's likely to put the answer where the subtraction part goes or the subtraction where the answer goes every couple of problems on one step--usually right in the middle. So, where your son might have fast processing in his head, his ability to sequence is getting messed up. It might not even be speaking it primarily; it might be sequencing it (of course, you could get the sequencing fixed, if it's a problem, and then he still struggles to say it--totally possible). He has to do it in a flash, or the thought is gone, and he can't retrace his steps because they were a blur. But the actual problem is the sequencing.

Anyway, just another data point--even slow processors try to go really fast in their heads, lol! 

As for practical ideas, I think you got plenty of them. I do think that scribing what he types into a calculator is totally valid. I might use that myself, lol!

I tend to note heavily scribed pages in his work as such. I also note things we do orally--what page, etc. I've never had anyone give me grief, but my kids do probably write a bit more than your son at this point. When they were his age, we didn't write very much though.

 

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27 minutes ago, displace said:

Ooo, nice, I had forgotten! And you're right, I have Lane's big blue book. I haven't looked at it since our latest testing. Pretty much everything I had tried he was fine at. Like with the books on RFWP I'm looking through only a couple are specifically bringing in the motor planning, but they're there. I'm going to look at the samples 

Yeah, TPT is such a hodgepodge. 

 

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18 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I was just looking at those to see if they might help. Some of definitely for the visual motor part, but at least one has some motor skills with hands that relate to copying. Another has gross motor.

So, do you know if he still has and ATNR or STNR or Moro? One of those (or maybe the combo), can cause the hand and the eyes to move together. So, if you are trying to look at something and then write it down, every time you move your eyes, your hand moves, which makes you lose your place writing. And vice versa--if you move your hand, your eyes move too, and then your eyes lose their place in what you're trying to copy. This was a big deal for my younger son. Huge. 

We worked on those. Obviously there could be more, but we did work on them and the PT we were using thought we were ready to move on. He had another reflex that was in his hands that is supposed help you nurse. It causes the fingers to move all together rather than singly. We brushed and brushed and the mouthing he was doing (part of the nursing effect of the reflex) seemed to improve. But there could be more with that reflex that we could do. I really don't know. And it's possible that he's moving forward now but that his skills are just that far behind. It was only in the last year (I forget when, but 6 months maybe) that we got that reflex integrated. So yes, that's what I've thought was the explanation for why his fingers didn't want to work independently. My dh has cub fingers like that too, still does. Like he scratches with all 4 fingers together, just like a bear paw. It's really cute, but yeah his writing is pretty much illegible, as was his father's. And he struggles to type his thoughts and has to have a lot of isolation and time, sigh or he'll use dictation software. And no, he couldn't play piano either. Wanted to, tried, couldn't.

I sort of assumed over the years it was sort of just genetic differences, move on, but he still got through his school work, unlike ds. So I'm cool with accommodating but I'm willing to do something that would help. And it makes sense that if we're fighting a reflex then doing the workbooks won't feel good. If we've gotten the reflex integrated, whatever was glitching it, then the workbooks would be a good step.

I called that VT place in town that has an OT on staff, and the idiots are using their OD as a gatekeeper, which is just about stupid. They're like oh the eye doc would set the goals. I'm like he needs an OT, not your optometrist. She's like oh well I can see if the OT will talk with you. Idiots. They wanted to do more optometry testing, what arrogance. One time through paying $300 to be told he's clear on vision is enough.

My asthma is flaring with spring and I'm grumpy. 

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16 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I am wondering about the fact that math itself is a language with its own syntax, its own parts of speech (so to speak), and it's own phrases and clauses. I wonder if his math is affected in a syntax/phrase/clause way like his language is.

Yes this is EXACTLY what I'm concerned about!! We're translating words to this other symbolic language. It's just layers upon layers here. It's why I don't think it's a good plan for me NOT to ensure that he can do it. Even if it's the AAC version, with pre-done equation forms that he points to, I have to know that he knows how his thoughts translate to something written. 

On the good side, he has good complex thoughts, so I can bring in notation beyond where he is with computation and just let him explore. He's cool with +/- and he's thinking with parentheses, etc. So making those blanks will give him a way to see that. 

21 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Also, just like kids clutter their speech when it's hard to get it out correctly, they can do this with any area of learning--they go faster to not forget what they are trying to get out or to cover up the bumps they're going to trip up on.

See I've been pondering this and hadn't seen anyone else quite saying it. Yes, like with his narrations, he's going REALLY FAST, which I think is the fragility, that he's masking the weakness. And with the math, the difficulty with going quickly in your mind vs. holding the thoughts and going back to edit lines. 

 

23 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I tend to note heavily scribed pages in his work as such.

I've had reviewers just ask that the ink is different. So like I'll do all scribing with cute markers and if he writes it's pencil, that kind of thing. But basically at this point unless it's circling a/b/c/d it's scribed. I still do the dual colors just so it's obvious. And sometimes he surprises me and wants to write, so you never know. Like if it's T/F he might write it or if it's a graph to fill in. 

Yeah, if your kids were more heavily scribed then and less now, that's encouraging, lol. I'm just rolling with it.

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2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I called that VT place in town that has an OT on staff, and the idiots are using their OD as a gatekeeper, which is just about stupid. They're like oh the eye doc would set the goals. I'm like he needs an OT, not your optometrist. She's like oh well I can see if the OT will talk with you. Idiots. They wanted to do more optometry testing, what arrogance. One time through paying $300 to be told he's clear on vision is enough.

My asthma is flaring with spring and I'm grumpy. 

So, neither of mine do the bear paw thing. The copying issues came up with copying--L to R, up to down, or from a board to paper. So, his eyes would look to the left to see what words to copy, and his hand would go with it, and then he'd have to find his hand place again. Or he'd move his hand to write, his eyes would follow his hand, and then he'd lose track of the words he was supposed to be copying.

Maybe your son's reflexes are integrated, but he's just behind in the motor skills that those reflexes support.

Well, I hate to tell you but my kids were fine, fine, fine, and then...they weren't and needed VT. And when it crumbled, the optometrist was like, "I can't believe they learned to read like this." Kids can compensate until they can't. But, our optometrist didn't charge $300 for that. It was part of the regular visit. If she couldn't elicit problems with her exam, but you consistently had symptoms, she would tweak things and see if they still compensated, fatigue them, etc. That's what happened with our kids. 

Also, my younger kiddo was so under-responsive because of his retained reflexes, he didn't look like he had issues in some ways. But as things got more integrated, those sensitivities that were expected came to the foreground (for instance, sound sensitivity that should have been present with his CAPD all along). We aren't sure why things seem to be integrated and then aren't, we work on them, they get better, and then a year or two later, another issue under the same banner crops up. We think it's due to the connective tissue aspect. We think that just messes stuff up so that it's coming up in layers.  My other kiddo just needs a Brock string tune-up once in a while with a growth spurt, and sometimes it just settles back down on its own after growing.

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We've been reading each other's threads for many years, so you have the gist of my kid, right? Dyspraxic, SLD math, SLD writing, quirky, and crazy gifted in some areas. He's totally at the end points on all bell curves--2 or more deviations out.

We did a ton of vision therapy, he tests out "normal" or "above average" in everything, and math writing is still a bugaboo.

We tried all of the things and could not get any app to do easily what he needed it to do once we got beyond the four basic operations.  He just couldn't function independently. Tiles, counters, stamps, eh....once you get past the four operations, it all just gets screwy.

It sounds like he is capable of getting beyond the four operations.  Here, if ds cannot get to Algebra II in math, he cannot be issued a standard diploma. This slams shut a ton of doors, so ds needs to be able to (and probably will) get to Algebra II eventually.

What is your overall goal here? Where is he headed?

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2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yes this is EXACTLY what I'm concerned about!! We're translating words to this other symbolic language. It's just layers upon layers here. It's why I don't think it's a good plan for me NOT to ensure that he can do it. Even if it's the AAC version, with pre-done equation forms that he points to, I have to know that he knows how his thoughts translate to something written. 

It would have a fair amount of review, but have you ever looked seriously at Miquon? It's very good for not needing to write a lot (though some pages have more writing). It has some games. It has a lot of turning concepts around and around to look at them different ways. It's for using with rods, though you don't have to use them, nor does every single page use them. Just curious if that would help ensure that he's getting what you think he's getting. My 2nd kiddo used that and loved it.

Singapore's Intensive Practice books also turn things around and show you different facets of the same thing while also being an extension of the normal lesson. Lots of people use them a level or half level behind. You'd have to scribe. Frankly, you'd probably have to recopy the pages into something more appealing--it's visually very dry. But anyway, my first kiddo found the IP to be incredibly intuitive, much more so than the original lesson! 

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I think the language of math is one of the hardest things for my kid to work through.  It matters. It really does.  I think it gives voice to the process.  You want FLEXIBILITY of thought in math, once you get beyond the four operations, because there is no set way to do certain types of things. This has been a hangup in fractions---especially when dividing fractions (because it's multiplying by the inverse). The conceptual understanding has to be there...especially as you move forward and are doing things like balancing equations in early algebra.

When you are working with him in math, does he have the vocabulary?

Do you use it as he is walking through the math problem?

I think if we are talking about "integrity" in scribing, it's that we are doing what our child's hands and eyes cannot....but the child is understanding the process and can articulate it. 

Right now we're hung up on complex fractions because while ds can do it *with* me, with me guiding the process, he cannot yet independently do the steps himself. So, we're here until he gets it. And we dance around with other things on the side, but I can't say that he's mastered the process and move on.

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Just now, kbutton said:

It would have a fair amount of review, but have you ever looked seriously at Miquon? It's very good for not needing to write a lot (though some pages have more writing). It has some games. It has a lot of turning concepts around and around to look at them different ways. It's for using with rods, though you don't have to use them, nor does every single page use them. Just curious if that would help ensure that he's getting what you think he's getting. My 2nd kiddo used that and loved it.

You would have to use this interactively, more than likely. Just a heads-up. 

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40 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Well, I hate to tell you but my kids were fine, fine, fine, and then...they weren't and needed VT.

Oh I'm totally aware that can happen! I'm looking at his scores now, and most on the test without motor are in the age 21+, for real. The visual closure is age 12 and the visual discrimination is age 13. So both are *relative weaknesses* which I'm more than happy to work on incidentally or even intentionally. When dd had her VT they were all about taking things up to compensate. I *think* if we do some of the workbooks I'm seeing at RFWP that the visual closure scores will go up, especially if he does all the levels of tasks. The discrimination I don't know. We've done spot the differences workpages before and they've been frustrating for him. We could go back and do them again. Theoretically he should be able to do age-appropriate spot the differences pages comfortably now. The autism thing always confounds that because you've got just behavior and telling yourself to do something. That's part of why we do stuff obviously, for compliance and practice in doing things independently. I've got things I could do for that.

Well I ended up finding a nice pile of the workbooks at RFWP that I'm really happy with! I think they'll be easy to implement and give us something.

Gross Motor

VM Skills

VM Therapy

Visual Memory

Simultaneous Processing

Sequential Processing

And I can order some as a package, which makes the total just $85, which seems good to me. I like how he's breaking tasks up and quietly bringing in teeny tiny amounts of writing. Like he has them doing digit spans and then *writing* the digits, hello. Can we say brilliant? Like seriously, why did I not think of this? And he has levels. And his book on simultaneous processing hits things SO much more thoroughly than the Cartwright book. We know it's an issue, but I didn't have another resource to keep going.

So yeah, super good lead, thanks. Now not to DISTRACT MYSELF with wondering if I should be ordering other things to, hahahahahah

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1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

We did a ton of vision therapy, he tests out "normal" or "above average" in everything, and math writing is still a bugaboo.

Great, lol. Well at least thanks for the heads-up that it could happen. I mean, that's what it's called a disability, cuz it ain't going away, lol.

1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I think if we are talking about "integrity" in scribing, it's that we are doing what our child's hands and eyes cannot....but the child is understanding the process and can articulate it. 

I hear you, sigh. Ds has apraxia, and I think he was tired or stressed and his language was shutting down. So that can happen too.

1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

dividing fractions

Makes sense. I haven't even looked at what Ronit Bird does with them. We're not even close to that. We've done tons with fractions in the more simple realm, and I just let him do it all in his head because it was exploratory. 

1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

You want FLEXIBILITY of thought in math

I like the way you've put this. We've really worked at that, having him give more ways to solve something, more ways to write it, more ways the equation could be set up, etc. 

Well we'll see how this new stuff works out. I think it's at least worth a shot, because it's targeting, in small steps, the things we know he's weak in. I was particularly pleased by the workbooks on simultaneous and sequential thinking. Those are big issues for ds, so a practitioner who's realizing those things and has thought how to treat them is probably hitting other things in a way that will help us. But we'll see. I definitely think that our local VT place kind of glossed visual processing compared to what Lane is doing in those books. I mean look at how stepped he's being. We'll see if it's within reach and how he does. But like I said, our local VT place didn't even want to touch him and here another practitioner would. But I'm not going to screw around driving 40 minutes each way, blah blah, if I can just do the workbooks and get there. At this point it would be better.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

It would have a fair amount of review, but have you ever looked seriously at Miquon?

I own the manual and I kind of never make a move, lol. Yes, we've done a little bit with some of the Singapore word problems. I have tons of stuff just incidentally lying around, lol. Someday I'm going to be one of those taking a van to the park to get rid of it. Did you see that thread? LOL

Yeah, right now I'm staying pretty tight with Ronit Bird for instruction, only because she has been such a winner for ds, totally in a mind sync with him. She has obsessive little nitpicky things, like thinking of multiplication as scaling, not repeated addition. And since everything else she has said to do has WORKED, I basically don't use anything else that's actually instructional, as dumb as that sounds. Like I figure pick something and stick to it.

But I get what you're saying, and yeah I have the manual with all those shrunken pages lying around if I wanted to. So your thought was he could use the rods instead of speech? He dumps them pretty quickly. The only time he uses them is with Ronit Bird games where he's at instructional level on a concept. As soon as he gets it, he tosses.

Well I think we're making good progress in this thread, thanks. I now have something for the visual motor integration on the chance that it can improve. I can make the equation forms cheat sheet to allow him to point. And I'm realizing language is dropping, which means we'll watch for it.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

The discrimination I don't know. We've done spot the differences workpages before and they've been frustrating for him. We could go back and do them again. Theoretically he should be able to do age-appropriate spot the differences pages comfortably now.

This could be a problem with going back and forth between details and the gestalt of something. Definitely a possible issue in autism. It might be only tangentially related to visual processing--like it's just the visual processing manifestation of that part of autism that trips some people up vs. being a primarily visual processing issue.

BTW, on music--if you opt to see what you could do with music you might want something that doesn't require a lot of fine motor or sequencing or breathing. Maybe something that's traditional in another culture. And then you need a teacher who is really good with SN kids. (Ours is amazing!!!) 

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25 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I own the manual and I kind of never make a move, lol. Yes, we've done a little bit with some of the Singapore word problems. I have tons of stuff just incidentally lying around, lol. Someday I'm going to be one of those taking a van to the park to get rid of it. Did you see that thread? LOL

Yeah, right now I'm staying pretty tight with Ronit Bird for instruction, only because she has been such a winner for ds, totally in a mind sync with him. She has obsessive little nitpicky things, like thinking of multiplication as scaling, not repeated addition. And since everything else she has said to do has WORKED, I basically don't use anything else that's actually instructional, as dumb as that sounds. Like I figure pick something and stick to it.

But I get what you're saying, and yeah I have the manual with all those shrunken pages lying around if I wanted to. So your thought was he could use the rods instead of speech? He dumps them pretty quickly. The only time he uses them is with Ronit Bird games where he's at instructional level on a concept. As soon as he gets it, he tosses.

Don't confuse the word problems with Singapore for the Intensive Practice. The IP has some word problems, and they are tricky ones, but the IP is very different (I think you can download samples). 

If Miquon is going to confuse RB, then I wouldn't mess with it. I didn't know you were still using her stuff. Miquon can be instructional, but it can also be intuitive. If you have the teacher book that has the pictures of the worksheets, you can see what he'd be doing and read about the thought behind it. That would allow you to decide, but def don't mess up RB. It's working well for you. 

He could answer any math with rods, though that might not be what you want him to do because you want some symbols going in and coming out. Even done without rods, Miquon tends to just have less writing overall. 

One of mine used the rods to visualize his calculations (after using them to calculate), and the other kiddo would've dumped them (my first). Lol! And I mean that literally--he probably would've compulsively dumped them and piddled around vs. using them to figure things out. And not in the way that Miquon means for kids to play with them first. 

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14 minutes ago, kbutton said:

BTW, on music--if you opt to see what you could do with music you might want something that doesn't require a lot of fine motor or sequencing or breathing. Maybe something that's traditional in another culture. And then you need a teacher who is really good with SN kids. (Ours is amazing!!!) 

He's been getting music therapy at an autism school and is having a great experience. She's up on interoception and is a huge advocate on so many levels (behavior, EF, etc.). I literally kept her while dropping other things, which sort of flattered her, but she's just that good for him. He's singing around the house btw. Doesn't have complete tune/melody, but he's actually enjoying music, using his voice. So anything music I had thought about doing I just totally set aside to let her do her thing, if that makes sense. I have so many directions I could go, so if I find a good person to trust and assign stuff to I just let them handle it.

16 minutes ago, kbutton said:

This could be a problem with going back and forth between details and the gestalt of something.

That probably is it. He was doing something funky yesterday with patterning balls and he was seeing it as a triangle and not seeing the order of the component balls. He really tripped him up for a while, lol. I think the simultaneous thinking book from RFWP is going to nail that really nicely or at least be a good next step. I hadn't seen anything in print beside Cartwright for that, so I'm excited.

12 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Don't confuse the word problems with Singapore for the Intensive Practice.

I can go look. I do extremely limited computation with him, because it's really not a strength. He did through 4 digit addition and subtraction, now he has a calculator. So if it's computation of any kind, I don't give him worksheets of that at all. I have so many issues to deal with that fighting over a page that a calculator can do is not on the list. We're working through multiplication facts with RB but we're also seeing how they show up in word problems. I'm trying to let him figure out what the language of real life is that would lead us to want to do that type of computation that would lead to that button on the calculator. Otherwise, I'll have a kid with a memorized list and no clue how to apply. So I use the word problems to drive WHY he would want to do the computation and come in with a little computation.

That's just my theory on how to get in his brain, and I know someone else who did it this way, teaching the computation to support the word problems, rather than word problems to apply computation. And every IS I've talked with has been fine with that. Oh, and fwiw it's because I suck at word problems compared to computation. What's in math contests? Word problems. Every single doggone thing. No computation. Any tech can compute but people think. So I'd go to math contests and flop and couldn't figure out why or how to do better. So for him, I'm like fine, if we're only going to get a little bit, he's going to get word problems. He's brilliant at 'em, eats 'em up, enjoys them. 

18 minutes ago, kbutton said:

he probably would've compulsively dumped them and piddled around

yup, ds builds things with them. He'll tape them together to make larger creations. They're disinteresting to him as a way to express mathematical thought, lol. 

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Ok, I just pulled up SM IP. I had looked at it before. The 3A would be independent work for him. 4A is a lot of writing.

So you'll laugh, but as I'm looking through samples, it looks like the pages of Tang Math we just got. 

So we'll see. It's cute, kind of thinky. I have to think about whether it duplicates what we're already doing. As as you say, I never give him workbooks. I buy ebooks and print them onto single pages so we can do a pile and just work through it, very low stress. So it has to be enough different from what we're doing and enough better to be worth the amount of effort it would take to fix the format problems, if that makes sense. But it's cute, I see why  you like it. If it came as an ebook, it would be easier for me to like it, lol. Also we usually do less things per page, which helps with behavior. So he might only have 3 questions on the page with a data box at the top. Maybe up to 10. Once you move up to 20 tasks on a page, suddenly I'm having to break that up a lot. That slows down the flow. Much easier if I can find something that has the same thought process but less on the page. 

But I can see why you like it and I'll keep it in mind! I know it's unfathomable and I guess I could just use whatever, use BJU straight, etc. I know people doing that, like doing Abeka straight and using a $15 an hour aide to make it happen. I don't. I put less things on the page and I expect COMPLETE ENGAGEMENT. But that's how I'm getting there, sigh. And maybe that would be a thing later I'd change, but like I said it needs to be that important or that good. But I can see why you like it, yes. 

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I've been thinking this over all morning in terms of my own kid (we're having to do multi-line equations now) and I was reminded of an experience a friend of mine had. Her kid struggled to write math problems and so she ended up blowing up the math problems so only 2-3 would fit per page.  Her kid could write the problems well when he was writing them in huge spaces.  He did that for 2-3 years and now can write them appropriately much smaller. That hasn't been our experience, but I thought I'd throw that out there....

Can you describe what happens when he puts a pencil in hand and he goes to write himself?  

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