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  1. #1

    Default I really need help...

    Ok, everyone, I'm really worried and scared. My 9 yo DD has me so concerned. She doesn't remember anything, and I mean anything, when I've read her an assignment or had her read to herself. We have tried so many different curricula over the years and this year are using BYL 4th grade. Doing the Civil War unit now and read her a page from Fields of Fury on Lincoln and Davis - read slowly out loud, explaining as I went and she couldn't answer any questions on content or even opinions at the end of 1 page. She read a chapter herself from Bull Run and did a diorama as her narration assignment and when I asked her who the General was and what happened in the chapter...nothing. I'm so scared that she has something going on inside, but her memory for Shopkin names or movie lines is impeccable. She's great in math; but even if I ask her a question she's gotten right later on in a discussion as a review, she'll get it wrong the next time,even less than 2 minutes later! I filled out the Vanderbilt questionnaire for ADHD and she only came out as a 6 for inattention, and I've always known she needs redirection often. I've gotten her a Wiggle seat in the past, fidget toys, we do mindfulness exercises, we get outside and exercise and play, take numerous breaks...I'm lost, and heartbroken, because I don't know what to do now. Please help by sharing any similar experiences and what has worked or any other concerns. Thank you all!
    Jennifer - Mom by day, Pharmacist by night
    Mom to 2 amazing girls and 1 active little boy:
    LeggyGirl (11) - my oldest, theatre and music-loving, art-obsessed, craft-making, cuddle-licious, future event planner
    DooSquat (9) - my always smiling, silver-lining-finding, always thinking-outside-of-the-box, future comedienne, ray of sunshine (who's a challenge to teach...)
    Beetle Boy (5) - my on-the-move, giggling, rambunctious, book-loving, little man getting ready to start kindergarten

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  3. #2

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    My daughter has slow processing speed and always seems rather vacant, struggles to give answers to things, and *seems* to miss the point of things and instructions more often than she *seems* to get it, but that does not mean that there is nothing going on inside. She just doesn't have the pathways to get it out. Now that I know that, I have given up worrying about it and just let her get on with learning in her way. I try to give her lots of options for a) how she wants to learn something and b) what output she wants to do.

    Edited to add we are also doing BYL 4th grade, and this is my first encounter with SOTW. I never liked history in school, and don't recall any history I was taught. Now listening to SOTW with my daughter, we got the CDs, its the same. I listen to it, think "oh that's interesting" and 5 mins later I cannot remember the specifics of it. Its just not my thing, which has not hindered me at all in life. Maybe history is just not her thing?
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 11-17-2016 at 07:35 PM.

  4. #3

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    I can't help you much, but to add that you are not alone. My son, too, has suffered from this. To the point that he didn't know his ABCs even after kindergarten (which was in PS with almost one-on-one teaching). He just turned 10, and I do see improvement. I don't know how--I just keep going on the hope that it is a development thing and he will 'grow out of it.' That said, I see a lot of similarities between himself and his older cousin, who we had for the last three years of her schooling. Even to this day, you can not tell her anything--she has to want it and experience it herself. That doesn't help when you are just trying to teach the basics, though. Have you tried a student-led approach?

    Also, have you integrated a variety of learning styles into your day? I especially tried to while he was younger (it didn't really work, fair warning; again, I think he is modeled more like his cousin is). I received a handout that listed way more than the traditional seven learning styles, but it is at work. I will try to remember to get it and list all the ones they have.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    Have you considered having her evaluated? It might a) set your mind at rest or b) give you a clear ideas what challenges she is dealing with.

    I often have the same feelings about my nearly 9 year old, who I suspect might have ADHD. I do change up the format we do work in, if possible. I take smaller chunks of time, and remind him often to focus and pay attention (as in, I spend time directing his attention as much as delivering the material). It might be worth also looking carefully about what she retains - is it really nothing of what you do? Like, I tend to think DS isn't good at math, but it's really arithmetic he struggles with. He enjoys and grasps other topics in math really quickly.

    Elly
    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  6. #5

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    I would also recommend getting her evaluated - preferably by someone who is qualified to look across a range of learning issues, not just ADHD.

    We took my son to the local children's hospital and had him evaluated for learning disabilities. What we learned explained so much - even if the diagnosis wasn't a nice pat answer with a clear cut plan for treatment. Some kids are just hugely asynchronous in their development and while two things may seem very similar (e.g. memorizing movie lines and remembering Civil War facts), they may use completely different parts of the brain.

    If you are anywhere near Houston, I can give you the names of a couple of folks at Texas Children's who I've known to really do a good job. They are, unfortunately, hideously expensive ($2k for a 2 day eval, if I recall).

    Some of what you say reminds me of my own son. He has an amazing recall of some types of facts, but not others. He's great at math concepts, but still has difficulty with his addition table (much less his multiplication table). He maxes out any vocabulary test you give him, but spells 70%+ of the words he attempts incorrectly. He reads books well above his grade level flawlessly and with am emotive and dramatic voice, but he cannot sound out words he doesn't know by sight.

    He can mimic ADHD behavior when he's tasked with something that is particularly difficult for him. The specialist noted the behavior and suggested we keep an eye on it, but believed it more likely to be a defense mechanism when he's asked to do something inherently difficult.

    Prior to the testing, the dichotomies were intensely frustrating for both us and his teachers. There were many suggestions that he was just being lazy. The expert testing gave us the real insights. And, though there's no "fix" and not even clear-cut exact approaches, I can better recognize what I'm seeing for what it is - just the way his wonderfully weird, unique, brain works.
    Homeschooling my 8 year old son.

    Secular humanist.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    He's great at math concepts, but still has difficulty with his addition table (much less his multiplication table).
    I have to put in a plug here for Times Tales. My son is horrible at learning math facts, as I said above. He sat down with this DVD for an hour or so and actually learned a whole load of multiplication facts. He was so excited and pleased with himself. I'd heard people rave about it, so decided to give it a try and I actually learned a few I'd never managed to retain (I pretty much failed at learning my tables in primary/elementary school). My only caveat is to watch it together the first time because my DS didn't get how to interpret them initially (it's not really clear how the numbers they give relate initially).

    Elly
    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  8. #7

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    Seconding trusting your mom intuition and getting an evaluation. At best, they will tell you that everything is normal, at worst, they tell you it is not, but give you a proceed. The CORRECT name is so helpful!

    Saying correct, as my daughter was having anxiety attacks and diagnosed with depression....she was also having issues sleeping so after a year of various meds that they said would help her sleep...we did a sleep study. She is bordering on narcolepsy. So we are now trying a different med, but I think this diagnosis might be right. The lack of proper sleep was causing issues like the anxiety. Since we started her on the correct medications, I think it is helping AND she knows that her inattention is not her fault, she is falling asleep in class.

    I would say the same with my youngest who is dyslexic. He also was hugely relieved, and once we knew what we were dealing with, I could find the appropriate program for him to learn. He still struggles, but he knows that his brain is not wired correctly for the age of the world that we are in, but knows that technology is improving yearly and it is helping him to do the things that he wants to do.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elly View Post
    I have to put in a plug here for Times Tales. My son is horrible at learning math facts, as I said above. He sat down with this DVD for an hour or so and actually learned a whole load of multiplication facts. He was so excited and pleased with himself. I'd heard people rave about it, so decided to give it a try and I actually learned a few I'd never managed to retain (I pretty much failed at learning my tables in primary/elementary school). My only caveat is to watch it together the first time because my DS didn't get how to interpret them initially (it's not really clear how the numbers they give relate initially).

    Elly
    Way ahead of you! I ordered a copy and it came yesterday.
    Homeschooling my 8 year old son.

    Secular humanist.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post

    If you are anywhere near Houston, I can give you the names of a couple of folks at Texas Children's who I've known to really do a good job. They are, unfortunately, hideously expensive ($2k for a 2 day eval, if I recall).

    Prior to the testing, the dichotomies were intensely frustrating for both us and his teachers. There were many suggestions that he was just being lazy. The expert testing gave us the real insights. And, though there's no "fix" and not even clear-cut exact approaches, I can better recognize what I'm seeing for what it is - just the way his wonderfully weird, unique, brain works.
    I had heard from friends that testing was expensive in the USA but I did not realize how much. Ours in NZ was about $630 USD for the 2 day cognitive assessment with a psychologist. We found testing hugely beneficial for the same reasons as you, even though there is not much we can do for our daughter's slow processing, it helps us accept and understand her behavior a lot more. She is also gifted and she does the same acting out (ADHD-ish) behavior at times. I really like the blog Your Rainforest Mind, its technically for gifted adults but it helps me understand her intensity a lot.

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