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    Originally Posted by NotherBen
    DS15 is so similar. This week's assignments of "what does the American dream mean to you, give a personal perspective" along with the multi-media "all about me" were a killer. I wonder if they share another trait? While he loves music and his private teachers, DS does not like being the focus of attention for 30-60 minutes. He changed to a piano teacher who, in addition to building on his particular skills, plays collaboratively with him. There's a lot of back-and-forth playing, duets, etc, and they have a lot of fun. DS is becoming a better musician, not just able to play difficult pieces.

    In clarinet lessons, he has been ready to quit lessons for the same reason, too much focus on him. From time to time they play duets to his delight, so we talked with the teacher about incorporating that more into the lesson. She will! DS would even be open to a shared lesson, but the logistics of doing that at school are difficult.

    DS also does not like to perform solo. He does piano recitals because they are required, but he will never take band as an honors course because you have to perform solos. He also doesn't want to compete, whether in music, academic teAms, etc. He even approached cross-country as "personal best", not a race.

    Does your DS have similar difficulty? It seems to be related to the "revealing their inner selves" perhaps.
    I think so.. It's one of the reasons DS likes band, marching band he doesn't have to be singled out. Our honors band doesn't require solo's. And DS's clarinet teacher does a lot of duets with my DS.

    That essay would be a killer for my DS as well. Give a personal perspective even for something he cares about just about guarantees that he will write about 3 sentences. When writing his big end of year social studies project last year, when we got to that part I just told him to write a conclusion. Teacher took a few points off for that, but it made negligible difference in his overall grade so we didn't sweat it.

    School starts next Tuesday, I find out who he has for teachers this afternoon. I am so not looking forward to school starting this year.

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    Some people struggle more with perspective-taking; this is probably why the evaluator for bluemagic's DS spent so much time chasing the ASD side of things. Making inferences about other people's opinions is quite challenging if one's theory of mind is not as well-developed, even in individuals who are subclinical WRT ASD. And then, for some high-cognitive individuals, the desire for precision is so compelling that they have extreme reluctance to commit to any hypothesis about another person's thinking or motivation in the absence of what they consider adequate evidence. For those who have had largely positive experiences in their formative years, this sometimes manifests as what others perceive as ingenuousness or guilelessness: innocent until proven guilty, with a higher standard of proof than most people. For those with the opposite experience or temperamental orientation, it may present as cynicism. (I have a sibling in each category--same upbringing, so sometimes it's more temperament than experience.)

    Questions that include the word "favorite" are difficult, because how can one absolutely choose a favorite, unless one has comprehensive information about all of the possible options (and does one even have awareness of all of the options)? Besides, one might have different favorites for different functions or situations. I like your strategy of redefining "favorite" in opinion writing. I do something similar when I assess this kind of learner, which is to bend the administration very slightly when I encounter a stuck kid, by giving them permission to pick "A favorite", rather than "YOUR favorite". (Of course, I have to mention the clinical observation in the narrative, as it is just as important as the writing skills themselves.)

    Last edited by aeh; 08/29/14 08:39 AM. Reason: sibs

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    AEH, you are tremendous.
    DeeDee

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    I'm following this with interest. We had DD12's 504 meeting last week. One of the teachers made an effort to pinpoint where DD's writing struggles kick in. Dd's extreme anxiety over spelling was evident to all in the room. We also figured out that DD's writing anxiety starts when she has to do anything more than a paragraph for a variety of reasons including uncertainty about how to organize her thoughts and what I will call issues of authenticity/emotional connection. She also has moments when her writing is deep and thoughtful and other moments when she can't seem to get anything on the page.

    MON, I think that the authenticity issue is this is similar to your "favorite" issue. DD seems completely paralyzed when she does not feel that she can answer something honestly. If a prompt says "name three interesting features in this article," she won't be able to answer if she didn't find three things interesting. If it says favorite and she didn't have a favorite, she feels like she is being dishonest. Her sister has tried to talk her through this by telling her to fake it and just write something and that no one is going to fact check whether something is "interesting" or her "favorite." DD is resistant.

    ETA: I think that I crossed posts with aeh. I think that some of the nuances of "your favorite" that he described are also at play.


    She also has struggled when she has to write about a book where she did not find any redeeming qualities in the characters. For example, she hated Tom Sawyer. Her teacher asked them to describe Tom's character. She had a terrible time writing about him because she couldn't stand the thought of thinking about him. I think that she is so empathetic that she felt violated letting this annoying character back in her head. I finally got her over her initial block by scribing her rant about what an annoying, self-absorbed, drama queen he was (her words, not mine). I gave her the written rant and told her to find evidence for it. She gets so emotional that I also wish she would "not take it so dang personally!"

    I have a good feeling that the teacher who asked all of the questions trying to pinpoint DD's struggles will be a great support for her. Understanding the issues at hand seems like a great start. Now we have to start figuring out how to work past them.

    Last edited by knute974; 08/29/14 09:08 AM.
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    Quote
    I finally got her over her initial block by scribing her rant... I gave her the written rant and told her to find evidence for it.
    Some may say this is a bit like the process parents go through in preparing for advocacy, n'cest pas?

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    BTW I have worked with my son on these issues. We have had multiple conversations about how when you are asked to choose a "favorite" to just pick something you can talk about. Turn this into Write about a "x" that you know something about. And I remind him it's not like the teacher is really going to "know" that blue isn't really his favorite color. This is why even wrote 3 sentences rather than zero for his test, he ended up picking soccer to write about.

    And how for certain essays, it's more that the teacher wants to see your writing skills. And that sometimes the prompt is just that, somewhere to start and as long as you can write something coherent you don't have to answer the prompt precisely. The trick is to know when this is true and when it isn't.

    Originally Posted by knute974
    She also has struggled when she has to write about a book where she did not find any redeeming qualities in the characters. For example, she hated Tom Sawyer. Her teacher asked them to describe Tom's character. She had a terrible time writing about him because she couldn't stand the thought of thinking about him. I think that she is so empathetic that she felt violated letting this annoying character back in her head. I finally got her over her initial block by scribing her rant about what an annoying, self-absorbed, drama queen he was (her words, not mine). I gave her the written rant and told her to find evidence for it. She gets so emotional that I also wish she would "not take it so dang personally!"
    Back when my son was in 4-6th grade he has this school oral book "discussion" that was graded by other parents. I noticed that many many kids struggled because they thought they always had to "say something nice". I've always told my son that is and OK, valid option to say that you don't like a character or the book as long as you can find supporting reason. And I had that conversation with a number of the students. Or if they really hated the book. I had to prompt quite a few that it was OK to say you didn't like the book and why as long as you could justify your reasons.

    But just because we have talked about this for years, it doesn't always sink in at the beginning of the assignment. My son got this way about two of the poems he had to analyze last spring. What helped was to let him rant, mention that there wasn't anything wrong with his opinions if he could find evidence for it. It helped a lot. He ended up writing a silly poem to criticize the poem, he didn't turn that into the teacher but we had a good laugh about it.

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    Originally Posted by DeeDee
    AEH, you are tremendous.
    DeeDee
    blush


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    Originally Posted by DeeDee
    AEH, you are tremendous.
    DeeDee

    AEH, pls. don't disappear before the spring when we finally get my 7 yr. old tested! Your input is invaluable.

    To the OP, thinking of you and your son.

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    Update on my update.

    The psychologist just updated the report. Looks a bit better. The basics like the scores are the same but she did include the GAI of 135. And did fix up a few of the sections. I was a bit worried that she would drop the LD label because I had a chat with her about how it's not that he doesn't know how to construct an essay. She did change the dx slightly, but I still have enough to send it to school and ask for an IEP. Not sure yet where that will go, but I'd been holding off till that was fixed.

    He has been back in school almost two weeks. It's been going OK although it was rough the first few days. He had one writing assignment based on his summer reading. Since he got the prompt and was able to talk it through me the night before he said it went well. Math and science are both graded on completion but math class is still heavily based on tests, and it shouldn't be as hard as large year. He just was frustrated because the first week had a huge amount of review homework. Not at all happy about his science teacher. Just heard from another parent that her son had her as a freshman and says that she is very disorganized. I had heard this from other avenues. Mixing that with a disorganized student doesn't make a good fit at all.

    Bad news is the educational therapist I lined up last year, can't work with him this fall for several reasons. I was really frustrated when she told me but I've gotten over it. So now I'm back to looking for someone to tutor him. I have contacted someone and am hoping to find a graduate student in English from a local university. Bio's of these students make me feel it could be a good fit. His most pressing need for one-on-one help is for his content creation and literary analysis and these students should be qualified to help.

    DS is super busy and has to get up very early. Sleep is already an issue. We did slip in a visit to the DMV yesterday and I now have a kid who has passed his written test and will be getting behind the wheel very soon. But I gave up trying to fit in everything after school, taking up precious downtime and am just pulling him out of school for a physical with his pediatrician next week.

    He has also clearly made a few friends. I finally connected with one of the other mom's and it's a shame we didn't meet earlier. Her son's been going through many of the same things, and he is in band, and lives in our neighborhood. Looks like the boys are going to get to room together on the spring band trip. This makes me so happy.

    Last edited by bluemagic; 09/11/14 04:31 PM.
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    More update on my update...

    Last night was back to school night. Chemistry teacher is VERY disorganized, sigh. And my DS has decided to HATE the English teacher. She seemed nice last night but is 7 months pregnant and will be out for a little while for maternity. I'm suspecting that might be good. DS had a meltdown about a writing assignment a few days ago, was cajoled into getting help from her today and ended up disrespecting her. He feels she is talking "down" to him and not giving him useful advice. I think part of the issue is she doesn't have the whole story at this point.

    I finally got the psyc report into school (it's only week two) and I got a call back from the counselor that the psychologist has looked it over already. We are going to schedule the second SST in the next two weeks, and we will discuss and IEP or 504 at that meeting. The counselor seems optimistic that we could get some accommodations.

    I put an add out looking for a tutor through a university English department yesterday, and I have 7 graduate students who have responded. Not entirely sure how I'm going to narrow it down, I'm impressed how the three I've done a phone interview with so far all seem excellent. Seem to understand what I'm looking for, I guess I'm going to need to narrow it down and have a few of them meet with my son.

    Last edited by bluemagic; 09/18/14 07:47 PM.
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