Sunday, November 23, 2008

taking some more laps

We have made real progress with Thomas this year. He has ADHD and now controls it with drugs. The drugs are a life saver. He is a different person. The main side effect for him is that it is hard for him to sleep. We are working on getting an adjustment to his medication. Hopefully he is "out of the woods". Philip on the other hand is in a deep hole. We think he might be dyslexic. If anyone knows about this let me hear from you. We are on a list for a clinic that does diagnostic work on many levels. It may take until March to get an appointment. I continue to work with him on his reading program (fast forwards). It helps but only a little. He really still can not read. It is a painful process. I think I will try to get him a full QEEG (brain map). I would love to do hyperbaric oxygen therapy with him but insurance will not pay for it. If I can get a PET scan then I will at least know if he has a blood flow problem in his brain. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps improve blood flow to the brain. Maybe we can get the insurance company to pay for a PET? Basically it's another lap around a very big track...someday we will figure out something that will help least a little! I don't consider him a "problem child". He is a child with a problem and it's our job to figure out how to help him. He is a funny kid. He is 100% normal in some ways, and really delayed in other ways (like reading and language). He has great strength and coordination, but very weak hands. I know that there is something that can be done for him. We just have not figured it out yet! The thing I find very frustrating about Germany is most doctors do not dig for answers. You have to push them to dig. I’m not a doctor so it takes me so long just to figure out what direction we can look. It’s like they give up on him. They think, oh he was adopted. We do not know his medical history. Maybe he was drug exposed or had a bad birth. Anyway, we can not help him. But I do not buy this! There are clues to problems that can be treated. You may never know how he got into this hole, but you can sure as #*&§”``!!! help treat some of his symptoms.


Karen of Scottsdale said...

I wonder if your son has dysgraphia? I only learned of it recently from a old friend from high school. Her son is severely dyslexic and also has dysgraphia, which is an inability to write properly. you might do an Internet search on it as well as dyslexia. I bet you could find suggestions on how to work with the child at home who has dyslexia.

Anonymous said...

I think you may have the wrong idea about what dyslexia fMRI imaging studies have shown. Dyslexia is not really a blood flow problem in need of a blood flow correction.

I can understand how someone can come to that conclusion from seeing the fMRI images that measure blood flow as indications of dyslexia but that is not the really the point.

Starting from the concept that the brain is specialized with different areas of the brain having specific functions , the studies show that dyslexics are having reading problems because they are processing information in different locations of the brain that are not as efficient as non dyslexics.

Current theory suggests that the electrical pathways are different in dyslexics and require more work to process reading because the information is being sent to areas of the brain that are not as efficient at processing the information.

Imagine walking on your hands instead of your feet. You have all the same body parts in good health as anyone else but it takes a lot longer to walk to the store because you walk on your hands and other people walk on their feet.

I won't say there is no value in having brain imaging done on your son but there is no practical reason for doing it. Having the results will not be of any help in identifying what help he actually needs. In fact an individual can not be diagnosed as being dyslexic or not by imaging. Researchers have only been able to see differences between groups of dyslexics and non dyslexics but there is overlap in the data so that without knowing that someone was dyslexic or not the researchers can't assign an individual to either group based on imaging data alone.

Dyslexia isn't a one size fits all problem. There are many different specific problems ( think of a long list) and an individual dyslexic will have some of the problems from the list.

The most common problem is phonological processing problems which is a difficulty processing the different sounds as being different. This often shows up in speech and communication difficulties even before children enter school.

The best path to follow is to find someone that can evaluate the dyslexic to identify what their individual problem areas are and then address those specific problems. Educational psychologists can often do the testing.

My niche is visual dyslexia which is often overlooked because only about 10% of dyslexics have visual problems as the cause of their reading problems.

No one has an intervention that works for all dyslexics so you will need to find help based on your son's specific problems.