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The Progress Continues

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    The Progress Continues

    I've been quiet for awhile so I wanted to write a little informal update (letter-style) on the children:

    Girl Friday:
    Yesterday my older daughter (6 1/2 with a language processing disorder) read aloud a how-to social story to her brothers about going to the doctor and she didn't hesitate over big words like "stethoscope" and phonetically confusing words like "might". (I asked her if she knew what a stethoscope was -- she does.) As I type this, she is reading "Stellaluna" to her little brother with no hesitation. She reads it like a narrator; good expression, good fluency, and she hardly mispronounces a word.

    I am scratching my head about where to place her. I've got an assessment using "How Well Does Your Child Read, Write and Do Math?" on my to-do list. But I'm guessing she reads around the high 2nd grade level, possibly low 3rd. Looking at the MP materials for 2nd grade (Prairie School, Second Grade Phonics Guide To Reading and Spelling) she's right on MP 2nd grade (she will be 7 on Valentine's Day, so that's about right). But we are just now only about 2/3-3/4 of the way through FSRD! She is slated to start a hybrid of SC2/MP1 at our next transition. But her precocious ability in this area keeps outpacing my plans! I'm just keeping her well-stocked in age-appropriate books (I moved an unused bookshelf into her room last week) and am continuing with our phonics lessons.

    Here's the wrinkle: she's expressively delayed. If you were to have a conversation with her, it would be like talking to a preK/K-er. But she understands (and can answer questions) about what she reads. (And her formerly advanced artistic ability has faded a bit. As if it's been replaced by her reading focus. Almost like she put it away in a box so she can play with a new toy.) How do giftedness and special needs go together? Her father and I have experienced the former ourselves, so we can approach that with a bit of confidence, but the latter? (Uhhhhhh....?)

    Boy Wonder:
    He recently had a pretty significant gain in receptive/expressive language processing. Our SLP always tells me many of her clients report that their children get grumpy and unmanageable right before a language burst -- like growing pains. I've seen it happen with W many many times. But they've been fewer and farther between in the past year. He was difficult almost all week last week. Then suddenly, two days ago, he started answering comprehension questions from our reading quickly and correctly and his sentence structure when speaking improved dramatically. "Mom, did you put the pencil somewhere?" "__________ where's my toy? I need it to play with Odin." (WOW) Sometimes when he speaks, he's almost indistinguishable from a typical child. Maybe not an eight-year-old, but certainly not a child with delays.

    All this melts, however, when he's upset. He clips words and boils sentences down to imperative parts. Opinions and assumptions are passionately expressed, with lots of gesturing and self-handling (he pulls his shirt, he smacks himself in the head, bangs his fist into his chest). But this is far less often than when he was younger. And I can explain things to him and reason much more logically with him now. We still have work to do. But the work is getting easier (most days).

    He is genuinely a sweet and helpful boy with a very well-developed conscience. He's self-focused in the way most children are, of course. But he loves to help with the baby and he takes out the trash, helps with dishes, gets me things, takes care of the pets and is in charge of lots of other "Big Kid Stuff" that the younger children cannot handle. But he also has that built-in ASD fixation on things being "just" or "correct". He will mumble and opine about not being the first one in line or the first one to get in or out of the van. And he's jealous if someone else succeeds, even if they succeed at a lower level than he does. He doesn't fully grasp that he is more advanced and more successful than a younger sibling (excepting the baby -- he practically adores her). Again -- more work to do.

    He just competed in a TaeKwonDo Tournament last weekend and received 2nd place in forms (poom-sae) and 3rd place in board breaking. Click image for larger version

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    Silly Cowboy:
    I almost think he's starting to process out of his language impairment. He starts MP JrK at our next transition. And he is truly ready to do that. He sits with us for school and participates as it suits him. He is far more advanced linguistically than his older siblings were at his age. But we still have reasoning, receptive and expressive work to do. All of it seems manageable, however, by comparison with his brother. As if God gave me the toughest child first so my work would get easier as they all grew. I anticipate that he will be on the regular MP track as we advance. At least, that is my hope. We shall see.

    Baby Bunting:
    She is almost seven months old! She's hitting all her milestones right on time or even a little early. And she's babbling... It's so beautifully strange to witness. None of her siblings babbled much, if at all. She also blows raspberries, sticks out her tongue and is starting to form basic consonant sounds ("maaa!") Boy Wonder couldn't do that until he was 5 years old. Girl Friday was about 3. Baby is an absolute ray of sunshine. Always happy, always sweet, cuddly and affectionate. And loads of fun.

    Thanks for the space to update everyone. I hope you all are well, too. We've been making some pretty thorough lifestyle changes around here lately and I've been digging in to that -- I basically just decluttered and purged my entire house (my entire life?) over the last month or two and am applying the principles of minimalism (or "intentionalism") to my mom-management-style now. It has been a huge undertaking and a huge help to our family -- but that's another post

    Love to all,

    Anita
    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
    ~Pope St John Paul II

    #2
    Re: The Progress Continues

    Anita,

    Thank you for the update on your little ones. It was lovely to hear of their progress and success. The picture was adorable. Someone was obviously pretty proud of their karate mastery!

    Blessings,
    Michelle T

    Comment


      #3
      Re: The Progress Continues

      Originally posted by Anita View Post
      I've been quiet for awhile so I wanted to write a little informal update (letter-style) on the children:

      Girl Friday:
      Yesterday my older daughter (6 1/2 with a language processing disorder) read aloud a how-to social story to her brothers about going to the doctor and she didn't hesitate over big words like "stethoscope" and phonetically confusing words like "might". (I asked her if she knew what a stethoscope was -- she does.) As I type this, she is reading "Stellaluna" to her little brother with no hesitation. She reads it like a narrator; good expression, good fluency, and she hardly mispronounces a word.

      I am scratching my head about where to place her. ....

      She is slated to start a hybrid of SC2/MP1 at our next transition. But her precocious ability in this area keeps outpacing my plans! I'm just keeping her well-stocked in age-appropriate books (I moved an unused bookshelf into her room last week) and am continuing with our phonics lessons.

      Here's the wrinkle: she's expressively delayed. If you were to have a conversation with her, it would be like talking to a preK/K-er....

      The identification of "twice exceptional" or "asynchronous" children is relatively new in special education, and the gifted-education folks seem to be doing the best job of appreciating the child's gifts without ignoring the child's challenges.

      Here is a good article about a little boy with similarities to your daughter.

      The reality: As you did (and are doing) with your Boy Wonder, you will be trail-blazing with your Girl Friday.

      You will need to think of skills independently, as you are already beginning to do.
      -Oral reading, reading comprehension, and joy of reading: accelerated.
      -Expressive, pragmatic, conversational language: not up to chronological age expectations, and nowhere near her other cognitive abilities.

      You have a few choices:
      1. Continue with your SC 2/MP 1 plan for solid skill development, but allow her to accelerate wherever phonics, writing, arithmetic skills are strong (and wherever your time allows for such acceleration). Accelerated academics will become part of her life. You just do not want to assume skills are mastered, if they are not.

      At the same time, she can continue to read freely and enjoy those higher-level books. She can read to any or all of your children. A suggestion: You might want to attach drawing/art to one of these books a week, perhaps on Fridays. This would a) encourage her early artistic gifts and b) possibly relax through art "therapy" any perfectionistic tendencies that might begin to emerge.


      2. Mix & Match
      You could create your own curriculum for her. This could vary wildly from any "level." For example, you might focus on the systematic oral language lessons from SC Readiness, while teaching MP 2 Literature. We could help you ultra-customize.

      3. Add Language Therapy
      No matter which academic path you choose, you can attempt to locate a language therapist who works with "2e" gifted children. Because of your daughter's intellectual capacity, she may respond very well to targeted expressive language exercises and therapeutic intervention. You might not need years of long-term language therapy, but only a series of short-term, experienced nudges in the right direction.


      Much of the giftedness literature leans "progressive" in educational philosophy, so this is why I believe you will be trail-blazing, at least initially. We can serve as a sounding board, as you explore.


      But the best part of all of this is twofold: Your daughter has a determined, creative, gifted mother, and ... you homeschool her! If she were in a classroom, she might be pitifully under-challenged in some areas, but grossly over-looked in others. With homeschooling, you can "flex" exactly where she needs, so her love of books (or art, or creativity) remains strong, while her true needs are given targeted, immediate attention.


      Feel free to follow up --

      Cheryl

      Comment


        #4
        Re: The Progress Continues

        Btw, considering all of the previous challenges with comprehension for your oldest, this is amazing! SO happy to hear this:


        Then suddenly, two days ago, he started answering comprehension questions from our reading quickly and correctly and his sentence structure when speaking improved dramatically. "Mom, did you put the pencil somewhere?" "__________ where's my toy? I need it to play with Odin." (WOW)

        Comment


          #5
          Re: The Progress Continues

          Thank you, Cheryl. Very kind. (That 2e link was spot-on, too!)

          I've been messaging with my husband (who is at work today) and we've decided to try something. Once I've got the next set of lesson plans ironed out for the kids, I'm going to choose one module of literature from MP's regular track 2nd grade program to try out on Girl Friday and see how she does. If it's right on target, she'll grow and dig right in to it. If it's too hard, she can try it again later when her abilities increase a bit. It would be working "for delight", not necessarily for academics (though that gain would certainly be an added bonus). We already have many of the books she would be studying from the MP2 curriculum. So that's an advantage. If it succeeds, I could choose one or two of these books per semester to add to her regular load and just knock them out one at a time. So the lesson plans going ahead would be core curriculum at a slower pace and language arts at the pace she can handle. (Have I mentioned that my mom is also an English teacher? There's got to be a genetic predisposition at work here...)

          What book would you recommend as a starting point for this experiment? She is now about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way through FSRD, will be embarking on SC2 Writing, SC2 STT + MP1 More STT, SC2 Spelling + MP1 SWB, SC2 Read aloud copybook and MP1 Math at our next transition.

          I'm looking at either Prairie School or Little House to add to the mix somewhere in there... Thoughts?

          AND HOW AM I GOING TO HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO TEACH THESE CHILDREN?! LOLOLOL

          EDIT: I am also open to finishing FSRD-E and then skipping to MP2 in one jump, if you think that's wise. She can already read Little Bear, Amelia Bedelia, Nate The Great and Little Bear's Visit by herself. I haven't tried her out on Blueberries For Sal or Make Way For Ducklings. I bought Billy and Blaze, Keep The Lights Burning, etc. for her MP1 work, but if she can already read those with mastery.... I want to teach them so I know she knows them, but I can also transfer those materials to a younger child when they reach 1st grade. I don't want to skip anything crucial. But I'm keeping in mind that she *is* almost 7. 2nd grade would not be above her chronological age. Advice welcome!
          Last edited by Anita; 12-07-2016, 04:46 PM.
          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            Re: The Progress Continues

            Originally posted by Anita View Post
            What book would you recommend as a starting point for this experiment? She is now about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way through FSRD, will be embarking on SC2 Writing, SC2 STT + MP1 More STT, SC2 Spelling + MP1 SWB, SC2 Read aloud copybook and MP1 Math at our next transition.

            I'm looking at either Prairie School or Little House to add to the mix somewhere in there... Thoughts?

            AND HOW AM I GOING TO HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO TEACH THESE CHILDREN?! LOLOLOL

            EDIT: I am also open to finishing FSRD-E and then skipping to MP2 in one jump, if you think that's wise. She can already read Little Bear, Amelia Bedelia, Nate The Great and Little Bear's Visit by herself. I haven't tried her out on Blueberries For Sal or Make Way For Ducklings. I bought Billy and Blaze, Keep The Lights Burning, etc. for her MP1 work, but if she can already read those with mastery.... I want to teach them so I know she knows them, but I can also transfer those materials to a younger child when they reach 1st grade. I don't want to skip anything crucial. But I'm keeping in mind that she *is* almost 7. 2nd grade would not be above her chronological age. Advice welcome!

            I would NOT miss STT or MoreSTT, whether you use the MP or SC.* Those seem so simple, but the early composition exercises are invaluable for written expression. They're also really delightful and image-rich, especially the SC versions, so they guide those skills in an enjoyable way.

            The temptation will be to bypass writing, because she is so strong in reading. However, even though she is asynchronous, we do not want to foster a lopsidedness in skill development.

            I would begin with Prairie School. There is plenty of "meat" (vocabulary, writing, analysis, and guided comprehension) in that student book, so she will be challenged. The reading will be easy, but you can explain that studying is different than reading. Something like, "You will be studying Prairie School in a more grown-up way than you have been reading other books." You can use the example of mining treasures, rather than reading for mere escapism or surface pleasures. We include this visual image of a treasure chest in SC MoreSTT.

            You'll have time. After you "wrap your mind" around approaching her education differently than you approach education with your happy little trophy holder, you'll be just fine.

            Thanks-
            Cheryl



            *StoryTime Treasures, More StoryTime Treasures, Memoria Press versions or Simply Classical versions. Look for SC MoreSTT in spring, 2017.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: The Progress Continues

              Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
              I would NOT miss STT or MoreSTT, whether you use the MP or SC.* Those seem so simple, but the early composition exercises are invaluable for written expression. They're also really delightful and image-rich, especially the SC versions, so they guide those skills in an enjoyable way.

              The temptation will be to bypass writing, because she is so strong in reading. However, even though she is asynchronous, we do not want to foster a lopsidedness in skill development.

              I would begin with Prairie School. There is plenty of "meat" (vocabulary, writing, analysis, and guided comprehension) in that student book, so she will be challenged. The reading will be easy, but you can explain that studying is different than reading. Something like, "You will be studying Prairie School in a more grown-up way than you have been reading other books." You can use the example of mining treasures, rather than reading for mere escapism or surface pleasures. We include this visual image of a treasure chest in SC MoreSTT.

              You'll have time. After you "wrap your mind" about approaching her education differently than you approach education with your happy little trophy holder, you'll be just fine.

              Thanks-
              Cheryl



              *StoryTime Treasures, More StoryTime Treasures, Memoria Press versions or Simply Classical versions. Look for SC MoreSTT in spring, 2017.
              Perfect! THANKS!

              EDIT: reviewed samples and ordered Prairie School. I informed my Girl about her "special big girl book study" that will arrive soon. We are both excited. ... I confess I'm more than a little excited. The prospect of teaching literature was a huge draw when we were considering homeschooling (back even before we had children). It really is something I love. So having more than one child with a language processing disorder felt like the bitterest of ironies. ... Now I see God may not have been saying, "No," simply "Wait."
              Last edited by Anita; 12-08-2016, 05:42 AM.
              Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
              Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
              Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
              Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

              “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
              ~Pope St John Paul II

              Comment


                #8
                Re: The Progress Continues

                PS From the site you linked, two interesting-looking books that were highly recommended:

                Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential
                https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/15938...I2EDJL4QC4J5ED

                And

                Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child
                https://www.amazon.com/Off-Charts-As...bWIQ2k0-iL6EHg
                Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                ~Pope St John Paul II

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: The Progress Continues

                  Originally posted by Anita View Post
                  PS From the site you linked, two interesting-looking books that were highly recommended:

                  Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential
                  https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/15938...I2EDJL4QC4J5ED

                  And

                  Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child
                  https://www.amazon.com/Off-Charts-As...bWIQ2k0-iL6EHg
                  My daughter was discovered as "2e" this spring! She is also 7. Her IQ was not quite "gifted" but some of her scores were and some were unbelievably low. I have "Smart but Scattered". It was the number 1 book recommended in the "2e" Facebook group. I found the group helpful for a short while, if nothing more than to see that there are other children out there like my daughter. (behaviors, mannerisms) I believe I found that weblink Cheryl cited in that group as well. It was filled with controversy though (should I medicate, should I not?, etc), so I haven't been around it much lately. Also, about 50% of the families with 2e kiddos are homeschooling. There were many who never thought they ever would, but after struggles in school, brought their children home.

                  Good Luck!
                  Christine

                  (2019/2020)
                  DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                  DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                  DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                  Previous Years
                  DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                  DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                  DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: The Progress Continues

                    Originally posted by howiecram View Post
                    My daughter was discovered as "2e" this spring! She is also 7. Her IQ was not quite "gifted" but some of her scores were and some were unbelievably low. I have "Smart but Scattered". It was the number 1 book recommended in the "2e" Facebook group. I found the group helpful for a short while, if nothing more than to see that there are other children out there like my daughter. (behaviors, mannerisms) I believe I found that weblink Cheryl cited in that group as well. It was filled with controversy though (should I medicate, should I not?, etc), so I haven't been around it much lately. Also, about 50% of the families with 2e kiddos are homeschooling. There were many who never thought they ever would, but after struggles in school, brought their children home.

                    Good Luck!
                    An aside:
                    Seems like this is a common trait with "groups" in general. The lovely seed of a cause gets squashed under subjective squabbles or it fails to receive nourishment because the cause devolves into a whine-fest about parenting or a forum for unrelated small talk.

                    Another reason I enjoy this Forum so much -- no such issues here!
                    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                    ~Pope St John Paul II

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: The Progress Continues

                      This was wonderful to read, Anita. You're obviously giving your children exactly what they need, and they're thriving!

                      As a mom of 2E kids, I think one of the hardest things is never being able to just buy and use a complete grade package. There is always customization to be done to accommodate their asynchronies. And figuring out where they are is difficult because it can change so fast! Progress is often made in giant leaps rather than steady steps.

                      I have never heard of the second book that Cheryl recommended. I'm going to look for that! Smart But Scattered is very good.
                      Gina
                      Honored & Blessed to be teaching my children at home
                      (since 2001)

                      DS-sophomore in college
                      DD-soon-to-be college freshman!
                      DD-9
                      DS-8

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: The Progress Continues

                        Originally posted by Gigi View Post
                        And figuring out where they are is difficult because it can change so fast! Progress is often made in giant leaps rather than steady steps.
                        .
                        This, YES! I haven't been able to put into words that sentiment!
                        Christine

                        (2019/2020)
                        DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                        DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                        DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                        Previous Years
                        DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                        DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                        DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: The Progress Continues

                          Originally posted by howiecram View Post
                          This, YES! I haven't been able to put into words that sentiment!
                          Girl Friday went from learning basic CVC words ("Mac and Tab") to independently reading books such as "Horton Hatches The Egg" in about two months. She intuitively understands concepts like silent g (might) and silent k (Knox) and, as I mentioned before, complex words above her level, such as stethoscope and echolocation. She has exhibited a photographic memory (something she inherited from my husband) and she has a great capacity for fact-retention and is genuinely interested in almost everything.

                          But she almost gets lost on the way upstairs to get dressed and she can't reason out basic logical conclusions from simple facts that aren't in print or in another visual format. As if we are present but she is not sometimes. So I explain things to her in very simple terms (with a new vocabulary word thrown in for her edification ) and she absorbs it, thinks about it at length while she stares straight ahead. And then she explains it back to me in her own way. If she is really studying/enjoying/processing a thought, book, or image she will either run back and forth deep in thought/while she looks at it or she boosts herself up and down with her hands on a couch or bed while she works it out (she calls the latter "bamming" and she's done it since she was able to do it.) So "asynchronous" is a definite descriptor.
                          Last edited by Anita; 12-08-2016, 11:49 AM.
                          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                          ~Pope St John Paul II

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: The Progress Continues

                            UPDATE:

                            I took advantage of some lag time between martial arts classes last night to have literature study (Simply Classical Storytime Treasures) with Girl Friday. She loved it. I had been fumbling about what to do with her and Silly Cowboy for the hour and twenty minutes of idle time they have from the start of Boy Wonder's class until the start of theirs. So literature study is a perfect fit.

                            However... (you knew there was going to be one):
                            Today, during our regular school time, we formally revisited SCSTT. And this time, she was not as receptive. The concept was exciting -- even invigorating after an hour of phonics lessons. But the reality of studying the text and learning the mechanics of written language? (Chuckle) She didn't find that quite as distracting. Don't misunderstand -- this actually makes me happy. It's (honestly) about time she had to work hard at something she loves. She often sails through material or interests as they suit her with no real push-back. So as adeptly and quickly as she can read Little Bear's Birthday Soup, having to slow down and take apart the text is challenging. And that's a good thing. It teaches her how to study; gives her motivation; develops perseverance; and cultivates humility. All good things.

                            So I think we are making the right decisions here. Thanks for all the input.
                            Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                            Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                            Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                            Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                            “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                            ~Pope St John Paul II

                            Comment

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