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lauraw4321

Letting your kid fail

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3 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

So, a few follow ups. I did have the conversation about procrastination / sleep and it was so enlightening that I'm so so so so glad I kept my mouth shut for once. So, first of all, she had already prepared her entire script in PPT in Spanish before she started filming. I don't know if the teacher scaffolded this, but I was really pleased with that. I talked to her about losing sleep, and she admitted that it would have been better to finish earlier, but that the only way that would have worked was on the weekend, and she didn't remember it on the weekend. I told her that if I were in her shoes, I probably would have chosen something simpler that didn't need to "prove" for 2 hours. She had an absolutely brilliant response. First, she said that she wanted something that matched the Dia de los Muertos theme of the class. Second, she said she got more points for having more complicated ingredients to translate. And third, she said that it didn't really matter what it tasted like because she just had to do the video, not actually bring in the food. It seemed to me these were all very wise choices in retrospect. 

With respect to putting the videos together into iMovie, frankly, she probably could have done it on the bus ride. I don't love that because she gets motion sick, but I was floored at how quickly she was able to do that. Clearly I'm an old fart who is slow at technology.

I keep checking for a grade, or trying to find the grading rubric, and I haven't been able to find it. She has had trouble turning it in because of technology, and I've been reminding her to follow up on that daily, but I usually can still find the assignment on my end. So it's weird that I can't.

We usually do our planning / calendaring discussions on Sundays, but I'm realizing that with some of these more complicated projects, we need to do them on Saturday mornings so that we have a chance to work on the weekend if needed.

Long story short, in this instance, I learned far more than she did, likely. I hope she gets an A (assuming what she's telling me about the grading rubric is true). I feel like my parenting wins are so few and far between, and I so often over-talk and over-lecture instead of just taking a step back and seeing where it leads me. I told her I was so proud of her. She showed me the video fully edited and it was absolutely adorable. She had some scenes of time-lapse, and she added sound over them, and was just generally brilliant. She got her middle sister to help, and even the 5 year old's hand waiving an American flag (because..why not?) appeared in the background and made us all laugh. 

 

Yay!  That sounds remarkably well planned for any 11- 12yo, let alone one with adhd/EF issues!!!

good for her, and reading  that, I hope she gets an A too. 

Saturday review sounds like it will help a lot also.  

Btw I have had a tendency toward motion sickness problems, but did a lot of schoolwork on bus and subway in my day.  Some types of work can help motion sickness rather than make it worse. 

 

I tend to overtalk and overlecture too.  I’m glad you had a Mama Win on this! 

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3 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I just can't fathom a parent, spouse, or anything else ever calling a person's workplace unless there was a dire emergency or death! This is very stunning to me, and if you'd asked me where it would happen the military would have been my least likely pick. This is all very eye opening as far as the military part. No idea the info was that readily available. 


It happens all.the.time and perhaps skews my view on the issue. We have people flying and repairing planes, responsible for onboard nuclear reactors, at 18-24 and they are not disqualified for EF deficits. They are screened by test scores and grades. There are incredibly bright but scattered people who thrive in this structured environment.

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I feel like some of you Military knowledgable people have also mentioned to that the bar rises and falls with need? 

I'm not saying there's nothing to the tough tactic- It just seems like they could do a pretty good initial purging of non-optimal applicants if they wanted to. 

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3 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

It seems like they weed a lot of people out ahead of time though don't they with the testing? And then another set with bootcamp? 

I know some of the guys I went to high school with got all sort of various discharges within the first year. These were the slacker dudes in most cases, and would end up with admin, or some random medical discharge- not dishonorable- but they didn't keep them past 6 months either. And they always had an excuse of they were let out- maybe it was legit, but it just happened to be the same guys who didn't have it together in high school either and were skipping class to smoke weed. 


The weed outs re:grades and test scores don’t affect EF. The weed outs at boot camp are usually physical/mental in nature. People don’t get a choice about whether or when to eat/study/shower/shave.

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:


It happens all.the.time and perhaps skews my view on the issue. We have people flying and repairing planes, responsible for onboard nuclear reactors, at 18-24 and they are not disqualified for EF deficits. They are screened by test scores and grades. There are incredibly bright but scattered people who thrive in this structured environment.

It would be interesting to see the difference if there were a draft type situation vs voluntary enlistment on the outcome. Because I would think by default, if you were voluntarily signing up you might see and realize that you need that structure- which would be a different outcome to someone who wouldn't thrive in the situation, if that makes sense. 

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:


The weed outs re:grades and test scores don’t affect EF. The weed outs at boot camp are usually physical/mental in nature. People don’t get a choice about whether or when to eat/study/shower/shave.

See, I would think testing and EF would go hand and hand to an extent, because can't/don't people study up for the ASVAB (or whatever it's called)? I would consider EF a mental framework tbh, so for me it's hard to separate the two on the weed out part. You either can get your $ together or you cannot type of thing. Unless they can make them get their S together. I don't know how that works- my Dad was a Marine, but I was never in the military and I'm guessing things were a *lot* different when he was in. Not to mention they started drafting people a few years after he went in, so different times. 

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49 minutes ago, TechWife said:

in our house, it isn't "crickets" - it's the confusion/misunderstanding/disorganization/etc. that comes along with EF issues. I am not sure you fully understand the nature of EF issues and how they affect daily life. 

Fwiw, it could be there are more issues going on there than just EF. Language disabilities, ASD, there's certainly more that would explain what you're describing than EF. To say Heather doesn't get EF is to assume everything you were experiencing was because of EF. Just because a person has EF issues doesn't mean they ONLY have EF issues. 

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

No one criticized the idea that "learning to identify/articulate needs and advocate for them should be part of the work of secondary education." We are all doing those things, and have been for years. The pushback was against the implication that if you do those things, there would be no need for parental support beyond the age of 18. This is not an either/or choice — teach them the skills to find their own resources or keep helping them. It doesn't matter how good they are at advocating for themselves and using all available resources, if the resources they need are not available.

Also, you said that you would not allow even a very bright kid to start college until they were fully capable of functioning with zero EF support from you, so that got a response from folks with very bright kids currently in college who feel that holding them back, possibly for years, because of brain issues they have no control over, can be not only demoralizing and damaging to the student, but may be entirely futile.

As far as finding colleges that can meet all of a student's EF needs, that is certainly an option. Just be aware that this may be harder than you think, and it may involve significant trade-offs, such as limiting your child to schools that may be below (sometimes well below) their academic level and/or may not offer the programs/courses/majors they want. And those things in turn may limit future career and educational prospects. 


Again, not what I said. My version of scaffolding and yours are not the same but, yes, I did say that there were things I was not willing to regularly do for a child that DH and I deem college ready. College ready for us includes EF skills and/or self-advocacy.

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5 minutes ago, TechWife said:

My DS' issues started with working on his ability to sit in a chair without falling out of it and go on from there, so ????

I don't see failing to put work into the teacher inbox as a discipline issue.

DS lasted two months in kindergarten before he came home sobbing that the teacher told him "no one would ever love a boy like me." When I called the principal, I discovered that he was getting sent to her office nearly every day for "disobedience" like not sitting still, not being quiet, not following directions, not paying attention, etc. A four year old. He never went back.

He started 1st grade at a Montesssori school (which allows for lots of movement) but by 3rd grade he was way behind in reading and math, his dyslexia was more than apparent, and his teacher was concerned he needed SpEd services the school didn't have. So I put him in PS, where I (stupidly) thought he would get the help he needed. I was helping with a project in class one day and got to see what his day was like. The teacher would mumble while standing with her back to the class, but when he asked her to repeat something, she'd snap at him at him for "not paying attention." I watched him stare out the window, become totally focused on a fly in the room, and drop his pencil multiple times while trying to fill in a worksheet, and I watched him literally fall out of his chair for no apparent reason — like he was sitting there trying really hard to focus on the teacher at the front of the room when he literally just... fell over. She yelled at him and told him to stop "fooling around." I thought if that's how she treats him when a parent is right there in the room, what's it like the rest of the time???

So that's how we ended up homeschooling. And homeschooling is the reason a dyslexic ADHD 4th grader who could barely read and couldn't spell his own name right half the time, turned into a 6th grader reading the Iliad for fun, who turned into a 7th grader working harder than he'd ever worked in this life to learn Ancient Greek, who eventually turned into a college sophomore with a 3.95 GPA in advanced courses. And that clumsy kid who couldn't even sit in a chair without falling over ended up with drawer full national and international medals and an athletic scholarship. 

If I seem overly, uhh, "passionate" on this topic, or overreactive, it's because I have held a sobbing child who was thought no one would ever love him because he couldn't sit still.

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2 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

See, I would think testing and EF would go hand and hand to an extent, because can't/don't people study up for the ASVAB (or whatever it's called)? I would consider EF a mental framework tbh, so for me it's hard to separate the two on the weed out part. You either can get your $ together or you cannot type of thing. Unless they can make them get their S together. I don't know how that works- my Dad was a Marine, but I was never in the military and I'm guessing things were a *lot* different when he was in. Not to mention they started drafting people a few years after he went in, so different times. 


Some kids need to study. The smartest students do not. DH didn’t. As people have said here, book smarts and EF can be wildly different. DH has worked with many walking encyclopedias/autodidacts.

Edited by Sneezyone
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15 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I was thinking about this thread in light of the military. It's interesting that people say punitive doesn't work for EFDs. That's almost the entire structure of the military. Get your hair cut,  keep your room clean, study, show up on time,  shine your boots, etc. All of that is enforced via an entirely punitive system of consequences, recruits come from all walks of life with all different sorts of LDs and abilities, it's very sink or swim + high pressure with stakes of failure being pretty high...and yet all kinds of people manage to make it through training (both boot camp and technical schools). There are known elite jobs and tougher schools with higher attrition rates, but even then, a lot of the reasons are medical or stuff like that. I wonder what makes this work for the military effectively? (I'm not arguing parents should be drill sergeants,  just wondering about the effectiveness aspect).

And not just effectively, but effectively for ADHD. Imagine that. Structure, consequences. People were saying it was punishing the disability, but it's not. We still have free will, the ability to choose. I mean, unless you somehow think your dc is ONLY their diagnosis. 

There are definitely recognized delays that affect accountability. Social Thinking delays, for instance, affect what we will judge a person to be accountable for. There's the idea of a "social pass" and there are kids who (in general) do not lie, etc. There are these other issues. And we have a lot of kids being jumbled in here who are at a lot of different levels of social thinking and hence how we would hold them accountable or perceive their own ability to make a choice to do what is wrong.

My own dc has very little ability to overcome himself and do what is right anyway. He doesn't take perspective on rules to get the idea of God, sin, the law, etc. For him, compliance is pretty straightforward and we don't really have a lot of conversations of this was wrong, why did you do it. He just doesn't operate on that level. He operates on a more basic level like this is what is expected and these are my tools so I will try to do it. Very b&w, very straightforward.

Some kids have a lot more flex and understanding and ability within that. 

I really appreciate Heathermomster's point on the role of compliance here, even if it isn't *popular*, because it's a balance. It's not like my dd just WANTED to do everything she needed to do. It's not like it was all easy or joyful or obvious or instantly rewarding. She wanted to kind of plow her own way, even if it was inefficient or never going to get there. Sometimes I could work with that and eventually get there, and sometimes I was like no try again this other way, like really you're going to have to do it this other way. Sometimes it was flat compliance. 

She had a point where her writing was functionally illegible AND she couldn't type. There were no pretty outcomes at that point. I brought in high motivators and was really well some people would say witch-like about it. Just saying. Like my dh thought I was a horrible person. My dd now kisses my feet over it, but sometimes you have to be tough as nails to come to the other side on some things. And THAT is a lot of what Heather is talking about, where your relationship is instructive enough that you can mentor them and get in their heads and they're really listening. However you get there is your business, but it's very hard to do the HARD WORK of getting a person proficient in HARD THINGS if you don't have this mentoring relationship.

Teaching a dc to outline when they'd rather not because they don't have to because they can pass the test without making notes or outlines is hard. Teaching a dc to type an alternate keyboard when they're satisfied to peck is hard. Getting a dc to do things they don't think they can do is hard. And it all rolls with that relationship Heather is talking about. 

Fwiw, the harder the situation, the more the relationship requires both positive AND negative. Big withdrawals from the bank, big deposits, I guess you could say. I put more effort into positive with my 2nd dc, and I think Heathermomster is probably putting a lot of positive into that bank too (just from what I've read of her posts).

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26 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

It seems like they weed a lot of people out ahead of time though don't they with the testing? And then another set with bootcamp?

This seems like a time to bring in the armadillos. Just saying. :biggrin:

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2 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

It seems like they weed a lot of people out ahead of time though don't they with the testing? And then another set with bootcamp? 

I know some of the guys I went to high school with got all sort of various discharges within the first year. These were the slacker dudes in most cases, and would end up with admin, or some random medical discharge- not dishonorable- but they didn't keep them past 6 months either. And they always had an excuse of they were let out- maybe it was legit, but it just happened to be the same guys who didn't have it together in high school either and were skipping class to smoke weed. 

I was looking up attrition rates...for air force basic training, it's only 7 or 8 percent. The testing beforehand is aptitude (*very basic* academics and spatial reasoning type stuff) and medical/physical. I wasn't tested for LDs at any point, although I suppose if one really has trouble with standardized testing it would be a problem.

I'm just saying that I know there must be undiagnosed people with EFD in the military, and for the most part, it seems like the yelling/punitive model works on a broad range of people. 

In fact, a lot of people I know joined the military in order to get their stuff together. These were not dumb people, but had trouble with college or real life for whatever reason or just wanted more self discipline. And that started with a very punitive model applies broad brush on anyone who was there. The scaffolding, as it was, was yelling and physical discipline.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:


...College ready for us includes EF skills and/or self-advocacy.

This seems very wise! My dd launched a year before I wanted her to, sigh. 

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I had a former principal who was a retired Marine Boot camp sergeant, and I think I learned more about structuring a classroom for success and breaking down skills into little steps and teaching and reinforcing at each step from him than any education class or workshop I'd ever done. This was in a very, very rough inner city school-the kind where drug dealers usually didn't do deals on the school grounds, but the playground at the park across the street was fair game. The first morning, he started out with the entire school in the cafeteria, and taught the kids, step by step, how to line up and walk in the halls. And he drilled it, and practiced it. The same happened when they came to the cafeteria, at dismissal. He expected papers to be headed the same way, and that we would actively teach and drill it. You were expected to teach HOW to put materials away and where they go, and practice and drill them. A lot of teachers felt it was a waste of time. But you know what? Teaching those skills, and having them be consistent through the school made a major difference. As the kids got older and added things like planners, or changing classrooms and getting materials from lockers, that was taught explicitly as well. And the expectation was that if someone in your unit was struggling, you helped them-so if you had the child with ADHD at your table who struggled to get their assignments in the planner, the other children were taught to step in and help and support and scaffold, but not do it for them-and that, in another setting, that child with ADHD would be the one helping, too.  There were still kids who struggled more than others with EF skills, but overall, everyone improved because it WAS so consistent, and academics followed.  He explained that in the Marines, they didn't expect anyone to come in with any specific skill "the Marine way", so they taught from scratch how to, say, make a bed, or shine your shoes, or run a mile "the Marine way".  There was no censure for NOT knowing how to do it "the Marine way" before it was taught, but once it was taught, it was expected and NOT allowed to slide. He felt the same was true with kids in a school situation. They didn't know how to do it the school way, so teach them "the school way" and expect it, and reinforce it.  Because not everyone will be able to do a page of multiplication correctly. But almost everyone can take out their math book and math notebook and put them on their desk along with a pencil when prompted after they've practiced it a few times. And then you practice turning to the correct page. And practice opening your notebook and copying the page number. And then practice where to place and copy each problem, and how to line up numbers within the problem. All those steps before you even START to teach the math and do the math. And when the page is organized and everything makes sense and everyone is looking at the numbers, at least you know which children truly are struggling with the math, and can work with them where they are there. And, when every teacher in the building is consistent, it is far easier for the kids when they change classes during the day, or change grade levels.

 

Also to add-this was the same school where all teachers were trained in Slingerland, that got a lot of kids because they were struggling in reading. 

 

I have a child now a couple of days a week, and she's under a lot of stress. Her EF skills, and her academic skills, have basically flown out the window (like she would sit looking at a 2nd grade level math problem and literally be unable to begin, despite testing on grade level as a 6th grader a year and a half ago). But, if I break down and teach those specific steps for a task, and teach it "this is the way that you do it here", without any expectation that she knows how to do it "my way" or censure for not doing it "my way", and recognize that each little step IS a step in and of itself and that she needs those steps, it seems to unlock the rest of the skill that she already had, but was so emotionally stressed and shut down to be unable to initiate. So, while I can provide a lot of love and support and encouragement, in many ways I also need to provide boot camp.

Edited by dmmetler
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4 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

I probably would have chosen something simpler

Fwiw, this is part of why it was hard to guide dd, because she was always going to go to a more complicated version of the task. So she's instantly stepping up the difficulty level (and hence the EF challenges) on her own. 

4 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

So, first of all, she had already prepared her entire script in PPT in Spanish before she started filming. I don't know if the teacher scaffolded this, but I was really pleased with that.

Well good, that's the type of thing we would expect to see going on! So that's really good. That was what concerned me, that maybe they weren't doing the scaffolding in school. So it's reassuring for you to know they ARE doing this. And if they fade too soon, she could have a 504. But good stuff, yes.

4 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

We usually do our planning / calendaring discussions on Sundays, but I'm realizing that with some of these more complicated projects, we need to do them on Saturday mornings so that we have a chance to work on the weekend if needed.

Long story short, in this instance, I learned far more than she did, likely.

Sounds like good stuff. Maybe even on Friday nights? I mean, I don't do school, but I agree she may need weekends sometimes. And talking it through like that is great as a strategy. You're doing good things there building habits that she can take over and do independently.

The other thing she's doing (and you probably already see this) is that she's holding in her head a lot of details that she's not telling you. And that's GOOD! It shows that she's taking over and maturing. So it's why you're prompts are good, because you don't want to be taking over for that. Does she carry tech so she could get things onto calendars or into reminders or planners more quickly? Tech is where it's at for ADHD, and especially since she's so tech savvy you want to be doing this. Syncing through google calendar, putting an echo dot in her bedroom so she can use Alexa and hear her plans for the day, whatever. Use tech and let her figure out ways to use it more extensively.

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5 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I was looking up attrition rates...for air force basic training, it's only 7 or 8 percent. The testing beforehand is aptitude (*very basic* academics and spatial reasoning type stuff) and medical/physical. I wasn't tested for LDs at any point, although I suppose if one really has trouble with standardized testing it would be a problem.

I'm just saying that I know there must be undiagnosed people with EFD in the military, and for the most part, it seems like the yelling/punitive model works on a broad range of people. 

In fact, a lot of people I know joined the military in order to get their stuff together. These were not dumb people, but had trouble with college or real life for whatever reason or just wanted more self discipline. And that started with a very punitive model applies broad brush on anyone who was there. The scaffolding, as it was, was yelling and physical discipline.

 

 

I looked out of curiosity and saw this in regard to enlistment (assuming it's accurate- maybe one of you who are more knowledgeable can correct if it's inaccurate). 

Quote

Legislation like the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 seeks to protect the rights of students with learning or physical disabilities. However, all branches of the United States Military are exempt from these acts when it comes to commissioned officers and its enlisted members. Only civilians working in the military are protected by this legislation.

As such, candidates with learning or physical disabilities will not be able to apply for accommodations on the ASVAB. The United States Department of Defense has the ability to set enlistment criteria that actively discriminate against individuals with disabilities. For example, a candidate with dyslexia may be unable to join the military because he/she might be unable to quickly process visual information in a crisis situation.

 

And just adding I don't have an issue with them setting their parameters of who they take, I'm not taking issue with that-- that's not my point, as by default they can't/shouldn't take everyone imo. I'm just quoting to show they're already pruning the branch, so to speak, if you consider that a lot of LD's and other things have overlap with EF. So, it does seem to work for the ones it works for, like anything else. I'm not sure it's the magic bullet, so to speak. 

It's just got me thinking. I know in my Dad's day, that is what people did with their boys that didn't have it together. They sent them off to the military, and then like I mentioned a lot of them got drafted shortly after anyway, but I'm not sure long term if it was a super effective solution.  I would think the ones that *stay* in, or do a couple of stints, yeah, maybe so, because it suits them, but I'm not sure if it's like "a fix" across the board. 

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4 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

There were still kids who struggled more than others with EF skills, but overall, everyone improved because it WAS so consistent, and academics followed. 

That story is so encouraging to hear! And you're right, STRUCTURE is always, always, always a recommended practice with ADHD. Love it. Wish I had the energy to be it. LOL

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The structure of the military is very helpful for a lot of folks with ADHD, but I believe you have to get a waiver if you've been on ADHD medication past age 12.  

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4 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

I had a former principal who was a retired Marine Boot camp sergeant, and I think I learned more about structuring a classroom for success and breaking down skills into little steps and teaching and reinforcing at each step from him than any education class or workshop I'd ever done. This was in a very, very rough inner city school-the kind where drug dealers usually didn't do deals on the school grounds, but the playground at the park across the street was fair game. The first morning, he started out with the entire school in the cafeteria, and taught the kids, step by step, how to line up and walk in the halls. And he drilled it, and practiced it. The same happened when they came to the cafeteria, at dismissal. He expected papers to be headed the same way, and that we would actively teach and drill it. You were expected to teach HOW to put materials away and where they go, and practice and drill them. A lot of teachers felt it was a waste of time. But you know what? Teaching those skills, and having them be consistent through the school made a major difference. As the kids got older and added things like planners, or changing classrooms and getting materials from lockers, that was taught explicitly as well. And the expectation was that if someone in your unit was struggling, you helped them-so if you had the child with ADHD at your table who struggled to get their assignments in the planner, the other children were taught to step in and help and support and scaffold, but not do it for them-and that, in another setting, that child with ADHD would be the one helping, too.  There were still kids who struggled more than others with EF skills, but overall, everyone improved because it WAS so consistent, and academics followed.  He explained that in the Marines, they didn't expect anyone to come in with any specific skill "the Marine way", so they taught from scratch how to, say, make a bed, or shine your shoes, or run a mile "the Marine way".  There was no censure for NOT knowing how to do it "the Marine way" before it was taught, but once it was taught, it was expected and NOT allowed to slide. He felt the same was true with kids in a school situation. They didn't know how to do it the school way, so teach them "the school way" and expect it, and reinforce it.  Because not everyone will be able to do a page of multiplication correctly. But almost everyone can take out their math book and math notebook and put them on their desk along with a pencil when prompted after they've practiced it a few times. And then you practice turning to the correct page. And practice opening your notebook and copying the page number. And then practice where to place and copy each problem, and how to line up numbers within the problem. All those steps before you even START to teach the math and do the math. And when the page is organized and everything makes sense and everyone is looking at the numbers, at least you know which children truly are struggling with the math, and can work with them where they are there. And, when every teacher in the building is consistent, it is far easier for the kids when they change classes during the day, or change grade levels.

 

I have a child now a couple of days a week, and she's under a lot of stress. Her EF skills, and her academic skills, have basically flown out the window (like she would sit looking at a 2nd grade level math problem and literally be unable to begin, despite testing on grade level as a 6th grader a year and a half ago). But, if I break down and teach those specific steps for a task, and teach it "this is the way that you do it here", without any expectation that she knows how to do it "my way" or censure for not doing it "my way", and recognize that each little step IS a step in and of itself and that she needs those steps, it seems to unlock the rest of the skill that she already had, but was so emotionally stressed and shut down to be unable to initiate. So, while I can provide a lot of love and support and encouragement, in many ways I also need to provide boot camp.

Boot camp minus the punitive/yelling part right? 

My posts were more addressing EsmeB's initial post of the punitive aspect of bootcamp. . 

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Yes, minus the punitive part. And not yelling, although my former principal could be heard across a room without yelling. In many ways, it reminded me more of obedience school for dogs. Firm, not punitive, and consistent. In general, not doing something is seen as a sign that it needs to be taught and broken down even more and finely-go back to where the child is successful, and build from there. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I looked out of curiosity and saw this in regard to enlistment (assuming it's accurate- maybe one of you who are more knowledgeable can correct if it's inaccurate). 

And just adding I don't have an issue with them setting their parameters of who they take, I'm not taking issue with that-- that's not my point, as by default they can't/shouldn't take everyone imo. I'm just quoting to show they're already pruning the branch, so to speak, if you consider that a lot of LD's and other things have overlap with EF. So, it does seem to work for the ones it works for, like anything else. I'm not sure it's the magic bullet, so to speak. 

It's just got me thinking. I know in my Dad's day, that is what people did with their boys that didn't have it together. They sent them off to the military, and then like I mentioned a lot of them got drafted shortly after anyway, but I'm not sure long term if it was a super effective solution.  I would think the ones that *stay* in, or do a couple of stints, yeah, maybe so, because it suits them, but I'm not sure if it's like "a fix" across the board. 

Not only are there limitations in terms of input, in the sense of screening out many for whom that type of rigid/punitive structure won't work, there are additional losses along the way when some drop out or are discharged early, and then there also seem to be a whole lot of people who make it through but then fall apart once they no longer have that structure. Because the rigidity and punitive basis of the system didn't actually teach them self-control and self-discipline, it just provided external controls that prevented them from screwing up. For example, a large percentage of homeless men in America are military veterans. 

Edited by Corraleno
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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

See, I would think testing and EF would go hand and hand to an extent, because can't/don't people study up for the ASVAB (or whatever it's called)? I would consider EF a mental framework tbh, so for me it's hard to separate the two on the weed out part. You either can get your $ together or you cannot type of thing. Unless they can make them get their S together. I don't know how that works- my Dad was a Marine, but I was never in the military and I'm guessing things were a *lot* different when he was in. Not to mention they started drafting people a few years after he went in, so different times. 

 

I keep trying to find where the part of this thread about what happens in military started and can’t find it.  

I’m interested in that because my son has had a past interest in military, though not so much currently.

People certainly can study for the Asvab.  And if they have high EF maybe? probably? they do.  My son’s school gave it both 9th grade and 10th grade, and he scored in 99th percentile in most segments both years, and over all had an already quite solid score, better the second time.  He didn’t study. I was surprised at how well he did, especially the first time with no prep, not even familiarizing himself with types of questions.  

He has major EF issues, yet is very smart, and has decent basic science type knowledge.  He tends to do better on standardized tests than day to day get his homework done and turned in for regular grades.  

I don’t know if he would totally thrive in a military type environment or get into trouble.  

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Regarding families, I think boys/men in particular have often had one or more high EF capable woman (mom, wife, secretary...) to help manage EF related problems.  

I think girls/women have tended to have that less.  And I think the more women are doing their own careers, the less men have that.

A long time close friend of mine had a mother who had particularly awesome EF skills, and worked first running my friend’s Dad’s medical practice, and then when he retired my friend’s medical practice.  While the Dad and my friend had/have quite good EF Themselves (not ADHD or any problems) the Mom was unusually excellent. She was from an era when some women did become doctors etc themselves, but not as often as now.  

Somewhat along those lines another female friend has had the EF side management of a family business, her pastor husband’s pastoral administration (calendar etc) , and 5 homeschooled kids, two with some EF deficits.   My EF isn’t up to that. If it had been reversed and the wife had had poor EF, I think the family would have been swamped, but with the mom having super EF skills it pulls them all through. 

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51 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I looked out of curiosity and saw this in regard to enlistment (assuming it's accurate- maybe one of you who are more knowledgeable can correct if it's inaccurate). 

And just adding I don't have an issue with them setting their parameters of who they take, I'm not taking issue with that-- that's not my point, as by default they can't/shouldn't take everyone imo. I'm just quoting to show they're already pruning the branch, so to speak, if you consider that a lot of LD's and other things have overlap with EF. So, it does seem to work for the ones it works for, like anything else. I'm not sure it's the magic bullet, so to speak. 

It's just got me thinking. I know in my Dad's day, that is what people did with their boys that didn't have it together. They sent them off to the military, and then like I mentioned a lot of them got drafted shortly after anyway, but I'm not sure long term if it was a super effective solution.  I would think the ones that *stay* in, or do a couple of stints, yeah, maybe so, because it suits them, but I'm not sure if it's like "a fix" across the board. 

I'm not saying it's a fix, necessarily. And they do exclude people with certain diagnoses. But I know that there are people who, based on what is said on this board, would be considered undiagnosed EFD or ADD or ADHD who do respond to the method of training that the military provides in order to obtain a level of self sufficiency that allows them to exist in an environment with very high pressure expectations and decreasing amounts of supervision. For example, in basic or boot camp you're told when to clean for inspection. When you leave basic, you're told when your barracks room is going to be inspected, when you're having a uniform inspection, when you're having an academic test, but your time outside of class or your primary duty is maybe restricted to base, but you have to divide your time to meet those things.  Consequences are punitive, and punitive is ideally restorative forthose they want to keep around, if that makes sense. By the time you've been in a year, doing all that stuff, making it to work on time, etc., is on you.

Academic classes are generally taught with the idea that everyone has a high school diploma but haven't been through rigorous college classes. So there is a lot of structure to get people to pass a class. However, my career development courses were all self study. My on the job training was self study on the academic side. I was expected to maintain proficiency in my primary skill set (tested annually) largely on my own. My supervisor may have asked about my progress or if I had a study plan,  but he wasn't coming up with one for me.

Anyway, I really digress. Oops!

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22 minutes ago, Pen said:

Regarding families, I think boys/men in particular have often had one or more high EF capable woman (mom, wife, secretary...) to help manage EF related problems.  

I think girls/women have tended to have that less.  And I think the more women are doing their own careers, the less men have that.

A long time close friend of mine had a mother who had particularly awesome EF skills, and worked first running my friend’s Dad’s medical practice, and then when he retired my friend’s medical practice.  While the Dad and my friend had/have quite good EF Themselves (not ADHD or any problems) the Mom was unusually excellent. She was from an era when some women did become doctors etc themselves, but not as often as now.  

Somewhat along those lines another female friend has had the EF side management of a family business, her pastor husband’s pastoral administration (calendar etc) , and 5 homeschooled kids, two with some EF deficits.   My EF isn’t up to that. If it had been reversed and the wife had had poor EF, I think the family would have been swamped, but with the mom having super EF skills it pulls them all through. 

I think a certain amount of that happens in families where both spouses are NT, too — EF tasks like planning, scheduling, making appointments, remembering birthdays, etc. end up falling on the woman, even if she works just as many hours as the man. And if she complains about being stuck with all those tasks (aka all the unpaid "emotional labor"), the husband says "Well if you want help all you have to do is ask." In other words, if you don't want to be responsible for all the EF tasks, just perform the EF tasks of breaking things down into manageable assignments, and provide me with instructions and reminders to do the one component that doesn't really require EF!

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31 minutes ago, Pen said:

Regarding families, I think boys/men in particular have often had one or more high EF capable woman (mom, wife, secretary...) to help manage EF related problems.  

I think girls/women have tended to have that less.  And I think the more women are doing their own careers, the less men have that.

 

I was actually wondering about this earlier- again rabbit trail and not directed in anyway toward OP- but if there is anyway a sexism that girls are supposed to be better at this stuff, whereas the boys might be given a bit more scaffolding by the view of "oh boys are more immature than girls," or something similar, and then wondering how Mothers in particular react to boys with these issues versus girls. I have no idea- just a musing. I've read boys are more likely to be referred for autism and ADHD diagnosis, but not sure if there's overlap on the EF as far as how it's addressed. 

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1 minute ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I was actually wondering about this earlier- again rabbit trail and not directed in anyway toward OP-

 

Thanks. To clarify, my comments too, except where I tagged or quoted OP are rabbit trails on the general topic and further trails it has raised, and not directed at her. 

1 minute ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

but if there is anyway a sexism that girls are supposed to be better at this stuff, whereas the boys might be given a bit more scaffolding by the view of "oh boys are more immature than girls," or something similar, and then wondering how Mothers in particular react to boys with these issues versus girls. I have no idea- just a musing. I've read boys are more likely to be referred for autism and ADHD diagnosis, but not sure if there's overlap on the EF as far as how it's addressed. 

 

I wonder if there’s any relevance to boys often having later prefrontal cortex development than girls even if they are NT.  Such that many tween teen girls may actually be better at it (“it” being  high EF demanding projects) than boys of the same age.

 But then it might be so much harder for girls who aren’t good at EF, especially if their difficulties are more quiet.  

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26 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I was actually wondering about this earlier- again rabbit trail and not directed in anyway toward OP- but if there is anyway a sexism that girls are supposed to be better at this stuff, whereas the boys might be given a bit more scaffolding by the view of "oh boys are more immature than girls," or something similar, and then wondering how Mothers in particular react to boys with these issues versus girls. I have no idea- just a musing. I've read boys are more likely to be referred for autism and ADHD diagnosis, but not sure if there's overlap on the EF as far as how it's addressed. 

I do think girls have a much harder time getting diagnosed properly, and when their issues aren't properly diagnosed as an LD there tends to be more of a stigma — like a girl with EF issues, who does not have other obvious LDs, will often just get labeled as an "airhead" or called ditzy or flakey. In a boy, EF issues are more likely to be seen as signs to look for related LDs, or else dismissed as no big deal — so the boy gets labeled as an "absent-minded professor type" while a girl with the same issues gets labeled as an "airhead."

I also think a certain level of sexism comes into play depending on whether the parent providing support is male or female. It's much more acceptable for a female college student to get texts and reminders from mom, while it's more likely to be stigmatized as wimpy or embarrassing for a male student. A dad providing support for his son (academic, athletic, emotional, or whatever) is likely to be seen as involved, supportive parenting, while a mother providing the same level of support for a son is seen as controlling or helicoptering or whatever.

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3 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

I do think girls have a much harder time getting diagnosed properly, and when their issues aren't properly diagnosed as an LD there tends to be more of a stigma — like a girl with EF issues, who does not have other obvious LDs, will often just get labeled as an "airhead" or called ditzy or flakey. In a boy, EF issues are more likely to be seen as signs to look for related LDs, or else dismissed as no big deal — so the boy gets labeled as an "absent-minded professor type" while a girl with the same issues gets labeled as an "airhead."

I also think a certain level of sexism comes into play depending on whether the parent providing support is male or female. It's much more acceptable for a female college student to get texts and reminders from mom, while it's more likely to be stigmatized as wimpy or embarrassing for a male student. A dad providing support for his son (academic, athletic, emotional, or whatever) is likely to be seen as involved, supportive parenting, while a mother providing the same level of support for a son is seen as controlling or helicoptering or whatever.

I'm curious on this though, if you have a mother who is dealing with a partner or spouse, or grew up with a parent with EF issues, if there is almost some type of reaction of "you need to figure out how to do this for yourself because no one else will," type of push and they crack down a bit more on a girl, than they would with a boy. Sort of like "boys don't cry" thing stereotypically induced by dads onto sons in popular culture,  I am curious if there is a female version of it with  mothers to daughters, but it's a type of feminism almost but where it's a "buck up and figure it out" type of reaction. Idk. I'm just thinking back to how my friends and I all reacted to our kids who all had some EF failings in the junior high and high school ages- especially in public school. Hard to parse what was boy/girl vs first kid/experimental kid and on and on. 

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One difference between boot camp and parenting: military instructors don't have to or try to build and maintain relationships with their trainees. Even a brain with terrible executive function will pay attention when someone is yelling so close that spittle flies into your face.

Doesn't mean that's a good way to get my kids to pay attention to me at home.

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3 hours ago, Heathermomster said:

What part of sitting down at the table and breaking down assignments with my DS makes me not understand EF?  I’ve literally sat by my child every school day for 6 years.  

Btw: I heard plenty of crickets at the table.  Her child never made it to the table.  

 

Please read my entire sentence.

That doesn't mean you fully understand how EF deficits affect daily life.

It doesn't matter if her child never made it to the table - punishment for disabilities isn't appropriate.

I'm not going to argue with you about this. I have learned this through experience and the heartache of a crappy school situation that I didn't realize was crappy in time. Just consider me here, standing my ground.

 

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2 hours ago, EmseB said:

If you know what unit your person is in,  you can usually get some kind of duty desk number to call. Maybe you don't get ahold of the first line supervisor, but you get someone who knows enough to pass along the message to the right people. That is, the people who are going to yell at your person and/or make fun of them for having your mom call in. 

I was thinking about this thread in light of the military. It's interesting that people say punitive doesn't work for EFDs. That's almost the entire structure of the military. Get your hair cut,  keep your room clean, study, show up on time,  shine your boots, etc. All of that is enforced via an entirely punitive system of consequences, recruits come from all walks of life with all different sorts of LDs and abilities, it's very sink or swim + high pressure with stakes of failure being pretty high...and yet all kinds of people manage to make it through training (both boot camp and technical schools). There are known elite jobs and tougher schools with higher attrition rates, but even then, a lot of the reasons are medical or stuff like that. I wonder what makes this work for the military effectively? (I'm not arguing parents should be drill sergeants,  just wondering about the effectiveness aspect).

I think it's a combination of things. First - very specific directions - there is one, very specific right way to make your bed, shine your shoes, a specific place for everything in the room, a required hair length. Second, there are fewer choices as to how time is spent. In boot camp - there is nothing else to do than what you have to do. There isn't as much of an opportunity to get lost in time, so to speak. Third - there is a camaraderie  that develops where people spur each other on to succeed because they are being taught that the success & safety of their group depends on each person being appropriately trained.  All of this takes out the decision making piece that people with EF deficiencies struggle with and also provides a built in support system.

But, that being said - people with severe ADHD usually don't get into the military because of the nature of ADHD.  Additionally, taking medication for ADHD in order to maintain a normal life is disqualifying.

The below may be outdated - I don't have a note as to how old it is, but this is the information provided through an ADHD advocacy group:

“The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment, or induction are a history of such disorders resulting in any or all of the below: …

E1.28.2. Personality (301), Conduct (312), or Behavior (313) Disorders. Where it is evident by history, interview, or psychological testing that the degree of immaturity, instability, personality inadequacy, impulsiveness, or dependency will seriously interfere with adjustment in the Armed Forces as demonstrated by repeated inability to maintain reasonable adjustment in school, with employers and fellow workers, and other social groups. …

E1.298.4. Specific Academic Skills Defects. Chronic history of academic skills (314) or perceptual defects (315), secondary to organic or functional mental disorders that interfere with work or school after age 12. Current use of medication to improve or maintain academic skills.”

As an aside, people who take medication for ADHD also cannot get a pilot's license, something my ds would dearly love to do. That still makes me sad for him when I think about it.

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3 hours ago, Sneezyone said:


The weed outs re:grades and test scores don’t affect EF. The weed outs at boot camp are usually physical/mental in nature. People don’t get a choice about whether or when to eat/study/shower/shave.

Prior to acceptance, there are no accommodations provided for tests, which very well could affect test scores. So that would weed them out prior to enlistment.

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27 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I'm curious on this though, if you have a mother who is dealing with a partner or spouse, or grew up with a parent with EF issues, if there is almost some type of reaction of "you need to figure out how to do this for yourself because no one else will," type of push and they crack down a bit more on a girl, than they would with a boy. Sort of like "boys don't cry" thing stereotypically induced by dads onto sons in popular culture,  I am curious if there is a female version of it with  mothers to daughters, but it's a type of feminism almost but where it's a "buck up and figure it out" type of reaction. Idk. I'm just thinking back to how my friends and I all reacted to our kids who all had some EF failings in the junior high and high school ages- especially in public school. Hard to parse what was boy/girl vs first kid/experimental kid and on and on. 

 

idk but in both families I mentioned where the mom had super EF skills and was using them for family and also the family work, the moms explicitly taught at least some of the daughters how to run a household and how to run a business as explicit teaching. 

My mom didn’t have super EF skills herself, but then also didn’t teach me what she did know because it didn’t occur to her that they were teachable. Because she  managed herself in a sink or swim figure it out or not way.  

It seemed like some families had a lot of capacity, plus a lot of explicit instruction, plus learning that the skills could be taught so giving what they had to next generation (and maybe some extra picked up from sources along the way) for an upward spiral.

others of us seem like we are in multi generational downward spirals in this area.  

 

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Fwiw, it could be there are more issues going on there than just EF. Language disabilities, ASD, there's certainly more that would explain what you're describing than EF. To say Heather doesn't get EF is to assume everything you were experiencing was because of EF. Just because a person has EF issues doesn't mean they ONLY have EF issues. 

Of course, and we have gone through a battery of tests to make sure we properly identified all of the things going on with him. IIRC, he was tested four separate times at intervals, beginning with 1st grade and ending late in 11th grade. There is a lot going on, but the EF deficits are severe and that is what the various evaluators & therapists we have worked with throughout the years attributed his difficulties with complying with instructions. Generally speaking, sensory integration, ADHD and ASD all impact EF, varying of course on the individual. I could be mistaken, but I don't think EF deficiency is a stand alone dx, rather a  symptom, criteria or trait of the dx (not sure what the right word is, there).

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17 minutes ago, TechWife said:

Prior to acceptance, there are no accommodations provided for tests, which very well could affect test scores. So that would weed them out prior to enlistment.

Some, not all. As we’ve seen here, test scores and achievement can be completely divorced from EF issues and many people are never diagnosed with anything disqualifying.

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3 hours ago, Corraleno said:

If I seem overly, uhh, "passionate" on this topic, or overreactive, it's because I have held a sobbing child who was thought no one would ever love him because he couldn't sit still.

 

I am so very sorry that your family went through this. I get it. Many hugs.

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8 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Some, not all. As we’ve seen here, test scores and achievement can be completely divorced from EF issues. 

Yes, and the type of test, too. DS always flew through and scored 99 percentile on standardized tests, like the Iowa. When it came to the SAT & ACT, he needed accommodations due to the writing demand and the complexity of the math problems, which took him longer to complete because he had trouble "holding things in mind." He did end up taking both without accommodations - the SAT denied his and were were getting ready to go to bat for him there, but then his ACT score came in and without the writing, it was really solid. The uni he wanted to go to didn't use the writing score, so it worked out in the end.

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23 minutes ago, TechWife said:

I think it's a combination of things. First - very specific directions - there is one, very specific right way to make your bed, shine your shoes, a specific place for everything in the room, a required hair length. Second, there are fewer choices as to how time is spent. In boot camp - there is nothing else to do than what you have to do. There isn't as much of an opportunity to get lost in time, so to speak. Third - there is a camaraderie  that develops where people spur each other on to succeed because they are being taught that the success & safety of their group depends on each person being appropriately trained.  All of this takes out the decision making piece that people with EF deficiencies struggle with and also provides a built in support system.

But, that being said - people with severe ADHD usually don't get into the military because of the nature of ADHD.  Additionally, taking medication for ADHD in order to maintain a normal life is disqualifying.

The below may be outdated - I don't have a note as to how old it is, but this is the information provided through an ADHD advocacy group:

“The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment, or induction are a history of such disorders resulting in any or all of the below: …

E1.28.2. Personality (301), Conduct (312), or Behavior (313) Disorders. Where it is evident by history, interview, or psychological testing that the degree of immaturity, instability, personality inadequacy, impulsiveness, or dependency will seriously interfere with adjustment in the Armed Forces as demonstrated by repeated inability to maintain reasonable adjustment in school, with employers and fellow workers, and other social groups. …

E1.298.4. Specific Academic Skills Defects. Chronic history of academic skills (314) or perceptual defects (315), secondary to organic or functional mental disorders that interfere with work or school after age 12. Current use of medication to improve or maintain academic skills.”

As an aside, people who take medication for ADHD also cannot get a pilot's license, something my ds would dearly love to do. That still makes me sad for him when I think about it.


DH did a recruiter stint. taking ADHD meds is disqualifying in some cases but not all. Still, A LOT of people never take meds. Having a 504 or IEP can be disqualifying too depending on the required accommodations but, again, a lot of people refuse and/or never receive those accommodations. Successfully passing the ASVAB and presenting without extreme distractability is generally accepted.

https://www.additudemag.com/uncle-sam-doesnt-want-you/

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1 minute ago, TechWife said:

Yes, and the type of test, too. DS always flew through and scored 99 percentile on standardized tests, like the Iowa. When it came to the SAT & ACT, he needed accommodations due to the writing demand and the complexity of the math problems, which took him longer to complete because he had trouble "holding things in mind." He did end up taking both without accommodations - the SAT denied his and were were getting ready to go to bat for him there, but then his ACT score came in and without the writing, it was really solid. The uni he wanted to go to didn't use the writing score, so it worked out in the end.


The ASVAB is a basic skills, mechanical thinking test. The language skills required are relatively light. It favors mathematical thinkers and tinkerers.

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2 minutes ago, TechWife said:

I don't think EF deficiency is a stand alone dx

So technically when you're filling out something like the BRIEF, you're filling out an EF survey, not an ADHD test. That's where there's EF in the name. And yes, they will say someone has EF deficits without diagnosing ADHD (or ASD or or). So they'll say gifted with EF deficits and not diagnose ADHD. I went to a whole workshop on it. And if you look at books on EF aimed at therapists, they're using crossing labels. 

5 minutes ago, TechWife said:

attributed his difficulties with complying with instructions.

I read a book on EF at the SLP's office once. It was pretty interesting. https://www.linguisystems.com/Products/31718/the-source-for-executive-function-disorders.aspx  I'm pretty sure this was the book and I think the SLPs were reading it because they had started carrying an EF test, possibly https://www.linguisystems.com/Products/34290/efte-nu-executive-functions-testelementary-normative-update.aspx  

So I just want to point out that we're really getting deep at that point on what people are calling EF, and people could talk right past each other. Heather has repeatedly pointed out that her ds does NOT have ASD. So if someone is talking about their dc having difficulty with transitions, shifting, flexiblity, etc. and they say it's EF, well fine per the part of the brain it's EF. But if you're ticking the ASD box, then maybe the reason the *degree* is so high and that much support is required is because it is in ASD territory. 

My ds is more like what you're describing, where he actually needs support to comply, support to transition, support to be flexible. In fact, my ds needs *significant* support to o those things, which is why his label is ASD2. But someone could have a straight ADHD diagnosis and NOT be requiring significant support to make transitions, etc., which would make compliance possibly more straightforward. So two parents could be dealing with EF issues in kids and have radically different experiences.

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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

So two parents could be dealing with EF issues in kids and have radically different experiences.

So, very, very true!

ETA: I wish I had access to that book when ds was younger - lucky you! That's great.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

So if someone is talking about their dc having difficulty with transitions, shifting, flexiblity, etc. and they say it's EF, well fine per the part of the brain it's EF. But if you're ticking the ASD box, then maybe the reason the *degree* is so high and that much support is required is because it is in ASD territory. 

My ds is more like what you're describing, where he actually needs support to comply, support to transition, support to be flexible. In fact, my ds needs *significant* support to o those things, which is why his label is ASD2. But someone could have a straight ADHD diagnosis and NOT be requiring significant support to make transitions, etc., which would make compliance possibly more straightforward. So two parents could be dealing with EF issues in kids and have radically different experiences.


Yeah, DS's issues do not involve ASD; we've never had issues with inflexibility or noncompliance or inability to transition (well, not beyond the age of maybe 6 or 7, which I think is pretty common for NT kids, too). I think it gets confusing when someone who is dealing with one set of EF issues (ASD) insists that certain types of support are not appropriate for college kids with a totally different set of EF issues (ADHD). There's really no reason why a 2e kid with ADHD (not ASD) should be held back until all EF skills are at NT level (which may never happen), or should have to choose a college based primarily on the level of EF support available. I mean, if 99% of someone's brain is totally capable of doing the work at MIT, or any other school that offers the level of challenge that student wants, it's crazy to keep them from that just because they may need a little parental support for the other 1%, especially for the first year or two.

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7 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I personally am pro growth on these choices. If the dc is growing, I think keep plowing.

 

I really like this. It's a simple, clear, flexible, adaptable metric: if you're seeing growth and forward movement, then you're providing the right level of support and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If you notice that forward movement has stopped, then you need to look closely and figure out why that is. It may be that the dc is stuck in a bit of a rut and gently loosening support may result in a new growth spurt. Or it may be that something new is happening that's causing so much stress the current level of support is just barely keeping them functioning and what they need is more support, even temporarily, so there is energy for growth and forward movement again. 

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I wish I could have been more involved in this thread, but I am just swamped with tutoring and National exams next week.

I was thinking last night about how the OP responded to my Older boy's experience at university, saying some things were parentish and other things were a no go for her.  She was very kind to me, so hopefully she will come back and comment on this post, as I am very curious. 

I provide a *lot* of support for my 19 year old. I would say probably 5-20 minutes every day.  I have learned over they years on this board that he is so incredibly unusual that most of my experience is not very useful for others, but I'm still going to describe it because I would be interested, truly interested, in how different people sort 1) OK-to-be-involved tasks and  2) NOT-OK-to-be involved tasks. My ds is in the very unusual circumstance to be close to an unschooler attending an Elite university in a foreign country.

So these are the categories in my mind of how I provide support.  Not in any particular order:

1) Career advice - help with writing his resume and linked in page, options for jobs, timelines for applying, appropriate wording of emails. Just yesterday ds told me that for the lead on his J-term research position in String Theory (haha can't believe I am saying that) that he needed to meet a postdoc in person. He wanted to know what he should ask as there are 6 different project opportunities.  So I suggested that he ask where he could add the most value given his high end math skill, and which project would help him develop his machine-learning knowledge without assuming he had 2-3 years of background.  He simply had no idea what to ask. 

2) Mental and Physical health - I regularly check that he is eating, sleeping, and exercising.  I also ordered a pile of healthy nuts when I found out that he was eating junk food late at night when studying. I have also made sure in conversations about his day, that he has put in 30 minutes for food. So I do keep an eye on his timetable, timing, and taking care of himself.

3) Transport. Although many MIT students apparently organize their own flights (as stated on the parents' facebook page by many parents), we do all the booking of these flights as they cost 1000s of dollars.  We have to get him to give us dates for exams and work out plans to get reasonable prices and timelines. We orchestrate this piece in its entirety. 

4) University Payment. Although ds is working a part time job actually tutoring someone on this board, we fund his education, room, and board. Because of this, we regulate his meal plan and figure out his housing situation based on our budget.

5) Purchasing. We purchase lots of different things on Amazon that he needs. He just found out for his violin that he needed a humidifier, so my dh researched this, and shipped one to him. He now needs batteries for his metronome. DH will be ordering that next.  This is one of the support pieces that we think he could pick up, but ds just doesn't have the time to get it done. He is swamped with school work, so if he had to order these things, he just wouldn't.

6) Written admin. We do written admin for his passport, his bank account, FAFSA, CSS etc. This is crazy time consuming, but I'm not sure how much of this he could actually do. But dh has also had to do all the leg work to set ds up a paypal account and a venmo account. 

7) Etiquette. America is not NZ. And we have provided advice on appropriate behavior/emails/formality/ dress/ etc.

8.) Homework/study scheduling. DS in the first semester asked for advice most days, now he just wants me to say 'yes, that sounds great.' He is doing all the scheduling now in his 3rd semester, but likes to be reassured. As a close to unschooler, he has quite a lot of catch up in this area compared to kids that went to the Governer's School who took 6 APs in one year. He just doesn't have the experience, but he is learning quickly. 

9) Financial advice. He has yet to figure out the American banking system. NZ has no cheques, so when he got the first one from Grandma, he needed to be told what to do. Also, when he had to pay in a lump sum for his violin lessons, we told him to go get a bank check.  Live and learn! He got a bank check made out to MIT (not the full name), and it did not have the music department or his name written anywhere on it, and he handed it to someone at the music front desk.  We were like, 'well, that $1200 is gone.' Surprisingly, it wasn't. But he just has no idea how the American money system works. In NZ, you would just use the EFTPOS machine at the music desk and just move the money at point of sale. When we dropped him off at age 17, he had to flip all the coins over to see how much they were worth. He was like "what is a dime?" I had never really realized that a dime is not a word that has any meaning to anyone outside America. And when we told him, he wanted to know why the 10 cent coin was smaller than the 5 cent coin. He found that very confusing. That was his starting point with the American financial system!

10) Communication. He asks for help with some emails.  This is kind of subsumed by the above 9 items. But in general, if he is uncertain of an email and what he should say, he will call and ask. He is definitely getting more independent on this one over time, but at first he was just frozen, not knowing what was the appropriate tone, formality, length etc. 

11) Computer advice. DH has put Linux on ds's computer, so sometimes ds needs advice on how to load software on a non-standard operating system. 

Well, that is about all the categories I can think of.  I think the OP was only against #8. And if so, I would be curious as to why that one is the most important for adult independence. I'm not being critical at all, I am just deeply curious as where the boundaries are drawn.  When we have a conversation with ds on the phone, it is pretty free flow, so from my point of view it would be really odd to say let me help you with this, this, this, Oh NOT that, but this and this. Obviously, this is a parenting perspective, but I am curious. 

Our family motto is "we are a family and we help each other out." So ever since the kids were little, if one of us needed help, we would ask, and the others would help. If someone started getting lazy (this was me once when I kept asking my dh to do stuff for me once I was in bed), then the other was allowed to say, 'um no, you really need to be doing this on your own.'  But in general, we are a family and we help each other out. That is our go to motto. This is why I help my ds who is in a foreign land buried in work. I will help him out, just like one day he will help me out when I am in need.  

Ruth in NZ

 

Edited by lewelma
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11 minutes ago, lewelma said:

I provide a *lot* of support for my 19 year old. I would say probably 5-20 minutes every day.  I have learned over they years on this board that he is so incredibly unusual that most of my experience is not very useful for others, but I'm still going to describe it because I would be interested, truly interested, in how different people sort 1) OK-to-be-involved tasks and  2) NOT-OK-to-be involved tasks. My ds is in the very unusual circumstance to be close to an unschooler attending an Elite university in a foreign country.

 

Our family motto is "we are a family and we help each other out." So ever since the kids were little, if one of us needed help, we would ask, and the others would help. If someone started getting lazy (this was me once when I kept asking my dh to do stuff for me once I was in bed), then the other was allowed to say, 'um no, you really need to be doing this on your own.'  So just yesterday, I called out my younger, because I did not feel he was supporting me during my busy tutoring season by doing more housework. And he was like, yep, you are right. But in general, we are a family and we help each other out. That is our go to motto. This is why I help my ds who is in a foreign land buried in work. I will help him out, just like he will help me out. 

Ruth in NZ

 

My DD is going to schol far away (but in the same country....) but other than that difference, I could've typed your entire post. Especially the bolded above. We all pitch in whenever we see a need. Recently, DD2 has been doing the heavy household chore lifting while DS was really busy. Now that he's freed up, he's back helping out, but not having to "repay" DD2 for her help. He'll simply wait for an opportunity to return the favor in whatever manner it manifests itself.

I've found that, so far, when each kid reaches a point they "don't need my assistance or support" it has been very obvious to both of us and I've stepped back. When DD1 was mentally/emotionally having a tough time at college, I stepped in a LOT. I sent her good food and gift cards to Whole Foods, constantly. We talked every day, multiple times. She gave me her schedule and big assignments so I could keep up with them and remind her of their existence. I called before classes on particularly bad days to make sure she was up and heading out the door in time to make it. Now that she's so much healthier in that regard, I barely assist her with anything (I definitely DO order plane tickets! We're paying the bill and I'm willing to check and re-check prices and dates to ensure the best deal!) Once she's graduated, I imagine I'll help her research her future plans because she'll want that help/discussion/camaraderie - not because I'm making her decisions FOR her.

Letting a child fail in 6th grade on a project is (of course, depending on each personal situation) probably a good and safe idea.

However, I often feel that letting them fail at any point beyond 6th grade is a luxury for the wealthy. Grades Matter if you need a scholarship. Juggling a LOT of extracurricular balls successfully Matters if the student is aiming for a higher-level program or university. But, I do try to keep my "help" aimed at teaching THEM along the way, even if I have to repeat the lesson many, many times. And, so far, I do not even slightly regret that decision.

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I do think that because of our family dynamic, I have a deep friendship with both my boys. Yes, I'm the parent, but at this point I am definitely more mentor. He trusts us more than anyone else in the world, of course he would ask for advice. At some point, however, his loyalty will switch to his spouse which is expected and appropriate. But until that time, we are there for him with whatever questions he throws at us. 

Just yesterday he asked what he should write about for his humanities scholarship application.  I was thinking in my mind "how would I know?" but I asked "what are the prompts?" When he said, one is " if you could recommend one novel for all MIT students to read before coming, what would it be and why?" I told him that I had the list of all the novels he had ever read.  Oh boy was that helpful. So I read them out, he chose one, found a thesis on his own, and wrote the most beautiful paper (He read it to me). All he needed was the list of books. I was happy to help. Easy for me, super important to him.

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