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  1. #31
    Senior Member Arrived ejsmom's Avatar
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    We are fortunate to have a great homeschool group with littles up to teens graduating and even some who have gone off to college come visit when they are home. That gives DS a chance to talk music, history, and science with the teens (and even some of the other parents), and to talk his math struggles or play games with the younger ones. He also is involved in a number of extracurricular activities and lessons. He gets along best with boys a year or two above or below his age, as long as they have a shared interest or two. He interacts great with adults, too. But at 12, I personally think he should, though I know many teens don't.

    One thing I am happy about with DS is that we've done extensive social skills and psychological therapy with him and he's very in touch with his emotions. He developed regressive autism, quite severely, at age 4, and it was very, very traumatic for him, to the point where he had a PTSD diagnosis. One thing he developed from going through that and the therapies to cope as he regained skills, is that he truly judges people on their heart/spirit, and truly enjoys being around people who are kind, caring, respectful, have a sense of humor, and dislikes being around those who are mean, selfish, and shallow. Intelligence is a bonus for him, as long as there is a shared interest he can make conversation easily (baseball, travel, gardening, food, he's pretty well rounded). He does prefer kindness over smarts, though. He told me the other day that he'd rather play with the kid that is "not so smart but really nice", over the kid who is "smart but too full of ego and puts everyone down."

    When he first regressed and the years following, he was too severe to interact on any meaningful level with peers. At around age 8 he was at a point where he had improved functioning and he wanted to play with other kids. That was tricky, as he didn't have common experiences to relate to other kids his age - they were riding bikes, he just finally was at a place where he had the physical ability to try riding one, with training wheels and hours of OT. He wanted to study Latin, to better understand taxonomy, the other kids didn't know what he was talking about (and he was just regaining enough verbal skills - expressive ability and articulation - to be understood.) From about age 8-10/11 he could sort of play with neighbor kids, but he was creating "amphibious habitats" in the yard to raise critters that found their way there from the woods, and trying to cross breed spider species in the garage. Now at middle school age, the neighbor kids are far too concerned with being "cool" as defined by public school trends and pop culture. DS thinks being like everyone else and not following your own song is stupid and would rather spend time reading, practicing guitar, or watching a baseball game than hanging out with kids who don't have a clue about anything that interests him. For example - he will want to play catch, then get interested in the physics behind a curve ball and study it and research it for a week, and then go back out and explore it with throwing the ball against the pitch-back. The local PS kids in our low rated district can barely spell "baseball" and don't think he's being "cool". Fortunately, DS does not care, and texts or uses Facetime with his buddies from homeschool group, or his teen cousins, until he can hang out with them IRL (once or twice a week.) It does mean that as parents, DH and I spend a whole lot more time doing stuff with DS than I see most other parents do. But that may just be a homeschool thing, or an only child effect, not a gifted or 2E related situation. That's not a complaint, just an observation. DS does interact with a number of people each day - his music teacher, swim teacher, adult neighbors and friends of ours, and his grandparents, neighbors preschoolers, etc.

    I'm looking forward to the day, for HIM, when he goes off to college and hits that early 20's phase where he finds his tribe.
    homeschooling one DS, age 13.

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  3. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicgirl View Post
    Since things are quiet, I'll risk dominating the thread and ask you what resources you find valuable? I know Hoagie's well, and read some autism specific sites fairly often--as well as follow them on FB. However, I'm always looking for good 2E resources, specifically those that cater to a neurodiversity approach.
    Are you talking online, atomicgirl? Here is a list that I keep on my site. I am a huge fan of Hoagies', Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, Davidson, SENG, as well as blogs run by parents of 2E kids. Are you familiar with Raising Lifelong Learners? Colleen is a good friend of mine and she has 2e kids. She and I are going to start a FB group very soon (this week or next) for families of intense, gifted, 2E, quirky, etc. kids. A safe place to talk about it and share resources. If you're interested, you can send me your facebook link or keep an eye on my FB page.

    There is also a fantastic book that I just finished and it's written by the Columbus group. It is titled Off the Charts and it is a great look at asynchronous development.
    Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies

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  4. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejsmom View Post

    I'm looking forward to the day, for HIM, when he goes off to college and hits that early 20's phase where he finds his tribe.
    Wow, ejsmom... what a journey your family has been on! Talk about asynchrony! And how traumatic for your son to regress and then have to catch up. Kudos to you for helping him through it. I, too, hope he finds his tribe soon. It seems like he's doing a great job finding ways to circumvent the difficulty connecting with local PS children.

    Have you read anything about overexcitabilities (OEs)? Reading your post, I was struck by how your son values kindness over smarts. My daughter is like this. She is supremely sensitive and doesn't care what everyone else is doing- only cares about kindness in others. Check out emotional OEs. Sounds like you have a sensitive child and, in my world, sensitivity is a superpower
    Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies

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  5. #34

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    That's a great list. I look forward to digging around a bit a finding new things. As I skimmed over your resources I realized why your Blog name sounded so familiar. I've read "Small Poppies". I'll also keep an eye out for your new FB page.
    AtomicGirl--Mom, old enough to know better
    Athena--13, 8th grade, home schooled, 2E, wicked cool
    Monkey King- 8, 3rd grade, home schooled, future owner of the galaxy

  6. #35

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    Ok. I just read your post on testing, and I have a question. I hope it's all right to ask here. My daughter has been tested to death. She has a rare endocrine disorder that can cause brain trauma, so the protocol is to test early. Her first set of tests were at age 3 and she had some evaluation or other(s) every year until we removed her from school. In addition to challenges, she tests highly gifted without accommodation on the tests. My son, on the other hand, has never been tested beyond the adhd survey the school insisted on [he meets the criteria for an adhd diagnosis]. However, I know he's "gifted" in that "once you've seen it" kind of way. It's something I won't say to anyone IRL for reasons I'm sure your familiar with, but I feel safe in my anonymity here. If I plan to home school for the foreseeable future, and feel capable of accommodating his individual needs, is there any value in going ahead with the testing?
    AtomicGirl--Mom, old enough to know better
    Athena--13, 8th grade, home schooled, 2E, wicked cool
    Monkey King- 8, 3rd grade, home schooled, future owner of the galaxy

  7. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicgirl View Post
    That's a great list. I look forward to digging around a bit a finding new things. As I skimmed over your resources I realized why your Blog name sounded so familiar. I've read "Small Poppies". I'll also keep an eye out for your new FB page.
    LOVE that article by Miraca Gross on Small Poppy syndrome (obviously, since I named my site based on it, ha!)... for anyone interested in reading it, you can find it here.
    Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies

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  8. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicgirl View Post
    Ok. I just read your post on testing, and I have a question. I hope it's all right to ask here. My daughter has been tested to death. She has a rare endocrine disorder that can cause brain trauma, so the protocol is to test early. Her first set of tests were at age 3 and she had some evaluation or other(s) every year until we removed her from school. In addition to challenges, she tests highly gifted without accommodation on the tests. My son, on the other hand, has never been tested beyond the adhd survey the school insisted on [he meets the criteria for an adhd diagnosis]. However, I know he's "gifted" in that "once you've seen it" kind of way. It's something I won't say to anyone IRL for reasons I'm sure your familiar with, but I feel safe in my anonymity here. If I plan to home school for the foreseeable future, and feel capable of accommodating his individual needs, is there any value in going ahead with the testing?
    For anyone interested in the post referenced, you can find it here. In it I discuss some of the pros and cons to testing (I'm a school psych and used to test for a living before homeschooling) and I explain how we came to our decision to test. It was not an easy decision.

    You bring up a great point, atomicgirl. Testing is not a black and white thing, and there are a many reasons to test and many others not to. I am glad that we did because we realized how gifted he is and we determined that he is twice-exceptional. The decision led to homeschooling. That said, if I were already homeschooling I do not think I would test. I am not planning on testing my other two right now and I am assuming they are gifted as well.

    One thing to consider (something a friend brought up to me yesterday) is that down the road you may need testing accommodations. I have a friend and her daughter is taking the EXPLORE test this year. She needs accommodations and testing was one path toward getting them. Does that make sense? Just something to keep in the back of your mind as time progresses, should your journey head in that direction.

    My son could easily meet criteria for ADHD. I consider it part of his 2e-ness, although we don't have an official diagnosis. I did write a post on homeschooling children with ADHD for Year Round Homeschooling. It may be of interest to you. You can find it here.
    Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies

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  9. #38

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    I have started to reply several times this week, and one thing or another led to me not posting...so here goes, lol...
    DD has always been asynchronous. I remember getting flak from her pediatrician when she was 4 months old, because DD was holding up her head, and while I was holding her in my lap and keeping an eye on her, I didn’t have my hand under her chin (which the good Dr. felt the need to lecture me on). DD didn’t need my help, she had very strong neck muscles by then because she was so curious about the world and always wanted to sit up. But same girl still can’t tie her shoes, is a bit of a klutz, and is just all around uncoordinated. Her motor skills are not what you would expect of a 10yo.
    She could talk early, read early, and by 4 was known to hold conversations with adults about a wide range of topics that she had gathered information on through her self-directed learning, but couldn’t strike up a conversation with a kid at the park without assistance from me-she still gets shy when around kids she doesn’t know.
    When she was 8, she was obsessed with deep sea and space….she read and watched everything she could find on both topics. She was fascinated about the known, but was even more taken with the unknown. There was a several month stint where she would not bathe without an adult in the bathroom because she was convinced some deep sea creature was going to work its way from the ocean, to the Bay, up the Delta (she was fond of pointing out that Humphrey had done it), and then through the sewer system to our tub. (Boy was I glad when she finally outgrew that).
    Quote Originally Posted by Cait @ My Little Poppies View Post
    I do, too, Karen! I find it is helpful to look back at how things were, say, three years ago. Then you realize how far you've both come. Baby steps!
    This has been especially true for us this year. DD has begun to make what feels like leaps and bounds in areas that she has struggled with (social skills, motor skills, making connections in math, diligence....), but looking back over the year, I've realized it is really all the little steps forward coming to fruition.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFoxZoo View Post
    I know this because I was basically told to ignore my gifted students because they "would pick it up" without much help from me. I was repeatedly told to focus on the bottom 25% even though I had EPs to follow from both sides.
    This is why we turned to HSing at the end of 2nd. DD was miserable that year. During class, she was left to her own devices and even discouraged from sharing. When she would raise her hand, the teacher would always ask her if she was going to ask a relevant question, or remind her that class time was not the time to share stories, or remind her to stay on topic. When I expressed concern after DD told me this, her teacher said that while DD’s questions/statements were always related to the topic at hand, they usually were too deep or too wide to really be considered on topic, and that she really had to keep the class focused. When I expressed concern about DD falling behind in math, I was basically told that there was no time to give her (the teacher was focusing what little "extra" time she had on kids who weren't at level with reading and writing), and not to worry, because she was smart and would "get it" eventually.
    Quote Originally Posted by atomicgirl View Post
    "Gifted" is a loaded label.
    It is. But I’ve found its easier to avoid the topic/label outside of PS. I never realized how much of the social scene at school was about comparing…waiting in the pick up line, you get subtle (and not so subtle) questions about what DD was reading in class that week, or the “are you going to have her tested” or whatever…occasionally we get that now, but mostly I get some surprised “what a bright girl she is” type comments, followed by “you must be so proud” or some such.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cait @ My Little Poppies View Post
    So here's a question for you folks... how do you find a community for your asynchronous children? Where have they been able to connect best with others? Has it been difficult?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cait @ My Little Poppies View Post
    I've heard it said that you should think of peers in terms of skills. I don't know if I'm wording that correctly (not caffeinated yet!), but if your child is socially 5, then play with 5 year old, but if she's doing 7th grade math, she needs to be able to talk about math with THOSE kiddos, too.
    This is one I struggle with. We started a GS troop so DD could stay in touch with her PS friends. They are definitely friends, and she enjoys the sleepovers and playdates and all that. But, it can feel very superficial at times. And seemingly innocent topics can lead to DD feeling like an oddball (her word) Favorite book? Her friends might say some popular series, and DD will chime in with with “my favorites this week were Poe’s short tales and the Odyssey”. Favorite food? Other girls chime in with pizza or whatever, and DD tells everyone she’s considering becoming a vegan (she’s already vegetarian).
    I want her to find her group, the people she can be 100% herself around and not come home and tell me how she felt like a weirdo because she said something that went over everyone’s head. I just don’t know how or where to find that group.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cait @ My Little Poppies View Post
    There is also a fantastic book that I just finished and it's written by the Columbus group. It is titled Off the Charts and it is a great look at asynchronous development.
    Off to check this out.
    Sorry for the book all-just wanted to finally get it all posted, lol.

  10. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoveMyBeautifulGift View Post
    Sorry for the book all-just wanted to finally get it all posted, lol.
    ... and I'm so glad that you did!! I LOVE hearing about these children. They are my passion, since embarking on this path. I don't think anyone talks about it and it feels so good when we actually DO. It needs to be talked about!

    I got a comment about supporting my son's neck too! I also got an eye roll from the ped when I mentioned he had been rolling at 7 weeks. And, do you want to know the best part? As I was saying it (I brought it up because I wanted to keep my palm on him when he was on the exam table), he rolled- almost off the exam table in front of the ped. It was as if my son heard him and wanted to prove him wrong.

    We also went through a phase of being afraid to be in the tub without someone right there, talking. I forget what the reasoning was behind that one but I know the Humphrey story because we've read it and my son cried over the suspense.

    In looking back on those early gifted years, it's so easy to see it for what it is. It was harder (for me, at least) to see it then. Here's a post I wrote about that.

    Her second grade year sounds miserable! That must have been such a struggle for both of you. Can you imagine being told to keep quiet at that age??

    I love the comment you made about PS vs HS and how you don't need to throw the label around as much. I, too, received those, "What reading program did you use?" comments in the pick up line. Always awkward. I do find the HS population to be more accepting of differences.

    I'm still struggling with the community part, too. I think it's 100% normal for these kids. I recently started a meetup group for gifted kids and parents in southern NH. You guys can do that, too! It's harder to find these families because they feel they can't talk about it. They ARE out there
    Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies

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  11. #40

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    Loved that post! And I'm right there with you on the hindsight thing. We really didn't clue in to how advanced she was until Kindergarten (we didn't do pre-k). To us, DD set the standards for our normal (she's an only, and the first grandchild), so to have other parents giving us the side eye on the first day of school because DD read me the very simple directions the teacher had set out at her desk was a bit bewildering.

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Asynchronous Development: Many Ages at Once