Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I've Been Doing A Lot Of Research

I'm pretty sure we've been dealing with some sort of GT/LD.  It all makes sense in retrospect.  I had been attributing a lot of her school deficits to the OCD/anxiety when now I think it is probably just a processing disorder.  All of her issues fit this.  Extremely poor memory, difficulty writing out thoughts despite high comprehension, inability to break down multistep directions, etc.

Obviously, I was able to circumvent a lot of this at home.  I have just read through all of the proposed modifications and it was like "yep, yep, yep...".  Dictating or reducing written assignments, having directions broken down into one step processes, having math problems presented one at a time, have directions written and spoken and repeated back, etc.  I had just naturally done those things as I learned how we could be most effective at home.  I cared about comprehension and she has always been able to demonstrate that.  Her very high reading level, comprehension of complex advanced subject matter, very advanced sense of humor... yet lack of ability to manage time, follow directions (or understand them), slow writing and extreme frustration/lack of ability to express herself through writing, poor memory (I've mentioned this with spelling/math facts), etc all fits this GT/LD.  Our psychologist believes that Kid's issues are so subtle a school district test will probably not pick up what her processing issue is.  We're going to look into getting a thorough outside neuro-psych (although she noted those can be too detailed and I know some of you understand that implication).  I'm not sure what will happen after that.  I don't think this school can accommodate (or will, or is the best place to) everything she really needs in order to be successful.  So many simple things could be done, like emailing me the assignments, etc... that just aren't happening.  Even my going in after school to copy the board assignments and double checking that she did all of that REALLY irritates the teacher.  This woman really believes in a sink or swim mentality that is only going to result in failure.

I'm pretty sure we're in the worst possible school placement for this type of disorder.

I also think having an answer will be very validating and uplifting to Kid.

Then we'll see.  Obviously, with that we could make better informed choices as we move forward.


Julie said...

What is the GT mean?

What you described is similar to what goes on for Murphy.

We had a big team meeting today & I got to meet his 2 teachers. They suck. I have been depressed for the rest of the day. One teacher said that when Murphy gets up to go to the bathroom, he is leaving because he doesn't want to do the work. And when kids do that, she tries to make it as unpleasant as possible-like give extra work--to show them not to do that. I flat out said, "Don't do that. We'll lose him." And she is the teacher who seems more workable. The other guy did not say a word. When I tried to engage him as to how he thought Murphy was doing in his classes, he said that Murphy likes to have the last word in. What the fuck does that mean? Tom & I were like huh?? Is Murphy being disrespectful? In what context do you mean?? Is he talking back to you? No, not at all, he said. He just doesn't move on to the next thing when the class does. I am like HELLO fucking idiot...I just told you transitions are a problem for him.

No one really acted like they had ever worked with kids before...and kids that may not be typical. Apparently Murphy leaves the room several times during each of his classes. I asked where he went. No one really knew. Huh? Maybe a little fucking email to me would be nice.

Also, I want the teachers to give me a week at a time of the homework, too. They have the kids write in an agenda & they do post it on a website, but I can't even understand one of the teacher's homework that he posts, how would Murphy?

Oh and I TOLD them, did not ask, that they see that it is my handwriting for any homework that can not be typed.

I know I say this all of the time, but damn I have to post all of this. I think school & homework issues is our new "food shopping" & organics talk. Oh, those were the days, huh.

And let's bring Bitch Fest Friday back.

Mrs Furious said...

GT (gifted talented) with LD
I'll be back...

I need bitchfest 24/7

Mrs Furious said...

Also, I want the teachers to give me a week at a time of the homework, too. They have the kids write in an agenda & they do post it on a website, but I can't even understand one of the teacher's homework that he posts, how would Murphy? "


I seriously cannot figure out the directions half the time. I had an interesting conversation with the librarian and she said in response to the above "how would you?" and went on to rant about all of the problems we're having as kind of typical with this teacher (whom her adult son also had). She's kind of the teacher you have to live through. I can't believe our luck ;)

ok I need to finish making dinner

Brenda said...

So much of what you mention rings true for Kev too. Kev’s auditory processing problem made foreign language, following oral directions, taking notes from class discussion/lectures, and working in places like the computer lab (where there is lots of talking/noise) impossible. Add to that his ADD, PPD-NOS, anxiety/depression, and poor executive function (with terrible memory skills) and it’s a party!

Of course, as you know, none of this has anything to do with intelligence or comprehension. He is a quick-witted comedian with frightening sharp verbal sparring skills and scores "advanced" across the board on our state's standardized tests.

Our neuro-psych eval was incredibly helpful for us and Kev, and forced the public school to accommodate. That dr. then recommended the auditory processing eval, which shed light on a bunch of additional issues. His current 504 plan includes a teacher checking that his homework assignments are down properly, giving him extended time for written tests, ensuring that his seat is near the front of the class, providing whiteboard printouts of classroom notes, and even guaranteeing that he has kids he is friends with in his classes. After YEARS of being told Kevin was just fine, we got that eval and the schools were willing to just about anything we asked. I know it is a big chunk of cash for the testing, but the information and empowerment you gain for advocacy is invaluable.

This is probably getting way too long for a blog post, but wanted to say that we met with Kev's team (5 teachers) last week. Fortunately I really like most of them this year, and one in particular really seems to "get it", which thrills me. Of course there is ALWAYS the one hard-ass, the one who looked at me after I was explaining something about Kev's writing and said, "well, I really am not seeing that." Dude, you've known him for 2 weeks. I've known him a lifetime. Trust me that what I say about him is factually true. Factually. True. Julie, I wish your meeting had gone better. I don't get why they would ever see him leave the classroom and not follow that up? WTF? Something you could ask about: last year Kev got a copy of his homework assignments at the end of the day from the para who wrote them out for the kids with heavier duty special ed accommodations. Maybe they can provide him/you something like that to track his assignments.

Mrs. F., I know you guys will figure this out. You are the most valuable resource Kid’s got, and she is lucky to have attentive and strong parents backing her. You know can always email me if you want to talk.

Kinder said...

I think that having an answer around whether it is a LD would be helpful for both you and kid. Some kids just learn differently. We found with Ciara that a lot of her anxiety around school was reduced once we "knew". Once you know, then you know what you can do/change/implement to be successful.

Hugs to you and Kid as you navigate this, but I agree with the poster above - you are a great advocate for Kid!

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