Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Our choices for the year...

You should have seen the look on my son's face when I was taking curriculum out of my friends car. I had just came back from another wonderful year at the THSC Convention. There was a a huge box of Biology resources that he was carrying for me. I could see his eyes getting bigger when he read the ingredients of the box and hear his breathing come to a semi-hyperventilating mode...... "Mom, is this mine?"

Assuring him it was his sisters, you could see the burden rise off of him. I have learned you can do that to someone with SPD. No surprises that big. I would have had to sneak the box in and carefully bring out one small book at a time. Thankfully, it was Ashlie's first year of Biology, not his.

So, now I have all I need and what it will be. Some moms include their children/child in the process of what they use, some do not. I saw children with their parents at the convention helping with the decision making. I never did just because I knew what would work for them  and thought that would be more of my decision. Now that Ashlie is in high school, I want her to take on that responsibility of the decision making. I gave her several choices for her History/English and she chose which she would prefer. I feel that is a responsibility she needs to take on now. I asked her several questions on things she would prefer. At a younger pre-k, elementary, even junior high age I chose the resources. The only thing I was lenient in was the electives. What do you do? Do you chose or let them help decide?

So here is our list of what we will use after careful consideration.

Ashlie's list (9th grade)

  • Notgrass History- Exploring World History, it will give her 3 credits and that is what sold her on the idea. She will be able to earn her World History, English, and Bible.
  • Algebra- Teaching Textbooks, she does not use the cd's for some reason. Most of her school years was MUS, then last year we used the TT Pre Algebra and she liked it as well. I learned from research that TT was better in preparing you for college then MUS.
  • Teen Coder Gaming and Teen Coder Java , she has already taken the Teen Coder Windows and really enjoyed it.
  • Paradigm Biology, this is a great resource and have so many different subjects for high school. I have a feeling we will be using much more through the years. I personally know the creator of Paradigm and they are a genuine group with the focus of helping children.
  • Bowling for her might be her credit for P.E.
Aleq's list (5th grade)

  • Story of the World, I love this resource. It seems it could be very multi-sensory and straight to the fact.
  • All About Spelling, he went through the first 3 levels last year. He was at a Kindergarten level and moved through very easily. Aleq could just not process it through other resources we used. This worked and was amazing to watch him finally get the phonics while aiding his reading level.
  • All Things Fun & Fascinating EIW, now that he is more comfortable with spelling he can start more in writing. I have had a few friends use this and it not overwhelming for those with sensory issues.
  • MUS Advanced Math, these are the older versions. Math is is his stronger subject, this level is considered 7th-8th grade. 
  • Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, which he will enjoy. These are easy for him and like the Story of the World it goes straight to the fact with an activity.
From the 10+ years I have been homeschooling, I have learned to not change if it is not damaged. If it is working, don't change it. There is so much and I know it can become overwhelming with all the new good-smelling resources but stay with what you have if it is working. Change when you start to see you child/children becomes bored, you are not getting anywhere after a month. Sometimes it may take a week to click so make sure you actually try before you change. Also, to know the learning style of your child. 
We will be involved with 4H this year, we took last year off. Still have our field trips and whatever else we can get into. Last year was Aleq's year , when you SPD can see, feel, and hear your enthusiasm that he/she is progressing you will get farther. He can tell he is doing better that in return has raised his confidence.

I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that Ashlie is entering officially into 9th grade. I AM NOT READY FOR THAT! I know she will do fine. This past school year was a trial. I gave her her plan each week and told her I didn't care how she did it but all needed to be completed by Sat. of each week. She did great!

So now the next two weeks, I will be plugging the resources in my planner. I am ready and I  know it will be a great year no matter what. Are you ready?

Oh one more thing....do not attempt homeschooling on your own. It is so important to have a support group. You need a supportive group of mommas and husband. If you can't have the supportive husband then make sure you have the mommas. You should never feel this way.
 . When you send your kids to their homeschool friend's home

It should be like this, jk....Homeschool support group
Find your homeschool moms and make sure you find good ones. Sometimes it takes a while but you will find them. No judgement but just ones that will listen as you will do the same. If you have a hard time finding a support group, start one. Just don't go through the journey alone.....have a blessed one.

Peace, love, happiness

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fresh and ready to prepare for the year?

The past week, I have been preparing for the new school year. I feel this year for some reason is taking me longer, I don't know if it is still that Ash will be in 9th grade and I feel her life is seriously depending on me, lol or because they are both getting older.

So when I keep telling my husband each night, I am planning a little at a time. He finally asked me why is it taking me so long to plan for the week. I finally explained that I plan for the year. He only only sees a week at a time. HA!!
See this year, he actually participated in our schooling . It has been great! He schools Aleq in most of his subjects. Aleq told me the other day when I asked if he wanted me to do all of it with him that he had me for 9 years, it is his Papi's turn now.  So, I give my husband the plan weekly and he accomplishes what needs to accomplished. By the way, anyone else has a spouse that helps with the schooling?

After 10 years of homeschooling, I have scheduled many different ways our homeschool routine. It is like different styles of learning, everyone is different! There are many types of homeschool moms when it comes to planning your journey each year:
Wing it each week!
Monthly mayhem!
Yearly Yodas! (I have plan planned I do)
It could be your 1st year or your 5th year sometimes it takes time to figure out what works for you. All, I know is it was easier when they were younger. I remember being so excited when I started homeschooling Ashlie, we used Letter of the Week . It was great everything was planned you just had to get your material which was either the Dollar Tree or Library. I used it with my son as well, it was great for children with special needs. Then they just had to grow older and go through more grades.

So I started out as just a Winger Planner when they were younger, which was okay until about Kindergarten age. Then we moved to each Monthly Mayhem. When we got to about 3rd grade then planning become more efficient if it was really thought out and started being a wise Yearly Yoda. This is what helped me and may not work for everyone, that is why there are many ways to organize. All of these resources can be used weekly, monthly or yearly.


  • There is the computer generated, type it and print way to plan, Homeschool Tracker. This is great if you are the digital kind of momma. I have used it and enjoyed it.
  • If you like to write it all out and be more eclectic Donna Young is so valuable and it can be used for your home organization as well. You can pick and choose how you want your pages and what you want. Takes time to go throught to figure out what works for you.
  • Now, for those who like to be cute and organized with colors, Newbee Homeschooler is the place to go. It can be overwhelming at first but she guides you through 7 easy steps on how to personalize your own plan. It really makes sense and Tina provides many different ways to display what you need. This is my fav!
  • There are several companies as well that provide books to help you organize it all so you don't have to print, you just write it in. Here are a fewThe Ultimate Homeschool Planner, The Well Planned Day, and Homeschool Daily Planner
  • The Old Schoolhouse has one as well that is a print/edit planner, Schoolhouse Planner.
Remember that everyone has their own style, no way is the right way. The right way is the way that helps only you! It took me 4 years to figure out that planning the Yearly Yoda way helped me stay prepared and  keep routine.

I hope this helps you in some way to see all the different planners. Not only do kids learn different, we as parents/teachers plan different. When I am done, I will share how I plan the year. Getting my resources together is my top priority as our local homeschool conference comes around. Now, that I know what planning resource helps me, all I need is everything to just plan away. 

Are you ready for the next school year? How do you like to plan?

Peace, love, and happiness,
Heather

Monday, July 15, 2013

Nature clean is the way to be, I need vodka!

Nature clean is the way to be!

Everyone seems to be trying it now, to have a chemical free home. At first you wonder will the concoctions really clean and will it take a lot of time. Basically, yes they clean very well and it saves you money.  We have been doing this for about 19 plus years. It is so much easier now, I am practically jealous because I had to research myself and go through trial n error.Love it, feel better! By the time you read this blog, I will share my recipes and my favorite resource.
 Our goal is to put only in our body chemical free foods and using natural herbal resources for better health.

Okay, here is my story of how it started. I will say that there is a reason God developed my body this way because it benefited me later in life for my family, especially my SPD child. Actually it started because when I was 18, I had sudden allergic reactions to deodorant. Yeah, trying dating and having hives develop all over your body. Thankfully, he married me even though it was the beginning of many hive invasions to my body. Back then, there were was not much in hypoallergenic deodorants. Therefore, at that time, I started making my own experiments on what would work and not feel weird, lol. A year later it then started with makeup, I was allergic to everything. Every year after that it was something else. Last week, seriously I became allergic to my husband's mouthwash. Yeah, not fun because I don't even use (some things he won't won't use chemical free yet) it but it would stay on his lips then he would kiss mine. BOOM, my lips looked like I had botox!

So through the years, I learned to make my own soaps, lip balm, lotions, shampoos, furniture polish, laundry detergent, fabric softener, room deodorizer, candles, basic first aid ointment, etc....

Now I  benefit from this little adventure because I have seen where that wonderful olfactory that my son has is disrupted when we are around chemicals. 
I have seen it and can see how it throws him out of a good state. It does not take much, even with the smell of some foods which I can't control but I can try to make sure that chemical free scents are around us at home. The worst pollution is not outside but inside a home that is not chemical free...there are many books out there to really get scientific about it. It is crazy and it seems it is because our earth has become lazy and demanding.

Ha, are you wondering where the vodka comes in? Well, I have always used vinegar as a base for many of my blends to clean with. However, I learned from Vintage Remedies that vodka is a better base. So here is a favorite cleaner I use that I learned how to use vodka....




Then I learned her great mouth rinse, is just vodka and peppermint, this will really wake you up.

I don't know where this resource was 18 years ago but I really am happy I found them. It was when I worked for TOS Magazine as the Assistant to the Advertising Director and Senior Advertising Rep. All it took was going to their website and I was a number fan for life!

They have a lot of great resources about gluten free, aromatherapy, and herbal medicine. You can find a lot of great information from Vintage Remedies. I have many of there books, watch their YouTube videos and read their blog. This is my fav book of theirs, Handbook of Vintage Remedies, this is used weekly. Vintage Remedies has a wonderful book on gluten free, Guide to Bread. This book has helped me with our whole family. A tip, when I provide more gluten free options for Aleq, he seems to eat more of a variety of food. He has not gone totally gluten free but if I can eliminate most of it, he eats so much better. 

Okay, so now to what I use and how I use it, the spray above is what I use for everything to clean that is not wood.

Laundry detergent:
1 bar of Fels Naptha ,Zote, Dr. Bonners
1 cup of Arm n Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup of Borax

I grate the bar of soap and mix with the other ingredients. You can also put all this in a food processor and blend too. I usually double and triple this then keep in an airtight container. 1 tablespoon for regular load and if you have a boy who likes to be outside use 2 tablespoons per load. HA!!

Fabric Softner:
1 gallon of vinegar
essential oil of your choice: lemon, orange, lavender, citronella, vanilla etc.. make sure it is a good essential oil

I buy the big gallons of vinegar at Sams and open one to put about 15 drops of essential oil in it. Give the vinegar a good shake. Use about 1 cup on rinse cycle. 

Furniture/Wood Polish:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
essential oil of your choice: lemon, orange, lavender, citronella, vanilla, etc...

Pour the measured amount of oil into a bowl and microwave for about 1 min. Then I put about 5 drops of essential oil of choice then mix with a spoon. Use a rag dip into mixture then rub on wood real well.

Bathtub scrub:
1/4 cup of baking soda or borax
1/4 cup of vinegar
a little water to make a paste
essential oil of your choice: lemon, orange, lavender, citronella, vanilla, etc...

Mix the first two together in a container you can seal for the extra left over then pour a little water at a time to make a paste. You can put about 5 -10 drops of your choice of  essential oil. I love lavender and orange together. Take a rag and dip in mixture then scrub, rinse with water.

Baby Wipes:
1 roll of paper towel
sharp knife
2 tablespoons of hypoallergenic babywash or Dr. Bonners liquid soap
1 tablespoons witch hazel
15 drops of tea tree
15 drops of lavender
1 tsp of almond or grapeseed oil
water
2  10 cup round containers with lids.

I use the store brand paper towels from Kroger, some swear by Viva or Bounty. You may have to try  out several to see which one you prefer. With a sharp knife (straight blade) cut the paper towel in half. Place each one in the container. Mix the ingredients in order in an 4 cup measuring device except water. Now fill the cup with water until it reaches 2 cups. Mix again until combined well and pour about 1/4 cup in each container aiming toward the bottom. Then pour 1/2 cup each over the top around the papertowel on each one. Then the rest toward the middle on each one. Leave it to set for about 10 min, then take the cardboard tubing out . It will come out easy. Seal and use. I use these for dog wipes as well. If we are going out, I will place some in a ziploc and bring with us for wipes. It takes me about 5 min to make these then they sit for 10 min. Very easy to make.


These are my essential cleaning supplies above. It is really worth it to be able to have a clean home that is chemical free. You will learn as you go what you will like more as in the essential oils. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. If you are looking for a way to clean or change and need help, I would love to help you. I even started making our own mosquito repellent.

So the next time you hear this crazy homeschool momma say "I need vodka" you know why. 

Blessings....









Sunday, July 7, 2013

Already July! Are you thinking of goals already?

I can not believe it is already July. Where did the year go? Am I the only one feeling that this year has been on fast forward?

This was the first year we were able to take the kids to see 4th of July fireworks. It was great and they were amazed with no issues.

We are still schooling through the summer, it truly helps and I feel that it is amazing the FREEDOM we have to homeschool whenever we want. I am so thankful for that benefit of homeschooling!

One of the realities to our learning atmosphere is that if we stop more then 3 days in a row it really puts Aleq out of routine and the effect is not fun. He reminds me of my grandparents when I think about it. Everything needed to be at the same time everyday such as breakfast, lunch, and supper. There was not late supper or skip breakfast. ;) Maybe that is where I learned my organizational crazy skills from. You also went to bed at the same time and woke up with everyone. Everything was organized.  My husband had even thought of schooling everyday with Aleq, but we figured he needed to learn that agendas do change and to learn to change with it. Anyone else have a SPD child that really feeds off of routine?

Ashlie is going into the official 9th grade year! I can't believe it. I have all her resources figured out , I know she will do great. She is volunteering a lot as always and that really helps mold her into a great young lady. So I will be blogging a lot more about high school homeschooling. Still trying to figure a few things out, I know I will get there. I am thinking of using this great lady, who I just adore Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
My problem is part resistance, I don't want to do this and not ready for her to be there.She is in the process of trying to figure out what to pursue, I told her to think of 3 occupations. I know whatever she does I want her to love it so she will be great at it. This is our goal now, for her to think of what she wants to study to help her get where she needs to be. Her personal goal I hope for her is to think of her strengths and what she feels is her weakness so that we can help her become more confident.

Within the past two weeks, I went to a seminar and learned a lot. Very grateful to my boss (she rocks) for letting me go. I learned several things:
"Whatever my children have issues with, it is my fault" Due to having c-sections and not being able to breast feed. Already told my kids both I am sorry. :)
"It is okay if I hang them upside down for about 60 sec several times a day" It will drain the toxins out of their brain. :)
"1 in 6 kids have some sort of disability" (This is really bothers me.)
"Always create a positive environment if you need them to do school work or anything basically without problems" (I try to do this the majority of the time)
Yeah, I know each one of these could be a blog post in itself and I may even do it.

Then this week I came across a great Youtube seminar. This is an awesome woman whom I have learned so much from since the beginning. I blog because I didn't have that help and had to learn through books, research and her. I hope that those with kids that have SPD or those who have friend/family that had kids with SPD will watch.


Our goal this year for Aleq is to grow more and learning to deal with situations that may come about. He is older and becoming more mature. He is realizing now that he does not really have many friends like his sister. That is beginning to bother him. He knows he has a hard time in large groups and has a hard time finding friends that understand him. I can't be there forever or all the time. It is time to really focus on how to show him decision making and recognizing different paths to take. My husband is a great support for this.

One thing we have worked is trying to have him recognize when he is getting overwhelmed and what he needs to do. What choices he has to make? If he is having a hard time processing in the morning, can he realize it? Being more vocal with us so we can sit down to help him then him getting upset, frustrated, and angry. If he is getting overwhelmed in Math, then ask me if we can start with a different subject. I am hoping we can teach him how to deal with situations when around other kids. That not every kids likes to play rough or other kids use other actions to play around. WE will get there......
Academically, getting him to write more.

It is really important to write down or have a mental note of your goal not just in academics but when you have a special needs child. You can express these goals with them if you think it will help especially if they are elementary age. That way they know what they are doing and why.

I think about it twice a year on what we can work on next because we have to work only on 2 goals at a time, academic and personal ones.

Have you thought about goals for your kids, specific goals? What do you want them to specifically accomplish. It is easier to get there when you know what you want them to accomplish. Hmmm, makes you think?

Peace, love, and happiness to ya'll this week.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sociable is the word of the week!

Sociable is a big word that I never realized how hard it can be for peoople. As my husband says, " You can just talk to anyone." I can't help it, it is natural. However, not natural for many I have learned.

As a young girl my adventures were learning and talking to EVERYONE in the neighborhood... My mom knew I was everywhere on our street talking to many of the older neighbors, I would spend hours at their houses just talking even at a young age. I just love to talk and learn. I would absorb their experiences and learn what they knew. I don't think she ever worried if someone took me because everyone knew me.

So my husband who was never really sociable taught me for the first time about the word "shy" and  how he did not like to be around people, not because he is a mean person. He just didn't feel comfortable. I never could understand how you just not be able to talk to someone or NOT want to be around people. I love people and love to have fun! We compromised in many situations through the years......Basically, I learned to not be pushy or personal. :)

So here I am again, dealing with being sociable! Now, many people fear homeschooling because they are worried the children may not be okay in society. Sheltering is a common thought. I believe that many children I meet that are not homeschooled need to learn more about being social and etiquette then others, lol. So in thought, it really depends on the parents and how they teach their children.


However, that is not the case at all because we have always been around people. Aleq is now old enough and at that age where he is realizing he really does not have HIS friends. He knows many people but not a consistant friendship  which is what he needs to grow even more. He is very unsure where he stands with others and I know that is an insecurity with his SPD. He is a sociable person but getting to become sociable with someone is his struggle. When he was younger he was just better at just being alone, he didn't want anyone around him. In his eyes, he sees his sister with many of her friends doing activities now. You can see he wants to a part of that but can't figure out the instructions to do it.
Sometimes there has to be a breakdown to rebuild to fix the problem. With ANYTHING in life....Remember this, it is okay for them to have a breakdown. I have come home many times in tears! But the breakdowns is how we learn what to work on.

 
You know how easy it would be for me to just walk around with these flyers with me so others would understand....

 
 
 
Lately, I could tell he has been having trouble around others again. He would pick on them or be rude. However, if you have an SPD or Autistic child you know automatically things can come out of their mouth that all you can do is shrug your shoulders. They do not know the normal instructions, they are not wired that way. So it is our job to repeat the instruction until they can make that decision without frustration and sometime in reality that may not ever happen. But assuring them you are there to help guide them is the key for them.
 
 
Our level has grown to another level in many areas but at this age learning to become sociable is the word of the week. Role play is really important.
 
Sometimes SPD kids do not realize what to do around others they may not know in the room, as in how to talk to them or even what to do when they see others they do know.. ...Sometimes the first reaction for them is frustration, pressure, or I have seen shutting down.
 We have a game we play...before we go anywhere I try to inform him of what it is, why we are going, and who might be there. Then I try to come up with things to do first, for example ask the person is doing or what have they have been doing lately. If we have had issues in the past with things he may do, touching people or hugging them hard, I try to remind him not everyone likes this. Another issue is knowing to stop if someone says stop, he gets overwhelmed and he shows his excitement with touching or hitting. This is a repetitive game.....What I have realized and you must realize if you have an SPD child that you must never stop this.
 
I have found a great tool to help him. I have read and learned SPD kids need to be on routine. Well, ding ding ding, as a homeschool mom I have to have a routine so this is easy for me. However, they need to see and know what is happening, nothing spontaneous, if there is a change then we talk about why it has changed.  So, I started a weekly calendar that lists our appointments, activities, and daily schedule. This has truly helped him now he is reading better. He knows to go and look before asking me.  It also helps with him feeling secure and stable. Then he prepares according to the schedule. My daugther even loves it, she goes and stands before it almost everyday, lol.

Once he can get to be sociable with someone which can take a while, then he is smooth sailing. Every once in a while it is normal that it just becomes overwhelming and he wants to give up, that is when I tell him when he feels that way to come tell me so we can leave or have space.  Our struggle most of the time is finding others that understand and have patience. I know that will always be a bump in his path. Finding parents who can be consistent to have "hang out" time is another struggle. It is so important for kids to have that.... Having that time to just "hang out" and bond is important for anyone of any age. However, it seems these days we are so busy with life we are not consistent. This is not good for anyone!

It seems the ability to be sociable is a good skill to have and being able to get to that point. Through the years I have found some of my friends have a hard time and are shy...Are you shy? Are you sociable? Do you have a hard time around others? Just curious...Do you find that your children have become shy or panic around others? I would love to hear your feedback on this.

Have a blessed week and with the Christmas parties coming up....I think this is a great topic to address. ;)

Peace, love, and happiness!


 


 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I didn't leave forever!

I hope all of you are doing well! I am back after a brief break and I look forward to helping any of you through our events that have happened. So much has changed in 2012! Much progress with my children and life in general. Please, be sure to read my previous posting that may help you out.


To sum it all up this is Aleq's year for school, Ashlie is borderline highschool level, and I work from home with a great group of people. Yeah, I think that was a quick way to put it! Look how much they have grown.
 









Today, I sat and reflected on our schooling.......wow, the years are just going so fast!



While grading Ashlie's math and getting her average for the first half of the semester, yes I this is my practice year for next year. She did good and has a B+. She has really stepped up to the plate and became responsible for her work. I simply now have her work written weekly on an assignment sheet that is given to her each Monday. It does not matter how she does it but it all needs to be completed by Friday. We started this to have her become more responible for her actions and work. I know she needs to learn deadlines...
I thought this time would never come upon us. During the summer I was freaking out... I know I am not the only mother that feels this way when the have a child entering highschool level...am I? So she is finishing up up The Hobbit unit study, http://www.totallanguageplus.com/catalog/guides/hobbit.html! She loved it! She always resists when I pick the books but then enjoys them or perhaps because the movie is coming out soon!


She has really matured and shown her own personality this year. I am so proud of who she has become and what she does. Now, the fun teen years really start with more details in learning life lessons....I don't know if I am ready for this.



Aleq, he has progressed so much! He is on his level with everything but writing. Look, after many tears, I finally realized that I have to just let him take babysteps. We will get there. His spelling is awesome, he is getting it. We used the All About Spelling,

I can't tell you enough how awesome this program it! It is for any type of learner!
So, we were using the Pathway Readers, which were excellent. However, I happened to find good ole Charlottes Web and thought why is he not reading this instead. I know he can read.  So I grabbed it and he freaked! His face was priceless. Then I told him he could do it, it ended up being a break through. So, I have learned that only YOU know your child and only YOU know when to push. This led to going to the library with friends picking up Diary of a Wimpy Kid's book...that is all it took. Please, Jeff K., do not stop writing because you are all he reads. They just came out with #7...he has read them ALL except for this one since September. I am a crybaby and cried with joy over this still

So this is how school is going so far to sum it all up. Never give up and never stop trying because you can progress.  The icing on the cake is my husband has been helping  more with Aleq's schooling. He does great with Aleq. It never hurts for our spouse to help out and you never know, they may enjoy it. LOL, he is comfortable right now at his level to teach him. He said when he gets in higher grade he will hand it back over....we shall see. Does anyone else have a spouse that helps with the teaching?

We still have days where Aleq takes two steps back but he so much farther then he was and I know it would not have happened if he was in public school. I often wonder how many children through the years have issues but people think they are just bad. I am a deep thinker on that idea.......Children are our future and I will do all I can to help them become a better person and have their qualities shine!

I will be back more and more...sorry for the bried delay, I look forward to supporting you through your journey with SPD and homeschooling even more.

It feels good to be back...do you know what really encouraged me! I found out a therapist actually had my blog down as a resource! UNBELIEVABLE!!! So now, I will continue to be a resource and help as much as I can! We can do anything,through God!






Peace, love, and happiness....














 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Purple is our calm color!


Purple is our calm color! Yes, we are the Purple family!

I never liked Barney and that is who I associate when I think of Purple. Purple is also a color that my Grandmother for many years and I believe until even now thinks is my favorite color. Purple has never been a calming color or favorite for me.

So when we went for a screening to see how Aleq views words,  it amazed me that Purple is his calming color. It seemed like I would never escape Purple, so I need to embrace it.
I have known all year that Aleq was having issues with reading. It seemed to frustrate him more then anything and it was to the point that I was lucky to get one page read by him in his reader each day.
He knew his sounds, he knew his letters, and he knew how to sound them out. So what is the problem! A thought might come across that he is possibly being lazy or stubborn about reading. It was not a comprehension issue, he would understand no matter how long it took to read a sentence.
It was a different look in his eyes, you could see him trying but it really frustrating him as if it hurt his head.  Knowing he has SPD, I thought maybe he is not processing it! Ding a light went off....perhaps it is dyslexia!

So here I go to the library as always, when I have an idea about something. Grabbing all the books I can preparing myself to help him in anyway I can.  There was one particular book called "Reading by Colors" by Helen Irlen. It caught my attention because it had in the description about sensory issues. I read it and it made sense but I still was not really on board.
I had a homeschool mom, who I called because she was having issues with her son as well. She informed me of our local homeschool store that did the testing. I called and we went today. So Aleq has a a type of dyslexia called Scotopic Sensitiviy Syndrome, So does my husband!

So what is Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrom? It is more of a perceptual issue. Which makes sense because Aleq has gravitational insecurities as well.  According to Irlen, it involves the functioning of the eye. You may see the background flashing, or see colors in the background, letters fading, changing shape, or the resolution. It is frustrating trying to read with all that going on.
It was really amazing how after testing Aleq and him talking about the colors he sees. Then walking out to where my husband was and the tester mentioned that Aleq sees colors. My husband said " I thought that was normal". Jaime knew exactly what Aleq was going through. I could not see anything different, but they did.

This is how it affects you if you have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome and not know it:
  • you enery level is low
  • no motivation
  • low in work production
  • short attention span
  • writing is difficult
  • handwriting is not very legible
  • gross motor activites are affected
  • depth perception is off
These are just some of the clues....

Also according to Irlen, and I witnessed it there are five components:
  1. Light sensitivity - does not do well w/ flouresent lights or energy saver lights
  2. Inadequate Background -having issues with high contrasts between black and white
  3. Poor Print Resolution- the letter/numbers change, dance, vibrate, jiggle, move
  4. Restricted Span of Recognition - difficulty in reading letters, notes, numbers, or words at the same time
  5. Lack of Sustained Attention - can not focus or concentrate
The result is you will have an insufficient reader and an all-or-nothing attitude!

Aleq is to young to figure out what he really sees as far as how the words looked, check it out with the examples. Some words could look like rivers, shadows, jumping off the page or blurred. Jaime said he could see the words forming rivers. After coming home and talking with my mom, she admitted she sees shadows on all her words.  WOW!!

This has been a learning experience. I always thought dyslexia was seeing things backwards. That is farthest from the truth.

Where was I when this aired on TV! It is so worth to watch it. Amazing!

The way we are working through it right now is we use our Purple overlay and he read 4 pages with no problem. In about 6 months or a year we will go back and see how his progress is. Another method is we will use Purple colored paper for his school work. So I found Purple paper at Office Depot and will copy his Math U See and HWT work onto the colored paper. We will use Purple index cards for sight words to practice.  Oh, we changed our "energy saving light bulbs" back to the old type as well.

Now all of this makes sense, he never liked books with cartoons in them because it overwhelmed him. We also need to use more readers with just black and white drawings in them. I found a couple of Pathway First Step Readers to use. How cool is it listed on Cathy Duffys website!

I bought an overlay for Ashlie and my husband.

So now we are off on another journey.

More to live, love and laugh.....
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