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

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

Gifted Adults Can Have ADHD Too

Gifted Adults Can Have ADHD Too The Gifted Adult, by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, Psy. D.  New York: Ballantine Books, 1999. My motivation for reading this book was (1) personal – always nice to feel “gifted” and “special”; and (2) my consistent impression that the parents of the kids I work with are gifted, but may suffer from a case of ADHD or Strict Moral Upbringing or SBU (that’s my own acronym!) and feel their own unease coming out when they see their children struggling. This book is incredibly pragmatic. It even includes a self-assessment that you can score. But first of

The “Myth” of ADHD?

The Myth of the ADD Myth Review of The ADD Myth: How to Cultivate the Unique Gifts of Intense Personalities by Martha Burge (San Francisco: Conari Press, 2012) Ms. Burge asks some provocative questions in this book, such as, “Intensity: Gift or Disorder?” While the word intensity here has a specific meaning, as described by Dr. Kazimierz Dabrowski as a particular giftedness, I appreciate her implication of how “intense” a person with ADHD can be. People with ADHD really are intense people; they feel intensely, they think intensely, they play intensely… and they fall apart intensely. Ms. Burge, a life

Middle School & High School – Organizing Materials

This is not “my” system; I have been inspired by several other people who have worked out functional systems. In particular, I refer to these two authors: That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week by Ana Homayoun (2010) & Seeing My Time by MaryDee Sklar (2012) Supplies needed: A 1” binder for each subject – total 5 binders – different colors 5 packs of 5 tabbed dividers for each subject For an example, see: http://www.staples.com/write+on+tab+dividers/directory_write-on+tab+dividers? A pack of 5 dividers – transparent, with pockets (sometimes these are with the folders) For an example, see: http://www.staples.com/Avery-Two-Tone-Double-Pocket-Insertable-Plastic-Tab-Dividers-5-Tab/product_710149?cid=PS:GooglePLAs:710149&KPID=710149 Loose-leaf paper, with a reinforced

Twice Exceptional Learners Are “2E”

The term “2E” refers to being Exceptional, as in gifted, and Exceptional, as in having special learning needs. Many children who have learning differences/disabilities are also gifted, perhaps in math, the arts, or other areas. A thought-provoking theory about giftedness is that these special traits or talents are “intensities”.  I like this description for many reasons, one being that it honors the basic abilities that most people have to create, to think mathematically, to understand literature, to relate on some level to the creation they are witnessing. For example, most people shudder at the thought of public performance, but they