Did anyone watch Oprah's "Misunderstood Minds" yesterday?

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by shawtycat, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    That show confirmed what I kinda suspected. I know my baby girl isnt dumb, or slow or needs medication like some people were saying. :mad: She just learns differently. :) Just like me. People said I might be mentally retarded cause I couldnt answer complicated verbal math questions. And yet I pass physics and chemistry with a 95. :rolleyes: I have a talent for writing but have problems with manual writing because I dont write so well and my hand cant keep up with my mind. So after that show, I was able to identify what I knew were her strengths and get an idea of how to use her strengths to help her weakness.

    Im just glad that my mom was there to see and fight for me the way Im gonna fight for my daughter. When she transferred me to Art school I graduated at the top 10 of my class. I was taking advance placement classes and was on the honor roll. Yeah me, the dumb kid who couldn't learn. And let me tell you, even after all that confidence building I can still hear those voices from the past in my head saying that Im dumb and lazy. So be careful what you say to your kids. I was starting to give up and believe what everyone was saying back then, acting out and was really getting depressed until I got to Art school. Im a visual learner. Praise your kids for what they do well and they will excel in other areas because they will be eager to at least give it a shot. Don't pressure. It just frustrates them more and they will give up.

    Its amazing how she can sit, at 4!, and tell her brother bedtime stories that are way better than mine. She still likes me reading to her (She got her first book at 3 months and could recognize some of the animals too then) but she comes up with some pretty amazing stuff. So I know she is a creative visual mind like me. But after some of our relatives saying she was slow and lazy she seems to have lost some self confidence. :mad:

    So I asked her (yeah asked my 4 yr old) what she thinks she's good at. She said watching TV and playing. Not the things you want to hear. :( But I dug a little deeper and found out that she loves books, music and coloring. So we focused on those areas of play today. And you know what she did. She spent more time with her storybook today than she did with the TV! and I didnt give her the books she got them herself. She actually fell asleep telling herself a story. It seems that she thought I wanted her to watch TV and that she actually prefers spending time hanging out with mommy. I guess Ive been missing a lot of signs. I always thought she wouldn't be interested in being in the kitchen.


    Sorry about being so longwinded. Just thought Id pass on what I learned on Oprah. PS The guys name is Doc. Mel Levine and the book is A Mind At A Time. Can't wait to read it. Here is a link to the site:

    All Kinds of Minds.org
     
  2. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    Oh dear....did you ever post something and then feel like maybe you shouldn't.

    Im beginning to feel embarrassed for posting. Wonder if I could have this removed? Nicko?
     
  3. marmalady

    marmalady

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    Professional Caterer
    Shawty - don't feel embarassed at all. I have for a long, long time, believed in thinking and learning and living 'outside the box'.

    I think society/medicine/teachers are all too often ready to thrust someone into a 'disability' category because it's the easy way out. Fortunately, people like the doc you saw on Oprah are recognizing this, and more people are beginning to understand that every individual has their own way of learning, and if we just plug into that individual's way, they can zoom to the stars!

    The absolute best chef I ever worked for was severely dyslexic - ask him to write down quantities, prices, whatever - he was lost. Ask him to create a recipe and he was brilliant! He finally worked out a system where while he was developing something, either me or his sous chef would stay with him and jot things down until the final product was achieved, then sit down and brainstorm over the final costing/ingredients/recipe for the staff.

    You sound like a devoted mother, the questions you bring up on board certainly reflect your intelligence, 'savvy', and commitment. Just keep on doin' what your doin, hold your head up high, and don't listen to people who can't think 'outside the box'!!!!
     
  4. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Noooooooooooooooooooooo. Don't do that. I have it recorded because, yes, I believe Oprah and her guests have a great deal to offer the public in the way of knowledge and applicable self-improvement information. I will watch it too because my daughter sounds a lot like yours. She's extremely creative but it's a battle to get her to apply herself to the more "mundane" subjects. Plus the school she's in has someone named Jethro at the helm. I can't wait to move back to a city.

    I was never good at math. I got ridiculed, beaten (Catholic school, you know) and generally held back by my lack of math understanding. Instead of concentrating on my shortcomings, I got "passed" from grade to grade. My English, spelling, grammar and pronunciation...stellar. My math - I can't do long division. Nuff said.

    My friends wonder how I can add cups and tablespoons in my head but can't balance my checkbook.
     
  5. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    I was never good at math. I got ridiculed, beaten (Catholic school, you know) and generally held back by my lack of math understanding. Instead of concentrating on my shortcomings, I got "passed" from grade to grade. My English, spelling, grammar and pronunciation...stellar. My math - I can't do long division. Nuff said.


    That sounds so much like me. The only math I was good at was algebra because It seemed so similar to the puzzles I liked. As for getting beating, I can relate since I grew up in Barbados where capital punishment goes hand in hand with the schools. My mom thinks I may be slightly dislexic but I know I have a problem with word retrieval when speaking.

    I "see" the word (photographic memory) but cant seem to get it out. And when it comes to creating recipes I do the same thing. I actually have to draw the dern thing and then I am able to write it out because I can physically see it. That is how I was able to excel in art school. I was able to use my visual way of learning and apply it to my weaknesses. Like math and those dreaded fractions. I have to constantly write out problems so I can solve them visually.

    After that show, I asked my baby girl (Alyssa) some questions and now we are planning her meals together. She is so much more interested in food now and more willing to try new things because I realized that she wanted more responsibility with helping cook and wanted to have a say in things. I guess she's not really a baby anymore. :( Do you know that she hasn't turned her TV on all day. She's playing make believe with her brother and acts more confident since our talk about what mattered to her. :) Thank you Oprah. :bounce: :bounce:
     
  6. fodigger

    fodigger

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    The best advice I can give you ShawtyCat is no matter what be an advacate for your child. We have just gotten off a very expensive merrygoround w/ our oldest child. He was readiing books at 4, Moby Dick by 5, a 12th grade level by 6 I.Q tested 3 times averaging 178. Incredibly smart. Unless it was spacal(sp) then he was lost and retreated into his books. Teachers and administrators labeled him ADD,ADHA and on and on. Tens of thousands of dollars in tests only to have all of them ruled out. In july of last year we finally received the correct diagnosis - he was born w/ a slight case of spina bifida which in turn stimulated a disease called NLD which basically stands for non-verbal learning disorder. meaning one side of his brain doesn't speak to the other. Because of his IQ we were able to see some off the best Drs. in this field and have been able to design a program of physical therapy, mental exercises and a vitamin regement that have worked worders. He was recently awarded an award in his school for the most improved in behavior. An huge acknowledgement for his hard work. His Mom and I always fought for him and we are so happy we did no matter how hard it got we hung in and believe me at times it wasn't easy.
    So, good luck to you stick to your guns and do the best for your child. After all if we all fit in the box they want us to it would be awful full. Take care
     
  7. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    Id shake your hand and give you a hug fodigger but...well ..this is the internet. Glad you stuck to your guns and got more opinions.

    I have one thing to say. Say NO to MEDS!:bounce:
     
  8. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    A wonderful discussion here.

    I'm a teacher who has worked with both "differently-abled" and "typical" students for 27 years. I have seen students with severe forms of cerebral palsy achieve astonishing things; watched students who knew they were going to die of complications of various forms of muscular dystrophy go ahead and push themselves 'just for today' (one got a college degree 10 months before his death). Those kids were fortunate to have parents who pushed for them and worked with a team of professionals to get what their child needed. I feel blessed to have been their teacher. The key to the kids' success was INDIVIDUALIZATION. They each had an IEP (Individual Educational Plan) suited to them.

    Today that program has been dismantled to a large extent, almost completely because of lack of federal and state funds. Now many kids have a program that is designed for them, with fiscal possibilities in mind. If that is to change, it will have to be parents who make it happen.

    Now I am a reading specialist, working with "typical" kids who have reading problems. Many have these difficulties because they are unable to pay attention or concentrate, for a variety of reasons. Because I have small groups, I am able to get to know the child well and take a good look at what might work for him/her. Teachers with 30 kids often don't have this opportunity, despite everything educators know about the dangers of large classes.

    I feel I must step in at this point and caution about the "no meds, no way" philosophy. If we take this line, we are not personalizing responses to individual children's needs. I have seen several of my students have dramatic improvement from proper medication and behavioral intervention (by which I mean regularizing routines, using memo books and other prompting techniques- even having them call their home to leave memos on their answering machines). I've seen others not have benefits from medications, so we try something else behavioral. Please, please don't make such a generalization about meds. Be leery of those who recommend meds as the first solution, but don't rule it out totally.

    I've had to work with any number of harried parents who are frantic to assure that their children are helped, but unwilling to LISTEN to professionals. To some, we have the same status as used car salespeople or (GASP!) politicians. Most of us get it that you are wanting the best for YOUR child. Please listen to us, too. We're on the same side: your child's.

    I'll leave the disclaimer that there are "klinker" teachers for another time. I think we all realize that in any profession, about a 5% klinker rate is typcial!

    And finally, a note to ShawtyCat: BRAVO for you! Your daughter is so lucky to have a mom who understands what the score is. I can't tell you how many LD kids go on to wonderful futures in specialized fields, or find their own niche in the world. We constantly have to remind our students that those in the LD program aren't "dumb"; you must have average or above average IQ to qualify for that program. Most of the LD kids don't even know that! If that's not an argument for helping kids find their own areas of power outside the box, I don't know what is.
     
  9. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    I meant to say that parents should say no to physicains who after one consultation suggest that your child should have Prozac for goodness sake. BTW, Im not yelling, just disgusted over that thought. I suggest having a parent/teacher and , yes, CHILD conference in order to pinpoint what exactly could be the problem. First!. (I hated, and Im sure other kids did too, being talked about like I didnt exist during those things. I mean, all they had to do was ASK ME what the problem was)

    Teachers see things that we cannot and vice versa. And the child knows whats going on internally. If we show that all of us care and are willing to go the distance to solve or atleast alleviate the problem, then seek out a specialist.

    Ive attended my little sister's PTA meetings and talked to her teachers when I was 12 yrs old. Cause I care and I knew that her teachers cared. Even if my mom and her dad were busy fighting for custody, that didnt mean she had to slip through the cracks. :mad: I wonder why when parents start having problems the kids automatically take second seat. :confused: Oh well, we're not all perfect. I guess that's why she calls me mom. :blush: Im only 7 yrs older. :rolleyes: And my mom consulted with me and I gave the go ahead to put her into a school for gifted and talented children. She excelled and is now learning "Graphic Arts" and works at a TV studio creating cartoons for TV. At 17! Im sooo proud.

    Mezz,

    I wonder if, like the new Personal Chef Network, they couldnt be a Personal Teacher Network. Politics is killing our school system. :( They dont seem to remember that it took not only parents but a "TEACHER" to get them where they are today!

    Jodi
     
  10. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Jodi, thank you for your gracious and thoughtful words. Yes, students should be there for all or parts of conferences with teachers, particularly at the middle and high school level (I teach grades 6, 7 and 8).

    I'm not sure what the Personal Chef Network is or what its purpose is, but if it's for advocacy and professional development, we have such a group: the National Education Association with its state and local affiliates. It is a union, but is very much more than only that. Here in Wisconsin we need something, because schools are under very, very tight revenue caps and local districts can't give teachers real raises even if they wanted to. I have $1.33 per child to spend on purchasing reading class materials for my school for next year.... :cry:
     
  11. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    Ive donated stuff from old storybooks, pens and pencils etc. Aren't parents involved with the school system anymore? I mean, along with ranting and raving at the Board of Ed, why not donate some stuff to the school. It doesn't have to be much. If my little girl's class needs supplies, Ill donate some if I have to. Ive got credit at Staples. And from an IRS point of view, you can tell the parents that they can use it as a deduction. Ive got an extra computer Im not using. I may donate that. The kids need it more than I do.

    The govt seems to care more about their bottom line and accusing us parents of raising bad kids for them to arrest and teachers for not teaching. How can we raise our kids with them sticking their noses in everything we do and cutting funding to our schools. Makes me more in favor of home schooling sometimes. But I believe my kids need social skills too.

    That $1.33 per kid is ridiculous! Absolutely ridiculous! :mad: :eek: :mad: :eek: Since I go to the teachers supply store (the one with lesson plans and those things you guys like to hang around the class :) ) I know how much that stuff costs. And it is way more than $1.33 per child. Maybe you can bring up donations at a PTA meeting. Let the parents know that you are only given that little to spend on learning materials. Im sure something could be done from the parents stand point.