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Thread: My little NLD'er is starting K next week and

  1. #1
    ybab is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Jan 2006

    Default My little NLD'er is starting K next week and

    I'm so nervous. He is SO excited about starting school (his comment today: "mom, I'm ready for school to start, let's leave vacation early so I can go").
    but he's going from a SpEd pgm with 9 kids and two teachers to a class of 18 with 1 teacher. His SpEd teacher said that it was often a full-time job to get him to go along with what the rest of the class was doing - wanted to do his own thing. How is that going to go when there's just one teacher?

    The thing that is really worrying me is how far ahead he is academically. His fascination with space has grown to include anything he can get his hands on. Tonight he asked me if we were eating wild salmon or farm-raised, and then said that next time "we should get wild because it has fewer dioxins." How does he know this stuff? When I mentioned Tahiti, he starting talking about Papeete. How does he know the capital of Tahiti?! When we were looking at a diagram that showed how deer have a special knee joint, he compared it to our patella. And it's not just about what he knows, but how he applies it, all the time. He's five years old! The school talked about possibly giving him advanced reading help, but honestly - I don't think it's about reading. Please tell me if I am blinded by pride here. I can't help thinking that a kid who can describe the digestive system, explain black holes, define glaciers, and compare the bone structure of deer and people is more than a good reader. And he is going to be bored to death in Kindergarten. Bored to death. I honestly don't think the teachers even have a clue how MUCH he knows, b/c it's not even on their radar. He still struggles with writing, but he can write in full sentences. My gut says that if we don't address the academic stuff, we are going to have behavioral problems as a result. But I don't even know what I should be advocating for, KWIM?

    I know I need to just see how things go. And I recognize that he needs to be with his peers to improve his social skills, listening skills, etc. But I just cringe when I see him talking excitedly about the esophogas to his classmates, he just seems weird to them and he's such a sweet, sensitive kid - it just breaks my heart. He is very social, and makes friends easily on the playground, but loses kids when he starts to talk about things that interest him. Is there anything I can do to figure out a way forward that will keep him challenged? Any ideas on what a good solution might be? When is testing for giftedness usually done? I would love some advice, and I hope that this is taken in the spirit it was posted in - just a mom concerned about her nerdy, quirky, SN kid. I feel the school is ready to keep him in line behaviorally but they're only prepared to address it in the negative (if that makes sense).

    btw, if a child has had a comprehensive eval, how often can it be repeated?

    Thanks for reading and letting me get this out .


  2. #2
    zoeyz is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Wow Justine, he sounds like an amazing kid. I see what you are saying about him needing more than just advanced reading. Has he ever had an IQ test? It was done along with the standardized testing for my son last March in first grade, but I think it would be useful to have it done sooner for Ryan (I think it can be arranged outside of the school somehow). About K, I think it's one of those wait and see things. Hopefully he'll have a teacher that really gets him, who can motivate him to do the classroom work and socialize without stifling his excitement about his interests. Let us know how it goes.

  3. #3
    Christine S Guest

    Default Tobin went through the IQ/learning style eval....

    That is supposed to show us if he is gifted or not (or if there are other issues). We don't have results yet, but I know it can be done at this age.

    Have you set up a conference to speak to his teacher about this yet? I'd do that as an *informative* event. You mention a few thing that it seems he's behind in...socially, fine motor....those are the things she needs to concentrate on. The teacher should be able to find ways to challenge him, but it may take a while. One thing about kids like R is that they can become mentors for the rest of the class, which is a huge boost for self esteem.

    Another thought...and I don't know how open you are to to set up a small presentation for the class on NLD. Let Ryan do a lot of the explaining. I've seen this done often and it works very much to your advantage. The kids can then understand why he is so quirky and they become somewhat protective of him. Again, I don't know if you are open to this or not, but it's something to think about. I can understand the fears of him being the nerdy, oddball, what-the-heck-is-he-talking-about kid amongst his peers.

    For now, just get him started. See what you can figure out with his teacher. And then go from there.

    BTW...I completely understand about the giftedness. I may have one on MY hands as well. They're great kids, but there are many issues to deal with as well.


  4. #4
    Val. is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Just want to let you know that I'm feeling your pain and worry. Yes, our boys are very similar. Tanner doesn't just know stuff but applies it, also. They have no idea what he knows because they simply don't have the application of multiplication on the kindergarten math test. LOL Like you said, what he knows isn't even on their radar. He can write full sentences, but motor skills can be a struggle due to his hypotonia.

    His testing didn't rule in or out NLD. He's not a "classic" case, but has many of the characteristics. His weakest area on testing was processing speed. Verbal was strong, but not off the charts. Perceptual reasoning was highest. But, Tanner's biggest struggle in the classroom is behavior and social.

    He's also quite rigid, which is so bizarre to me since he is also so logical and applies so much information to problem solving, plus really does think outside the box with his learning.

    Good example of Tanner's carpool line this morning....

    Me: Wow, lots of kids are wearing pants today. It sure is warm out for pants.
    Tanner: It's cold inside. A lot of kids bring jackets.
    Me: Do you get cold inside? I could pack your jacket in your bookbag.
    Tanner: Yes, I want to wear shorts and bring a jacket. What jacket?
    Me: I'll just pack your red sweatshirt, the one that zips up.
    Tanner: I wear that one in the fall.
    Me: It'll be perfect to pull out if it's chilly in your room.
    Tanner: But, I can't wear it yet. It's not fall.

    I am meeting with the teacher tomorrow for a regular conference and will be giving her a bunch of information on all this. So, we'll see.........

    You're very lucky to have an IEP. I don't think we'd get one even with an NLD diagnosis, as we have four other dx and that doesn't seem to matter since he's on grade level.

    Keep us posted!!!

  5. #5
    BriNJ is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Mar 2006


    Hi Justine,
    You sound like me last year- I was worried about Chris being too much the little professor and not enough the little boy. Chris has always been a child that learns facts like an encylopedia and then is able to pull them out and use them with amazing flexibility. He excels in math and in anything that has a math concept behind it. And he does well with location/distance- ie: if we go somewhere once, he can recall the steps later on (we went to disney two years in a row, same time of year and he was able to tell us when the good McDonald's was coming up in South Carolina- we live in NJ- usually within a few minutes "Mom, in about 6 minutes, we'll be at the good McD's with the big play area adn the clean bathroom"). We saw savant skills when he was younger (according to the specialists that worked with him) and we've seen a noticable lessening of them over the past year. We also dealt/deal with sensory issues which for a time were classified as severe. But as he's getting older, he's evening out- both skill wise and behaviorally. At this point, the school has told us that Chris is most likely gifted, which is not a suprise as he's been evaluated so much over the years. And we do have a family history- including the social issues that often come with it. He has a very fast processing speed overall- too fast- and often comes up with concepts without enough basis in fact due how fast he processes info and how easily he forms patterns within his thoughts. And he can be incredibly stubborn.

    Last year in K, the teacher put a huge emphasis on social skills and dealing politely with other children- which included being aware of thier feelings and listening. Because I was worried that Chris would steamroll them with his enthusiasms, Itold him that he could only talk for XXX (ie: 1 minute) and then it was the other child's turn. It kept him from going into lecture mode and because he had to think about what he was talking about AND how long he was talking, he didnt lose the other kids the way he might have. We also told him that he could only do what he wanted at certain times- that during class, he wasnt allowed to do anything other than the teacher said (which caused problems becuase he then became the discipline for his table- "I TOLD YOU THAT MRS. S WANTS US TO WRITE NOT TALK"). It took a while for him to understand that *he* is not the focus of school and that he will have to learn and do things that he may not want to or isnt interested in but that that is just how it is. We had a great K teacher, she's also a special ed teacher who has taken a few years off from that, and she was able to change up activities and things to keep all the kids engaged. Chris didnt get bored as often as I feared and she did give him supplemental work during the busy times (as he was beyond the K math).

    One other thing that I noticed...little boys are more accepting and affectionate that little girls, at least in our K. The boys didnt care about the varied strengths and weaknesses- it didnt matter that K didnt talk well or that G walked really slow or that M couldnt write his name or read anything and had an aide in the classroom. As long as the other boys would engage, they were happy- and although it was a learning experience for Chris, he learned to run and play boy-games (oh, I hate them but I understand that run and chase is good for them). In fact, the only children that were shunned were those that are agressive and mean- those kids were quickly noted and ignored. Its normal on our playground to see 6 little boys in a pile hugging each other. So, you may be happily surprised.

    I do, because of my own experience in the gifted and talented system, have my own feelings towards how to treat a child who is gifted. And beacuse of this, I kept Chris from learning things that he wanted- not because I didnt want to encourage him but because I wanted him to concentrate on social issues. I wouldnt let him watch certain tv programs, even though they are educational, I wouldnt let him look at certain books or workbooks. I did what I could to redirect him to play instead of learning. Most people would disagree with me on that- but my feeling has always been that he could learn the academics in school but that he needed to learn the social right now. Right or wrong, only time will tell.

    This time of year is so hard, too much to do and worry about. And the only way to deal is to get through it with your eyes open. Chris is showing tons of regression behavior-wise which means he's anxious (night terrors, no ability to deal with noise, tactile issues etc). I just hope that things get better when he finally gets there.

    I hope all our kiddos have a good experience this year!

  6. #6
    ybab is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Thanks Bri...

    Per my lightbulb post, I think I'm getting what you're saying here. I've been thinking a lot about it, and it makes sense. If I can work with the school to help improve Ryan's social skills and listening skills, he'll have a better framework to move on in school. Whereas if they advanced him b/c of his knowledge, etc., he wouldn't have that foundation and he'd struggle later. I guess it's a balance. I don't really agree about limiting what he learns about, b/c to me it's all about balance. If Ryan was just learning about 1-2 subjects, I might limit it. But he has such an insatiable curiousity in so many things, limiting him would take away the very thing that gives him confidence and joy. And if he spent all his time reading, I could see limiting books, but he spends a lot of time playing too. I don't know. You got me thinking and I really appreciate the support...

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