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caedmyn

hiring a sitter/nanny for school hours--reasonable expectations

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3 hours ago, caedmyn said:

I have done a lot of what you're talking about the past few years, just not in quite the manner you're describing.  I figured out that DS10 was dyslexic (and later DS8 and DS6) and what needed to be done to remediate that.  DS10 had OT evaluations for sensory issues and retained reflexes.  DS6 has had an OT evaluation.  DS10 just had an evaluation for vision therapy, which he's not going to be able to do because they want to do 30+ visits and the place is 3 hours away (and there's nothing closer) and after just the initial trip for the evaluation I could see that I wasn't going to be able to make that work with 6 kids, not to mention the OOP cost for it all.  I'll see what I can come up with for an at-home program for him.  I've not been sitting around burying my head in the sand about my kids' issues even if I haven't done things the way people think I should.

 

Do you think the 30+ visits idea was excessive on their part? Or does he have quite significant vision issues?  

My Ds got take home exercises for amblyopia with instructions to do them daily and see if that fixed the problem without full on VT. 

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7 hours ago, caedmyn said:

It bothers me that the only real solutions in the eyes of this board are evaluations, meds, and/or school

 

41 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Did you ever try the approach in this book?

Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062270451/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_t1eFDbKRMGH29

 

 

If they don’t have ASD or ODD type problems—just sort of “normal” inflexibility and low frustration tolerance the approach in the above book may help a good bit.

 

 

as to recommendations of evaluations, meds, school: 

 I think knowing what’s going on could help you.

The way I have understood what you have written about several of your children it seems very far from “normal”.  Especially ds10. 

Depending on what’s wrong, meds may or may not help. 

School could help just to limit how many kids you are trying to remediate and teach.  IMO remediation of just one child (or a few at same working level) with significant dyslexia or moderate dyslexia plus significant vision problems would not leave enough more time in day to adequately homeschool 4 other children all at different levels and more than one of whom also had some sort of LD or behavior challenges. 

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

 Do you ever wonder if the reason you've been treated that way is due to unacknowledged disabilities? When the person doesn't acknowledge their disabilities, it's sort of this blind spot, very frustrating, sigh.

I wanted to pull this bit out. 

I spent years trying to get my husband to treat me kindly, be a calm, engaged father, a reasonable husband. He made a tiny bit of progress, but the real change came when he realized he was on the spectrum too. 

I finally understood that my husband wasn’t a complete you-know-what the week after our second son was diagnosed. Turns out, I didn’t think DS2 was spectrum, but I did know that he and DH were A LOT alike. DS2 was diagnosed, no question, hands down autism spectrum, and my brain thought, “Wait a minute. Could? Holy crap. That’s what this is?!” Turns out, when I started applying spectrum-friendly techniques to my husband, things got a tiny bit better, mostly, I’ll be honest, because I finally understood what was happening. But I also started pointing out things out about DS2 that DH knew he (DH) did too.

Then, DH started making jokes about all of us being autistic. ☺️ And that it was “getting a little spectrummy in here,” and I wondered. And DH started taking my prompts to scaffold things better fir himself for our family to function. He started taking breaks sometimes when I’d suggest it (because I could see he was losing it). He started learning about how to support the kids instead of being angry all the time. 

And the day after DS3 was diagnosed on the spectrum, DH told his parents, in front of me, that he’s pretty sure he’s on the spectrum too. I was in shock that the words came out of his mouth (he hadn’t said it to me), but the awareness has been growing for a long time. My marriage is still hard, but realizing what was going on made all the difference. 

Again, this is my family, not yours, but it’s a thought. There are 4 people in my family on the spectrum, as well as several relatives. Not a one of them is like the other (though DS2 is similar to DH in a lot of ways). I only suspected autism for DS1 (because he has always struggled with eye contact), the other two (three), I had NO idea. I already had a spectrum kid diagnosed and still had NO idea. It’s so hard to see the minor spectrum stuff, but it can make things so much harder. Add in ADHD (which all my kids have) and anxiety (which can look like deliberate naughtiness too), and my family is kind of nutty. But I adore them. I even like my husband these days. 

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8 hours ago, BooksandBoys said:

I wanted to pull this bit out. 

I spent years trying to get my husband to treat me kindly, be a calm, engaged father, a reasonable husband. He made a tiny bit of progress, but the real change came when he realized he was on the spectrum too. 

I finally understood that my husband wasn’t a complete you-know-what the week after our second son was diagnosed. Turns out, I didn’t think DS2 was spectrum, but I did know that he and DH were A LOT alike. DS2 was diagnosed, no question, hands down autism spectrum, and my brain thought, “Wait a minute. Could? Holy crap. That’s what this is?!” Turns out, when I started applying spectrum-friendly techniques to my husband, things got a tiny bit better, mostly, I’ll be honest, because I finally understood what was happening. But I also started pointing out things out about DS2 that DH knew he (DH) did too.

Then, DH started making jokes about all of us being autistic. ☺️ And that it was “getting a little spectrummy in here,” and I wondered. And DH started taking my prompts to scaffold things better fir himself for our family to function. He started taking breaks sometimes when I’d suggest it (because I could see he was losing it). He started learning about how to support the kids instead of being angry all the time. 

And the day after DS3 was diagnosed on the spectrum, DH told his parents, in front of me, that he’s pretty sure he’s on the spectrum too. I was in shock that the words came out of his mouth (he hadn’t said it to me), but the awareness has been growing for a long time. My marriage is still hard, but realizing what was going on made all the difference. 

Again, this is my family, not yours, but it’s a thought. There are 4 people in my family on the spectrum, as well as several relatives. Not a one of them is like the other (though DS2 is similar to DH in a lot of ways). I only suspected autism for DS1 (because he has always struggled with eye contact), the other two (three), I had NO idea. I already had a spectrum kid diagnosed and still had NO idea. It’s so hard to see the minor spectrum stuff, but it can make things so much harder. Add in ADHD (which all my kids have) and anxiety (which can look like deliberate naughtiness too), and my family is kind of nutty. But I adore them. I even like my husband these days. 

 

That’s interesting!   And it would make it harder to recognize problems if they seemed similar to what someone else was like who was thought to be “normal”. 

Sometimes too I think people with similar problems may be drawn to each other. 

And so, say, the OP, her husband, and one or more dc, have high inflexibility...   It could look like the dh insisting that op do homeschooling/things in general his way, dc refusing to cooperate, op insisting on 15 minutes piano practice...  etc

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13 hours ago, Pen said:

 

Do you think the 30+ visits idea was excessive on their part? Or does he have quite significant vision issues?  

My Ds got take home exercises for amblyopia with instructions to do them daily and see if that fixed the problem without full on VT. 

I don't have the results from his evaluation yet, but they said they typically recommend 30-36 visits.  It seems like some kids would need less than others but that's what they said.

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In re # VT sessions:

“Final Thought

The typical session amounts that I prescribe are 12, 16, 24, 32 and 36. I find that the two end pieces here are the easiest to recommend: 12 for a straightforward case, 36 for a person who is a ‘visual disaster.’ The in-between session amounts are the ones that take a little bit of practice to get right. If you are between a number of sessions, I always recommend to err on the side of caution and prescribe more. It is much easier to tell a parent that their child did so well in therapy that they are going to finish a few sessions early, rather than to try and tack on more sessions at the end. If you are really unsure of a case, recommend a trial of 12 sessions, and see how the patient responds. At the re-evaluation, you’ll be able to determine how much progress was made and from there, you can determine the remaining course of therapy.”

 

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18 hours ago, PeterPan said:

So this is not a tear down the Lions guy, because I really don't think he needs to be torn down. I want to point out something GOOD he's saying:

"With these shifts in interaction, children develop the ability to internally self-regulate, and teachers set boundaries, while recognizing the voice and autonomy of the child."

http://www.raisinglions.com/about-joe

So I'd like to point out that the stuff he's saying IS the stuff we're saying. He's saying self-regulation, and we've talked about Zones of Regulation, Interoception, check-ins. What he's calling "teachers set boundaries" is what professionals call STRUCTURE. When he says to recognize their voice and autonomy, and it's what all those links I gave you earlier were calling CHOICE and using CHOICE to improve compliance. And it can be student-designed projects and all sorts of other things we talk about on LC, but it starts with choice, sure.

So he's not telling you stuff you didn't already know and stuff different from what we're saying. That's fine stuff.

The point of evals is to tell you the stuff we CAN'T tell you and he CAN'T tell you because it takes a licensed psychologist. And I'm sorry that he got screwed by a really rigid school experience and hates that he was on meds and whatever else this bio means, but I see zero professional qualifications and him repeating things that are already general knowledge and standard practice in the intervention community.

More dangerous, what he's not doing is connecting you with the resources that would SCALE them to the level of support you need. So choice in a mainstream classroom doesn't look the same as choice in ED or choice in an ASD room. They're all choice and he's RIGHT! But he seems to be writing to a pretty specific audience.

So when you are saying implementing his strategies is hard, that's when I go to the idea that his concepts are good but that his ability to apply them to your specific situation is limited. He's not up to YOU and your family. He's not, or it wouldn't feel that way. I'm going out on a limb there, but I'm just saying you can think about that. Because you could bring an intervention specialist (someone experienced, haha, not a novice), a licensed behaviorist, a licensed social worker, anyone and they would be telling you the same stuff he's saying. But because they would have more professional experience, more training, more reading of the research, more conventions and workshops they've attended, more professional development, they would adjust the intervention to fit your home and your kids.

 

I don't think it's reasonable to make judgments or critiques about his methods without knowing much about him. You might have a very different perspective on it if you read his book or blog posts.  I don't know why this information wasn't included in his ABOUT page, but he has something like 20 years experience working with kids with serious behavioral issues in the schools, so I think those are pretty good qualifications.  I've not seen that he has a position one way or another on evaluations.  He does talk about successfully resolving behavioral issues in kids with many different diagnoses, including ADHD, ODD, and conduct disorder. 

It's hard because working with kids with serious behavioral issues is hard.  (Also because it's hard to be working through a bunch of issues with multiple kids while dealing with a feverish, teething baby with an ear infection who hasn't been sleeping much which was my reality last week.)  I don't think any method is going to magically make these big issues easy.  It's the same with your DS, that he's very challenging to work with, not because what you're doing is not working (though I'm sure you've tried your fair share of things that haven't), but because, from what you've said various times, he's just going to be a challenge even when you're doing absolutely everything right/the best possible way.

 

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5 minutes ago, Pen said:

In re # VT sessions:

“Final Thought

The typical session amounts that I prescribe are 12, 16, 24, 32 and 36. I find that the two end pieces here are the easiest to recommend: 12 for a straightforward case, 36 for a person who is a ‘visual disaster.’ The in-between session amounts are the ones that take a little bit of practice to get right. If you are between a number of sessions, I always recommend to err on the side of caution and prescribe more. It is much easier to tell a parent that their child did so well in therapy that they are going to finish a few sessions early, rather than to try and tack on more sessions at the end. If you are really unsure of a case, recommend a trial of 12 sessions, and see how the patient responds. At the re-evaluation, you’ll be able to determine how much progress was made and from there, you can determine the remaining course of therapy.”

 

That makes sense to me, but it seemed like they always recommend 30-36.  I guess I will see what the recommendation is when his results come back.  They also said they always go through the same sequence as far as what they work on, which seems funny to me because I would think that not every kid would need to work on, say, visual discrimination or visual memory.

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17 hours ago, PeterPan said:

 

Fwiw, I'm really glad you've been winning on some of the important things with how you're treated. That's a big step. Do you ever wonder if the reason you've been treated that way is due to unacknowledged disabilities? When the person doesn't acknowledge their disabilities, it's sort of this blind spot, very frustrating, sigh.

I'm not going to go into the details of why, but I feel very confident that that is not the case here.

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17 hours ago, moonflower said:

Here's the deal, OP, I am probably as close to you as possible re: meds and diagnoses.  I have a lot of small kids who are wild terrors, and DS11, who is a semi-model citizen now, would have gotten an ADHD diagnosis at 5, I'm pretty sure.  His K teacher suggested it and the other kids who were on the same behavior program as him at the time were being medicated for ADHD or about to start medication.

We were not interested in medication, or to be honest even a diagnosis.  If things had been much worse, or were still unmanageable now at 11, I dunno, but at 5 and young-for-grade, no.

So here is what we did with the combination of a lot of little kids (we have right now 14, 11, 7, 6, 4, 3, and 1): we reduced demands of the ones who couldn't comply with lots of structured busywork.  Piano practice would be 100% gone for anyone who didn't want it.  We pulled them from school and DD14 (then 8 ) did a pretty traditional homeschool set; she has good EF and no ADHD tendencies.  DS11 (then 5) did the bare minimum of literacy and math, and what he did of that was largely disguised to make it look like not-school.  I taught him to read with 100EZ lessons and then just let him read to his heart's content; we tried everything possible with math and settled on Teaching Textbooks. We don't use small electronics or have a TV or video game player, so TT (the computer-based version) was super high motivation because it meant computer time.  Other than that we let him be; we taught him to ride a bike and rollerblade and skateboard and let him roam the (safe) neighborhood doing these things for hours a day, or sit around reading or making paper airplanes or playing stick fight (within guidelines), etc.  WE focused on absolutely basic functional things; he learned to do dishes and it took FOREVER.  The only thing that motivated him enough to finish the job and do it correctly was putting every not-clean dish back in the sink every time to be redone right then; nothing fun could be done (skateboarding, roller blading, computer, reading) until the dishes had been done.  We had to be very firm with consequences and honestly kind of harsh imo, because his internal motivator to get work done was very low (that is, his dopamine levels, if I remember correctly about ADHD, are not naturally high enough, and so he gets bored and loses focus and energy and just can't do it without serious motivation).  He couldn't spend his whole life in his room so we dropped demands to a minimum - do what you're told when you're told, but we won't follow you around telling you to say please and thank you and brush your teeth 3x a day and take a shower every night and make your bed and finish these 5 worksheets and be quiet and eat at the dinner table and all of that.  

By 10 he was a civilized person somehow, still with low motivation to work but able to be in school and be content and do well there; he wasn't behind academically.  

For the chaos of little kids, and especially managing that as a not very high EF person myself while homeschooling and working from home, we went very minimalist.  So we don't own much.  The kids have a lot of freedom but not a lot of stuff.  We don't own legos or other small chokable items; we don't buy a zillion foods that are hard to feed yourself and/or messy; we don't have tons of toys and what we do have is largely functional (balls, bikes, cars, racetrack, etc.)  For many years we had no writing utensils available to anyone under the age of 5, which I know sounds insane but it was the only way.  We don't own cutting knives, we don't own much furniture, etc.  Everyone 3 and older can make/acquire their own peanut butter sandwich, toast, corn chips and tuna or corn chips and black beans, banana, blueberries, oats (uncooked, the way they like them), etc.  I make one meal a day which I keep pretty well rounded; we don't have much processed food if any.  We don't have electronics (tv, video games, ipads, cell phones, etc.), just two desktops we use for work, so they do have to self-entertain a lot which I think is good for brain development and also being tired at night as they run around a lot.  In the winter we let them play soccer in a non-windowy part of the house.  

Anyway, all this just to say, I think it's hard to have it both ways.  A lot of moms of many here have as far as I can tell very organized households and do lots of different amazing homeschool curricula; they bathe everyone every day; they all go places all the time like museums and the library; they eat 3 meals a day at the table with real dishes.  We do the simplest homeschool possible; they must bathe once a week but sometimes go through spurts of bathing twice a day; we almost never all go anywhere; we eat one meal a day and scrounge for the rest, on unbreakable dishes and stainless steel cups.

Our kids are happy and I'm happy with how we're raising them; they're healthy, their brains work, things are chaotic sometimes but mostly harmonious.  But this only works for us because demands are very low - they can use any dish safely because we don't own a single breakable dish of any type, for example.  They can wipe their mouth with their shirt after eating blueberries and oats because I wash everything on hot, dry on hot, and don't care about stains.  Etc.

 

Thanks for this post.  Did you used to have a different board name?  If so I've got quite a lot over the years from your posts on ways to simplify, though I can't manage to be quite as laid-back as you are.

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1 minute ago, caedmyn said:

Thanks for this post.  Did you used to have a different board name?  If so I've got quite a lot over the years from your posts on ways to simplify, though I can't manage to be quite as laid-back as you are.

 

Yes, I was ananemone and then eternal summer.  I lost that account when the board transitioned; I've been here since about 2014, I think.

I'm very laid-back, it's my redeeming feature.  It is hard to have EF difficulties and not be laid back, imo, you'd be constantly frustrated. 

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I will say that I'm kind of leery of VT; not the idea that some kids need it, I'm sure they do, but it's just such a huge moneymaker for a lot of practices that I find it hard to believe they're all completely honest about the number of appointments your kids specifically need.

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I wanted to comment about Vision Therapy. My sister went though it as an older elementary kiddo. Two of my kids went through a VT program as well. It was truly life changing for my 2 kids. One kid had a 3 second lag time in her vision, every time  she shifted her focus from distance to close up and vise versa. Her reading was a disaster. 12 weeks of VT and she was a different kid, it was incredible. It was very difficult to get it done though. It was expensive and time consuming and I had to get a babysitter every week (you weren’t allowed to bring other kids to VT). However, it was 100% worth it. I know you have a bunch of kids with struggles, but VT was worth it for us. 

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29 minutes ago, mamakelly said:

I wanted to comment about Vision Therapy. My sister went though it as an older elementary kiddo. Two of my kids went through a VT program as well. It was truly life changing for my 2 kids. One kid had a 3 second lag time in her vision, every time  she shifted her focus from distance to close up and vise versa. Her reading was a disaster. 12 weeks of VT and she was a different kid, it was incredible. It was very difficult to get it done though. It was expensive and time consuming and I had to get a babysitter every week (you weren’t allowed to bring other kids to VT). However, it was 100% worth it. I know you have a bunch of kids with struggles, but VT was worth it for us. 

 

This type of thing could be a reason to put all but one child in school for a season so that problems like this in one child could be intensively addressed.  Without hands full with all 6.  

Possibly a focus on the one hardest for awhile could turn him around to where he could be more help less handful. 

 

A family I know with 5 kids, one very difficult one, has benefit of the difficult being the 3rd.  The two eldest are both easy kids, and so can help a lot with the two youngest while mom deals with the difficulties of number 3.   They are mostly making homeschooling work that way. But friend has said if the really hard kid had been one of the two eldest it would have been a different story. 

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Yes, my oldest is very responsible and capable with good EF and a relative minimum of even typical teenagery issues (although we are having some).  I also have 3 years between the 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd, and the 3rd is a very compliant child.  If I'd had the youngest 4 at the beginning (all about 18 months or so apart, all kind of hooligans), life would be very different and I'd probably be in therapy.

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What does your parenting coach advise regarding your nanny/mother’s helper? And about the vision therapy? 

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7 hours ago, Pen said:

This type of thing could be a reason to put all but one child in school for a season so that problems like this in one child could be intensively addressed.  Without hands full with all 6.  

Possibly a focus on the one hardest for awhile could turn him around to where he could be more help less handful. 

 That's actually not a bad idea. The others could get the help they need while addressing the medical and educational needs of the child that needs VT. Although in our school district, if a child is suspected of needing VT, the district will pay for the child to be tested and will pay for the therapy. The parent still has to take the child there and do the homework ( about one hour per day).

Caedmyn, I'm in the middle of dealing with some major educational with my husband (mental health issues caused by the lack of educational help). Things that should have been addressed when he was young, but for some reason his parents didn't push for more testing or more help. It's really truly terrible to be 45 and have just done educational and neuro testing to find out that you have a genius IQ but terribly low working memory and a few other related issues. My husband's whole life has been an educational let down, full of frustration and heartache because he didn't get the help he needed while in school. He just kept failing over and over again, with teachers and parents getting mad at him, telling him to study harder or just sending him out of the classroom etc... He needed an advocated someone to push for a full battery of educational and other testing to see where his struggles were and set him up with the therapy and meds he so desperately needed. It's so much easier to work on these things as an elementary/middle school kid than it is to be 45 years old and have to take 8 days off of work and pay $5,000 to see a dyslexia specialist that works with adults. Please get your kids the help they need now. Please, they will be someone's spouse one day, someone's dad or mom. If my husbands parents were alive, you'd bet I would have read them the riot act for NOT taking care of his needs as a child. 

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12 minutes ago, mamakelly said:

 That's actually not a bad idea. The others could get the help they need while addressing the medical and educational needs of the child that needs VT. Although in our school district, if a child is suspected of needing VT, the district will pay for the child to be tested and will pay for the therapy. The parent still has to take the child there and do the homework ( about one hour per day).

Caedmyn, I'm in the middle of dealing with some major educational with my husband (mental health issues caused by the lack of educational help). Things that should have been addressed when he was young, but for some reason his parents didn't push for more testing or more help. It's really truly terrible to be 45 and have just done educational and neuro testing to find out that you have a genius IQ but terribly low working memory and a few other related issues. My husband's whole life has been an educational let down, full of frustration and heartache because he didn't get the help he needed while in school. He just kept failing over and over again, with teachers and parents getting mad at him, telling him to study harder or just sending him out of the classroom etc... He needed an advocated someone to push for a full battery of educational and other testing to see where his struggles were and set him up with the therapy and meds he so desperately needed. It's so much easier to work on these things as an elementary/middle school kid than it is to be 45 years old and have to take 8 days off of work and pay $5,000 to see a dyslexia specialist that works with adults. Please get your kids the help they need now. Please, they will be someone's spouse one day, someone's dad or mom. If my husbands parents were alive, you'd bet I would have read them the riot act for NOT taking care of his needs as a child. 

 

I agree but fwiw caedmyn has been working hard on remediating dyslexia iirc; I think she's doing Barton with some of her kids and has made some progress.  I can't imagine having to remediate for LDs while taking care of littles; it's so hard to find just one solidly quiet hour a day sometimes.

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2 minutes ago, moonflower said:

 

I agree but fwiw caedmyn has been working hard on remediating dyslexia iirc; I think she's doing Barton with some of her kids and has made some progress.  I can't imagine having to remediate for LDs while taking care of littles; it's so hard to find just one solidly quiet hour a day sometimes.

 

We had to remediate vision problems before dyslexia remediation was effective. 

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20 hours ago, caedmyn said:

he has something like 20 years experience working with kids with serious behavioral issues in the schools, so I think those are pretty good qualifications. 

In my state, we have disability scholarships and can hire professionals to implement our IEP. I wouldn't be able to hire him, because he has no professional credentials. 

20 hours ago, caedmyn said:

He does talk about successfully resolving behavioral issues in kids with many different diagnoses, including ADHD, ODD, and conduct disorder. 

It's hard because working with kids with serious behavioral issues is hard. 

 So??? Any licensed professional working that field has too. And they would have the ability to diagnose, would take ethical responsibility for their comments, would carry liability insurance, would be able to hire and SUPERVISE others to help implement their plans. That's why you're on your own with the in-home worker, winging it, because he's not qualified to supervise that, have training meetings, be available by text to problem solve, etc. These are all things my licensed behaviorist did for us with our in-home workers.

And the trick is you figuring out the limits of his knowledge.  Him SAYING he knows how to do something isn't the same as him being able to set up a plan, supervise the employees, carry liability insurance, etc.

20 hours ago, caedmyn said:

I don't think any method is going to magically make these big issues easy. 

When you get the right methods, the behavior improves and shows in the DATA.  

20 hours ago, caedmyn said:

It's the same with your DS, that he's very challenging to work with, not because what you're doing is not working (though I'm sure you've tried your fair share of things that haven't), but because, from what you've said various times, he's just going to be a challenge even when you're doing absolutely everything right/the best possible way.

We have DATA on how every single thing we've tried works. That's what a behaviorist does. We've made ASTONISHING progress, and the ladies here on the board who know him will say that. He has ASD2, so we expect him to need significant support. He's not the same at the same level of behaviors he was 3 years ago or even 1 year ago. We expect him to continue to improve in self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-advocacy, and our data show he is.

It definitely should not be a despairing situation where the data is not showing progress and you're like it can't change. It's ok for it to take time, but your data should be showing progress.

So just as a total aside, we've gotten big improvement with genetics and targeted supplements based on genetics. HUGE. That just gets his body in the room, able to be with the person. 

We've gotten big mileage with our in-home workers, having them PLAY with ds. Play is a standard, normal form of therapy, and it allows the workers, who are supervised by the behaviorist and given small goals, to weave those goals into the play in a naturalistic way. They can work on language, social thinking/perspective taking, compliance, waiting skills, turn taking, anything you need worked on, through PLAY. And it's not really so hard to have an in-home worker do this. It just needs supervision by someone trained in play therapies, which goes back to a licensed professional. Our behaviorist is very naturalistic, so she does a lot of play with him and has our workers play. They'll do some work too, but a lot of play, play with goals and intention. 

Working on nonverbals, especially joint attention, is really calming for my ds and improves compliance and connectedness. For instance, if you rotated through the kids, one each day, and had a 1:1 play time while the worker supervised the rest. you might make brownies together do it all non-verbally, with you pointing and them doing the tasks. Joint attention and non-verbal referencing work might get you some gains in other ways.

21 hours ago, caedmyn said:

I don't have the results from his evaluation yet, but they said they typically recommend 30-36 visits.  It seems like some kids would need less than others but that's what they said.

Definitely not reasonable in your case. But see if they'll flex and do monthly with lots of homework. You have enough structure going that you could manage homework if the provided enough, definitely. Not software or not exclusively software, but actual physical homework. But yeah, this can be done if they'll do it.

21 hours ago, caedmyn said:

I'm not going to go into the details of why, but I feel very confident that that is not the case here.

Probability of that is almost nill. These problems are genetic, so they're the bio father, the bio mother, or a happy combination of both. 

11 hours ago, mamakelly said:

Although in our school district, if a child is suspected of needing VT, the district will pay for the child to be tested and will pay for the therapy.

WOW!!!

11 hours ago, mamakelly said:

than it is to be 45 years old and have to take 8 days off of work and pay $5,000 to see a dyslexia specialist that works with adults. Please get your kids the help they need now.

Yeah, Caedym is already kicking butt on this. She has put so many kids through so many levels of Barton it BLOWS MY MIND. And I agree with her that there are a number of ways to skin a cat. Like if you think really hard, like just looking at her situation, there are things full evals would do and things she has already correctly inferred and dealt with. And I also don't think there has been an information gap. There can be sometimes, where people are worried that telling a dc they have a disability will hurt their self-concept or whatever and they don't tell the dc. But I don't think (she can say obviously) op has done that even. And that's a HUGE THING, when someone is at least honest. Then the kid can say ok, I'm 18, this is what I choose.

So she has done a lot. We've paid for our evals because our deductible is high. I really get the question and that in her case there needs to be the *would it make a difference* thing factoring in. And it sorta would and it sorta wouldn't. It depends on the dc, the need for paper trail, what other things are going on (which she then doesn't know without evals). I think the thing I *don't* understand is why not put more on the table, things that could happen. The ped could diagnose ASD and ADHD. They have the tools (parent, teacher, etc. forms like the GARS and the BRIEF) and they could do this. Or put them on the state children's medicaid and get evals covered. Or go through the ps and get something done, which is her federal right. The ps SLP could run pragmatics and narrative language on these kids, and it might identify stuff. 

There's a little thing that concerns me: parent with head in sand about their own disabilities-->parent says kid should tough up and get through it the way they did-->kid not making progress because kid is not parent.

So that's a challenge. And I think sometimes avoiding professionals and refusing to allow the dc to be around professionals is part of that hide/denial thing by the power parent.

Fwiw, I don't see my spouse the way professionals do. I'm just saying that very politely here. I'm very, very oblivious and have taken on a load of guilt about things, then professionals dig in and are like nope, it's not just you. And it has really kind of surprised me. I'm saying it's possible sometimes to miss things. Whatever, but I'm just saying it can happen. These things are genetic and the genes came from somebody and maybe not just one somebody.

18 hours ago, Pen said:

one child could be intensively addressed.

What is the probability more of the kids need VT work? That's actually another reason to go with the once a month and more homework, because you can kinda goose and gander and see if you start finding weaknesses in other kids. Across just my two, big differences, with one needing VT and one totally fine except for VMI that the VT place wouldn't even touch but referred out for. But across so many kids, I would just posit more will need VT. So if you get the homework, run it on more kids and see what happens. Also make SURE SURE SURE any retained reflexes are integrated.

10 hours ago, Pen said:

 

We had to remediate vision problems before dyslexia remediation was effective. 

I *think* she's gotten good results with her Barton, right? It almost seemed like that wasn't the biggest problem in the room right now, call me crazy. I mean, she's been banging them out through 8/9, so other things are more prominent. 

You know what's hard about that is figuring out what is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to work on for each dc, what would be pivotal. We talk about that in autism with PRT=pivotal response therapy. The idea is what would make a BIG DIFFERENCE, what is lynch pin. Sometimes evals are helpful for that, because they can bubble up something that maybe the mom wasn't focusing on. With my dd it was anxiety and poor word retrieval. Those were not on my radar and the neuropsych evals bubbled them up. It's a reason to do good evals even when you think you already know what is going on.

21 hours ago, moonflower said:

I will say that I'm kind of leery of VT; not the idea that some kids need it, I'm sure they do, but it's just such a huge moneymaker for a lot of practices that I find it hard to believe they're all completely honest about the number of appointments your kids specifically need.

At the very least, it's not in their financial interest to once a month. It's also not ideal, but reality hits. Once a month can work if the therapy place will buy in and really give good piles of work. Because they're driving so far, they'd want to make sure they did a full hour of therapy, possibly with breaks, and took ibuprofen. My dd learned a lot by interacting with the therapist and it made her a better self-advocate for her vision needs.

 

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13 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

There's a little thing that concerns me: parent with head in sand about their own disabilities-->parent says kid should tough up and get through it the way they did-->kid not making progress because kid is not parent.

So that's a challenge. And I think sometimes avoiding professionals and refusing to allow the dc to be around professionals is part of that hide/denial thing by the power parent.

Fwiw, I don't see my spouse the way professionals do. I'm just saying that very politely here. I'm very, very oblivious and have taken on a load of guilt about things, then professionals dig in and are like nope, it's not just you. And it has really kind of surprised me. I'm saying it's possible sometimes to miss things. Whatever, but I'm just saying it can happen. These things are genetic and the genes came from somebody and maybe not just one somebody.

 

Probably.  But things like lead poisoning can have major negative effects on behavior and reading ability and aren’t genetic. 

And while play therapy, zones of regulation,  etc etc etc etc etc might help some if there were something like lead poisoning primarily going on, getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for the actual problem seems like it would make a huge difference. 

13 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

What is the probability more of the kids need VT work? That's actually another reason to go with the once a month and more homework, because you can kinda goose and gander and see if you start finding weaknesses in other kids. Across just my two, big differences, with one needing VT and one totally fine except for VMI that the VT place wouldn't even touch but referred out for. But across so many kids, I would just posit more will need VT. So if you get the homework, run it on more kids and see what happens. Also make SURE SURE SURE any retained reflexes are integrated.

I *think* she's gotten good results with her Barton, right? It almost seemed like that wasn't the biggest problem in the room right now, call me crazy. I mean, she's been banging them out through 8/9, so other things are more prominent. 

 

Getting rapidly to Barton 8/9 kind of makes me doubt that there’s anywhere like the vision trouble that would need 30-36 VT sessions.  OTOH, if there really is, maybe the effort the dc is/are putting in for reading is a reason for being close to meltdown stage much of the time. 

You’re right though that it might be good to get VT via extensive homework and run all the older kids through now, and be ready to do the 6 and understand later. 

13 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

You know what's hard about that is figuring out what is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to work on for each dc, what would be pivotal. We talk about that in autism with PRT=pivotal response therapy. The idea is what would make a BIG DIFFERENCE, what is lynch pin. Sometimes evals are helpful for that, because they can bubble up something that maybe the mom wasn't focusing on. With my dd it was anxiety and poor word retrieval. Those were not on my radar and the neuropsych evals bubbled them up. It's a reason to do good evals even when you think you already know what is going on.

 

I agree. 

13 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

At the very least, it's not in their financial interest to once a month. It's also not ideal, but reality hits. Once a month can work if the therapy place will buy in and really give good piles of work. Because they're driving so far, they'd want to make sure they did a full hour of therapy, possibly with breaks, and took ibuprofen.

 

Ibuprofen? For Vt? 

 

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24 minutes ago, Pen said:

Getting rapidly to Barton 8/9 kind of makes me doubt that there’s anywhere like the vision trouble that would need 30-36 VT sessions.  OTOH, if there really is, maybe the effort the dc is/are putting in for reading is a reason for being close to meltdown stage much of the time. 

You’re right though that it might be good to get VT via extensive homework and run all the older kids through now, and be ready to do the 6 and understand later. 

Oh who knows. All it tells you is their visual memory is intact.

What's usually happening there is the doc has how they roll. Like at the practice we used, they had these therapy notebooks and they ticked everybody through lots of stuff. So they could predict how many weeks because they knew how their materials rolled. So yeah, another doc, totally different answer. But 36 sessions at 2/week is 18 weeks which is in the realm of normal. 1-2 years, not normal. But 3-6 months, pretty normal, sure.

But think about that, that means 3-6 trips total if she can get them to once a month. Or maybe more months but not that much more, not 36 trips or even 18. I did 2 1/2 hours each way weekly, and that's stinkin ROUGH. I wouldn't drive 3-4 hours weekly. That would be like once a month and a boatload of homework. Maybe twice a month, maybe, depending on how pressing the symptoms are.

But really, get those reflexes integrated first. Do some BalavisX, kwim? Didn't somebody just post a brilliant video of group BalavisX? BLEW MY MIND. It's very conspicuous to me that my ds has had so much OT and does not need VT. So if anything like that could save her *some* hassle, it would be worth it.

  

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7 minutes ago, Pen said:

Ibuprofen? For Vt? 

yeah, for the headaches.

I don't know if op understands this, but many kids find VT fatiguing. You may have to modify your load. Some kids are fine, and some kids are really sensitive to it. My dd has this really, really hypersensitive sensory system, like she gets morphine for pain that some people ignore, and VT was very painful for her. Most kids are probably more middle of the road, but certainly know your kid and don't be shocked. It was the VT place that said to give her ibuprofen before to curb the headaches from it.

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Some VT exercises also resembled Brain Gym which could be done at home.  

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21 hours ago, moonflower said:

Yes, my oldest is very responsible and capable with good EF and a relative minimum of even typical teenagery issues (although we are having some).  I also have 3 years between the 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd, and the 3rd is a very compliant child.  If I'd had the youngest 4 at the beginning (all about 18 months or so apart, all kind of hooligans), life would be very different and I'd probably be in therapy.

My oldest is not very responsible and doesn't have good EF (though a minimum of teenage issues thus far thankfully), and she is not much help with the younger ones.  I do think my kids would be very different if DS10 had been further down in the birth order.  He has very much set the tone for the others and not in a good way.

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

In my state, we have disability scholarships and can hire professionals to implement our IEP. I wouldn't be able to hire him, because he has no professional credentials. 

 So??? Any licensed professional working that field has too. And they would have the ability to diagnose, would take ethical responsibility for their comments, would carry liability insurance, would be able to hire and SUPERVISE others to help implement their plans. That's why you're on your own with the in-home worker, winging it, because he's not qualified to supervise that, have training meetings, be available by text to problem solve, etc. These are all things my licensed behaviorist did for us with our in-home workers.

And the trick is you figuring out the limits of his knowledge.  Him SAYING he knows how to do something isn't the same as him being able to set up a plan, supervise the employees, carry liability insurance, etc.

 

WOW!!!

Yeah, Caedym is already kicking butt on this. She has put so many kids through so many levels of Barton it BLOWS MY MIND. And I agree with her that there are a number of ways to skin a cat. Like if you think really hard, like just looking at her situation, there are things full evals would do and things she has already correctly inferred and dealt with. And I also don't think there has been an information gap. There can be sometimes, where people are worried that telling a dc they have a disability will hurt their self-concept or whatever and they don't tell the dc. But I don't think (she can say obviously) op has done that even. And that's a HUGE THING, when someone is at least honest. Then the kid can say ok, I'm 18, this is what I choose.

There's a little thing that concerns me: parent with head in sand about their own disabilities-->parent says kid should tough up and get through it the way they did-->kid not making progress because kid is not parent.

So that's a challenge. And I think sometimes avoiding professionals and refusing to allow the dc to be around professionals is part of that hide/denial thing by the power parent.

Fwiw, I don't see my spouse the way professionals do. I'm just saying that very politely here. I'm very, very oblivious and have taken on a load of guilt about things, then professionals dig in and are like nope, it's not just you. And it has really kind of surprised me. I'm saying it's possible sometimes to miss things. Whatever, but I'm just saying it can happen. These things are genetic and the genes came from somebody and maybe not just one somebody.

 

 

I've dealt with enough professionals in various fields in my life who have the credentials but apparently don't know what they're doing to value results far more than credentials.  I think we will have to agree to disagree on whether he's qualified.  Apparently the state of California feels his qualifications and experience are sufficient for him to work with kids with severe behavior issues in their schools, and to train school personal who work with these kids also.  Also, there is one research study showing that the Raising Lions method was effective at improving behavior in the classroom (normal classrooms, not special ed ones IIRC).

I find it a bit ironic that I am given credit for successfully figuring out and remediating some things that are often identified through evaluations, yet I can't possibly have figured out what's going on in other areas or whether certain people in my family might have or don't have certain issues or what root causes or contributing factors might be or what might effectively address the issues that I see.  I'm not saying that nothing could be learned from evaluations or that I know everything, but that I'm the one seeing everything and the one researching and analyzing everything from different angles, and I think I do a pretty decent job of that and generally have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about.

There are things other than genetics that are known to cause or contribute to both attention issues and behavioral issues which are present for my kids, including high maternal stress levels during pregnancy and living in a high-conflict household.  Also, any genetics for attention issues (or any other issues) can certainly come from further up the family line than the parents--my dad's sister has an ADHD diagnosis, and my dad clearly has some attention issues and EF issues himself.  Yet me and my siblings didn't have any particular attention issues or EF issues growing up.  My dad could possibly be mildly dyslexic (he's a pretty poor speller), but if he is, the genetics for that skipped his children entirely and came out with a vengeance in mine.

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I have to triage when working through things.  Two of mine are done with Barton as far as I plan to go atm (Level 8), and two are still doing it with an online tutor, so that's off my plate.  Right now DS10 and DS6 are working on retained reflexes.  Somehow I'll have to fit in vision therapy exercises for DS10, and that will be all I can do.  DS6 seems to have visual issues also but I'm not going to pursue addressing those aside from a few tracking drills until DS10 is done.  It doesn't work to do things in a group setting here.  I have trouble dividing my attention between multiple kids, and there's generally at least minor non-compliance going on, and when that gets multiplied by two or more kids and increased by whatever degree they're feeding off each other which they always do, it's just not feasible.

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18 minutes ago, caedmyn said:

My dad could possibly be mildly dyslexic (he's a pretty poor speller), but if he is, the genetics for that skipped his children entirely and came out with a vengeance in mine.

Poor spelling is a very ADHD symptom. ADHD and dyslexia were even lumped together into a really unfortunate "minimal brain dysfunction" label early on. In any case, we've linked in the past genetics studies. It's possible you and your dh each contributed a gene (so carrying but not homozygous in either of you or maybe homozygous in one, heterozygous in the other), and boom your kids got there, both sides. My dd is like that, a carrier, heterozygous for one of the genes, and my ds is homozygous. So he gets labeled and she just gets called crunchy.

6 minutes ago, caedmyn said:

Right now DS10 and DS6 are working on retained reflexes. 

So was the VT doc aware of this? He had a plan? Are you having significant vision symptoms? I guess that's why you drove so far. 

8 minutes ago, caedmyn said:

when that gets multiplied by two or more kids and increased by whatever degree they're feeding off each other which they always do, it's just not feasible.

That's a mess. 

What would happen if you did something different? If the bigs are feeding off each other you could divide them. I don't have lots of kids, but I'm just saying you have an issue and am thinking out loud.

-buddy system--7th + 2nd gr buddies and they have a motivator reward, 4th and k5 buddy and have motivators

-divide into 2 teams of buddies + baby + 1 worker. Worker cares for baby and supervises buddies who keep each other on track with their work lists.

-separate rooms for buddy teams

-morning caffeine, small doses, has about a 3-4 hour half life so it would let you get academics done

-morning mindfulness/Zones checkins and body scans

You've gotta lotta boy power there. Could the 13 yo do video school and work independently and then you'd only have the 3 boys to corral? Then you could get some boy motivation going, like competition or alpha leadership or teamwork or whatever.

The K5er only needs to be in the workspace with the bigs for 1 hour. Then he could go in with the littles and the paid worker for the rest of the time and have read alouds, supervised play. That might be a way to cut down some of the chaos in the big kid room. 

Your guy has probably already said this, but are you using physical structures to get control? Divided tables, book cases, not facing each other, that kind of thing. Also headphones to cancel noise. They can play music through the headphones/earbuds. 

It was a lot to wrangle my dd and ds at the same time, as they had wildly different needs. 

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I’m late to this conversation, but if you have issues establishing discipline and routine, then hiring someone subordinate to yourself might just multiply the chaos. 

It sounds like you need an advisor to be the boss of you, help you set up systems, and be in the position to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses before you’re organized enough to benefit from an employee. I’m not convinced a mother’s helper/piano teacher/light housekeeper is a real thing to be had at minimum wage rates with no benefits and hours that are already being reduced. 

I only have two kids and only one is special needs, but it seems you need a certain amount of self-discipline to homeschool 5 children effectively. Having time to yourself in the house during the school day might be tricky. Maybe she helps you with lunch chaos then she supervises recess while you put the baby down for a nap? Maybe, at this time, lightening your load looks more like a once-a-week housekeeper and a babysitter while you go out for a few hours. 

Having another adult to help can be great, but you really need to nail down a schedule and clear job expectations. A list of ten activities your kid enjoys should be easy to provide. If it’s a hassle for you, then your assistant will be at more of a loss. Maybe set up activity bins ahead of time with fun things that can only be used while the helper is supervising? It sounds like a Rock Paper Scissors power dynamic that’s confusing for everyone. 

ETA: Where is dad in all this? Maybe your alone time in the house needs to be an hour or so in the evening while he flies solo with ALL his children. 

Edited by KungFuPanda

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Anyone can be listed as qualified, write a few books and work with a school.  But what makes me hesitant with him is the fact he didn’t ask for the kids evaluations first and since they don’t have any, tell you to get them before he works with you.  A good professional who works with behavior issues will demand those.  And since it is online, he should have someone working with you locally to help. We have had our share of professionals including a few complete whack a doodles.  If I were you, get the evaluations done along with finding someone locally who can help.  

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