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    #199366 - 08/26/14 11:30 AM Update on my teenager.
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    DS15 is finally done with his testing and I should have a written report tomorrow AM. He starts back school next Tuesday, has been in marching band from 8-3:30 for the past week, registered for classes yesterday and has been chipping away at his online drivers ed class one chapter at a time, so he can get that done before school starts. DS is already really really anxious about the start of the new school year. At lot of this has to do with him being upset and worried that he will have no "peers" in his classes this year and that it is social embarrassing to not be in all the top honors.

    I have been going crazy, deferring a lot of decisions till I get the full report tomorrow. The short story is my DS is depressed and anxious, gifted, has a written language processing disorder and shows mild ASD characteristics but not enough to label him Autistic. Not sure if this will be good enough for a 504 or IEP at his school.

    Short term I need to figure out how to help him this fall. I am going to go talk with one of the local 1:1 High Schools in the area, to see if we could arrange an English class with them. Still unsure if his H.S. will allow him to take English privately or not. English is the class I see the public H.S. accommodating his needs the least. And the other reasons for this is trying to manage his Anxiety. Because of a new schedule change, and that he is in Marching Band he will have to start school at 7AM next week. If we can offload one of his academics classes to a private 1:1 school, he will probably get more sleep although it will make his afternoons more crazy.

    Still not sure.. how he are going to fit in everything he WANT to do, everything I want him to do, and still give him some needed and wanted down time. I'm trying to figure out how to balance, social activities (like band, robotics club), various therapies, and the academics without driving both of us nuts.

    Any suggestions on Anxiety management for teenagers. Going to a psychiatrist and considering meds is on the table but so far everyone is saying give it a little bit longer to see how the new years works out & if therapy helps. DS isn't really excited about the idea of drugs, and I'll admit I'm on the fence about it.

    #199416 - 08/27/14 02:23 AM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: bluemagic]
    LAF Offline

    Registered: 06/15/14
    Posts: 469
    I don't know if anything will work for your child in particular, as my kids are still younger much than your son. But anxiety runs in my family. Things that seem to work:

    getting enough sleep
    lots of exercise
    some type of cognitive therapy (learning coping mechanisms, stopping negative talk etc.)
    my brother says heavy work (lifting, shoveling, etc.) helps him reduce anxiety as well as meditating
    gardening (there is some study that says bacteria(?) in the soil actually helps counteract depression/anxiety
    Controlling blood sugar spikes /dips etc.
    having something you are involved in that is meaningful

    I can't help you with the schedule, but you can try things and change as needed.

    #199417 - 08/27/14 02:49 AM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: bluemagic]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5224
    Originally Posted By: bluemagic
    Any suggestions on Anxiety management for teenagers.
    This resource-rich article on the Davidson database interviews Thomas Greenspon and discusses the relationship between anxiety and perfectionism. One section provides a list of links to several books and articles which may be of interest.

    The American Psychological Association, Magination Press, has published a book "Understanding Myself: A kid's guide to intense emotions and strong feelings". Chapter 7 is titled "Anxiety", while "Fear" is the title of Chapter 8.

    #199419 - 08/27/14 04:25 AM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: master of none]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    SSRIs do take the edge off anxiety - for me anyway. They don't prevent it but they do stop obsessively worrying about unimportant things and the really strange dreams.

    #199435 - 08/27/14 07:46 AM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: bluemagic]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 4038
    Another great resource for adolescents with anxiety:

    website from the Annenberg Center at UPenn:

    this page with info on anxiety specifically:

    books written for parents about specific mental health issues, including anxiety:

    books written by young adults who lived through mental illness in adolescence, and continue to cope with it as functioning adults:

    These are all freely downloadable books (I have paperback copies of them from a couple of years ago, and I think you can still buy paper copies, if you prefer.)

    The above resources are largely written with adolescents as the direct audience, and, I think, are particularly helpful for high-cognitive kids, who need more information about their diagnosis to accept and manage it.

    I would highly recommend that you look into cognitive-behavioral therapy. It has a good evidence-base, unlike most MH therapies, and can be the difference between meds/no meds, or at least a lower dose of meds.

    A lot of my students with anxiety run (especially outdoors), lift weights, do martial arts, etc., as a coping mechanism. And I would reiterate that it is really important to take care of basic needs well, and to leave enough space.
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #199459 - 08/27/14 01:05 PM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: bluemagic]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I will look at all the articles. It's been a crazy week and school hasn't even started yet. Partly because it's also my daughter last week before going back to college.

    As to the schedule it's brand new "later" start. H.S. used to start at 7:30am for everyone, but instead they moved regular start to 8am but there is a "0" period at 7am. Marching band takes up 2 periods of the day, so in order to get in English, S.S., math, science and a language one needs to take "0" period at 7am. He would easily drop Spanish II, as it's not a H.S. requirement but he needs it for college eligibility. The school had been proudly announcing how it's pushed the start of school later, but in our case it makes thing worse.

    P.S. Our band rarely plays inside the gym. It's CA, in the rare case it rains they just quit. It's really a great activity for him, the band kids are good, geeky kids. It keeps him busy, invested in school, and social.

    #199461 - 08/27/14 01:10 PM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: master of none]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    That schedule is brutal! I know, we are living it too. With a kid that needs a lot of sleep (10 hours) and has anxiety and a 504. We are letting the sleep cycle evolve- probably includes an afternoon nap so bedtimes are not unreasonably early and because school is exhausting.
    You are not the first person to suggest as afternoon nap. We will see, not sure if I can MAKE him nap. But it might help and make he more alert for homework time. Problem is we are going to have to put a bunch of therapy appointments and such in the afternoons.

    #199465 - 08/27/14 01:24 PM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: bluemagic]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    I had to have afternoon rests when I started high school. It was my first experience of changing classes and the school was much bigger - it was exhausting just coping with it.

    #199488 - 08/27/14 05:32 PM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: bluemagic]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    OK.. just came back from 1:1 school. It was a bust. The only way to make it work would be for Spanish. I really wanted this kind of class for one of DS's writing intensive courses. Was annoyed they couldn't tell me that on the phone. Didn't really like the director, she did one of those amazed 'Oh he's already in precalculus this year' statements that make me feel she really doesn't "get" gifted kids.

    And I'm annoyed because the psychologist promised me this report this AM and there is still no signs of it. We figure out a way to securely get me a digital document, as well sending one by mail.

    #199515 - 08/28/14 09:22 AM Re: Update on my teenager. [Re: bluemagic]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Psyc finally updated DS's full report last night... Not entirely happy with the report, or the testing. Seems she "gave up" quickly on testing his main academic area of frustration, his expressive writing and spend hours testing the ASD side of things. There is one really low score in Essay Writing on the WIAT-III that puts DS at 0.5% or less than a 3rd grade level. While this would easily qualify him for a 504/IEP and therefore meets my needs. I can't see the school believing this number, as he sometimes gets A's on H.S. honors level essays. It's more of a "block" when he does write he writes well. And this report does not reflect this very well. I will be getting back the psyc on this but I hopefully I can get feedback from the Educational Therapist, and my husband before I send her back feedback.

    There were a lot of tests done.. scores on the WISC are as follows. (I might edit this to remove test scores in a few days)

    VCI: 121 (92%)
    Similarities: 17 (99%)
    Vocab: 14 (91%)
    Comprehension: 10 (50%)

    PRI: 137 (99%)
    Block Design: 15 (95%)
    Picture Concepts: 17 (99%)
    Matrix Reasoning: 16 (98%)

    WMI: 99 (47%)
    Digit Span: 9 (37%)
    Letter-Number Seq.: 11 (63%)

    PSI: 94 (34%)
    Coding: 9 (37%)
    Symbol Search: 9 (37%)

    Full Scale 120 (91%)

    Listening Comprehension  114  82nd     11.5
    Reading Comprehension    122  93rd    >12.9
    Math Problem Solving     131  98th    >12.9
    Sentence Composition     111  77th    >12.9
    Word Reading             114  82nd    >12.9
    Essay Composition         61  0.5th    <3.0     *******
    Pseudoword Decoding      112  79th     >12.9
    Numerical Operations     124  95th     >12.9
    Oral Reading Fluency     109  73rd      12.9
    Oral Reading Accuracy     89  23rd      6.5
    Oral Reading Rate        108  70th     >12.9
    Total Reading 119  90%
    Basic Reading 114  82%
    Reading Comprehension and Fluency  119  90th
    Mathematics   130   98th

    I notice she did not include a GAI and I am going to ask her to include this. When I found a link that describes how to calculate a GAI, it seems as if his GAI would be 135.

    Edited by bluemagic (08/28/14 09:37 AM)

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