What If the Accommodations Are Working?

What If the Accommodations Are Working?

A conundrum: a high school freshman earns a 2.5 GPA, with an A in math and PE, a B in tech skills, and a C in all the other classes that require reading: English, geography, religion and Spanish. The accommodations of extra time on all exams, particularly midterms and finals, as well as providing audiobooks through Learning Ally, are in place and utilized by the student. He is enrolled in the school’s Directed Study class, so he can have time to work on assignments and get help from a credentialed teacher. He’s also a hard worker: a sincerely determined, hard-working

KDHD

KDHD

When you claim to be able to help others with executive functions, the assumption is that you are very good at them yourself. And yes, when it comes to school, I am very good at analyzing texts, writing, and completing homework assignments. I might even have some suggestions about organizing notebooks and assignments, and time management. I assume the student I’m working with is motivated to do well, and may just need some coaching, such as putting the assignment in front of his nose and pointing at a pending deadline, or providing a model of what the finished product could

Review: Not What I Expected by Rita Eichenstein

Review: Not What I Expected by Rita Eichenstein

I highly recommend this book for parents of atypical children: Not What I Expected (2015, Perigree Books) by Rita Eichenstein, PhD. Starting with the play on words on that other popular parenting book, you quickly perceive that Eichenstein is a wonderful, creative neuropsychologist who conveys her compassion for parents starting with the thwarting of their expectations for a healthy, normal child. The predominant theme in this book might be expressed in the saying, “Mourn the child you thought you had, then embrace the one you do.” The author uses the framework of the five stages of grief to give parents

Hearing Symbols

Hearing Symbols

When parents think about their child’s experiences at school, they imagine them sitting quietly in front of the teacher, or at a desk, scanning a book or worksheet. They imagine that if everything is working right, the child has no obstacles to recognizing letters, or shapes or symbols or numbers; that the child understands how to turn pages of the book, and write the letters of his name, and answer a question in an appropriate way. Most parents simply can’t remember the process of figuring out how to “be” in a classroom, any more than they can remember what it was like

HSP – Highly Sensitive Person

HSP – Highly Sensitive Person

Sometimes common words are used to describe medical conditions. “Overweight” is actually used as a measurement, between “normal” and “obese”. By contrast, sometimes exotic words are used to describe common experiences, such as PreMenstrual Dysphoria Dysfunction (PMDD). (Yes, you can read between the lines on that one.) There are lesser-known diagnoses or descriptions of behaviors that are outside the norm. We’ve all heard of “Gifted”, “Gifted and Talented Education” (GATE), and possibly “Highly Gifted,” but there are actual criteria for meeting this designation, such as scoring above 130 on an intelligence test such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

It Just Sounds Cool: Hemispheric Asymmetry

It Just Sounds Cool: Hemispheric Asymmetry

We take a lot for granted during our waking hours: our bodies’ automatic breathing, automatic walking, automatic speech production. In fact, a problem for people with ADHD is the automatic speech production — words get blurted out that they wish had some filtering before exiting their mouths. Both automatic and volitional actions start in our brains. While we often cannot “sense” this, when there is damage to the brain, we see the actions are impacted. A common trauma to the brain is a stroke. Depending on where the injury happens in the brain, different actions — speech, walking, memory recall

Synchrony, or Growing Out of ADHD

Synchrony, or Growing Out of ADHD

Synchrony of waves helps regulate the brain and behavior. Thanks to a parent who passed on a recent NY Times article about adult ADHD, and how some people seem to “grow out of it.” (See “A Natural Fix…”) The article described research being done at MIT, where researchers have found another tool to diagnose ADHD medically: look to see if the resting brain has a “default mode” where several regions of the brain are interacting with each other. This work is based on the premise that we have “brain waves“. What is a brain wave? Believe it or not, you’ve

Virtual Reality Tests Reality of Executive Functions

Virtual Reality Tests Reality of Executive Functions OK, parents, you’ve decided to take the plunge and have your kid tested for ADHD. How does this happen in the doctor’s office? You’re nervous, your child is nervous, you’re all alone in the room with the doctor, and your child is perfectly still and silent. Where are the signs of ADHD? In a medical setting, how you and your child describe his or her behavior count for most of the diagnosis. The doctor will probably not witness these behaviors him- or herself, but will most likely ask some pointed questions and conclude

1,000 most (81) commonly (423) used (149) words (250) in (6) English (524)

1,000 most (81) commonly (423) used (149) words (250) in (6) English (524) When writing, one way to check to see if a student’s work contains some original words is to see if they are NOT on this list: http://www.insightin.com/esl/1000.php Truthfully, this brings up a deeper issue of personal originality. People who perceive themselves as “different from the mainstream” usually are (until they hit 35 years old). Many people find their identity in being different and unconventional. Some people with disabilities are so well-adjusted that they demand to be accepted as they are. I have been so impressed with the “Don’t

Diagnosing ADHD with Brain Imaging

Diagnosing ADHD with Brain Imaging In a related field, autism research, new findings show a brain-scanning measurement of “grey matter (GM) volumetric data, to assess whether individual ADHD adolescents can be accurately differentiated from healthy controls based on objective, brain structure measures…” from Autism Speaks, http://asdresearchinitiative.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/grey-matter-adhd-autism/  While this study is looking for biological measurements to identify people with autism spectrum disorders AND ADHD, it explains that the screening mechanism is a good way to detect ADHD. Rather than compare brain waves (see my blog post here), it looks at actual structures of different parts of the brain. Many doctors and psychologists say that