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jjschwartz

Learning Disabilities

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Thanks to the responses I received from my first post. It is with sincere appreciation that this forum is available, especially to someone so new as I am.

 

1) I did some research for my area and contacted one clinic only about 2 hours a way that I think I will start with for some initial testing. The Doctor is an MD and DO who is a strong advocate of holistic family medicine. I am wanting to have some allergy tests done and some blood work done. Who knows what else.

 

2) I am also going to try some chiropractic care since his tics can be so strong it could possibly throw this skeletal system out of whack.

 

3) I ordered Sheila Rogers book, Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourette's. I have been reading and researching as much as possible.

 

4) I started last week giving him a dose of a liquid multivitamin called Kids Natural Calm by Natural Vitality. I had to start somewhere. It includes 24 frutis & veggies, Omega-3 DHA & EPA Vitamins and Minerals, Natural Calm magnesium citrate (240 mg), calcium and Amino Acids. It is gluten free and and all the rest of the 'free-of' ingredients. He takes this in the evening.

 

5) I purchased some Lavender oil and massage his feet at night to relax him.

 

6) I purchased some ground flax seed and sneak it in different foods he is eating. I read somewhere that the Omega 3 from Flax is better than from fish oils for tics.

 

7) I am in the beginning stages of trying to eliminate food additives and food dyes. And as much dairy and gluten as possible.

 

I know this seems like a head-long leap into what may seem like too big of an undertaking (setting myself up for failure) but I am trying to be flexible and realistic in this as possible and only do what I can. These are some of my goals and I have started a log to try and monitor what happens when and with what?

 

One of my biggest concerns is school.

Grandson is 11 years old, 6th grade. He has had an IEP since beginning school. To make a long story short. I do not know if the school is capable of teaching him with his disability. Along with his Tourette's he has ADHD and some OCD and anxiety. There are so many components to his learning ability and his needs that it is so difficult to get the education that he needs. He is in a new school this year which is helping because this year he is living with me and I am relentless. I will continue to pursue every avenue possible to get him help. I have provided the staff with as much information as possible and I am exercising my 'rights' to get them to make adjustments to his IEP. No one at this new school has had experience with Tourette's. There are things that my GSon is just not capable of doing and I am wondering how any of you have handled the school experience. I do not want the school to just keep shuffling him through the system and have him grow up and not have the education he needs.

 

I went to visit a specialized school today that runs a very intensive program along with keeping the student in traditional school. It is two hours a day. Short term is 3-4 months, their recommendation for my GSon would be 2-3 years because his scores are so low. She told me that they can teach him how to learn successfully. It is a one on one with student and teacher. It sounds like a great program and the special ed teacher at his school recommended I take a look at it. The cost is extremely high but supposedly because of his diagnosis some or all would be covered by insurance.

 

So.....what have you done in regards to your loved ones learning disabilities and school? I would love some input, feedback, suggestions, etc.

I have been reading some of the things out of Sheila's book to my GSon and he is enjoying learning more about his disease. And knowing there are others out there like him seems to help him accept it better.

 

I told my husband that in the span of our lifetime, one year is such a minute period of time, but with my GSon this one year means his whole future. We only have one year with him until he goes back to his mom. I am praying for a miracle.

 

I appreciate in advance for anything you have to share with me. Thank you.

Jennifer

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AS the mother of a son with Tourette's as well as a Special Education Teacher for 15 years (and believe it or not, a licensed attorney), I have a couple or responses to the school issues. First of all, if your son has a qualifying eligibility such as OHI for the ADHD or a learning disability, the school is mandated by federal law to provide the correct services and accommodations to make him successful at school. My son is 8 and at a Montessori school, so I haven't dealt with this personally yet, but other parents tell me that they have 504 services for their children which allow for certain accommodations such as leaving the classroom when ticcing is interfering with their learning, taking a test in a quiet room, etc. However, if a child is SpEd and NOT 504, the district is required to go beyond that and ensure that the student is being educated. I would encourage you to continue to push the district on this matter. I have worked the spectrum - from low functioning delayed developmental students to children with emotional disturbances- and I believe if you have good teachers, you can make progress at school. Also, if the staff doesn't have experience with students with Tourette's, try and work with them: give them literature, etc. Don't give up!

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Jennifer,

 

Congratulations for being so proactive in the health of your grandchild.

 

Such changes seem drastic at first, but after a while they are manageable. And if after a while you start to see the benefits, it is, of course, so worth all the trouble.

 

Best of luck,

 

Chris

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I must say I am experiencing the end of a day that has me about over the brink with frustration. I said to my GSon's Special Ed teacher before I left today that I would rather see him tic all day than have to watch him struggle with his learning disabilities. This was said from sheer frustration. I am assuming that his learning disabilities are due to the Tourettes. Is that wrong? He is in 6th grade and is reading at a second grade level. He is failing. I met with the teachers, special ed dept, social worker and para before school started this year to inform them of Tourettes and how it affects GSon's learning abilities. None of them have had experience with Tourettes and this is a new school for GSon.

 

My frustration level and stress is about through the roof right now. My GSon brought home his math worksheets and tests for the first half of the semester last night and he had an F for a grade. He has been given a chance to do make up assignments and correct problems. In the light of that I went to school with him at 7:30 a.m. this morning. I talked to his teachers, sat through several classes, cleaned out his desk (organization is not in his world), took notes and just watched and listened. We left school together at 2:30 and went outside in the yard for some fresh air and diversion before we began 4 hours of homework. Yes, 4 hours with just a short break to eat. Surprisingly he had no tics during this time and only became distracted a few times. That is a total of 12 hours today alone mostly involving school and school work. I don't know if I can keep up this pace. And to top it off he didn't even get close to starting his Reading packet, he only has 2 out of 13 pages completed.

 

When I try to explain to the teachers about Tourettes I can assure you they can see the tics but as far as explaining any learning disabilities they all look at me and say they think he is capable but he just chooses to waste time in class when he could be working on assignments. AAWWKK! I do not want to be naive here and have my GSon 'playing' me, but truthfully, I don't think he can do this. His brain is not functioning properly.

 

On a positive note, his evaluation for his IEP starts in November but takes about 6 weeks. His current IEP is based on OHI. He was one point from qualifying as learning disabled. I think that will change this year. I am also checking into a specialized school for reading and math therapy that works one on one with students for 2-3 hours per day and then they still participate in regular school. If his medical insurance doesn't pay, I won't be able to, it is $68 a day.

 

He is such a smart, handsome, very well liked boy. Kind and loving, it just breaks my heart when he calls himself retarded. He isn't and I tell him that. I just keep pushing forward in helping him, but I am so exhausted. I am 56 years old and not used to this. He will be with me for only this year and I am trying so hard to get him help while I have him.

 

Please answer: is it the Tourettes causing such learning disabilities?

 

Thank you.

Jennifer

 

 

Am I wrong in thinking his learning disability is due to Tourettes or is it just one of those 'possibly ailments' that may accompany Tourettes?

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Am I wrong in thinking his learning disability is due to Tourettes or is it just one of those 'possibly ailments' that may accompany Tourettes?

 

Without knowing all the details, it's hard to say, but I'm wondering if the learning disability might be more connected to the ADHD? I don't think learning disabilities automatically go hand-in-hand with Tourette's, but at the same time, it wouldn't be surprising that a child might have both Tourette's and learning disabilities as well.

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