Laugh or cry?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by svengandhi, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    PC15 is a 10th grader and has been classified since age 1 for speech language issues and now Learning Disability (LD), severe dyslexia.

    The narrative report was done by the school psychiatrist who I have known for years, on a social and professional basis. Our D's were in drama club and chorus together.

    Anyway, easy child has an individual style. He has gorgeous curly blonde hair that he wears very long - his nickname is Harpo, like the Marx brother. He wears a full beard. He likes to wear H's old black trenchcoat with boy scout pants and t-shirts.

    In the report, the psychiatric commented on his hair - "he says it makes him look attractive to girls and that the teachers can't see when he is sleeping in class." Then she commented on his clothing and followed it up by writing that, despite his odd clothing preferences, he is "actually a very gentle, sweet and amiable youngster with a good sense of humor. He is generally compliant with rules, gets along with peers, teachers and adults. He does not appear to have any malevolent or evil intent towards anyone at school!" All I can think is that she was concerned that he is a Columbine kid because he wears a trench coat! I let easy child read the report and he was most upset that she called him a
    "youngster."

    On the positive side, they are looking at assistive technology for him. He wants Dragon Naturally Speaking.
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Warning... Dragon takes aprox. 200 hours of work, to get it really, REALLY working. It was too much effort for difficult child, so he switched to predictive text, and the cycle of expansion, to help with writing. But the schools here do have good success with Dragon, if the other options don't work... kids this age value independence so highly, that it can be a big motivator.

    He'll probably need to work on it over the summer - very diligently - if he's going to be able to make good use of it in the fall. He needs to do the training and practice in his "back of the room voice" - barely above a whisper. If he uses his "regular" voice, then Dragon won't recognize the whisper so well... and regular voice doesn't work in a regular classroom!
     
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Lol, svengandhi. Defiinitely laugh.
     
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree, laugh. I am surprised she used words that seem a little judgmental-- I probably would have said "unique" instead of "odd" which can be kind of hurtful....but I dont think she intended it that way. Just being honest that his appearance may make him stand out and that some may consider him in a stereo-typed kind of way so she wanted to set the record straight, in the end a compliment??. I LOVE that difficult child thought youngster was the dig.

    We have Dragon Naturally Speaking and yes it takes training it to his voice but it is sooo much better each new version and the one we have worked really well for our basic stuff right from the start. If he likes techie stuff he may enjoy the process. I thought it was fun myself, my son just is not cognitively able to be that understanding of what it takes. For him too, predictive programs worked much better.

    Maybe make sure (since the other is easily installed on their computers and they likely have it already) they have options so he can try. in my humble opinion, should have been an assessment process where he tried different types before they decided, but they can assess ongoing as he uses them too. Was he in S/L for language or speech too? (does he have speech sound errors?, I would assume not since they would know better than to recommend it, but nothing surprises me anymore, LOL)

    Hope it goes well! Glad he is getting some support.
     
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I guess I'll laugh. I'll save the crying for difficult child, who may be the only National Merit commended student to be a super senior taking remedial english and 5 AP classes.

    easy child decided to shave this morning. OMG! He looks SO handsome. Turns out he wasn't quite sure how to do it so H gave him a lesson. He was still ranting (in jest) to his friends about being called a youngster!

    As for Dragon, he used it in 7th and 8th grade when he was out of district and school district gave him a computer. He actually picked up on it very quickly and liked the independence it gave him. He had speech therapy from 17 months to 3 1/2 years and he now speaks beautifully. His enunciation is excellent so Dragon would work for him. He has a very deep, voice over type voice. He was offered an Ipad and said he'd rather have Dragon. on the other hand, baby boy wants the Ipad and he might get it.

    I'm glad about the support but sad that his curriculum is being "dumbed down" next year. I am hoping to get him into half day voc prog so it won't be so obvious when he applies to college that his course load is low level.
     
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    It is hard to make those accommodations. For us it is really dramatic. This year I stopped looking at report cards, stopped even caring about graduation etc....just focusing on a happy, productive life. Super hard adjustment.

    re:
    Why is it either or? If both will benefit then he should get both. (do you mean the school is saying only one?) maybe I am misunderstanding...if so sorry, smile.

    overall, the fact that they are responsive like that for tech needs is really cool. I think it is downplayed for many many kids.
     
  7. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Buddy -

    I think it is that easy child wants to use Dragon with the laptop we bought for him because he already has it programmed with his magic cards, FB, etc. and he is used to it. I am also not sure if Dragon is compatible with Ipad. Babyboy wants Dragon as well because he remembers how well it worked for easy child before.

    The 3rd quarter just ended. I don't even know if difficult child is graduating in June because he failed English last semester and is now taking 2 englishes. I don't look at his report cards anymore. He did not apply to any colleges. It is heart breaking because he is a truly gifted student. easy child is heartbreaking in a different way - because of the dyslexia he is not tracked in the high level classes so he lost his motivation. I was happy just to get my oldest son out of HS. I had fantasies about difficult child but these kids have a way of bursting those bubbles.

    I hope Q transitions easily to his new school.
     
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    IS he out of the higher level because the dyslexia makes it impossible for him to do the work? What would allow him to do the work if his brain is capable? Some schools push dumbed down classes rather than giving the help/support that would make them work, like giving reading assignments on audiobook instead of as reading. The point is to understand the material and yes, reading is important, but with dyslexia the accommodations should include an audio option.

    Have you looked into color vision therapy? I know someone posted about it recently, but we have a friend who's son was using this several years ago. It was not cheap, but the colored lenses on his glasses made a HUGE difference in how his brain perceived the written language and he was able to read pretty much normally with the colored lenses. A LOT of people were very skeptical (teachers, his dad, etc...) but a vision therapist came and did training with the school and worked with him at school and it made a huge difference. It doesn't work for everyone with dyslexia, but it does help some and might be worth exploring. I know the family had to buy the glasses until school put into the IEP that he could only go to school if he was wearing them. As a teacher, my dad knows many of the rules and ins and outs. He knew, and shared iwth the parents, that if school says a child cannot go to school unless they have x, then school is required to provide x - no matter what it is. medications, glasses, anything can be x. In this case, school ended up paying for the glasses that cost a LOT of money. They also had to provide the vision therapist to work with the child at school.

    I don't know if this will help, or if you are interested in it. But it might be interesting. I hope that they provide whatever he needs and he can work up to the classes that fit his gifts.
     
  9. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Susie -

    easy child actually reads very well. We did have him evaluated for vision therapy but the therapist did not think he was a good candidate for it and she felt the colored lenses were not needed for him because his reading is good. I did do a 9 month course of VT for babyboy and I do believe in it. Actually, the VT thinks easy child should come in when he does driver's ed, which will be this summer.

    Our HS prides itself on its high state test scores, which it achieves in part by funneling kids they don't think will do great into lower level classes, some of which don't have state exams. For instance, all but the brightest kids are discouraged from taking physics and even chemistry because there are state exams. There is a track in each subject that does not take the state test. easy child was not placed in chemistry, even the non-state test class, for next year but put into forensics. difficult child this year decided that AP Bio was not worth his effort as he is also taking AP Physics so he decided to take Forensics just so he wouldn't have free periods, which he hates. Despite going in after the first quarter and doing no work, he still got an A for the semester. He dropped it after the semester because he said he could not tolerate it any longer - he felt that my 7th grader could do the class and get an A. They already told easy child he wouldn't be able to do chem because he doesn't have the math skills so he is now refusing to even try.

    He is so beaten down that he doesn't even want to try AP classes in history, his best and favorite subject. He has already decided to go to community college to start with so it doesn't matter. I am hoping to get him in to a voc tech course in police science. Ironically, he will have to take forensics, but it will be on a higher level than the school course and he may actually learn something.

    As for accommodations, the high level classes are so fast and easy child is not motivated enough to want to do it. My friend's son did take AP classes in math and science because even though he is also dyslexic, he is math gifted. My school does not offer honors level classes in anything other than math or science - it is AP level or slowed down and even more slowed down. Socially, I am happy I brought easy child back to district but educationally, it's like 2 different schools - one for the bright kids like difficult child and one for everyone else. Even H has noticed how much less of an education easy child is getting. Frankly, I am thinking of taking out a second mortgage to send baby boy to private hs if he doesn't get into honors bio in 9th grade. easy child loves the hs and won't leave except for the half day voc program.
     
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