Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Adventures in parenting

Yesterday, I got the kids up at the usual time.  Got everybody hustled around, got sat down and started to work, and got hit with a nasty headache (got one starting now, too, damn it).  Got back up, got something to eat warmed up so that I could take something for said headache, and the phone rang.  It was the kids' school (and about 10:00 a.m.). 

The pixie had been hopping down the stairs on the bleachers in the gym before school, and had fallen.  She'd bumped her head a bit (no signs of concussion--they really need to check their bleachers for damage caused by her hard little head), and hurt her arm.  She tried really hard to power through, but by 10:00 a.m., it was becoming impossible for her to keep trying and writing.  It hurt too much. 

Yes, I went and got her.  She had a nasty, deep bruise starting to form on the outside of her hand, between her pinkie and wrist.  I gave her some Tylenol, and lunch.  And then I watched her for the day.  She did some of her work, but didn't get all of it done because her hand and wrist started hurting worse after the Tylenol started wearing off. 

So I sent her to urgent care with her daddy.  I probably should have taken her earlier, but I really thought the bruise on the hand was the extent of it. 

She's in a brace today.  The doc on call (was an asshole) said that it was likely a sprain, and he didn't see a break in the x-ray, but the radiologist would double check him.  He also upset the pixie and scared her half to death with a long monologue of everything that it could be, complete with complications, and a lack of concern for how a not-quite-eight-year-old girl would be able to mostly understand him, and be upset by his words and attitude. 

She went to bed at her usual time last night, but woke up after about an hour, unable to sleep because the brace was uncomfortable.  She tried for about an hour and a half to go back to sleep without any success, so I gave her some Benedryl, as much for the congestion and sniffles as anything.  But by that time, it was 9:30. 

We were slow getting around today.  And I don't know how her day's going. 

The imp...has been his normal, spazzy self.  And we think he may have a learning disability related to writing.  We already know about the ADHD and the difficulty paying attention to details, but that there was another disability that may be at work was a little bit of a surprise. 

About halfway through last year, his spelling grades tanked.  Seriously tanked.  As in: he was spelling the words correctly to me verbally, but was getting 70% and lower on tests.  Stupid mistakes, leaving out letters as he was writing words, writing too big and illegibly...the teacher adapted his spelling tests, and his grades came up. 

This year, there was no grace period.  No point at which his spelling was doing well.  We've had two tests out of five with decent to good grades--the rest have been like the latter half of last year.  Same problem. 

He may have a writing disability. 

However, that means he just has to work harder to achieve the same results as his classmates.  No, he doesn't want to.  However, I'm no longer giving him a choice.  Last week, he was having trouble spelling two words, one of which was "adjective"--which is understandable, but still.  Verbally, he was on with every other word.  Written, for the test?  He missed spelling something like a third of his list correctly, instead of only the two I was expecting. 

The week before, we'd managed an A. 

The difference was in how he'd studied.  The only difference was in how he'd studied.  He'd gone from writing the entire list two times every day to studying it verbally for ten minutes every day. 

We're going back to what worked. 

Even though it's harder for him.  Writing a list of 20 words twice takes him almost an hour, and there are always at least two errors per list that he has to go back and fix, which is an additional three minutes per error.  He has that hard of a time with it.  (By contrast, his sister takes ten minutes to write out a list of fifteen words twice, with everything coming out correctly.)

I'm also teaching him home-key typing on a netbook purchased just for him and the pixie to learn things like this on.  Because that's one of the suggested work-arounds for the specific learning disability that we suspect. 

He knows the words.  He knows how to spell them, and has an utterly phenomenal memory for these things.  He just can't get every one of the letters properly pushed from brain through fingers onto paper. 

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