Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Help for a mom new to all this

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Joined: Mar 19, 2008
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Posted Mar 19, 2008 at 11:04:02 PM
Subject: Help for a mom new to all this

Hi everyone,

My son Ethan just turned 9 and is in 3rd grade. He was diagnosed today with dysgraphia, dyslexia and ADHD. The dyslexia/dysgraphia came as a huge surprise. Ethan loves to read and prefers young adult or adult fiction to most kid's stuff. He has a stellar vocabulary and chats comfortably about complex subjects with children and adults, though he can go off on some serious tangents.

As I mentioned, the ADHD was no surprise. He has no organizational skills, messy handwriting, stands up in the middle of dinner or classes without realizing he has moved, and cannot follow directions at all. You tell Ethan something he needs to do and he forgets it 10 seconds later. Then he will tell you the specs on every rocket built for the American and the Russian space programs and compare and contrast them or recite Lincoln's 2nd innaugural address which he read over and over by his own choice and thinks is "way smarter than anything any of the guys I know has ever said." The dichotomy makes my brain hurt.

His attention issues made regular IQ testing incosistant, but he was given a vocabulary based IQ that did not include spatial relationship testing and tested at a 141. He reads at a 6th grade level, and his comprehenion when being read to tests at college level.

Both his father (out of the picture for the most part) and I were classic underachievers - high IQ never performed up to perceived potential but never diagnosed with any LD. For me this meant I did not go to the top tier law school I should have but all turned out mostly okay. For his father this meant that he dropped out of his masters program before finishing his thesis and is now homeless and has not worked anything but fast food jobs or manual labor (and not much of those) for the last four years.

So...I am really afraid Ethan is going to end up with our issues. He is so brilliant but stymied by having to write a simple sentence. The therapist has given me a lot of tools for dealing with the ADHD and executive function issues, but I have no idea how to help with the dyslexia/dysgraphia. Can anyone suggest a place to start helping my gifted, funny, empathic, child who has these LDs?

Bonnie - mom to the brilliant Ethan diagnosed ADHD/dysgraphia/dyslexia

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Joined Feb 06, 2005
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Posted:Mar 20, 2008 1:15:48 AM

Hi Narshkite,
You might like to have a look at the LearningBreakthrough program website?
Basically it develops fine and gross motor skills, and what's called 'proprioception', along with balance.
As well as left/right brain coordination.


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Joined Jun 13, 2003
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Posted:Mar 20, 2008 7:03:03 AM

Go to http://millermom.proboards107.com/

Lots of parents with kids that are LD and ADHD. They will have some suggestions on programs.

Learning Disabilities (LD) and ADHD, Education Support, The*SAFE*Site http://millermom.proboards107.com

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Joined Jul 11, 2005
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Posted:Mar 20, 2008 7:57:54 AM

My dd has dysgraphia and uses a word prediction program for written work. This really helps, especially for those kids with high IQ and LD, because they can find the words they really want to use and don't get stuck with "simple" wording. It also takes out some of the frustration of having to try and "spell" a word.

You can request Assistive Technology testing from the school. There are several different programs that he could use. He might also want to try a Speech to Text program such as Dragon Naturally Speaking.

You might be interested in Visual-Spatial learners - http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Visual_Spatial_Learner/vsl.htm This site is about people with high IQs but also may have difficulties in other areas because of how they learn.


scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Joined Mar 19, 2008
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Posted:Mar 21, 2008 11:32:29 PM

Thank you for all these suggetions! I am checking it all out and will report back on how we do. Just having a starting point has made me feel far less overwhelmed by it all.

Bonnie - mom to the brilliant Ethan diagnosed ADHD/dysgraphia/dyslexia

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Joined Oct 25, 2007
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Posted:Mar 26, 2008 11:21:48 AM

You are doing a great job by Ethan. It is so awesome when a mom does what it takes to make sure their child gets what he or she needs! (Believe it or not, this is not always the case!).

Good luck!

ps. Here's a link to an article regarding improving your child's working memory. This can really help a child with ADHD stay on task.

[Modified by: mykidcanlearn on March 26, 2008 11:25 AM]

Kris www.mykidcanlearn.com A Place for parents of children with learning disabilities.

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Joined Jul 01, 2007
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Posted:Apr 08, 2008 10:10:29 AM

Also wanted to suggest www.schoolpsychologistfiles.com It has a lot of resources and a pretty active message board and good advice to parents who are new to all of this.
[Modified by: SchoolPsychErin on April 08, 2008 10:17 AM]

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Joined Aug 21, 2003
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Posted:Apr 09, 2008 1:45:06 AM


If you want to learn about Dyslexia from more than just a forum, read Sally Shaywitz's book Overcoming Dyslexia. It will give you a very good understanding of what dyslexia is, how to identify it and what programs work to help Dyslexics.

As for the Dysgraphia, there is a handwriting program called Handwriting without Tears to help your child learn to write.

I've found that my very bright dyslexic 8th grader's ability to write has improved dramatically since we've started going to a tutor who specializes in Dyslexia. He's gone from not being able to write a coherent paragraph to being able to write complete stories and book reports mostly on his own. All this in just under a year!

Good Luck. It is a difficult journey but if you find the right help you will begin to see your child blossom right before your eyes. I've seen it happen with my two dyslexic children.


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