I am a Mum to a 7 yr old boy who was assesed earlier in the yr with a full scale IQ score being at the 99% but she also said that he would be considered twice exceptional as he tested out at a much lower level in the area of processing. We have had no acknowledge of any of this with the school but that is a whole other issue.
It was also noted that he was a visual spatial learner, I have done some reading about this but still at a bit of a lose as to how I can help in this ares.
My big issue is that he is a very demanding and difficult child to parent. he is in constant need to learn and is constantly talking and asking questions. There is very few minutes of his waking day where he isn't talking. I find it incredibly frustrating and hard work particularly as I also have a 5 yr old and 3.5 yr old. We have a constant issue with behaviour problems at school. He's not naughty just silly calling out answers on the mat etc. He just doesn't seem to know how to control himself it's the same at home, if he has a question or has the answer he just says it without stopping to think about putting his hand up or making sure that no one else is speaking. he is also very sensitive and have a lot of meltdowns at school over silly things. Someone took his pencil, someone didn't listen to him or his ideas etc. Similar behaviour at home. has no patience if something doesn't work how he thinks it should or doesn't get the answer to a maths problem that he was expecting . He resorts to behaviour similiar to what you would expect from a 2yr old. Screeching yeling crying etc. i feel like I am at my wits end as I just don't know what to do and I feel like a complete failure as a mother.
To top it all off he is the most untidy person out. I believe that this is common in those who are VSL. When I ask him to tidy his room he just seems to stand there and not know what to do. He says things like I don't know where to put things etc. Is there any tips as to how we can make it easier for him to organise things.
I'n not sure this really portrays how he is to live with. I am at a point where I don't know what to do to make things easier for everyone and I am scared that I am going to end up ruining our relationship as I end up angry at him. I think that my anger is more because I am dissapointed in myself as I don't understand him and therefore have no idea how to help him.
Sorry that became a bit of a novel but I just needed to vent and maybe someone somewhere out there might know the feeling.
There are some brilliant books on Visual Spatial learners. I got them from our local library.
I think one of them was: Raising topsy turvy kids - Alexandra Golon
and books by Linda Silverman. These books did help me understand VS (and realise that I am VS too).
There's been a lot of discussion on this forum about VS, so have a look at the older threads. I found these very helpful as well.
Good luck!! AND no - you're not a failure as a mother!!!
meand3 welcome to my life my son is now 10.5, here are some things we have tried, but by no means are we there yet.
Tidying - arrgghh, even his school desk! We now have plastic drawers in his room for all his things they are labelled so he know what goes where, now this doesn't mean he does it, but on Saturday which is tidy up day I open his door and say 'dirty clothes in the wash 30 minutes' because I KNOW he will be distracted by something he sees, 10 minutes before time I let him know he has 10 minutes left, then I look at the room for the next thing, maybe the magazines and they go in the box he has, 30 minutes and a 10 minute warning etc etc for all categories of items. All his clothes drawers are labelled with what goes where though this doesn't prevent dirty clothes in the drawers and clean ones on the floor. Also take a photo of the room the way it should look at put it on the wall so he can compare what he has done.
Emotional oversensitivity - please read Michael Piechowskis work Mellow out they say - if only I could, and Living with Intensity. There are a number of books out there, none of them are miracle cures but they do let us know that our kids are okay. It took me 9 years of trying to make my son fit in before I relaxed this year and let him be who he is an accomodate as much as I can, he struggles with friends who don't get his ideas or games that he plays, but he is a happy healthy young man, and I so long for finding out what he will be.
The talking is constant here also, it is like he doesn't have a regulator, we have tried many many tactics, now I say 'Thought' when he goes on, and he realises that what he is saying is a thought not needing to be articualted, far from sorted though I am afraid.
This is just a little many more hints experiences ideas available if you need them
Best of luck!
I have a gifted VS 17 year old daughter. She's much easier to live with now than when she was younger! Still talks heaps, but this has been alleviated somewhat since she became old enough to have her own laptop and mobile phone. She 'talks' with her fingers on the keyboard to her friends instead! When she was about 9 she started journalling, which also cut back on the amount of talk we had to tolerate. Occasionally her dad will still tell her to shut up when he can't take any more, but mostly she is more respectful of other people's need in our household not to have incessant chatter going on. So, things have improved for us over the years - there is hope!
She's still untidy, but if I tell her a specific part of her room I want tidied, she will do it. I never give her the whole room to do on a single day as she gets distracted too easily by things she finds buried under her mess. So, one day it will be the desk, another her floor, then her bed, and so on. Over the course of a week, she can get the whole room sorted and then we breathe a sigh of relief for the next 2-3 weeks (bed changing and laundry aside!) before she has to tackle it again.
When she was at primary school, I used the hoola-hoop idea to get her to tidy. Can't remember where I read it originally, but basically I would put her hoola-hoop over the bit that needed tidying and she just had to clear that away. Made it manageable for her. Like many other parents, I labelled all her drawers and shelves with pictures of what should be in each space and this did help.
Yes, we're a VS family, some with more AS skills than others.
Have you seen Lesley Swords website? She has some really nice articles there IMHO. I think it can be a challenge for some very deeply sensitive children in a classroom.
Imagine when you've been out somewhere really busy / noisy, with your family (or at home!), and trying to keep calm inside despite all the chaos and demands around you, and at the same time holding the vision in your mind of the wonderful parent that you continually aspire to be, and improve upon - then all of a sudden all the chaos/ noise / business / demands get inside you and you can't hold that calm any more and snap - out comes Mrs grumpy or angry etc! Well, maybe you don't do that!! But I do occasionally :).
I think that's what it is like for these very sensitive children, who can see deeply the vision of all the most beautiful possibilities for what can be, but aren't quite able to get there yet. They do the same thing. In my opinion, I think many other children aren't as sensitive, so it doesn't bother then so much, and other children are not able to hold / do not have the vision of what can be as much, so there is less frustration.
It is a wonderful gift. You are definately a great mum! The understanding of what is happening inside ourselves and our children I don't think is so clear, so we don't have a great frame of reference to be able to understand - which leads to frustration!!
I was feeling slightly going nuts early this week, and being a tad hard on myself with our three very busy people. And then a friends child came over to play, who is not where my children are at - and it was clearer to me - there was no questioning, whatever I said was fine, and there wasn't all the deep thinking, challenging, incessant demands. Boy, was it easier!!! And I think it would be (for me anyway) easier parenting in terms of positive reinforcement. I find that the challenges with my lot of passionate learners so constant, that I really have to focus on being really positive with myself, in the very short breaks of time that I get!!
Our eldest most VS still at times interrupts, so lots of positive reinforcement is what I try to focus on. Having less stuff in the bedroom has helped us, and I love the hoola-hoop idea.
These are fantastic websites too. I bet you'll find you're VS too!
Anyway, I've found recently how important it is to watch my own thoughts and be really really positive and kind to myself. Parenting these children is not the same experience that many other parents have., so the support we receive from our culture is not what it could be.
ok, better go....
My daughter struggles constantly with a messy desk and room. Luckily we are not tidy people ourselves so we don't stress about it. At school they gave her a 2nd desk to handle the overflow. At home I try not to worry about it as long as she can find clean clothes to wear. Every now and then during the week we have a mini tidy up where she has to put 29 things away as fast as possible. It stops her getting sidetracked and you can start by putting a timer on but after a while it takes only a couple of minutes.
She actually likes it messy as she likes to have all her things on show not tucked away in drawers.
Sounds just like my husband - you should see his garage, he won't even have shelves as that somehow stops him from being able to see everything. Groan - quite hard for Miss Tidy me almost a bit Aspergie/OCD about order. Completely goes against the grain! Now I have a son much the same as his Dad - double groan.
We have stopped calling DD's bed a bed and call it her "nest". (She's 9). Currently it has a large cardboard box on it (from the dishwasher) and she sleeps with her top half in there and a variety of "special things" nestled around her.
She piles up pillows in a semi-circular arrangement and it's often hard to tell which way she's oriented in the bed.
We;ve never bothered with the VS label. She learns how she learns and is how she is. The VS label doesn't have a lot of good evidence behind it and while some people find the ideas behind it really helpful, I wouldn't hang too much weight on it *if* what you're reading doens't immediately sound like your child. (I think the whole processing issue is more complicated than the VS - Silverman model has it).
Wrt to the other issues you mention, I haven't got much time to comment but if you google on "self-regulation" & "gifted"; or "executive planning" and "gifted", you might find some useful resources.
Hi meand3! We have a same age boy and have definitely felt desperation frequently in the past, and less often – recently! For us school made the whole thing worse, created more anxiety. We have seen massive improvement, but we have been “radical”. I don’t want to give too much of a reputation to our child so I would like to keep my identity private on the forum. If you would like to communicate privately let me know.
Thanks to you all for replying I guess it's nice to know that there are others out there who have been there done that.
Joanne for me it's not about a particular label it's more about trying to understand the way that he is, VS is very much my son but nothing like me and that is were a lot of my frustration is as I just don't "get" him. Therefore making it difficult to understand where he is coming from or how to help him. Also yes it would be nice for him to learn how he lerns but that requires an open minded school environment to allow that and to this point they continually try to manipulate him to fit what they consider is acceptable and he is just considered the silly naughty boy in the class who is constantly being told off. I need to best understand him to then try get everyone else to see him for who he is.
....... yes by all means e-mail me as any info that I can gather the better. I am interested to find out how people have maaged their way through this mine field I have found myself in.
I feel in a similiar boat to you on some aspects. My little boy was assessed as high IQ but lower in processing speed and all that at age 6 and a half.
he is intense, emotional, can be demanding, messy, disorganised. School is sort of okay-he's a great reader, writing getting better in quantity but terribly scrawly , maths facts etc he is not interested in, but good on conceptual stuff.the teachers all say he gets anxious at school sometimes, and I notice that although he gets on ok with others, doesnt really have close school friends.Seems quite happy doing his own thing most of the time. he loves to do his own discovery type learning and I think alot of the school stuff is a bit mundane at times.
I too feel like a failure half the time, at a loss to know how to best parent him. he can be really oppositional about things, and can get totally het up about some minor thing-like he forgot to do his spelling words! I try to just stay calm but he gets mad, and I just don't know what to do to calm him.Sometimes I think he must be ADHD or something.
he's not always like that. other times he is sweet and delightful, imaginative, into his own learning, reading etc. At school he has never been a problem behaviour-wise, only at home, which kind of makes me feel worse, that it must be me who is not handling him well...
mumofthree what you write is exactly my son!!!! He to was 6 and a half when we had him assessed. We do have trouble at school but not bad behaviour as such it's similar to what we get at home when he's bored. He has to be moving all the time and never sits still for 5mins. Unless he is doing something that interests him and then he can sit and do it all day.
I just find that the school is not willing to accept that he is who he is. They have been spending the last 2 yrs trying to make him conform to what they expect as acceptable.
When he reads he is often isn't still. To the point where at homw he will be standing on his head on the couch reading. So at school its hard for him as he does things like squat on his chair reading etc but then the teacher id telling him off where in my mind as long as he's not being disruptive and getting his work done what is the issue! We are about to move cities and am hoping that the new school is going to be a little more open to educating my son and allowing him to be him..time will tell!!
Yeah I find the same with my son with the moving, fidgeting thing. he also is not usually even still when reading but could be hanging half off the chair , swinging by his legs, climbing all round etc, and seems to be unaware he's doing it! When we took him to a SPELD tutor for a while and she saw him moving around alot (I was saying to him "try and sit still" and the teacher said "thats ok, some children need to move, thats how they stimulate their brains!"she was quite ok with it and had seen a lot of kids like that. I have since tried to accept that its something he needs to do, so I just tolerate it now, mostly (eg constantly careering around the room on a computer chair, or going round and round)!!! Teachers haven't said that he fidgets in class, but do often say he is a bit anxious at school. I think he tries to do the right thing at school, which is hard work for him-when he's home he can be himself, but sometimes the frustrations do come out.I notice he often comes home from school very tired and on edge.
I often wonder if theres something in this movement thing- as other types of movement eg swinging on a swing, and also sometimes the trampoline, he says gives him a headache....anyone know what thats about?
Luckily the school we are at, although not that up on the issues of the bright kids, they are kind of tolerant and not too narrow minded about different types of kids-so he gets on ok and is just thought of as a usual kid. I think he is not at all extended there, but oh well, he survives, it could be so much worse-don't think I could handle behaviour issues at school and home.
With regards to tidying his room have you tried using a visual checklist?
We use a visual checklist of what has to be done before and after school. This can easily be used to say what needs to go where for room tidying (each day or specific weekend day) and is really helpful for stepping VS kids through smaller steps of what seems to be an insurmountable task.
Am happy to put something together for you if you have specific things you are trying to achieve. Just click on my name and flick me an email.
Have you tried instant rewards on the spot for not interupting or stopping to think? - even if just for a moment - it's often about tiny steps. Another idea is a talking stick or item for family members to have turns sharing. Good for table talk in the evening to hear about each persons day.
Having a talking stick or similar is also great for setting the scene for opportunties for success - a chance for him to practice not interrupting immediately and getting instant rewards for each time he has a little bit of success. The rewards need not be big and could even be stickers on a chart that can be traded in for items/activities that have been agreed upon with him when setting the system up. (i.e., 10 stickers and he can have a friend visit etc. It need not cost anything.)
Any chart can offer your child some stability in that they can see what is expected of them, see that it is achievable as they can see the small clear steps. After years of struggles with our own this is what we found useful anyway.
Another thing was writing a personalised social story about the behaviours our child was exhibiting. How they made our child feel and how they made us feel, what behaviours of his made him (and us) feel better. And at the end it has a reminder of 'when I see .... I try to remember to...' to try and attach the behaviour to something visual to help them remember. We made our social story as visual as possible we included photographs of our child doing these behaviours and showing the feelings thoughout.
Sometimes I find it easier for people to understand when I explain my mind is effectively "mute" - there is no "internal dialogue" - my ears hear the sound of my own voice but my mind does not .... so I do not understand how things may "sound" to others.
Oh sure I can "understand" in a theoretical/technical sense - but I am never ever going to "get it" the way someone who thinks in words does.
Often I speak very quickly - but sometimes very slowly .... I cant be sure but Im guessing I dont do "in between" very much. To communicate there needs to be an idea of some form in my mind ..... I need to "convert" that into words .... but such images are often morphing with every moment that passes .... so if I cant get it out quick it will often change on me .... and its easy to "lose my place" so to speak.
I am not a Visual Learner - at least not as many describe those who are VS ... I find visual input often impeedes my learning because it can hinder my ability to visualise. I learning very well through conversation though (go figure) - my mind converts the sounds into visual imagery in my mind and there is not "competition" between sensory input and my minds processing .... same with doing.
People often say things that simply do not "covert" well into visual imagery for me to understand - over the years I have got better and "filling in" but sometimes there is still a delay in responding .... 10x worse if I feel obliged to look at someone during conversation.
My sensory processing is pretty acute - its where I get so much of my information from - information that gives me a slightly different slant on things much of the time ..... as well as the mental gymnatistics involved in "conversion" of language (or text symbols) I have all this "other" information to process at the same time .... I may SEEM a bit on the slow side at times - but that is not reflection of the pace at which my mind is working.
I prefer my curtains open at night so I can see in my room properly - no matter how dense the curtains are they always let through light - and its really hard to get to sleep when a cloud passing across the moon casts moving shadows in your bedroom but you just cant QUITE see whats causing it well enough to relax because your imagination keeps trying to "fill in the gaps" and imaginations as we know - well they can put one on guard.
Daytime its a different story - I would happily live with the curtains closed - its so much more comfortable .... but its funny how other peoples imaginations work when it comes to explaining *why* someones curtains arent open when they are "supposed to be".
What with all the concern about the harm sunlight causes - it seems to me that we all would do well to just think about the effect upon our eyes all the "brightness" is having.
I used to be a messy tart - not as messy as my daughter but messy none the less ..... growing up I never had the opportunity to develop an organisational system that worked for me ..... everyone was always too busy trying to impose their system upon me - whether I COULD function successfully that way seemed irrelevant. Then, as an adult I had to come to a place of "stopping trying" to do what I had been conditioned towards (even though it never worked for me) - that was before I could even begin to start to organise myself in a way that actually worked for me.
I couldnt have "meltdowns" as a child (and definitely dont as an adult) ... I simply COULDNT .... meltdowns are only safe to have around those you trust will still love you and want you in spite I them - I had no one like that ... no one even knew me.
It can be a very lonely life for a child being different in a way that people just seem not to be able to really believe in - but it need not be that way - our children can teach us all we need to know about them if we open our hearts and our minds to them doing so.
My daughter also nests at night. Instead of sheets and blankets she just has several duvets and lots of pillows and cushions and has a lot of other stuff in her bed at night. I have to switch her light on kiss her goodnight as I never know where her head might be (not to be mention finding my way thru the mess)
Yep, Flylady converts here, we need all the help we can get.
I have a problem with my daughter's desk as well. It's a mess. What do you do with a messy room and desk. I'm trying to teach her to be organized, and consistant, but it's hard she become's very upset with me if I move anything. I've done it while she is at school, and she know's I've moved it it's remarkable lol. Help. What should I do.
My 10yr old daughter is exceptionally untidy far more so than our 8 yr old son who seems to be more naturally organised! One thing I have found, is when i ask her to tidy, she'll tidy to her standards but not to mine! I can't think how, but it's like she doesn't see all that stuff still on the floor!!
When she was younger, we would tidy her room together. I then took photos which I laminated and put on a ring. This enabled C to see how I pictured a 'tidy room'.
I also created a 'how to' sheet. As in, first pick up all the dirty clothes and put them into the washing basket. Then....
That also helped!!
I've been told that I was incredibly messy as a child but I'm certainly not anymore!!
Same situation for me! I'm starting to think that if I just got one huge bin and just asked that they throw everything in there when they are done playing with it then it will make a difference. If that isn't easy enough for my 2 10 year old boys then I don't know what I will do! I like everything in my house to match perfectly, I know I'm a freak. So, does anyone know where I can get a wood toy chest as opposed to something plastic? I have looked at all the major stores in Indianapolis and can't find one. I just did a search online and found this website that has a wood <a href="http://www.woodtoybox.com/">Toy box</a> but I don't normally buy stuff online. I'm afraid of giving out my credit card info. If anyone has experience getting stuff from that website, can you please let me know? I would love to hear a review of the company before I make my first online purchase. Thanks!
Hi to mumofthree and meand3 I am kind of laughing because you both have described my 7 year old son exactly ! He is also a gifted VS learner. I don't really have any brilliant suggestions except I think he is a pretty cool kid and kind of like the fact he doesn't follow the norm (sometimes) other times I want to cry. I too would love to see him accepted for who he is and not constantly be moulded to what people think he should be. Anyway, it's nice to know we are not alone. If anyone keen to message privately I think it's great to be able to feel a bit 'norma'l sometimes and that you're not the only one going through these things.