• autism,  Early Intervention,  Education,  handwriting,  motherhood

    When he was little

    When he was little he used to throw tantrums all the time. I have the scars on my hands to prove it. When we’d leave a store out of the “wrong door,” I’d try to pick him up off the ground and somehow he’d find a way to dig his nails into my hands and wrists to show his protest. I’d have bruises on my shins. Strands of my hair in his fists. That was life with an autistic little. Any excursion outside of the house was an enormous—catastrophic—disruption for both of us. I hated that he barely spoke. He would point and grunt even though he had the words…

  • autism,  Education,  handwriting,  helps,  high school,  home strategies,  learning strategies,  math,  modifications,  special education,  study skills

    When You’re Not a Hermione Granger Student

    The fact that one of my kids needs accommodations or modifications for homework and tests is still a hard concept for me. I was the Hermione Granger student. I sat in the front of the class. I did all the questions on every assignment. I got uber nervous–sick to my stomach sometimes–over getting tests back because I needed at least a 90% to feel good about myself. Not that I always got an “A” on everything. But if I didn’t, I felt like I had to do some major re-evaluations about my life. And then I have J. J is a kid that needs all of the accommodations and modifications.…

    Comments Off on When You’re Not a Hermione Granger Student
  • cross-country,  handwriting,  home strategies,  math,  modifications,  study skills

    Evolutions and adjustments

    Even though we’ve settled into our school routine, there are always those unexpected “bumps” along the way. Those “bumps” aren’t always bad things. Sometimes they’re just added adjustments to the regular routine to make things smoother. Since J’s been going (and participating!) in his team’s XC meets, we’ve had to figure out how to make up for that school time and study time lost while attending meets. We live in Fargo, North Dakota, and do a lot of traveling to nearby small towns for meets (because there’s just not a lot of people who live in North Dakota outside of Fargo!). J’s had meets in Jamestown (which is about 2 hrs by bus there and…

  • handwriting,  learning strategies,  middle school,  study skills

    Learning How to Learn

      It’s taken the second semester of grade 7 to feel like I’m finally understanding how to reinforce what J’s learning at school at home. I feel like we’re starting to get a good system going with J’s paras and teachers in how to modify assignments, tests, and practice assignments that will help J learn the best. J’s strengths lie in memorization, and he does really well with flashcards (homemade ones or through Quizlet. Are you familiar with Quizlet? It’s a wonderful free little app that lets you practice through flashcards, matching, definitions, etc). He’s funny with the memorization though. You give him a map of Africa and he can…

  • handwriting,  learning strategies

    Working With the Handwriting Enigma

    Through the last few months of school, I’ve been itching to work on J’s handwriting problems. With school going on, I couldn’t squeeze in the time or afford another homework battle when we had so many other things to do. Ever since he was three years old, J’s worked with an OT on his fine and gross motor skills. At three years old, he had already started Handwriting Without Tears (http://www.hwtears.com/hwt). He loves handwriting. He’s the only kid his age that I know who actually chooses cursive over printing. In fact, when I have my college students write in-class assignments, every single assignment comes back to me printed. Printed. Apparently kids these…