Monthly Archives: April 2011
The Organization Fairy and the IEP
Nearly 3 weeks and the IEP situation has not been resolved. I have been trying to hold my tongue here (a little bit) during negotiations. The tension and stress just really suck. BUT—I will not give up until they agree, in writing, to provide the support and scaffolding Lily needs to develop as a student and a human being. Because I am NOT going to college with her to check her Student Planner every night.
Received another revised version of the IEP tonight and STILL the language makes it sound like her Executive Function deficits, which are caused by her disability–ADHD, are really only a concern to her parents. In fact, to the rest of the team, it doesn’t seem to be a problem that Lily had 9 missing or late Math assignments & 7 missing or late Language Arts assignments last trimester. (and those are the ones I didn’t catch) C’mon? What’s the problem? Her grades are fine. What am I complaining about? I’m sure her future teachers won’t have a problem with that either, right?
The IEP also seems to suggest that learning those Executive Function skills is completely my daughter’s responsibility. That perhaps some all-seeing, all-knowing, list-making, anal-retentive Student Planner fairy is going to sprinkle sparkly organizational dust from the sky and it will float down upon her sweet 11-year old forehead, soak into her frontal lobe and she will magically, without help, turn in all her assignments, on time.
Maybe the Organizational Fairy could also make these wishes come true:
*After being reminded both verbally and on the board, Lily will understand what to write in her planner every day.
Oh, asking for adult assistance. That’s a big one and pretty much, right now, it doesn’t happen. But her IEP goals and objectives say it should happen, somehow. Oh, right… maybe the Fairy again?
Sadly, there is no Organization Fairy who can help break these seemingly simple tasks down into small enough steps for Lily to begin to learn to do it for herself.
I guess if Lily will just buckle down, put her shoulder to wheel, pull herself up by her bootstraps and shape up or ship out, she’ll do just fine next year, won’t she? ‘Cause I’m sure that’s all it takes. It’s just a character flaw that can be fixed with just a few natural consequences, right? Yep. That’ll teach her.
A 2E Volcano–The Emotion of Writing
I called home to tell the girls I’d be late because I had haircut appointment after work. Lily was immediately not happy. When I made a joke about how much she must want to see me, she got mad and launched into some angry explanation about some sentences she had to write and she needed me to help her and now she was never going to get done!
When I suggested that she start without me, she got even more upset. I mentioned to her that these seem like the ‘volcano’ feelings that Dr. K talks about.
I hadn’t seen Lily this upset about writing in awhile. Up until this year, she would get angry and frustrated almost every time she had to write something. It was torture for everyone involved. She couldn’t even start writing a sentence by herself and often I scribed for her, helping prompt her along the way.
Now I know that part of this writing difficulty is caused by her Executive Function deficits in planning and task initiation, which seem to be fairly common in people with ADHD or Dyslexia.
Lily has trouble sequencing her thoughts and getting them down on paper. There’s a huge discrepancy between what goes in her brain and what comes out in written expression, which is, of course, frustrating for her. Although this article on written expression and Executive Function focuses on the bipolar child, there’s some great info in it for all students who struggle with writing.
This year, in 6th grade, Lily has really improved in this area and usually she is able to work on writing assignments by herself. When I got home tonight though, she kept trying to put off working on her writing.
Finally, when I asked a few more questions, she launched into another tirade about a test that she had to take at school and she had to write sentences for her answers and usually she doesn’t have to write the answers and she had to write sentences to support her answers and she got all the answers right but missed points because she didn’t know how/didn’t have time to write the support sentences.
I asked if her frustration with that writing earlier in the day had anything to do with her frustration with writing tonight and she said she thought that it did.
Next thing I know she’s in the office, in the dark, sitting focused at the computer, typing her science analysis answers in a wacky font. Probably took her 30 minutes total and then she was perfectly happy, at least until she realized she still had to write down her chapter notes for her Lit Circle.
Then came a mini-rant on how difficult it is to write notes while she’s reading. I reminded her that the teacher said it can just be a few notes she jots on a Post-It after she reads. So, after giving me a long, detailed verbal description of her chapter in The Golden Fleece, she scribbled down a few notes, which she then typed on the computer using a giant Greek font and titled with Jason’s name translated into its Greek spelling.
I think a lot of time, when faced with a writing assignment, she is just overwhelmed by a wave of emotion–frustration is what she’s used to–and then it usually it subsides quickly. Just have to keep working on making her aware and giving her the tools to use self-talk to quiet the volcano.
It’s a Myth! ADHD Kids DO Have the Power to Focus
How does Lily occupy herself while Zoolander is growing mold? Like many ADHD kids who are deemed ‘inattentive’, Lily can super-duper focus when it’s on a project she’s come up with herself.
Last weekend? It was crafting a horse bridle from twine and a rubber band, and then, of course, sewing a saddle blanket for the lucky horse.
|Photo by Lily|
|Photo by Lily|
Saturday–Sorting and polishing coins… for hours!
Sunday–Making her own animated movie for her Greek project at school. These XtraNormal movies are so much fun! Her movie tells the story of Hades kidnapping Persephone and dragging her to the Underworld to be his wife. Hades happens to be wearing some sort of Viking getup in Lily’s version, which adds a certain timeless appeal to the story.
A 2E Wish List–Gangrene & the Common Cold
Shopping online tonight for Zoolander’s 9th birthday, which is coming up this week. I know she’s tactile and likes things she can touch and, because she’s very visual and has mild dyslexia, she likes books with pictures.
Here’s Zoolander’s birthday wish list:
*Syringe ballpoint pens
*Astronaut ice cream
*Rare Earth magnet balls like Nanospheres, Magnet Balls, Buckyballs, Neocube, Cybercube, Zen Magnets
*Plush microbes-She especially likes Gangrene and the Common Cold. (Who doesn’t, really?)
Gangrene (Clostridium perfringens)
Common Cold (Rhinovirus)
|Who wouldn’t love the cuddly Common Cold?|
I definitely plan to order a book that Corinna at birdwannawhistle recommended, a childhood favorite of her science-minded 2E husband, The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe.
Last year, Zoolander wanted stuffed peppers and a fruit bouquet for her birthday meal. She hasn’t decided yet what she wants this year, but hopefully something easier than making stuffed peppers on a school night.