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    #240935 - 01/06/18 12:02 PM Re: Help with Anxious DS9 [Re: FC2]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 1972
    Just one point to ponder on. The teachers all love him and get him. He hates school. If the first statement is true then the teachers should be taking actions to prevent the second. Is it possible he just doesn't cause trouble at school and the teachers just tell you what you want to hear to make things easy. I was told at parent teacher interveiws that ds8 was a good kid and doing well - 2 months later he was expelled. Can you visit the other school with your son for a few days?

    #240968 - 01/10/18 07:39 AM Re: Help with Anxious DS9 [Re: FC2]
    Platypus101 Offline

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 622
    Loc: Canada
    Good advice on the anxiety. With self-talk that negative, you may want to consider a more structured approach to the suggested techniques. For DIY, there's some good websites and workbooks, for instance, which has practical stuff for both adult and youth. There's been a couple of previous threads with a lot of book recommendations too (if a much better searcher than I could dig them up - hint, hint Indigo). Or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with a specialist aims to help learn how to identify unrealistic thoughts, assess them, and turn them into less catastrophic or negative views.

    I have to agree with others that if he hates school, then school is not meeting his needs, no matter how loving or supportive it may be. Really kind, well-meaning teachers doing the wrong thing can cause a LOT of damage, though they would be horrified to realize it. And with 2E kids, doing the wrong thing is really easy. He may be spending his day frustrated by work that is way too easy, while simultaneously spiralling up the anxiety because simple tasks that he is expected to do aren't getting easier for him - but are getting easier for everyone else - and he's working harder and harder to keep up from drowning as task complexity rises. Which it starts doing fast around grade 3. With my own and many other 2E kids I've seen, anxiety tends to be the biggest symptom, visible long before clear achievement problems manifest.

    So knowing exactly what you are dealing with in your 2E can be critical, but figuring that out can be quite hard. Gifted kids are really good at using heroic compensation measures to maintain grade-average function for waaaaay too long. You need a specialist who really understands how they can hide their weaknesses and who digs deep, to make sure you are not missing problems. For instance, you said dyslexia was ruled out. When you have your meeting, make sure that this conclusion was reached through direct measures of the underlying cognitive processes of reading (e.g. direct phonological measures) and not inferred from average reading achievement scores (which gifted kids can fake frighteningly well. Trust me on this one.)

    My DS13 has what looks like some pretty extreme inattentive ADHD (his younger sister is comparatively mild). We have not yet tried medication, but will be doing so with DS over the next month. DD11 is reasonably functional at school as long as the work is appropriately taught and interesting. DS, however, is losing his mind in frustration at his own inability to keep himself on task and get his work done in a remotely reasonable amount of time, even when that work is very interesting.

    Note that anxiety cannot cause inattentive ADHD - but anxiety can definitely destroy concentration and therefore look like an attention problem. Anxiety tends to be a big red warning flag that learning needs - for both strengths and weaknesses - are not being met, and major change is needed. It may be that his current school is able to learn and change enough to meet his needs, or he may need to move to an environment that better understands and has experience with kids like him.

    #240973 - 01/11/18 06:06 AM Re: Help with Anxious DS9 [Re: FC2]
    FC2 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/19/17
    Posts: 4
    FSIQ: 119

    VCI: 124
    Similarities: 13
    Vocabulary: 16
    (Information): (16)

    VSI: 122
    Block Design: 13
    (Visual Puzzles): (15)

    FRI: 112
    Matrix Reasoning: 9
    Figure Weights: 15

    WMI: 120
    Digit Span: 12
    (Picture Span): (15)

    PSI : 100
    Coding: 10
    (Symbol Search): (10)

    Diagnostic Impressions
    AHDH - Inattentive / Hyperactive
    Processing and Executive Function Disorder
    Depressive Disorder
    Anxiety Disorder

    Eskes / Dude / Indigo - thanks for noting "Growth Mindset". I was not previously familiar with the term but will definitely look at ways for us to incorporate this.

    Eskes - I think we all have those moments where we wish we could 'un-say' something.

    Indigo - Thanks for the references. I have not had a chance to read all of them yet, but working on it

    Puffin - I understand your point about teachers, especially with the personal experience that led to it. DS11 thrives at the school but DS9 does not although DS9 rarely has negative behavior at school (aside from mind wandering, wanting to spend time with teachers and jokes during class). At this point, I will give his teachers the benefit of the doubt, although I believe there is probably a better academic environment for him.

    Platypus101 - Thanks for the notes on Anxiety. At this point, we are going to try to help him ourselves, using reference materials noted. We will also consider professional help, however, finding the right fit (including gifted / 2e experience) may be a challenge.

    I think your (and others) comments about unmet needs at school are correct. I read about "the transitive property of stupid" on the forum glossary the other day. With his PSI of 100 (and low scores on some of the other timed achievement tests), watching others improve while he is not could be a factor in his negative self-talk.

    Excellent points on identifying what we are dealing with so we can treat the cause and not the symptoms. We will try to dig deeper when we meet with the psychologist but we are not very hopeful. I regret not doing more research and asking more questions about experience with gifted/2e prior to selecting the psychologist. (I saw on their website that they made school recommendations and I interpreted that to be more than it was.) I do understand that it is not an easy job and every doctor cannot be a specialist in everything. We have been quite frustrated with our dealings with the psychologist. I think we were expecting to have more answers after the psych-ed or at least an explanation that seemed reasonable. At this point, we have neither. As I mentioned in my original post, we are new to this and maybe my expectations were a bit too high. The evaluation read like a standard mis-diagnosis of gifted. That makes me question the results a bit…but I could just be in denial.

    Thank you for the clarification on anxiety / ADHD. It is an important point that anxiety can cause destroy concentration and create behavior that looks like an attention problem. That was really what I was trying to say, however, my word choice left a bit to be desired.

    #240982 - 01/12/18 05:50 AM Re: Help with Anxious DS9 [Re: FC2]
    FC2 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/19/17
    Posts: 4
    I know I may seem a bit harsh on the psychologist we chose to work with...this example may help support the position:
    We met with him the day testing was complete so the complete analysis was not yet done. When asking him if DS9 had dyslexia, his response was "If he had dyslexia, he would not like to read".

    #240988 - 01/12/18 03:05 PM Re: Help with Anxious DS9 [Re: FC2]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3249
    A few things draw my attention:

    His PSI is markedly lower than any of the other index scores, and suggests that the GAI is likely a better way of looking at his thinking and reasoning abilities than the FSIQ. He also has an unusually large split between the subtests that comprise the FRI, with quantitative/mathematical reasoning comparable to his VCI, but abstract-visual patterning much lower, in the middle of the Average range, which suggests that the measure of nonverbal fluid reasoning may also not fully capture his ability. (Matrix Reasoning is an outlier compared to all of his other reasoning subtests.)

    If you don't feel the final report is sufficiently informative, and you feel comfortable posting his achievement numbers, that might also be a source of some additional insight. If in fact he is 2e, it would not be too surprising for a clinician without particular expertise in the area to perceive him as more evenly-developed (with neither giftedness nor disabilities), as combining tasks into composites often washes out the discrepancies that might be more apparent at a finer subtest level.

    And I feel obliged to add that the remark you quoted from the evaluator is not representative of everyone in the profession...

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