Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!



An astronaut and Princess Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy prepare to go trick-or-treating.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Helicoptering

I think I must be a bad person. Because I read this and all I could think of is why a 26 year old woman with a good job, who had interviewed the Vice President of the United States, still needed her mommy to make sure she got up in time to go to work.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Realization

Over the past few days I've been researching online about various sensory processing and communication disorders as part of preparing myself for addressing my son's needs. The school set up a "pre-meeting" to decide on which evaluations to do.

Of course, being me, I've already figured some stuff out (or think I have). I was reading the NY Times' very valuable Lessons Plan blog and found this post on kids who repeat their favorite words and phrases. My son does this, so I started using a lot of the terms/concepts from that post and doing research, and I came across the syndrome of hyperlexia.

Lightbulbs flashed all over the place.

Not only do I think Eric has hyperlexia, but *I* have/had it. I was reading by my third birthday. My mother helped me along, but I was self-taught. I have always needed to understand the world through words/language, which is partially why I love the Internet so much. I have always had an outstanding memory. I have poor auditory processing; I hate podcasts and BloggingHeadsTV and stuff like that. I will read a transcript over watching a newscast or interview any day.

The difference, my mother thinks (I called her yesterday and expounded on my theory, getting lots of confirmation of my childhood behaviors), is that I was a very social child. Most hyperlexic children tend to be boys; I wonder if the difference is that I am female and thus socially conditioned to be empathetic and social.

Anyway, it's been incredibly illuminating for me, though it makes me a little sad. Here I thought I was gifted, but maybe I was high-functioning autistic instead. On the other hand, I think I'm assigning too much negativity to the term "autism." And I think maybe the problem with the "growth" of autism today is not that there is more of it but that we recognize it more as a result of our greater sensitivity to individualizing children's education.

More as my thoughts develop. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Time to Evaluate

So, today I heard what I thought I'd hear some day this year. I heard from my son's teacher that she thinks he could use an evaluation and that some of his behaviors are odd and not within the norm of 6-7-year-old behavior.

Whatever is going on is very likely not a huge problem, but it's enough to (and I'm sorry to say it this way, but I'm sure you understand) make for a lot of work. My husband isn't really skilled at dealing with this sort of thing, so it's up to me. But it's time-consuming.

I've spent most of my afternoon and evening reading/researching various OTs and psychologists, trying to figure out where to bring him for an evaluation. (He's had an evaluation once before, but I was underwhelmed by the psychologist we saw.) I have to call the OT at the school to have him observed/evaluated, as well. And I have to choose one of the many doctors/OTs/whatevers to evaluate him. (Note: the first eval was done by a psychologist my pedi recommended, so I've exhausted that easier avenue of research.)

Part of me resists because I don't want to overreact. I hate the idea of being a helicopter parent. I don't think kids should be perfectly clean, perfectly behaved angels all the time. However, I haven't really been exposed to many 6 year old boys; I came from a family of girls. Is there a gender difference? I don't know. People keep saying to me "Well, boys are different." I've always suspected that maybe it's my son who's different.

Meanwhile, I have a community service project I'm managing this term, a presentation on social media to give next week, an online course to develop to start the last week of November, and a conference presentation to give in 3.5 weeks. *sigh* I have no time for this!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Parenting and Pedagogy

Repost of my article on how becoming a parent has changed me as a teacher.