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

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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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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. . .
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2e in the Family – Loving the Alien in Us

One of the first things that you read about when you start to learn about what it means to be neurologically different, is that it can feel like being an alien, the veritable ‘Stranger in a Strange Land‘.

In our family, it was both a shock and a relief to realise that when we were looking for answers to why our children were developing outside of the box that we were also finding the answers for ourselves as well.
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Those 2e Crazy-Eggs Just Keep On Popping Up

You know, when I started this parenting gig, I didn’t really know a lot – hell, what parent does? There’s been highs and lows – the highs are really really high, the lows . . . let’s just say that the Mariana Trench has a lot going for it.

But somewhere along the line, I kind of got the impression that if my kids were hitting the milestones at roughly the right time, “all was well”. (The right time, of course was statistically figured out with a bell curve. They’re really neat and rather mathematically beautiful. I actually like them, as an idea).

Somewhere, in the depths of over eight years of crazy, the bit of my brain that used to sigh with relief when my kids hit those milestones exactly on time got rewritten. Now, when a nurse or doctor assures me that something is perfectly normal, just what they expected of child brain/body/whatever development, I go into full-fledged panic mode. Even though the maths part of my brain keeps reassuring me that my kids have to fall inside the middle of the bell curve for some things, another, perhaps more realistic part of my brain will go “you keep believing that if you like, buster, but I’ll be over here locking myself in the panic room.”
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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”

Keeping Balanced: Promoting Health and Wellness in the Gifted/2E Child


This topic is close to my heart, because it is something we deal with in this house everyday. As I have talked about before, both my kids have LDs. My son has SPD and ideopathic toe walking (plus another unknown disability we’re going through the wringer to get diagnosed). My daughter has anxiety disorder – she gets stressed and then is unable to feel pain – which causes her to be a sensory seeker – she likes throwing herself onto the floor for the bump. I cried the first time she complained about a minor injury. Because it was a big deal – it meant that she was able to feel it, and therapy was working.

So today I’m going to talk about how we incorporate strategies into our day to keep everyone on an even keel. Some of these are for the disabilities, some for the OEs. They all help.
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