# Numbers?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Mar 10, 2008.

1. ### ShariIsItFridayYet?

Wee difficult child has always processed things differently. For example, colors. He was much older than "normal" before he could tell you, on command, what color something was. However, at about 3, he could tell you what color ANYTHING was if the desire to do so came from HIM. (and he wasn't being onery and just not doing it, I'm sure). We aren't sure how long he was doing this before we figured it out, but we realized it one day when we pulled into a gas station and he announced "that car is yellow!", then we asked him what color the car was and he said "blue" which was his default answer to any color question. But we realized at that point that he could identify colors, but it was only on his terms. He was also able to relate the color of 2 objects long before he was able to identify colors. You could ask him to pick a crayon the color of the grass and he could do that LONG before he could tell you it was green. Some of his docs said this was significant in that relational skills normally come much later.

Anyway, I noticed a couple more things this weekend. Wee difficult child loves numbers. In the car, he spends a lot of time playing with the calculator, making himself math problems and figuring them out, etc. He decided to count backwards. And almost instantly, he rambled off "2,1,4,3,6,5,8,7,10,9". I guess independently, that doesn't mean much, but combined with other stuff, it seems significant, somehow, but I'm not sure why. He also rambled off several times a "doubled" number backwards. Like 8+8, he said was 61. I asked him to write "61" for me and he wrote 16. But if you show him a written 61, he can't tell you that its "sixty one".. He can halve or double anything up to 8 instantly, but he doesn't know the meaning of halve or double. I wish I had more examples of what I'm trying to say, but while he has to sit and think about most addition, if he's ramblin numbers, he rambles in halves or doubles instantly. He also can look at a small group of objects (probably up to 8 or so), on his terms, again, and know how many are there without actually counting (he's done this a for quite a while, as well). But when you ask him to do an addition problem, even if its on paper or with pictures, he will have to count them, even tho when he's doing it on his own elsewhere, he could just look at the group of items and "see" how many are there without counting them. Does that make any sense? Does anyone else see any significance with this? Cause I'm not sure why I do, it just feels like it matters somehow.

2. ### SomewhereOutThereWell-Known Member

My son had similar strange interests. He also has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. I think it's normal for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. They love to memorize and do the concrete stuff (my son could rote read at two). But they have more trouble with abstract thinking. May I ask why he is on BiPolar (BP) medications? My son was on BiPolar (BP) medications for a while. Once they were removed, he could think more clearly and really did much better academically.

3. ### SRLActive Member

Kids with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) do tend to see things in different ways and go along processing paths that are often unlike their peers. My difficult child became absolutely infuriated in 2nd grade when they started teaching addition that required showing work because he'd "invented" that method back in kindergarten and was doing it in his head and he thought the school ripped it off from him. As long as he was groovin' in his own mode he was fine but once the teacher tried to teach it in set patterns he rebelled against the very same thing he was doing in his head already.

If you listen carefully to how some kids without neurological differences come to their math conclusions you'll sometimes see that they have unique ways of doing it as well. Once my older easy child (about 5th grade) was explaining something to me and he said "Then I...folded that number in half..."

4. ### ShariIsItFridayYet?

MWM, so you're saying that "green" is abstract...? While "pick one like the color of the grass" is concrete...sorry, I hadn't thought of that before. Lightbulb moment.

He's on depakote for seizures and Risperdal for aggression.

I know we're going to have several appts coming up, and as I posted before, I have seriously lost track of "normal" so I'm trying to take notes of things to pass on. Currently, NewPsych is balking at making any diagnosis because of DevPed, so I'm not sure what's going on, other than we're supposed to be getting another FULL neuropsychologist evaluation set up. I also caught another video this weekend, we were driving to the reception and his dvd player skipped. Made him upset, but he wasn't raging or anything. I was getting it back to the right spot, and he was in the back seat, face in his hands, rocking back and forth, til I got the dvd fixed. I'm slow to register this stuff, then of course had to get the phone out and get to the video recorder on it, but I was still able to catch another 15 second clip or so before the dvd got going again and he was ok again. Never thought I had a need for a camera on my cell phone.

5. ### SomewhereOutThereWell-Known Member

Shari, no...lol. I guess I don't express myself well in a cyber way. If you ask my son, "Get the thing that is the same color as grass" THAT he will get. But if you ask, "So tell me what you'd LIKE to do on your vacation" he'll answer, "I don't know." He knows, but he can't/doesn't like expressing abstract thoughts. He is much more comfortable with memorizing numbers, letters, the states and capitals, words to videos he watches (he can recite them), and things that are very concrete. He is a concrete thinker. He doesn't have much of an imagination and has a lot of trouble, say, making up stories, which is abstract. Did I explain it better? LOL.

6. ### ShariIsItFridayYet?

I think I followed that part. I'm just thinking maybe the name of the color came later because that's not such a concrete thing.

A bird is a bird, a car is a car, a horse is a horse, but a color is a.... an adjective; color is a bit abstract in and of itself.

Wee difficult child does imagine and pretend now, but a year ago it was completely off his radar. Except for occassionally turning a tinker toy or a stick into a gun. But that's not too big of a stretch of imagination. I'm not sure what he'll do if you ask him what he wants to do. I know he never knows what he wants to eat if you ask that. Unless you're at McDonald's and his choice is cheeseburger or chicken nuggets. He does know some toys he wants for his birthday.

7. ### FranFormer Site Owner

My first thought was there is a difference between his expressive language and his receptive language. If for whatever the reason he couldn't wrap his head around the question or the subject you asked then he couldn't tell you an answer. Almost like you are speaking another language.
On his own, he knows what things are and is capable of sharing that info.

When testing is done there are huge discrepenies between my son's high scores and his incredibly low scores. It has always been like this. He does not learn like an average n/t person.

I have no real idea but that was the first thought that came to me.

8. ### ShariIsItFridayYet?

He's done this with so many things. Like the horses names, he knew them all if HE thought to tell you. He'd go out in the pasture and walk up to each one and pet it and say its name, but if you asked him what a horse's name was, he had no idea. You could ask him to go get the halter that goes to a particular horse and he would, and always brought back the right halter, even distinguishing between 3 sorrels we had that looked VERY similar, but it was a year or better before he could produce a name for any of them on demand.
Don't know what it is, but I'm putting it in my notes.

9. ### SomewhereOutThereWell-Known Member

Shari, often Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids when young have trouble answering "W" questions: What, why, where, which etc. When my son was three, he knew his name. But if you asked, "What's your name" his answer would be "name." His speech therapist told us that the "W's" are hard for kids with, as she called it, speech delays. He can answer them now; his language is now good, but he still has trouble with abstract thinking, and still has concrete thinking.

10. ### ShariIsItFridayYet?

difficult child's behavior therapist has actually recommended a language therapist. I bet this is what she's talking about. He has an appointment with her Wednesday, I'll ask her and see what it is and if we can move forward with that. I see why its relevant now.