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Does my 1O-year-old need to be evaluated?

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    Does my 1O-year-old need to be evaluated?

    Hello,
    My 10-year-old daughter has been doing the regular MP curriculum for two years now, and it has been going great. However, socially she is a little...quirky. I am starting to wonder if she would benefit from some kind of evaluation. Here are some of my concerns:
    • She didn't start babbling until 13 months
    • She didn't start attempting to crawl until 11 months
    • When learning to walk, she would just fall straight back like a tree rather than sit down.
    • She didn't learn to stand without pulling up on something until closer to 2, although she was walking around 13/14 months.
    • She remembers everything she reads, but not what she experiences. We lived in Portugal until she was 5. Within a couple of months of living here in the States, she had completely forgotten everything about Portugal. People, places, and events are just forgotten.
    • She began reading early, and reads at an incredible pace. If there are new books in the house (like a big stack of chapter books from the library), she is completely absorbed in reading them until she's read them all.
    • She has never had a friend. She has 3 sisters, so she's not short on playmates, but she never attempts to be friendly with children in outside activities. She has participated in weekly religious education classes (large and very small class sizes), scouting groups, children's choirs, soccer team, swim lessons, etc. She does always manage to befriend her teachers/leaders. Her best friend now is a 70+ woman who sits near us at Mass and shares her love of birds. She also spends lots of time talking to neighbors who range from age 35-70.
    • She doesn't understand appropriate personal space.
    • She covers her ears in hectic situations.
    • Even at 10 years old, she has to be told to go to the bathroom throughout the day.
    • As a younger child she seemed to lack the self-awareness to realize she was about to be sick.
    • She needs to be told to drink water during the day.
    • She breezes through all of her schoolwork, but you cannot ask her to draw a picture without giving her something to copy.
    Do these things sound concerning? If so, is there anything to be gained by getting her evaluated? How do I go about it in such a way that she won't end up feeling bad about herself? Thank you in advance for any guidance you can offer!
    8th year homeschooling, 2nd year with MP
    Girl 5M
    Girl 2nd
    Girl Jr. K with K phonics
    Girl toddler

    #2
    Hello, Heather.

    It seems as if your intuition is saying that, if nothing else, you would like to rule out something that has been on your mind for some time. This alone can warrant an outside evaluation. You might check with your insurance to see what is covered.

    A few questions:
    Does she seem to notice her differences? If yes, you can partner with her to see if there is anything that concerns her, anything she is curious about, or anything she would like to understand more about herself. If no, the conversation may be more one-sided, in which you simply explain that you love her, you care about her, and you believe you are not helping her as much as you can.

    In either scenario you can share that you know she is a good reader, a good worker, and a kindhearted person with the elderly. The results of testing might help with areas in which she is not quite so strong.

    Give plenty of examples of where your strengths lie, but then where you are weaker and have needed help. This returns the conversation to a more human, compassionate level, rather than singling her out. If it would be helpful, you might say something about how she is sometimes more complex than some children, which is a word that seems more palatable to my children than other words. Then you can approach it more as a curious puzzle to solve, rather than "problems" to remediate. Regardless of your word choice, keep the focus on helping her more effectively.

    Another note: Remember that if you decide to pursue this, you do not need to share all of the clinical information with a 10-year-old. You will meet with the evaluator, read the report, and then decide how much, if any, of the details to share with her. You may decide to do little more than present her with your own set of new steps for moving forward now that you have "more information" than you did before.

    Does that make sense? Many here have been through the process, so you may receive more help over the next day or two.

    Whether or not you decide to pursue an evaluation, you may want to consider working through Myself & Others with your daughter. She might be at the Book Two or Book Three level. See what you think. And I would definitely allow her to study MP Birds.


    Btw, she sounds delightful: "Her best friend now is a 70+ woman who sits near us at Mass and shares her love of birds."

     Not sure where to start? Take these Readiness Assessments: Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3  | Book 4  Book One Sample Book Two Sample Book Three Sample Book Fou

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you so much for your detailed and helpful response. I don't think she notices her differences, so I think that will make addressing them all the trickier. I will definitely use your suggestions. I'm not sure where to start. Who do I call? What do I ask for?

      We have done Myself and Others 1 as a family, and I'm planning to begin level 2. It's such a great program!
      8th year homeschooling, 2nd year with MP
      Girl 5M
      Girl 2nd
      Girl Jr. K with K phonics
      Girl toddler

      Comment


        #4
        You are welcome! Yes, she is at a perfect age to continue to M&O 2, then M&O 3 next year, then M&O 4. This will be something to teach and revisit for her.

        For testing, this can depend on where you live and in whom you already trust. If you trust your daughter's pediatrician, for example, you might explain your concerns with the very bullet points you shared here. Ask for recommendations for further testing. That can be the simplest way.

        If you feel your pediatrician has already missed the things you are seeing, or if he/she does not seem responsive, you might consider another option, such as finding a developmental pediatrician. Check with your insurance to see where testing would be covered, if you need a referral, etc.

        If you suspect -- or want to rule out -- a specific diagnosis, you can find a clinic specializing in that diagnosis.

        With all of this, do your homework for ratings, reviews, etc. (Beware anything that makes outrageous "cure" claims or sounds too good to be true.)

        Other options:
        If you have access to a children's hospital or university clinic and if your insurance covers such evaluations, you might look for a good pediatric neuropsychologist. If you want a good academic assessment at the same time, you can request a "psychoeducational assessment to include I.Q. testing and academic achievement testing."

        Another note: Consider any extended family members that remind you of your daughter. Do they have diagnoses? If yes, start with someone specializing in such things.

        Last note: If you are seeing difficulties keeping up with 5M (from your signature), you might want to consider switching to SC 9&10 Two-Year for her academics. The differences you describe may begin to impact her learning and her work day, if you are not already seeing this.


        Feel free to follow up --



        Comment


          #5
          Thank you, cherylswope . I spoke with our pediatrician, and she recommended I get my daughter evaluated (although she thinks a few weeks at a summer camp post-covid might be all she needs).

          I haven't noticed any trouble with her schoolwork except that she needs constant reminding to stay on task. She hates written work, but I just considered that typical. She has no trouble at all learning the material. Are there issues in particular I should look out for? Also, I wasn't able to find any information on the MP site about SC 9&10. Do you have a link? Thank you again!
          8th year homeschooling, 2nd year with MP
          Girl 5M
          Girl 2nd
          Girl Jr. K with K phonics
          Girl toddler

          Comment


            #6
            Sometimes children learn well, but various challenges or sensitivities reveal themselves in other ways, such as difficulties sustaining attention. Do not worry if you cannot identify the source of your concerns from home. That is what a good evaluation is designed to do. You will only need to decide if you want to pursue it. If her subtle differences do not interfere with her daily life or learning, then this may not be urgent. Only you know from there.

            If the pediatrician recommends testing but also says a good romp at summer camp might be all she needs, then take that as a nudge to secure outings for your daughter in whatever ways they are allowed in your area!

            She might also be saying that whatever they find (if anything) might be mild, so you can weigh all of this against the cost and effort. Discuss with people who know and care about your daughter, as of course we cannot truly tell from here. Do keep us posted.

            As for SC 9&10, those levels are still in the detailed process of copy editing with our careful copy editor. As soon as they are ready, we will announce!

            Comment

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