The Struggle to Test 2e Kids

The Struggle to Test 2e Kids, yellowreadis.com Image: Blue minecraft sheep toy

We’ve had a lot of experience with testing over the years. We have gone through the gauntlet of testing many times. Each time, we were sure this was the ‘definitive’ test. After all that experience, and the benefit of hindsight, I know think there is no such thing as a definitive test. There is only the best you can get at the time.

Specialists and doctors are neither omnipotent, nor mistake free. But there are a number of things you can do to make testing for giftedness and disabilities a more useful experience.

So here are my best tips.

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Review – Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children

Text: Review - Boost 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children | yellowreadis.com Picture: Book Cover image - two stick figures climbing rainbow steps

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional* Children, by Kelly Hirt is a book for parents and teachers who want to find ways to communicate and teach kids who think differently.

In an easy to read format, it has concrete strategies to help by respecting all communication styles and putting the parent and teacher firmly in the learning seat.

By stressing the importance for adults to adapt and learn how neurodiverse kids think and communicate, I believe it will help create real and authentic learning, tailored to the needs of their children and students. 

*Twice-Exceptional (2e) children are gifted children with disabilities.
**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own! 

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Executive Functioning isn’t Magically Fixed by ‘Higher’ Behaviour Standards

 

A while ago I had a conversation with a genuinely wonderful parent who was at their wits end. Their child wouldn’t listen, the teachers kept reprimanding them for ‘doodling’ on worksheets, they never followed directions, they could finish things in minutes once they started, they were always talking…

“The only thing that works is to yell at them.” They finally said, with a sigh.

I understood. You see I was that child. Bright, but scattered; gifted, with executive functioning issues (in my case, undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD).

Text: Executive Functioning isn’t Magically Fixed by ‘Higher’ Behaviour Standards | YellowReadis.com Image: Sticky notes on cork board reads "Make ThingsHappen

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Homeschool Writing Problems and Solutions:

Image: Pencil and sharpener resting on white notebook. Text: Homeschool Writing: Problems and Solutions

Writing can be hard. Encouraging kids to write can some days feel like pulling teeth out with tweezers. But often in these situations, it’s good to remember that kids will do well if they can – and often the reason they can’t is that something is getting in the way of creating those awesome you-have-to-listen-to-this-mum stories that kids seem to always have  bubbling away in their heads. 

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“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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Living in Extracurricular Purgatory

Picture via Pixabay. Desc. Image "Sad women on bench in tiled room." Text "Living in Extracurricular Purgatory"

When, all those years ago, we decided that homeschooling was the right choice for our deeply asynchronous children, I kind of hoped that this would mean an escape from age-based norms and expectations. We would be free to craft the curriculum and activities that ‘fit’ our kids without the limitations that came with the age-grade lockstep that is the traditional way schools organise learning.

Gosh was I naive.

Because, whether I like it or not, almost anything to do with children is organised based on these traditional age-grade levels. Finding places that ‘fit’ my kids and their very different needs has been like ground-hog day. Reliving the same situations over and over again, with only the surface details changing.  And each time feels like another walk through extracurricular purgatory. . .
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Is My Gifted Child Autistic?

Staring Child
 
I’ve done lots of reading, I’ve looked at the standard definitions, I listened to the niggles and ‘problems’ that different people  – my GP, a friend, my child’s teacher etc. have mentioned. I know my child’s quirky . . . But, is my gifted child autistic?
It’s a question almost every parent of gifted kids I have ever talked to has brought up at one time or another (particularly the parents of highly to profoundly gifted children). And though it seems there should be an easy answer to this question – a quick test, a definitive way of putting a yes or no to this question, the answer is actually much, much more complicated.
Having travelled down this rabbit-hole for a long while now, I’d like take you on a trip into the world of giftedness and autism.