Top Posts of 2018

It’s been a long year here.

As with all years, there are good and bad things that happened; Some big and minor crises, and so many adventures and misadventures. 2018 has been a wild ride. 

One of the massive good things has been my fellowship with Writers Victoria. It’s been fantastic to work with the wonderful people there in the Write-Ability team, and I am thoroughly enjoying it – with the usual caveats for my own anxiety, imposter syndrome and general ADHD-ness which always adds interesting flavours to anything.

So, there has been, as usual, a lot of work happening behind the scenes, which I will hopefully I be able to share with you all soon.

In the meantime, here are the top posts at Yellow Readis for the year.

Top Posts of 2018 | yellowreadis.com
Image: Black and white picture of exercise book with pen, and jar with rosemary.

Top Posts for 2018


ADHD and Giftedness: It’s Complicated

For gifted ADHD kids, their hyperactivity is in their brain – not their body. So they may never get referred for testing.

This goes doubly for ADHD girls. I was in my late 30s before I was diagnosed. And that only happened after both of my kids were diagnosed first!


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

 For a gifted ADHD brain, the doing is the easy part – the starting is the mountain. And though the talking may pause, the inner monologue never, ever stops.


Twice-Exceptional in Plain Sight: We Missed it.

Eventually we realised the simple truth: Twice-exceptional parents have twice-exceptional kids. And quirky people like hanging out with other quirky people.

We are what we are.

We didn’t miss it because we were terrible parents. We missed it because our kids . . . are just like us.


ADHD and Giftedness: Strategies That Work

There are strategies that work for gifted kids. There are strategies that work for ADHD kids. But sometimes, it’s not an easy copy/paste to find learning strategies for gifted ADHD kids.


Best Books for Parents of Highly Gifted+ Kids

If you are a parent who has been plunged off the deep end, I think these books can really make a difference. I know many of them helped me a lot. And some I wish I had found a lot earlier.

Honourable Mentions from 2017

Honourable Mentions ( Top Posts ) from 2017 | yellowreadis.com
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And some honourable mentions from 2017 as well, as I didn’t do a best-of post last year! Yes, we have had more than a year of chaos and weirdness. Also: organising, it’s not my strength.

Gifted Vs. Gifted 

I think it is vitally important to understand exactly what we are talking about when we talk about gifted kids.

Before we can make decisions on what to do about helping gifted kids, 
we need to understand exactly which group of kids we are talking about. We’ll have the same circular arguments again, and again, if we don’t. We’ll fling facts, not listen and get nowhere.

Teaching a Child Who Won’t Be Taught 

Today, I’m going to talk about a few of the strategies I use to create a welcoming learning environment that steers my kids in the direction they need to go, without explicitly ‘teaching’ them.

Advantages of Minimalism for Executive Functioning

Due to  ADHD, the kids and I all have trouble concentrating . Things are very distracting, whether it’s mirrors, paintings,  or seeing toys and clutter.

As we were homeschooling, finding a spot where I and the kids could concentrate was a high priority. Minimalism gave us a framework for figuring out how to do that.
 

And that’s a wrap!

Hoping everyone has a wonderful, peaceful and not-too-stressful holiday break. And then it is onward to 2019 . . . for better or worse. I’m crossing my fingers for better!

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.

Continue reading “The Struggle to Test 2e Kids”

Stages Towards Homeschooling for Gifted/2e Families

Text: Stages Towards Homeschooling for Gifted/2e Families, yellowreadis.com Image: Textas in a cup

Today, I am going to talk about the stages of disengagement from the education system* that I have witnessed over the years.

Now, I am not an expert, nor am I a teacher. In fact, I am one of those rare things – a parent of twice-exceptional children who has never had to sit through an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or  ILP (Individual Learning Plan) meeting.

But I do volunteer as a contact for families who are in trouble. After more than 100 emails, phone calls and chatting in person, I have a pretty up front and personal view of exactly how these go wrong.

Actually it’s probably far more than 100, but I lost count once it hit triple digits.

I would love to say that each situation is different and unique. That it does not follow any kind of pattern and is always just the intersection of a set of unusual circumstances. But I can’t.

So, what are the stages?

Continue reading “Stages Towards Homeschooling for Gifted/2e Families”

Review: Making Child Prodigies

This is  a (rather rambling) review of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s new show, “Making Child Prodigies ” which aired this week.

Text: Review - Making Child Prodigies Image: Used paint brushes in a clay pot

“Making Child Prodigies” follows a number of families and charts their struggles, triumphs and life. It is (thankfully) very different from the “Child Genius” series.  It also seems, at least from episode 1, to be more interested in understanding the lives of the families, rather than playing to stereotypes, which is nice.

NB. I am aware that this show may be hard to access for non-Australian viewers, but Gizmodo describes one option here. You can also see clips here, here, here and here.

Continue reading “Review: Making Child Prodigies”

Living in Extracurricular Purgatory

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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. . .
Continue reading “Living in Extracurricular Purgatory”

Preparing for College; Preparing for Crazy

Sometimes, it feels like I’m trapped inside a B-Grade Hollywood movie. The director is at the side is yelling, “More drama! We need a rewrite here! There’s not enough punch to this story.

The punches keep rolling in, and I feel a little bit like a punch-drunk ninja. My children went from crazy accelerated to crazy-crazy accelerated. (How my eldest managed to skip me noticing that he had learned about 2-3 years worth of maths during our ‘down’ time was the one punch. The two punch was adding yet another acronym to the growing list of family illnesses / chronic conditions / neurological differences / genetic variations / eh, I’m giving up, why don’t we call ’em Steves?)
Continue reading “Preparing for College; Preparing for Crazy”

Gifted and 2e: An Exceptionally Different Road

It can be easy to think of exceptions as things that need to be fixed, to treat difference as something that needs to be shoved back into the box (even while we laud the idea of individuality). But living with my fantastic twice exceptional little tribe has taught me a very valuable lesson: there is no path. There is no right way to do anything, and the exception can be just as beautiful and amazing as the more familiar way. Continue reading “Gifted and 2e: An Exceptionally Different Road”

Playing to the Positives

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of only thinking about the negatives. I do it. In fact, it runs in my family – anxiety is a fact of life for more than one generation. But today, I want to talk about the positives. It’s easy to talk about the positives and negatives of my family’s special needs, and it is also easy to talk about the negatives of giftedness. It’s even marginally socially acceptable. But today I’m breaking the mould. I am going to talk about the positives of being a gifted family. Because without talking about those ‘oh wow!‘ moments, it’s hard to understand why being gifted is so different from the norm. Today I’m being brave. So here we go. Continue reading “Playing to the Positives”