Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sorry This Has Taken Over...

the blog and my entire life (waking and sleeping... which is hardly ever).

Last night I heard Kid screaming and wailing in her bed.  It was so unusual that I thought Baby must have been having a weird tantrum with Mr F about going to bed (not as unusual).

After awhile Kid came out and said she's done, she wants to drop out of school.

I don't know why I'm conflicted, I guess I don't like to quit things either.

Or I don't like to have to confront the teacher and principal and say I'm removing her (ding ding ding).

On the one hand she is doing more (and better) than I ever thought possible.

On the other hand I told her last night ...

"I think you might have a learning disability"

and she said "Oh, I've always thought I had a disability."

And I said "What do you mean?"

And she said "I don't know." (of course).

And then I pressed her because I really do need to know what she means and what she thinks.

She said "I have always thought that."

"For how long?"

"Ever since I was ever in school."

"But in what ways?"

"I take much longer than everyone else to do things and I never understand what I'm supposed to do."

Which for a minute just try and imagine what that feels like every single day.

And after reflecting on everything I know about her school history and with working with her at home... I think that that pretty much sums it up.

I put her in this school because she got a perfect score on the entrance exam and so I thought "good, it won't be too hard for her!"

BUT the entrance exam was given one on one, and when she didn't understand the directions the principal EXPLAINED them to her.  (which is what I've been able to do for her at home).

Without that crucial piece in the puzzle, as hard as it is to understand, she does not understand written instructions.  BELIEVE me... I cannot tell you how many times I would get extremely frustrated with her while homeschooling that she hadn't followed directions correctly (that I thought were pretty self explanatory).  I always chalked it up to her not bothering to read them or pay attention.  It never occurred to me that someone who can read and comprehend 6 grades above her level could not read and comprehend 2 part directions.  It seems crazy... but I now think that is the crux of it.

Well, anyway, I am torn between get her tested and seeing the recommendations and seeing if the school will implement.  And taking her out and just implementing them myself.  I worry that we have gotten an extremely stubborn teacher who is going to dismiss that this is even a possible disorder.  I'd really hate to force Kid to suffer through however many months it will take to get a diagnosis and then possibly not get the desired result from the teacher anyway.

But I also want to say how impressed I am with Kid.  She has really risen to a very difficult challenge.  She had to learn all of the books of the Old Testament and she did it (on top of homework mind you!) in 3 freaking days!  She also has been getting A+s on her math homework and spelling tests.  When she understands the directions she is clearly at the top of her class.  BUT the work they do in class she is often getting 50-75% correct and when I review it, it is ALWAYS because she didn't follow the directions not because of a lack of comprehension on the topic.  Unfortunately, she has a teacher that seeing something done incorrectly does not explain the directions and give you a chance to correct it... she marks them all wrong and that is the end of it.  In my gut I don't think this is a teacher that is going to work with us... I think she is a teacher that we would have to live through.

And for the record I don't really believe in that.

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.

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