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).
Continue reading “Executive Functioning isn’t Magically Fixed by ‘Higher’ Behaviour Standards”
When did we first realise our kids were gifted and disabled (Twice-exceptional)? Well, frankly, for a long time, we didn’t.
Continue reading “Twice-Exceptional in Plain Sight: We Missed it.”
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.
So what could be stopping them? Here are a few common problems:
Continue reading “Homeschool Writing Problems and Solutions:”
If there is one thing my life has hammered into me over and over again, it’s that with twice-exceptional children, their struggles and abilities can be hidden in plain sight. It has certainly been the case for us. Again, and again, and again. For us, hitting a developmental milestone on time has become not a sigh of relief, but a 10 metre high red flag.
Continue reading “The Twice-Exceptional Child: Hidden in Plain Sight I”
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.
Continue reading ““But They Only Want to Play Games!””
How to educate a child who won’t be taught? It’s not a question I thought I’d ever need to answer, but life (and my daughter) decided this was the path we needed to follow.
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.
Continue reading “Teaching a Child Who Won’t Be Taught”
What do we mean when we say gifted? It seems a simple question.
See, the first thing anyone notices about giftedness is the wildly different definitions. Is it medical? Psychological? Educational? Gifted changes from country to country, district to district and even school to school. It’s head-scratchingly confusing. It doesn’t make sense…and it’s easy to ask, “Is gifted even real? Is it all made up?” Continue reading “Gifted vs Gifted”
For the next few days, instead of doing my usual will-I-survive-the-day routine, I’m at the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children Conference in Sydney!
I have given up wandering around our typical haunts, and I’m getting lost on the University of NSW’s campus instead. Hopefully I’ll find the conference location. It’s going to be a lot of fun – and I’m a little excited (and nervous).
Continue reading “I’m at THE Conference!”
In many ways, minimalism and creating a welcoming, calm environment for children (and their parents) with executive functioning issues go hand in hand.
Here are a few ways minimalism has helped our family.
Continue reading “Advantages of Minimalism for Executive Functioning”
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.
Continue reading “A Matter of Perspective”