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Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by svengandhi, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Babyboy's triennial was held today. H attended and I took part from the hospital where I was waiting to have my surgery. BB just turned 13 and is in grade 7 in regular classes, been classified since pre-k.

    H is dyslexic as is pc15.

    BB's issues started with speech. He sounded fine to us compared to difficult child, who had 4 sets of tubes by age 4. We didn't think bb had a problem so it wasn't until he was 4 and a half and in prek that he began with speech therapy because nobody else could understand him, he was the only of our kids who did not start day care before age one since h decided to keep him at his office as we knew he was our last. The guilt was awful.

    His reading was slow but we attributed it to the speech. By grade 3, he was acting out, refusing to read and write. In 4th grade, we finally realized that he had vision issues. Although he'd been wearing glasses since k, it wasn't until we took him to a vision therapist that we found out that he actually needed bifocals and that his glasses, prescribed by a highly recommended pediatric optho in our county, merely averaged his extreme nearsightedness and his extreme farsightedness to give him glasses that he totally could not see through. Bifocals and a course of VT greatly improved his reading and another layer of guilt entered my life.

    This year, he failed english the first quarter because he refused to dictate to his scribe. We took away the scribe and substituted class notes and permission to have me type his work at home. We also took him out of resource room daily. His english teacher on his own changed bb's grade to a B plus when he realized that bb's refusal was linked to his desire to do things on his own. BB is spelling exempt and has access to word processor but he doesn't use it because his keyboard skills are very weak and budget cuts took out computer classes. We don't have a computer for him at home yet. Mine is supplied by work and I can't let a child type on it, H's is a work computer as well. I have supplied computers for daughter in college, difficult child who is finally doing his own typing and pc15, who as noted is severely dyslexic. I can't afford one for bb yet.

    We had his triennial today and the results were quite interesting. BB is running c's in math. on the other hand, he is doing B plus and better in his other classes, including Latin and English. His academic skills were scattered and found to be in the average range overall. His highest scores were 95%ile up in verbal skills subtests and went down to 6%ile in spelling and 18 in processing speed. His overall IQ of 107 is considered to be a very low and therefore inaccurate estimate of his true intelligence. His psychiatric evaluation reflected increasing maturity, he does not meltdown anymore and is even better at enforcing his personal space with adults. Earlier in the year, he told his teachers not to touch his papers or him and yelled at kids who tried to call him a nickname, e.g. his name is Robert and he freaked at being called Rob. Robert isn't his real name but you get the point. They were not insulting him or calling him bad names. The school psychiatric works with him on a regular basis and has worked with him on these issues. His teachers now know to ask him if they can turn the pages on his hw, etc. and if they forget, he says please ask me and i'll show you and he has improved and even come to cherish a nickname which is a play on our last name and which was h's nickname in school as well.

    Anyway, when i commented on the spread in his subscores, the school psychiatric said that we were probably looking at the profile of a dyslexic before i could even get it out. He went on to say that he could not be formally given the diagnosis, which I knew from pc15, but that we could treat him as such. Immediately, the atmosphere changed. BB went from being the somewhat oppositional little brother of one of the most oppositional students ever to attend this school to a boy with a quantifiable issue. The sd is looking into using ipads for Learning Disability (LD) kids and they will put bb on the list. He is going back into resource room next year but only every other day and to work on writing because even his poor math scores are way higher than the other rr kids. For this year, difficult child, who is math gifted, has agreed to work with bb and they had their first session last night. it went very well. His math teacher has agreed to speak with the tutor we use, who is a highly successful dyslexic, and give him a list of the areas bb is weakest in. After his first tutoring session, the tutor said the issue was mechanics, not concepts, and it appears he was spot on. In addition, he will be assigned to extra help with the best academic intervention teacher ever. She was difficult child's math teacher in grade 7 for advanced accelerated math. After that year, she switched to remedial because she got tired of parents berating her over their kids' grades. She told me that after one parent yelled at her that the b plus she was getting in the class would keep her out of harvard she decided to switch. Anyway, difficult child, who does not praise anyone, said she is the best teacher he has ever had.

    Best news - bb is stoked to have a legitimate reason why he is not getting the grades he is bright enough to earn. I am thrilled to have an answer to a question I had considered but disregarded. Just as bb's speech didn't seem as bad as difficult child's, his Learning Disability (LD) didn't seem as bad as pc15's so I just assumed he was not as bright as his siblings, not that he was dyslexic. When he told PC15, my older son yelled at him, in jest, to get his own disorder and not horn in on his! BB asked if he could read a book he found in my room about educating dyslexic kids as soon as he finishes the last of the hunger games trilogy.

    Sorry this is so long. I am so happy because i was getting so upset. i was yelling at bb every night about math, implying he was lazy, etc i feel awful because i missed his Learning Disability (LD). i did keep begging h to work on his hw with him because i thought maybe he could relate better. when pc15 was in 8th grade, i had a total meltdown over algebra with him and forced h to show me how he did it. it turned out that h added two steps that i just did by mental math in my brain and that easy child was unable to follow my thinking. when h showed him the way, so to speak, it registered on him and he could do it. that's part of the reason why i am so happy bb's tutor is dyslexic.

    Anyway, the takeaway is that subscores do matter and you should fully analyze them. there is a place on wright's website that helps you do this. This is not the same as the standard deviations argument, this is subscores within the same test. We were lucky that our psychiatric cares and that he has developed enough of a rapport with bb to really want to help him. Of course, it doesn't hurt that we are known as the parents who faced down the sd lawyer over difficult child

    Strange as it sounds, I am so happy for my dyslexic bb.


  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You caught him by age 13? You're still doing better than some of us!
    And yes - getting the right label(s) often helps the KID's self-esteem... THEY knew all along that they couldn't do what was being asked of them... but nobody "got it", nobody beleves a kid about this stuff because the kid is just perceived as lazy or having an attitude.

    Math and mechanics... yup.
    The whole writing refusal/pushback, the technology issues (and we're not dealing with dyslexia... but Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD))

    Speaking of which... while you're at it, have you had him evaluated for motor skills issues by an Occupational Therapist (OT)? That can be on top of everything else, and they can have a subtle fine motor skills problem that doesn't seem to affect gross skills or basic living... and it makes school next to impossible.

    And if you really want to pull out the stops... Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation? (APDs, especially things like auditory figure ground)

    Subtle un-diagnosed challenges can really mess up a kid.
    Getting the right answers... is like a miracle medication.
    It's amazing how fast they can turn around.

    And hey - ya you - kill that mommy guilt thing, will ya?
    We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know more, we do better (somebody else's sig line...)
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE kick that guilt out of your head and heart!!!!!

    At NO time did you EVER wake up and ask yourself, "How bad can I mess up bb's life today?" I know you and I KNOW for a cold, hard FACT that at every single step you were doing the absolute best you could. So that guilt, while natural to some of us, is totally misplaced!!!

    You should be dancing around because he is ONLY 13 and you FOUND IT!! You have found major REASONS for his problems along with ways to HELP. Those are HUGE and AWESOME!!!!

    Just because those problems were not picked up on when he was younger, does NOT mean you didn't give him the supports and other things he needed to develop strengths in other areas, ones that maybe don't show up as clearly now because they are not so necessary for school at this point.

    Most people live to at least 80 yrs old. You found your son's problems when he has at least 67 years more to go - isn't it great that you have been able to help him make the next 67 yrs as wonderful as possible?

    I think it is awesome that the school saw that he fit the dyslexic profile and I think that neuropsychologist testing for the lds and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) testing for the toher issues and even Occupational Therapist (OT) testing for the sensory/motor issues is probably a good thing and would help. But school IS giving him the help he needs now, and that is AWESOME and YOU and H made that happen!!!!!!

    Are you aware that it takes an average of 7 years of active searching for the right diagnosis to get it? That is AVERAGE which means taht a LOT of our kids take a lot longer to get the right diagnosis because they are complex. So you are doing AWESOME in finding what will help him - NOT something to feel guilty about.

    We ALL wish we did things different. I wish I had kicked the therapist who told us to beat the defiance out of Wiz with a belt and kicked him in the nuts to the point they fell off because it was HORRIBLE guidance and eh was terribly convincing. Thank Heaven it took husband and I exactly 1 time of following his advice and then we both were vomiting because we were so sick at heart - literally vomiting and difficult child was not bruised or bloody or seriously hurt, it just felt so WRONG to us. This idiot tried to chew me out for listening to my instincts and not to him, and at that point we got the ins co to stop payment to him by filing abuse complaints - and I had his recommendations in writing so it was NOT his word against ours - cause the idiot signed his name to them when I couldn't spell it.

    Anyway, you did the best you could with what you had at the time, including the real overload of other kids with major problems too. You are on a much better track and things will improve for ALL of you now.

    I TOTALLY understand the math thing, because my dad and I ended up throwing cans of tomatoes at each other when he tried to help me with my 7th grade math homework!! Then my mom helped and it was easy because she explained it differently. We all bring different strengths to the table and at least H can help him with math. YOU can help him with ohter things - and yoU DO every single day. So you are not superwoman - neither am I. We don't need to be.

    I am so glad that he is getting the help he needs, and that the school is helping not balking or refusing. I am PROUD of you for pushing to get to this point!!!
  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Thank you, both. easy child was diagnosed in k because mother in law recognized the signs from h - who was not diagnosed until law school and then it was by a psychologist he was dating at the time.

    I should have asked for an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation but i didn't think of it. I am going to ask for one. He doesn't seem to have auditory issues and he had 3 years of speech once we caught on. He has managed to do as well as he has because he is an auditory learner. H listens on a 5 second plus delay so i see how Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) issues work and bb, thankfully, doesn't seem to have those. He is capable of listening to complicated science programs, his favorite shows, and doesn't ever miss a beat. My easy child is also a very strong auditory learner which is how he has managed to overcome many of his issues.

    The math thing is really odd. Oldest boy and I are mental math people. We solve algebra problems by looking at them and surmising the answer and then working backwards. My friend, who is a psychiatrist, once had me do algebra in front of her and was shocked that i could get the right answer without working the problem. She is a math person and could never just figure out the answer, she always had to do the work. on the other hand, I couldn't figure out how to do the work. I finally taught myself so I could help easy child. BB wants to do mental math but his processing speed is so slow and he seems to have an easier time doing complicated math than simple problems. He constantly asks me simple math questions. One thing I am going to do is review the times table completely because he knows it but doesn't process it quickly enough in his head. difficult child, who is now taking AP Calculus BC, is like my friend, he has to do the work. I think that's the difference between math gifted and me. I always tested in the 99 percentile but did poorly in school because I could easily do the multiple choice on standardized testing but could not solve a problem without the clues in the choices, which I would work backwards. I now have to figure out exactly what bb's learning style is.


    we've also run the gamut with the docs. In first grade, the school insisted difficult child go on ritalin. The psychiatrist agreed and then the school psychiatric changed her mind. She wrote in her report that she had never met a more deliberate, less impulsive child than difficult child. The doctor argued with me about stopping the medications so we stopped him. In second grade, the school psychiatrist said difficult child was at risk for antisocial personality disorder. In 6th grade, same doctor wrote a ridiculous report using the same examples from k and grades 1 and 2, he didn't even adjust sibs' ages, and then said he did have an atypical antisocial personality disorder that could develop into psychopathy. My friend the psychiatrist, who's known difficult child since age 3 and thinks he is just too brilliant for these doctors, helped me write a rebuttal report.

    The only thing I might have done differently had I known earlier was to have him sent to the same Learning Disability (LD) private school easy child attended for middle school rather than keeping him in district. However, easy child is foreign language exempt and bb loves his Latin class. Only Spanish is offered at the private school I now understand why he is great with vocab and mythology and struggles with the grammar even though he does work very hard. I am going to talk to his Latin teacher as they usually don't keep them in the cse loop since most dyslexic kids in my sd are language exempt.

    Cans of tomatoes - never did that but bb did throw his calculator once. Fortunately, it didn't break and he hasn't done it again since i told him he'd have to pay to replace it.

    The mommy guilt is heavy wonder why dads don't feel it.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am very happy you got another piece of the puzzle. Isn't it a great feeling when they fall into place....regardless of WHEN. I understand the guilt. It is soooo hard to get rid of but we have to. Hindsight is 20/20. We can only do what we can do given what we have at any given point in time.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    You are a wonderful mother and your guilt is misplaced. :)
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Glad you found some answers to help. I too think the subscores and patterns are more valuable and show strengths and weaknesses etc.... the actual number is not as big a deal as the trends. Did they actually tell you that an IQ score of 107 is very low??? 100 is average. Or did you mean that FOR HIM it is likely a low estimate of his true IQ?

    It is amazing and wonderful you have found tutors that really can relate to the thinking and teaching that is needed. Also cool that within your own family they can support each other.

    You did amazing. These things are hard to sort through, that vision challenge would have been impossible for you to know about without an expert catching on to what the other guy was doing. No guilt on you at all! But it is natural for us to feel we would have preferred to catch issues like that I suppose. Hope you can feel proud of how you have never given up and have supplied him with great resources. This is all really good information and inspiring to other parents....
  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I am so thankful to be a part of this board, which I have been in various incarnations since Thanksgiving night 1999 when I found it in a desperate search to figure out why my 5 year old was being suspended from K. The moms here are amazing and I have learned so much. My dream when I retire is to be a parent advocate so it made me sad that it took so long to pick up on my own son's issues. Ironically, years ago I read an article which said that the younger sibling of a dyslexic is more likely to be left handed and to have some degree of dyslexia. Bb is my only lefty out of 5 and H and I are also both righties, although easy child and I both have some ambidextrous areas.

    Buddy - The 107 is a low estimate for him, although it is in the average to high average range overall. easy child has a 109 but the other 3 are all well over 130. When I got his report this time, the IQ did trigger me but I really just thought it was that bb isn't bright. I did notice the subscores but I have been so busy with my aunt, my daughter and my own surgery yesterday that I didn't dissect them the way I usually do. I didn't even compare them to his last scores, which I usually do. I am very lucky that the school psychologist cares about bb and raised the issue.

    I am lucky to have good resources and a good education. I was speaking with one of the nurses yesterday who also has a dyslexic son and we were saying how sad it is for kids who don't have parents who are able to advocate for them. I have helped friends evaluate their reports and made suggestions for them. I don't attend meetings because I have my own kids to worry about but when they graduate and I retire I plan to get more involved. I have actually talked with 2 of my friends, one a social worker and the other a lawyer whose fight for her profoundly autistic son has inspired me, about working together as an advocacy group. My sw friend can help come up with strategies and interventions and my friend and I can use our litigation skills to advocate. It's 10 years in the future but it's my dream - winning mega millions would have expedited it, lol!

    My best success story is a family friend whose son was having trouble in middle school, very ADHD, unfocused, acting out and because he was 6' tall in 7th grade, expected to be so much more mature. When he was in 8th grade, his sd wanted to put him in self-contained for HS. I reviewed his paperwork and suggested that they ask that he be sent to the same out of district placement that my oldest son was in. My H attended the meeting with her because they live in a different sd than us. He is now a sophomore at a state school and earned a full tuitiion scholarship. My own son did not fare as well - he attended 2 years of college and earned a total of 14 credits. He is now doing deliveries for a restaurant and actually thinking about going back to school.

    Anyway, I thought Percocet is supposed to knock you out but it's making me very "talkative."
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    funny about the percocet. Maybe it is relieving the pain so you are feeling very very good?????

    I see, I can see how with his issues the actual numbers are not reflecting the ability he truly has. I dont hold much stock in those numbers anyway... Q's have been all over the place over the years but the patterns and learning style demonstrated in the tests has remained the same.... and reinforced what we see in real life. It sure does help to plan for their goals if you have someone like your psychiatric who really gets it and advocated for him.

    Amazing you did all this while going through surgery. now THAT is a warrior mom!
  10. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Yes, Buddy, i agree that the patterns of the testing are important. I get so angry when they just average. It's like with bb's eyes when the doctor averaged his eyes and we got glasses that did nothing but give him headaches and temper outbursts. They don't tell you this at school - that's why this board is so important.

    The surgery was something I wish I'd done years ago. I can go back to work on Wednesday.