Category Archives: Learning Differences

A Tale of 2 Drop-offs: Anxious & Excited

Just dropped the girlies off at Camp.  Overnight for 2 weeks.  Their flurry of packing has demolished the house.  But I don’t mind.

You see, WT (World Traveler) husband is in Brussels for a week for work, so I’m all by myself!  Whoot!  I have stocked up and am looking forward to eating cereal for dinner and bon bons for breakfast and anything else I feel like doing!

Reading books, yes!  Exercising, yes! Sleeping, yes!  Cooking, no!  (Well, our stove is broken anyway.) Nagging, no!  Yelling, no!  Acting as the frontal lobe for everyone else in the family, N-to-the-O!

The drop-off just demonstrated for me again, the differences between my children.  Sometimes I know Lily’s world so well, that I forget that it’s not ‘normal’, until I see Zoolander in the same situation and realize again that her reactions are more like other kids’.

Actually, that’s how we finally realized that Lily was different than other babies.  After Zoolander was born, we were surprised to discover, “Ohhhh, that’s how babies are supposed to act!  You mean, you can actually follow the instructions in those baby books and they work??!!  Holy crap, THIS is a piece of cake!”

Photo by Zoolander

Both the girls’ counselors came to our car to help with the luggage.  Without question I knew that I would go with Lily to her cabin first, to help her transition.  Of course, she was anxious.  Zoolander was on her own with a stranger.  Of course, she didn’t care.

I helped Lily make her bed and there was one other girl in the cabin.  I overheard the girl tell the counselor that she attends ‘Suchandsuch Academy’, a private school that specializes in educating Twice Exceptional students and students with learning differences.  Hmmmm.  Maybe Lily will pick up on that.  She usually does.  She has told me before, “Mom, that girl/boy is like me.”

Last summer, the one girl she really made friends with at camp, turned out to be in her Gifted and Talented class this year.  [An aside–Just read an interesting post at Asynchronous Scholars’ Fund about helping Gifted kids ‘find their tribe’.]

Anyway, a gaggle of her cabin-mates arrived loudly and Lily instantly retreated, turned away, wouldn’t make eye contact, didn’t introduce herself.  I sensed it was time for me to split, before she wanted me to help her out of this social situation.  I quickly left, but wished I had given her a better pep talk beforehand–reminding her specifically how to be friendly.  It makes my stomach hurt thinking about it.

But I know that the counselors will include her and help her warm up.  The young counselors always seem to know what to do and how to handle her.  And that’s just one of the reasons why we spend the money to send Lily to this amazing camp that encourages campers to be themselves and to respect others for their differences, so that she can practice her social skills in a safe place.

Photo by Zoolander

As I walked down the road approaching Zoolander’s cabin, I could see her standing on the balcony waving wildly.  When I walked up, she was jumping up and down she was so excited and talking, talking, talking, “Mom, isn’t this awesome.  I love this balcony.  I got a top bunk.  I was worried about that, but I got a top bunk and it has a shelf where I can put my stuff.  Remember my friend I met last year? She’s going to be here and she’s in my cabin and isn’t that so great.”  Zoolander didn’t even notice when I left.

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My First #gtchat

I participated in my first #gtchat on Twitter last Friday.  Gtchat is moderated by Deborah Mersino of www.ingeniosus.net.  Thanks Deborah!

Each Friday there are two hour-long interactive gtchats. Tweeters from all over the globe get together on Twitter to discuss different gifted topics.

I say I participated this week because I’ve lurked during gtchats in the past, but have been too shy to join in.  This week though, the topic was 2E or Twice Exceptional learners and I decided to jump in.

The tweets were fast and furious and I felt like I was always behind, but it was kinda cool to be in the same ‘room’ with some of the people behind the blogs I read.  It was also very comforting to hear from parents who are having the same experiences with their 2E kids.

I’ve read the transcript from the 2E chat several times now and I did miss a lot.  I’ll get the hang of the gtchats eventually and I plan to brush up at Deborah’s site www.ingeniosus.net/gtchat, but there were a lot of helpful resources mentioned during the chat.  I felt like I needed them all in the same place, so I could check them out at my own pace.  Thanks for all the great suggestions!

From @GiftedHF
Special Challenges/Twice Exceptional (2e)
Twice exceptional children are both gifted and have learning differences, resulting in an extreme asynchrony that can increase parenting challenges exponentially. Some of these exceptionalities may include autism or Asperger’s Syndrome; auditory and visual processing disorders; dyslexia and dysgraphia; sensory integration dysfunction; ADD or ADHD; bipolar disorder; OCD; Tourette’s Syndrome; and myriad other dual diagnoses. Some families have found ways to deal with the challenges in their family that make their homes run relatively smoothly; others describe their family lives as akin to “the bar scene from Star Wars.”
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/2eresources.html

http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/articles.html#challenge

From @Idaho2e
Download 2E Manual
http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/gifted_talented/twice-exceptional/

From @DavidsonGifted
Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults/Davidson Institute for Talent Development
http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10308.aspx
Tips for Parents: Executive Functioning at Home and School-Aimee Yermish/Davidson Institute for Talent Development
http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10523.aspx

From @HoagiesGifted
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/twice_exceptional.htm

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/2e_books.htm

From @2eNewsletter
http://2enewsletter.blogspot.com/

From @GiftedDevCenter
http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/What_is_Gifted/2echildren.htm

From @LesLinks
http://innreach.wordpress.com/2es/

From @JoFrei
http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/webgifgld.htm

From @CybraryMan1
http://cybraryman.com/2e.html

From @BelinBlank
http://www.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/clinic/nite.aspx

From @SENG_Gifted

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted

http://www.sengifted.org/

Other online resources-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_functions

http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/newsletter/spring98/sprng984.html

Does you gifted child have ADD/ADHD?
http://www.addvance.com/help/parents/gifted_child.html

Twice Exceptional Adult Learners
 http://mysite.du.edu/~tmille47/Twice_Exceptional/Forward.html

Understanding Your Child’s Puzzling Behavor
http://lifespanpress.blogspot.com/

Gifted/LD facts
http://www.ldinfo.com/gifted_ld.htm

Executive Function
http://www.ldinfo.com/executive_functioning.htm

http://www.tagfam.org/


Books-
Book-To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: From Definitions to Practical Intervention Strategies
Book-Different Minds: Gifted Children With Ad/Hd, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Learning Deficits [Paperback]
Book-Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses Of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression, And Other Disorders
Book-To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: From Definitions to Practical Intervention Strategies

Countdown to MY Summer Vacation from School

1 week to go and I will be free! (temporarily)— free from the work it takes to get Lily through school every day. Her ADHD & difficulties with Executive Function have made her first year of middle school extremely difficult for her and for me.  The organizational demands of 6th grade have been overwhelming for her and I’ve been acting as her Executive Function support and scaffolding all year.

At least for the next couple of months… I’ll be free from the torture of nagging Lily to get ready for school.  Getting her out of the house–on timeevery day is a major feat.  So, at least for the summer… no reminding, over and over again.  No fighting.  No frustration. No yelling. No tears. And that’s just the morning.

I won’t have to try to figure out every night what homework she has to do, when it’s due, if she’s done it and/or if she’s turned it in.  I won’t have to check the Parent Portal to find out what assignments she has missing. No hurrying through dinner and showers to try to get Lily settled down enough to fall asleep at a decent hour.  We can enjoy summer evenings on our porch, watching the sun set behind the mountains, while the kids goof around and I guzzle a box of wine.  GUZZLE-to drink especially liquor greedily, continually, or habitually

This has been the hardest school year for me since Lily started Kindergarten.  The extreme effort it takes to try to keep this ADHD/2E kid caught up on her assignments seems to be never ending and exhausting.  

Lily is tired too.  She desperately needs time to just play and explore and exercise, after being cooped up at school, forced into a rigid environment that emphasizes her weaknesses, instead of her strengths.

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
*Ant Farm
*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?)
www.giantmicrobes.com
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.


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