Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Have Some Questions

I'm having some issues with Sweetheart (age 11) and I need some help. I'm going to give you a quick run-down and then let you fire some suggestions to me. What I need are large heading suggestions of things I can look into-not specific strategies really because believe me, I have tried just about everything I have up my largely trained educational sleeve.

She cannot follow directions. What I mean is, the great majority of the time, one thing that I told her to do gets done and nothing else. I'm not talking about of a list of 5 things to go do--sometimes I just say 2 things and she only gets one done.

Is this an auditory processing disorder? See what I mean about big headings? Where do I begin to research?

And yes, I've given pictorial prompts, written lists, organized her areas multiple times, etc.

She isn't hyperactive. It isn't ADHD. Could it be ADD? I don't know....I'm not sure I've ever seen an actual case of it. It's so over-diagnosed it's hard to tell.

She is quite flighty. She flits from one thing to the next when she does have several things to do she does them in a really unorganized and inefficient manner. I KNOW. She's my daughter. But I really think we have an issue here.

A friend of mine has a daughter Sweetheart's age who has a lot of trouble with reading. Her mom had her screened and it was determined that she has trouble with her vestibular system (that stems from balance issues in the brain) and it manifests itself in learning disabilities. Hmm. I had never heard of the vestibular system but the therapy involves a balance board, etc. Interesting. The comment that got me thinking was the screener said her daughter had "a disorganized brain."

Ha! I don't need any screening to tell me THAT about my Sweetheart! But the thing is, she's a good reader. Math does give it did for me. But really I wouldn't say she suffers from any learning disabilities (although there are some in our family).

But the friend said it made so much sense to her to re-train the brain instead of just teach coping strategies. This really got me thinking.

Maybe it's "just  her." She's very artistic. Is she doomed to being one of those types who walks around with a paintbrush unaware that it's dripping everywhere and her socks don't match? I don't mind that but it would be so much easier on her if she could complete directed tasks independently!

Maybe it's really something I could fix.

Where, oh friends, do I begin researching? I need help....


  1. hey there:) Have you considered her hand dominance? Is she a lefty needing to be a righty, or vice versa? It sounds like the info coming in to the brain is not able to be stored "neatly", which in turn makes it difficult to "retrieve" info in an orderly fashion. Imagine if all the info our brains took in was just thrown in a pile, and then imagine trying to go and get that one ice you really need out of that same messy pile...I'll send you a link to some articles from a site that we are a part of (our two sons are a part of the "program" they have developed specifically to meet their needs.) Let me know what you think:) I can relate in part to your level of frustration. It's been years and we are now seeing good changes happening as their brains are being as your friend said "retrained" Hope some of this at least helps:)

  2. Thank you Jules! I will read that link. Just what I need...

    I forgot to mention something...Sweetheart was very uncoordinated in gross motor skills when she was younger. She fell a LOT. Fine motor? No problem.

  3. It could be a sensory processing thing. I am learning, b/c of my son's issues with sensory input...basically, simple things to us or over sensitized in them, and it makes it harder to focus. Someone described it to me as 5:00 madness at our home, how it is so hard on us to focus on things b/c everything is going on at once....that is how it is for them, and they have to concentrate so hard on things, that it makes it hard to process everything at once. When you give her a 2 step direction, she is still thinking about the first thing you told her, focusing on that, and she can't process or remember the second request.

  4. Too funny - I was just going to suggest a friend's blog (don't know if you read her or not, but they've been dealing with some odd diagnoses) and 2 of my other friends have already commented!! I love it! Do you read Nikowa at Adventures of a Quirky Mom? she's very approachable and would love to talk to you about her sons diagnosis. I have no idea if it's any related at all, but it's worth looking into.

  5. Brenda,I couldn't begain to guess what is going on.I will pray you find the answer.You are such a good mother.It is really hard to stay on top of your familys needs sometimes or at least it is for me.LucyT

  6. Faith Haley is doing testing for Little Giant Steps a neurodevelopment program... one if teh headings of their lectures is why cant my kids clean their room.. or somethign like that basically a disorganized brain child! It is a 10 dollar testign that is very basic but could lead to other testing if neccessary.

    The Out of Sync child which we already talked about. Sensory Intergration Dysfunction is probably VERY possible the "actual" cause of a lot of over diagnosed ADD or ADHD.

    ADD is of course a possibility... I would look at the pediatric neurologist... not your primary. If you want a more "true" diagnosis.

    you KNOW deal with ALOT of this, we cannot "treat" the add symptoms because of other reasons but deal with it on our own which you know my frustration sometimes! I have done research on MANY herbal remedies and some look promising, others we have tried with NO luck.

    We have of course done diet, meds for other issues and PRAYER along with hours of OT, PT and any other therapy you can mention! :)

    Btw... does hubbie agree there is a "problem" and is he willing to go down this road because it is a long, hard road... NOT to be discouraging BUT just wanted to make sure yall are both on board to finding out answers... because you need each other to be!

    Prayign you find infor and hopeing you pass a long anything you learn for others "ME" to benefit from hopefully!

  7. Yes, my friend had the $15 screening done with LGS and that is the program they are using. The only thing that puts me off about jumping into this is the cost! Yikes. Yes, we are in agreement. I read him an article last night on auditory processing and we were both nodding along. More reading before action right now I think...

  8. Brenda, that's the program my two are one as well:)LGS. Yes, the cost is high, but it is truly worth the effort if you can make the finances work:) I've been in it for a year now, and it is by far the only program tat has had such high success. Our school is paying for it thru some special educational funding he is available for, so really, that;s the only way we are able to do it. The site is American, are there any seminars near you? I find this stuff fascinating as well as applicable.

  9. Neurotransmitter testing could be an option as well. Find an ND that does it. It's a basic urine test done at home, you ship the sample (all the shipping stuff is given to you) and when the results are in you go back to learn about them. You leave armed with supplements to balance the transmitters and about 10 days later you're seeing results.

    The results and their symptoms are so specific that we were able to tell our ND which boy (they're identical twins) went with which set of results.

  10. Sorry - also - super simplistic, and you've probably already tried it, but just in case - make a game out of it. Tell her to clap twice and then do 5 jumping jacks. Then have her tell you what she's going to do. "I'm going to clap twice and then do 5 jumping jacks." Then she does it and you provide the bravado. Play this a few times a day. Then try, "Brush your teeth and wash your hands." "Yes, Mommy, I'm going to brush my teeth and wash my hands."

    Also - if she's not good with large motor coordination, what about simple aerobic dvds or wii fit - something done every day that requires her to work on coordination. I don't know if the two things are connected . . .

    Sorry - shooting in the dark here too!

  11. By the way, (because I haven't been loitering here enough this morning) you’ve been given an award. If you’re interested, you can pick it up at my blog. If not, please know that I’ve really been enjoying your blog, thank you so much!

  12.'s crazy that you post this now because we are going through an increasingly trying battle at this time with our son's attention. I always considered it ADD to go along with his TS, but maybe it is something else. The other posters had some great input on other things. The thing that really struck a cord with me was the "why can't you clean your room" thing! That is the WORST right now. I mean, after 4 years of (homeschooling and) telling him to clean his rooom every day, we had a blow-up just yesterday over it. So frustrating! And what I know is that he gets frustrated with himself over things like this. Funny thing is, it's the simple tasks that give him so much trouble, when complicated ideas, he gets! So weird. Thanks for this post! I'm going to be looking into some of the neurodevelopmental things. That just might be what we need!

  13. Brenda,Instead of spending a lot of money on testing could you just try some of the therapy technics for three months or so and see if it helps?LucyT

  14. My daughter does have an auditory processing issue. She's also been diagnosed as dyslexic (not an uncommon diagnosis for a child with auditory processing issues. Scottish Rite does free dyslexia testing and the biggest benefit to that is in the report they will give you ideas of things to work on. They also rent out or loan out curriculum that is based on the Orton Gillingham method which works really well for children with dyslexia or auditory processing issues. sells tools for therapists to use, but the general public may also purchase it. They have a money back guarantee. We have used HELP for auditory processing from them (the book). I think it was around $48. Also, we have used a computer program with great success. It's called Earobics. It's VERY good. We did therapy for this for some time and it was very helpful as well (our local school system did this for free). I would be glad to share with you what I know on the subject and what seems to have worked for us. Email me if I can be of anymore help.

  15. Could it be as uncomplicated, simple, & non titles as she is a ~dreamer~?
    Isn't that what it would of been called way back in the days?
    ...just thinking outloud ;^)

  16. add and adhd are interchangeable terms in the medical world now. there is the inattentive type, the hyperactive type (and maybe more?). a lot of what you describe is my daughter--espec the not well coordinated on gross motor (girl still has training wheels at age 10) but could draw intentionally by age 2--and continues to be quite adept at this. VERY creative.
    some add meds work and sometimes they don't. there are stimulant and non-stimulant. there are short acting and 24hr and other variations. it is not easy to diagnose and treat--but you can find ways to help her be more successful. vestibular input can be helpful--think of the tire swing we used to play on. and here are a couple books that i find especially useful--learning to slow down and pay attention by Kathleen G. Nadeau, PhD and Ellen B Dixon, PhD and Organizing the Disorganized Child by Martin L Kutscher and Marcella Moran (very eye opening!)
    hope this all helps!--stacey


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)