Solutions for Smart but Struggling Students

Session 9: When Kids are Way Ahead and Way Behind at the Same Time

Melanie Hayes, Ed.D.
Running time: 19:58

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  1. Sarah Munjal on September 19, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    This has been so helpful and I feel seen. We walked this road with my son 2 years ago and got him a neuropsych evaluation when the school said there was no need for testing. Turns out instincts were right got and he has executive processing issues. We now suspect my daughter does as well. Instead of fight the schools we decided to homeschool. It was the best decision for us at this time, but it’s still a lonely road. Thank you for this helpful talk. We need more information out there.

  2. Brandy on September 19, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    My child is almost the exact opposite—extremely high verbal and written skills, but no socio-emotional skills. He also doesn’t have a lot of visuospatial skills (it’s honestly easier to verbally describe where something is than for him to understand and interpret pointing). He struggled all through elementary school feeling like he had to stifle his high level verbal and written skills in order to conform to the classroom (and writing goofy answers out of boredom). The description of the math did sound very familiar, though.

  3. Emma Dickinson on September 19, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Hi! I enjoyed Melanie Hayes’ information and insights. I would like to say that a good school psychologist will be able to provide the same information as a neuropsychologist, and has training to decipher the IQ profile as to help with strengths and weaknesses. They have access to a variety of tests. They can help do more of a deep dive, if necessary and if they have the training. This is a lot less costly than going to an outside professional that may charge hundreds or thousands of dollars. This might help some of our more disenfranchised families access this type of evaluation.

    • Lauren on September 20, 2019 at 9:41 pm

      Thanks for that suggestion, Emma! Getting solid and reliable information about our child’s learning shouldn’t be a privilege. It’s even more helpful when the school psychologist gets the overlay of giftedness with the learning challenge. IQ in those cases is definitely not the full story.
      -Lauren with the B&Q Team

  4. Saskia Salas on September 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    She just describe my son!!! He has impressive scores on verbal comprehension and visual spacial and very low in working memory and processing speed. His IQ score is 119 and one psychologist told us “he’s not gifted; as a matter of fact he is not even smart. He is just ADHD”. Obviously we never came back there.

  5. Marcia on September 19, 2019 at 10:55 am

    My kid taught himself cursive in third grade because the teacher had the cursive alphabet above the black board (they don’t teach cursive until they teach about signatures in 5th grade), but he wasn’t allowed to use it in school because they wanted him to improve his hand-writing! The funniest (not so funny) part was that he focused so much to write cursive it was so neat and easy to read but his handwriting was terrible and he was forced to struggle in this area and conform. 🙁

  6. Kate McWilliams on September 19, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Meltdowns happen from sensory overload, anxiety, or boredom! What a useful and true list!

  7. Julie Catalano on September 18, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    This spoke to me so much! This described my youngest son perfectly. I now feel I can craft the start of a plan to help my son feel secure and thrive in his learning. Thank you!

    • Maddy Werier on September 19, 2019 at 10:50 am

      This session was particularly helpful! Great overview of how to generally approach an area of strength (and fabulous ideas for how to work with a classroom). The discussion of the neuropsych/psych ed assessment really helped me to understand the results that I have received for both of my 2E kids.

  8. Silmara on September 18, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks so much for this talk. It re-affirms so much of what I have seen in my child and the practical ideas are very helpful.
    It infuses me with determination on this journey….

  9. Susan on September 18, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Thank you- this was a very helpful talk full of information!

  10. Ellie on September 18, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Describing writing as a deal-breaker is so true for my son. He avoids it at all costs! What speech to text programs/accommodations/strategies can you recommend for 2e kiddos for which the aversion to writing seems to stem from (1) poor executive function, (2) brain processes faster than my hand can write and (3) can’t put effort into a “boring” topic? How can we “remove the writing burden” in a way that is palatable to teachers that are not familiar with the 2e profile and can’t understand how a child can be so exceptionally advanced (especially when it comes to reading comprehension, vocabulary, oral/listening comprehension, etc) but can’t get one sentence down on paper (especially on a topic of little interest!).

    Thank you so much!

    • Lauren on September 20, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      Families I work with have had success with this visual organizing program My own son does best when he can just do a dump of information (no editing) and then visually organize the information (see Maria Kennedy’s talk!). It’s very difficult for him to organize, prioritize, and sequence his thoughts in his head. These visual strategies work best to draw information out.
      -Lauren with the B&Q Team

  11. evan on September 18, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Thank you for this helpful talk! I so agree with the dysgraphia comment. I wish more educators realized that dysgraphia is more than just messy handwriting! I would also love to hear what are some typical accommodations for a 2E child with dysgraphia in a large public high school. Because our public high school is so academically challenging, there is still a bias that accommodations translate into advantages.

    • Lauren on September 20, 2019 at 9:30 pm

      I’m starting to see more schools open up assistive technology options to all students if they use Microsoft’s OneNote (learning tools) and Google’s Chrome tools. Speech-to-text tool is one of the most common I see. It’s a whole new world with technology, and in many ways use of technology can help level the playing field.
      -Lauren with the B&Q team

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