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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dyslexic Advantage: Picture THIS!!

Brock L. Eide, M.D., M.A., is a Phi Beta Kappa and AOA Medical Honors Society graduate from the University of Washington, and University of Washington School of Medicine. He received his Masters Degree from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and engaged in postdoctoral studies at the University of California-San Francisco, National Institutes of Health, and University of Pennsylvania. He has lectured widely and published extensively in the fields of gifted education, learning disabilities, and twice exceptionalities such as giftedness and dyslexia, and served as consultant to the President's Council on Bioethics.

Fernette Eide M.D. is a Magna Cum Laude graduate with highest departmental honors from Harvard-Radcliffe College. She received her M.D. from the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine and has been on the Neurology faculties of University of Washington, the University of California-San Francisco, and University of Chicago School of Medicine. She has lecture widely and published extensively in the fields of gifted education, learning disabilities, and twice-exceptionalities such as giftedness and dyslexia, and served as consultant to the President's Council on Bioethics. 

They have done extensive testing on children with learning differences.  I saw the picture above, which just blew me away.  It may be hard to understand, the only reason I do is because I have my degree in Special Education, and took classes in Tests and Measurements.  I also taught, part time and full time, about 5 years.

See that VCI on the left?  That means these kids could talk about a lot of things. ALL of their verbal IQ's were above normal, some of them genius or above.  But, according to their oral reading, they were all below normal.  Remember the kid who talked to the teacher all the time?  That's how he learned best. Listening above normal, reading comprehension above normal,  Numerically, their operations and problem solving were above normal, but math fluency was very low...timed tests are their nemesis. What I want you to see is their high verbal, listening, even reading and math skills marked by the arrows....and the opposite low scores on WM (working memory) Performance skills (PSI), Spelling, Oral reading....Their dips and hilltops are in the same places.  Do you see that?  They all follow a very similar pattern.  What if schools taught to their verbal reasoning abilities, didn't give timed tests, gave them access to their gifts instead of only flunking them for their low ability in specific subsets.

We don't teach our children to think.  If we did, dyslexics would rise above the average students.  But we teach them to fill out worksheets, quickly, on memorized rote material most people can access easily... and then flunk the dyslexics because they are not "trying hard enough." We fail the kids, because WE fail to teach them.  Look how bright they are!  These tests prove there is something far above normal there, normal is the dotted red line.

What are we accomplishing by treating these kids like failures??
Below, I have tried to simplify what these tests are saying.  My interpretations are noted in red.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Imagine You Are Loved...

"At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self." Brendan Frances.  Intro to a story by Kare Eide, Normal is Nice

This post is in honor of Kare Eide, who passed away just days ago. She is the teenage daughter of Brock and  Fernette  Eide, whose faith in others had led to the creation of DyslexicAdvantage.  It is a way of thinking as well as a website for parents of kids who think outside the lines, as well as dyslexic people who can help ease the bumps, and who just want to talk.  I have found the most sincere help here of anywhere for my own son.  No games, no "look how smart we are" although one is a pediatrician, the other a psychologist...none. I have a mean mouth, and I can't stand it when others try to take advantage of underdog, but there is none of that here.  Beautiful people. I could learn so much from their example of encouragement. They are christians...and not ashamed of it.  I have always been a little ashamed of my faith because it is often equated with ignorance, guile, shame, racism, stupidity, and...ignorance, especially in the scientific community. 

I wasn't drawn to their brains...I was drawn to their hearts."It's only with the heart, that one sees rightly..What is essential is invisible to the eye." is from The Little Prince, and my favorite expression.  The bible refers to the opening of the "eyes of our heart" in Ephesians 1:18.

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling,

I must tell you, when you see a child with your heart...every stinking lie you've been told about them falls away. ("He'll never have friends--he doesn't get social cues--90 % chance he'll never hold a job or be independent--it caused by the mother's frigidity--he has no empathy--he's like a changeling."..I could puke now, must I go on?) I have fallen for it in the past, and nearly dipped my toe in those waters again, just recently.

My chance to be a mother naturally was nearly taken away by infertility, but God spoke softly to the heart of a young woman to bear her child, and she listened.  One million parents longed for a child that year, only 1 in 25 of them were so lucky, 960,000 were not, and I and my husband were among the lucky. I will not let the beauty of motherhood be taken away this time by ignorance disguised as knowledge..

No one knows what God has in store for those who are faithful..for all things work to the good for those who love Him, and are called by Him. Thank you, Kare, I guess it's true...a little child shall lead them.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#imfar2014 Birds of a feather...

Why I think this guy is nuts.

There is talk of a "window of opportunity" to avoid autism, which, in this case, must be deemed a "purely social disease" by Dr. Klin. This would be fine, if autism was a social disease.  If it was purely psychologically induced.  But we all know that there are accompanying problems that are medical in nature.

A look at the facts, the accompanying problems that surround a diagnosis of autism...could help to eliminate this fairy tale...Let's start now, before more lives are destroyed by the FEAR of autism. It is not as awful as it sounds.  In every case, the child remains.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Power of God, with proof

1 cor 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of Spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

First Corinthians has always been my favorite chapter...the love chapter. 
I have framed a card my dear mother gave me, when I
was having trouble with Ben.  He was only 3 years old.  I had the
expectations I would have of any three year old, I had worked with
kids of all ages.  But something was different, here. No one was quite
like Ben.  I had nothing to fall back on, no previous wisdom.

Ben never seemed to listen to a word I said.  He acted so naughty
at times, or so I thought.  I didn't realize that he had a severe communication
disorder, Semantic Pragmatic Disorder, and would not speak from his
own words until he was in the 4th grade.  He echoed words he heard on
t.v. or in life.  He could repeat long strings of words, but not answer the
question, "What is your name?".

The card, framed, to this day is my mezuzah. It always hangs near my front entrance to the house. When Ben was three years old, I used to hold it in my hands, and cry.  When I compared the way I treated my son, with lack of patience, always at the end of my rope, ready to scream, "What the hell is wrong with you!"...I'm not proud, but I would hold the "mezuzah" and read God's word to me, about what love is.  If I say I love my son, I perceived this was how I would act, in God's eyes.  Some people think the bible is to condemn others...I often found enough to condemn myself of missing the mark to go sniffing up someone elses mistakes.

"Love is patient, Love is kind."
I wanted to scream.  The last thing I wanted was to be patient.  No wonder I sobbed at times when I read those words.

"It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."
So much for me missing out on the soccer mom doesn't matter.

"It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs"
So much for using my sarcasm, my selfishness, my temper, or ABA.

"Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth."
I was looking for truth at the time.  I figured, going through Pub Med I could get my google degree and heal my son myself with my vast knowledge that I encountered there.  Thing is, if  Science is where the truth lies, in the 17 years since I started searching it has not helped me one damn bit. Is science lying, because that would be wrong...

"Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Love seldom come from "experts".  Love is the only thing we can truly give our children, our parents, our spouses, our coworkers, our friends... that no one else can.  If we deny them that, chasing after false truth...what have we done? No one can be "smart" enough to love without following the truth of the love chapter.  One could live their life, begin and end here being the only wisdom one could ever know...and live very, very, very well.

This is my mama.  I want you to look at the talisman around her neck.  The truth of Christ was the only truth she ever knew.  You can count the number of times she has missed Mass on one hand.  That's just the way she is, the way she chose to honor the faith of her mother, and on back for 350 years in North America. God first, then family, then friends, then work...and always dependable in each. I never felt unloved.  I seldom felt I disappointed her. She always told us kids we were all perfect, although being children of our ornery father, the bartender, we really seldom were. But she saw us with the eyes of love.  It's kinda like having blinders on, I take it.  Anyhow, after I let go of all the wisdom of the world, I found it here for my son.

The love mama gave us is being returned to her.  If we looked at her with the eyes of the world, we would have let fear rule us, and planted her butt in a nursing home a long time ago.  She has Alzheimers, pretty severe. Someone has to look in on her each day to make sure she has eaten and taken her meds. Someone does, one of my brothers or sisters who live in town.  They sacrifice like she sacrificed for us, to give her the best life possible.  So far, she has far surpassed anyones expectations of her ability to live by herself.

So sue me, Richard Dawkins, and all you who don't believe because there is no proof, and think my mama and people like her are stupid.  I think she is brilliant. You could learn so much from her.  I know I did.