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Homeschooling Twice Exceptional Children notify me

I do not know what to believe.

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Sasha Z
Mt.Vernon, KY
1/30/2009
Hello, I really hope you guys can help me get my head around this.

Our 2yod son has multiple health problems. In addition to other specialist in direct relation to his physical health he also attends occupational therapy (O.T.) and Speech therapy 2 times a week. They just recently added the speech and moved it from once a week to twice a week. He has major sensory problems which can make for loooong days. I have been looking online for some of the learning/therapy tools that they use with him to purchase for at home use and have been looking for books to help me help him with his speech delays and sensory problems. During my research over and over again the terms ADHD and Asperger's kept turning up. So today at therapy I asked the therapist if she was leaning towards a diagnoses. She said yes but they needed to keep evaluating him for a while yet to be sure. I asked what and her answer shocked me. She said that they were leaning towards him having problems because he is highly intelligent. WHAT???!!!! I am so confused now. High intelligence can cause speech and motor delays? How in the world do you deem high intelligence in a 2 year old? Don't get me wrong that was great news especially since I was prepared for a VERY different answer, I just dont think I agree. What do you all think? Have you heard of something like this before?

Oh, and for how this applies to homeschooling, we have several other children and have been homeschooling for 7 years. One of our other children would also fall in the gifted category so I found this sight while looking for things for her.


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Karen C
Pleasant Lake, MI
2/6/2009
Hi- -My knowledge in this area is limited, but I can say that a great deal of what I have read and learned is about being gifted doesn't mean gifted in everything. A child can be gifted in math and have difficulty in reading.

I also know that some gifted children are late talkers and that one factor that comes into play is that gifted children (where ever gifted) are thinking- -ALOT. Sometimes, they think so much that something else can appear delayed.

If the person evaluating your child thinks this, then consider it for now.

If it makes any difference, my brother is highly gifted. He's an engineer and often speaks in phrases that hesitate between. It is obvious that he is thinking about many things at once (divergent thinker). It may also help to know that my mother was very worried about him when he barely talked at ages 1 and 2. My oldest sister was a gabby kid and talked for him! When he started talking at age 3, he immediately spoke in sentences.

Hang in there. Your child is two and young. You are wise to care enough to explore what is going on. Keep using websites and others. It is very possible that your child is gifted

Karen C.
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Jennafer J
mohnton, PA
7/30/2010
Einstein didn't talk until he was 4, and look at all that he has done!
I personally don't know much about recent speech delay problems and intelligence, but I suppose with the above fact in mind, it's very possible!
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Aimee W
Carmel, IN
8/22/2010
Ask your OT about Sensory Processing Dysfunction. It is a separate diagnosis from Autism or ADD but can mimic or be comorbid with those two disorders. My son was diagnosed with SPD at age three and sounds much like your son.

Some studies have shown that a higher percentage of gifted children have SPD than the average intelligence population. Being gifted and/or having a sensory issue provides unique parenting opportunities for you. You will need to champion your child's development opportunities and schooling as their needs are inherently different than the "average" child.

I am looking into homeschooling to supplement my son's Pre-K class. He is already spelling, beginning to read, and can add and subtract at age four. But he has difficulty focusing, following through on a task, has lack of body and spacial awareness, and a little social awkwardness. I want him to be in a social environment to strengthen his skills in that area but he requires learning at a different level than Pre-K. So I'm trying to find that right balance for him.

I hope this helps. Check out http://www.spdfoundation.net/about-sensory-processing-disorder.html for more info.

Aimee
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Donna S
Dover, FL
9/7/2010
My son has auditory processing disorder which is different from what you are describing, but our speech therapist used a lot of resources from a company called, "Super Duper". They might have some resources for you.
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vicki s
miami, Fl
10/16/2010
I am a special ed teacher with 35 years experience. I moved overseas after retiring where I have an ed consult business. Let me try to give you an answer. A child can indeed have a great deal of inteeligence and still have motor and speech problems. Children who have cerebal palsy can be highly intelligent but have weak motor and speech skills. I know you want a diagnosis but please understand that obtaining a valid diagnosis can be very difficult to achieve with a young child. Your child is simply too young to be diagnosed ADD or Aspergers. Instead of concentratng on a diagnosis your best bet to help your child at this stage is to provide him with as much Early Childhood Intervention as possible. It is at this young age where professionals can make the most difference and build a strong foundation for continued learning. By Federal Law your child is entitled to Early Childhood Services in the Public Schools when he is 3. Take advantage of those services. That is where you will find some of the best trained and knowledgeable professionals in your area. Be the kind of parent this is willing to work as part of a team and you will be able to accomplish a great deal for your child. Bestof luck.
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Aimee K
St. Clair Shores, MI
9/8/2011
My son has multiple sensory issues. His are flexiability and endurance along with sensory motor taste and touch. It is typical for others like my son to have speach problems, we did not face this issue. However, he is complicated when it comes to foods. He also has a high functioning form of CP. YOUR CAN NOT TELL there is anything different with my son in the way he looks or acts. He is doing great.

You are not far off in my opinion when you lean towards Asp / Autism. Many gifted children fall into this catagory. I worked in a Special Needs Classroom for 5 years, I have worked extensively with the LOVASS behavior modification program with children age 2 through 5 years of age in homes as a therapist/coordinator of learning. Many of the parents I met thought the worst, had no idea how to handle what was in front of them, and did not see anything really special just a huge frustration.

Patience is difficult, consistancy is essential, guidlines and encouraged, and baby steps towards a goals are awesome. Take one day at a time and if you make a rule or schedule stick with it. They definatly respond to some structure in their day and what to expect.

EVERY child is so different and they deserve to be treated as individuals.

We chose to homeschool our son when we say him stagnating and even being left out at school. Academically he was top in his class and physically he was last in his class. We did have him in private school because we new he needed to be challenged academically. His math aptitude is great and his ability to read is outstanding. The rest is a big project.

Homeschooling and finding this curriculum has helped him so much. We have his socalize through PE type classes (Swimming, gymnastic, tennis, and golf) where he has structure, helps his large motor skills, and he get's to be around kids the same age and skill level. We also have joined a couple of homeschool socialization groups and many of the parents I have met face relatable or they can at least rationalize what we are faced with.

My son is doing great and making strides daily, monthly, and yearly. His social skills have improved dramatically since he does not have to compete all the time physically in the traditional school setting. He competes while doing sports for a one hour period then he can rest so his body does not hurt.

Stick to your gut. No one knows your child better than you and no diagnosis can change your love. There is no such thing as normal only what society at any given time and point perceives as normal. Thinkinbg outside the box helps a lot.

As for tools. Talk with your child - slow down and work on words and sounds, life needs to be relaxed but have some structure. Your home is their sanctuary. Surprises do not work out well. Talk about things ahead of time. FLASH cards can be fun, number games, puzzles, things that don't stress the sensory motor skills of speach, taste, and touch.

You are not alone and it does/can get better.

Blessings to you and your family!

The Kilchers
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Lauralei C
Abilene, TX
6/30/2012
Hi, Your therapist is correct when she says that your son it too young to give a diagnosis. It sounds like you son has many characteristics of a child on the autism spectrum. Aspergers, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Autism is a spectrum disorder so each child will have varying degrees of symptoms. In addition to this, your child can also be a gifted learner. It is what is called, twice exceptional. If you look up a comparison chart for a gifted learner and a child with aspergers, the similarities are very interesting. Here is an article I found.... http://suite101.com/article/highly-gifted-aspergers-or-twice-exceptional-a71678

It is hard to say what can help you at this point but it sounds like you are doing all you can. Try to get some respite if you can. Find a friend or family member that can help with your son so you can get a break. You are doing the right thing by searching and I believe an answer will come. Just love him to pieces because these days will pass like a blink of the eye and when you look back at those pictures of him, you will not see a child with issues, but a child that you loved so much. You know that song, by the Beatles, All You Need is LOVE, well, ain't that the truth! LOL!

In the mean time.... some practical solutions you might consider,

1. Use visual cues whenever possible to communicate with your son - pictures explaining any change in routine as well as daily schedules. (Get A hold of a copy of Blues big music show, they use a checklist as they go throughout the episode. My son loved this and wanted us to write check lists all the time after watching this. If only we had known! He was 2)

2. Children on the spectrum thrive on predictability. This will not always eliminated unexpected tantrums but it will over time cause them to begin to fade.

3. Explain everything, especially social interactions until you are blue in the face. Teach your other children how to interact with your child so that they can become more compassionate. Siblings can be a great resource for helping these kiddos grow and learn socially.

4. Patience, patience, patience!

5. Consider reading up on eliminating food coloring from your child's diet as some of these will exaggerate your child's sensory issues.

I hope the best for you. If you have any questions fell free to ask. Hope things are better.
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Laurie B
Walker, LA
7/1/2012
I have two boys with Aspergers, and we are in therapy 3 times a week and have been for the last 4years. Therapists are not suppose to diagnose ! For a proper diagnosis you need to see a neurologist or a developmental pediatrician. Two year olds can get a diagnosis and it might be important depending on your insurance. There are some really good group language preschools geared for kids on the spectrum. Even if a child has no speech you should always assume intelligence. I was told through testing at the public school that my youngest son was mentally retarded when he was 31/2. Now that he is speaking and could be tested again we now know he is far above average. Many kids are twice exceptional meaning they could be gifted yet disabled. My boys have very few problems any more. I know it has a lot to do with the constant therapy we've done, it was worth every second. But I also know homeschool has helped tremendously! I wish the best! And remember all things are possible.
Laurie
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Carolyn L
San Leandro, CA
9/2/2016
I have three boys on the spectrum. One was never officially diagnosed because he is 22yrs old and they didn't know much. They just said he had bipolar or something like that. His life has been very challenging.

My 2nd son was diagnosed around 2yrs and my third child 19 months. I say take the diagnosis just for the services but don't stress over it. You get the most services with an autism diagnosis. Otherwise it is a fight to get anything.

I am not convinced that the third one has autism but definitely some kind of expressive speech delay that required us to learn sign language to communicate with him. Once learning that the head banging and biting stopped.

My second one is high functioning autism and adhd. He is so so bright. His vocabulary is like a little professor but he still has issues with sequencing like what happens before and after some event. He struggles with reading, maybe has dyslexia with reversals. He struggles with just basic social skills such as when someone says hello to you, you need to say hello back. I'm just glad he stopped lining things up and throwing him self off high places such as the stairs or off the van. He has high sensory need to be in midflight. We solved that by putting a swing in the house and a trampoline. But he is always findings ways to endanger himself and others. My oldest son is a lot like him.
My 2nd child is a daughter and had hyperlexia. She could read by herself at age 2. I never taught her a thing. I caught her reading Tom Clancy and Stephen King books at 4yrs and Newsweek article on 9/11 and asking appropriate questions. Very bright!! SHe also had selective mutism till she was 8-9 where she hardly spoke to anyone but the family. When she approached middle school and adolescence things became really difficult. SHe was not able to discern what was appropriate or not or who she should listen to or not or who was taking advantage of her or not. SHe is paying the consequences of all this now.

I have a friend who has a brilliant son age 6 who can spew off math puzzles and science facts far above age range yet he can't play with much except for fingering string much of the day. He has a hard time making friends. He is so brilliant but yet would not survive in a regular school playground. He would be bullied endlessly or just hiding to himself.

So my take home at this point, get all the therapy you can get as soon as possible: ABA, speech, OT, group speech
Give your kid the best leg up and eventually they may not need it anymore. I have not seen any harm by these therapies as many of it is just good old fashion play and extra interaction which is good for a busy homeschool mom with many kids to keep track of.

I have seen my younger ones make tremendous strides compared to my older ones. I see a brighter future for my younger ones than my older ones. I homeschooled my older ones up until my oldest was 10yrs old. My younger ones, I will never send to school if I can help it.