“But They Only Want to Play Games!”

But They Only Want to Play Games, yellowreadis.com | Picture: Minecraft character in black and red on wooden platform looking directly at camera

It’s the perennial question – are they really learning? This can be particularly acute when your kids seem to spend all day playing computer games (or horror – watching other people on YouTube play games).

This is our reality at the moment. Of course, I have been knocked around with a lovely infection, so there has been a tad less guidance than usual ( and thank goodness for antibiotics!)

But despite this, there are a number of things that we have done to actually aide, encourage and help our kids learn the things we think they need to learn while immersed in their ‘everything is a game‘ world.

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A Matter of Perspective

I still remember the moment I realised my son was Autistic. We were walking down a leafy, tree-lined street and my son asked me,

“Mummy, how can you tell what people are feeling?”

As I explained how I knew based on how people’s faces and bodies moved, I watched my son’s expression – it was shocked surprise. The idea that most people could just tell by looking at each other came as utterly mind-bending. It was like Valentine Michael Smith from ‘Stranger in a Strange Land‘ learning about the alien customs of Earthlings that he resembled, but did not grok.

That conversation changed everything.

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Book Review – Writing Your Own Script


As parents, we may really want to believe the common wisdom that if we place our children in a typical childhood setting, “They will be fine.”  It can be difficult to separate what others say and what we believe to be true. As parents, we don’t always trust our own instinct. We should.’

 
Finding practical ways to help people understand and work with your neuro – atypical children can be hard. Even when you understand what your child needs to thrive, how do you go about convincing others? I found Corin Barsily Goodwin and Mika Gustavson’s new book “Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Social Development”, helped me to understand that journey into the unknown.

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Becoming a Sensory Detective

 

Whether your child has Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, or is Gifted/2e with mild to extreme OEs, dealing with sensory issues is going to be a part of life. But as a parent of a child with a different sensory profile, it can be difficult to understand why they are having problems, and it is also equally difficult to figure out what is causing the problems.

My own journey to becoming a sensory detective has taken time, observation and patience. It’s not easy understanding where the problem is when I can’t see, smell, touch, taste, or hear the same way as my children. One thing that helped me get my head around this idea was flowers. Yes, flowers. Continue reading “Becoming a Sensory Detective”

Life Changing … Not Life Destroying

There’s a funny thing that happens with medical practitioners when labels change. A thing that took me by surprise, and not in a good way.

You see, in the last few weeks, I have had the very strange experience of being subjected to what I will call ‘shallow caring’. This is a strange phenomena where medical people metaphorically put their hand on my shoulder and imply that I am living a life that must be difficult, impossible and life destroying. It’s a strange and slightly humorous situation that always seems to end with the suggestion that my children would be far better off with professionals (read teachers) taking some of the ‘burden’ of raising my children.

But I think the part of this that I find most amusingly irritating, is that some of these are the same professionals with whom I have had to previously work hard at convincing that my children actually needed help. The difference? Labels, not behaviours. Continue reading “Life Changing … Not Life Destroying”

Homeschooling My Gifted Kid, Part 3: The Twice Exceptional Wrinkle

In this third part on our convoluted journey to homeschooling, I’d like to talk about what twice exceptional means – and a bit about what it feels like to parent such kids!

This is not meant to be a definitive guide for people trying to discover more about twice exceptional kids. This is just our personal journey, and a few of the curious signposts along the way.


What is Twice Exceptional?

Twice exceptional refers to kids who are gifted and disabled. It can be a physical disability, but more commonly refers to an ‘invisible’ disability, e.g. autism spectrum disorder (ASD), aspergersdyslexiadysgraphia, dyscalulia, dyspraxia, SPD, ADHD, bipolar disorder and many many others. In many ways, it’s like they’re going out to bat and can only score 0’s or 6’s. There’s no nice, safe middle ground. It’s a wild ride honey.

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