Thursday, October 4, 2012


The last two weeks we have been working quite extensively with Anthony on his studying.  I am talking about hours of studying that should only take maybe 30 minutes.  It has made me rethink about what we are dealing with.

While we were living in Texas it was determined that Anthony had moderate expressive and receptive language delays. (If you haven't been reading long, Anthony was not spoken to at all until he came into care at the age of 2 1/2 and we dealt with a lot of language issues.) 

Just the next year we moved to South Carolina and at the end of the school year they tested him and said that he was fine with his expressive and receptive language and no longer needed services. I remember at the time thinking that was a pretty amazing difference from moderate to no problems in one year.

Now that I have been working with him I can see that he still has severe receptive delays. Working hours to get him to understand a few facts is a struggle.  We have been saying that he is unmotivated, lazy and defiant.  Although he does have some of those issues, I haven't seen those in the last week when he has been trying to maintain the good grades he achieved the week before.

This little line in this written piece caught my attention:

"Inconsistent performances are one of the most common characteristics of

auditory and/or language processing difficulties, so individuals may often be

perceived as unmotivated, lazy, over-dependent, pragmatically awkward, or


Ahhh, I feel that is describing Anthony.

Of course all of this came to me this afternoon when I decided to lay down for a minute.  No rest for the weary. 

I called Anthony's teacher to talk to her about this. First I asked her how his med changes were working. She said that she could see a difference in him both with the ADHD and mood changes. She was amazed at how much his grades have improved. I told her that they were hard won as we have studied for hours to get them. I also told her that he had to be retaught everything and then the facts were repeated over and over. Then we made cards. Then we went over them again. After the first week when he got good grades I could see that he was trying to get more. He appeared unmotivated and lazy but was in fact struggling to understand. I told her that he had been Dx'd with receptive language disorder in TX and then it was dismissed when we moved here. I also told her that I wanted to revisit it and that I would bring it up in our next meeting we have scheduled. Then I asked her to watch to see if she sees times where she might think he doesn't understand, times when she might have thought he was being defiant or lazy and unmotivated. There was silence and then she had an aha moment. She said that when put that way she has seen where she gives the class instruction and he just sits there like she didn't say anything. She has to go up to him and repeat herself to him.  She is going to watch from a different point of view and document for me.
Then I decided to look for his testing in Texas and South Carolina.  Funny, the testing was sitting right on top of some papers waiting to be filed.  (Yes, my filing is that far behind).  Now I just need to find that scrap piece of paper where I wrote downt he time for our next meeting and I am set.
In my heart I feel that this is part of his problem.  I have to wonder if his lack of motivation is because he just doesn't understand.  Either way, it is something I feel that I need to investigate further.
Yes, my kids make me constantly rethinking things. 


  1. I was talking with some of my friends today about labels. One friend has a son who was just diagnosed with autism. Another friend and I both have children who struggle with ADHD. One of my kids has sensory integration disorder. Yet another friend has a son with severely impaired vision. On one hand, you hate to put these labels on your kids, for fear it will limit them. On the other hand, the labels can be tremendously freeing. Having the label gives you direction as you seek to understand your child and meet his or her needs. It gives you the "why" behind some baffling behavior. I REALLY hope Anthony's teacher's observations line up with your suspicions. That way he can get the help he needs, and maybe school won't be so frustrating for him (and you).

  2. You know we're with you on this stuff :( But, even when we got the teacher to see this stuff, things didn't exactly start to happen until I went straight to the special services people and asked for help. I'm not sure how a parent is really suppose to initiate services...but I was surprised on how many more options there were known by the special services folks then the teachers/principals....I figured the school staff would know enough to get the appropriate balls rolling...but I think it took the balls coming from the other direction to get us anywhere. Have you ever initiated a neuropsych eval (the school wouldn't do that but it certainly covers lot of academic, as well as brain function topics)? Our insurance did cover it at the children's hospital. Have you thought about the speech/lang and/or auditory processing there also? It's a pain to haul them everywhere and go through all the pre-screens, pre-pre-screens, etc...but we are at least FINALLY getting some answers in getting all these done! Our schools will take recommendations from these if done within 6 months of when we are asking them to.

  3. I think that I will address this more in another post. Early neglect has such terrible lifelong effects. Add mental illness and it is doubly difficult to address.

  4. Difference2This1 in my state you write to the school that you are requesting a full evaluation for your child. You date the letter. The state law requires that the school respond to you within a certain number of days (I can't remember if it was 30 days or 60 days) and they set up a "child study" meeting. At that meeting you have to come in prepared to advocate for your child. Old homework, notes from teachers, any tests you have that show the student is capable of better/higher work than what they are currently doing, any specialists that have an interest in your child - all of those are helpful for that meeting. At that meeting they decide whether or not to test the child. Testing occurs, and in my state that involves a variety of things, and then you have another meeting, this time to determine whether or not the child qualifies for services. Depending on your county that may or may not be difficult. I fought like heck for my oldest and left that meeting literally shaking and sweating, but she got the services she needed. The upswing of services is that intervention helps tremendously and depending on the severity of the need, having intervention can teach compensation techniques that will allow the child to succeed.