Tuesday, November 9, 2010

is it bad When M texts me midway through her "assessment?"

The neuropsychologist fans through stacks of paperclipped test printouts, referencing them as proof. She leans forward a bit, looking right at me not to the point of intimidating. Apparently my daughter excelled in these simple (elementary / middle school level) tests, "so obviously she doesn't have any learning disorders."

Um, what?

While this woman moves to her next points, I stay stuck on that sentence. I instead wonder if she meant that ADD / ADHD isn't a learning disorder. I wonder if she believes that M does not possibly have ADD / ADHD, and if not, is this woman really basing her opinion that could become a diagnosis (or rule out diagnosis) on THOSE tests?

M's been on Vynase for months now. The neuropsychologist doesn't know if it'd remain in M's system or not, and as M wasn't on the medicine that day and did above average on her focus test, the neuropsychologist doesn't plan to pursue any additional ADHD testing. Um, one test, and she's an expert but doesn't know the potential interactions for the prescriptions for what she tests for and provides diagnoses for? She may e-mail M's neurologist for clarification on how long it remains in the system. Good, I hope so. I'd read previously to not stop it cold turkey; it makes sense to me that it could very readily maintain a baseline in the system vice just flushing out. We'll find out.

"And, I didn't notice her fidgeting." Never mind that reports indicate that M "fidgets" sufficiently often, and used to get commented on it regularly in "Intermediate," i.e., her middle school. Never mind that some people don't show the outwards signs of physical hyperactivity; their brains can still be all over the place. Never mind that she was in a new situation so would be on higher alert and focus, and may be retaining some medicine within her system controlling "fidgeting."

I'm, of course, grateful that my daughter doesn't have anything obvious that has hindered her in her elementary nor too badly in her middle school years. Oh, M's "presented" with symptons of ADD since Lower Elementary, often, and we share these fantastic "orange swirl" bounce all over the place yes there is some random vague connection and we can follow each other, really, conversations at times. It's just now in her higher level high school classes that this perceived way her brain processes information has hindered her more academically.

That's how we got here. Her chronic hiccupping lead to pediatrician visits, who ruled out some potential causes such as acid reflux, which lead to an excellent neurologist, who ruled out other things, including brain tumour and seemingly Tourette's isn't going on, either, thankfully. This doctor listens, had a very bright roommate in med school who had ADHD, has a son with ADHD, and understands that intelligent people can have disabilities, too. He felt that M was presenting with enough ADD/ADHD symptons to prescribe an Rx likely to subdue the hiccups and help take the edge off the ADD. The dosage for a small 5 year old was tried first, and then it's been increased twice. The edge is off, it really seems to be working for both things. I'm so pleased.

Just with this dosage, the neurologist wanted to go ahead and have M seen by a neuropsychologist. She sounded good enough, was recommended, doesn't take insurance argh but will help me submit and it's covered mostly. I figured it was worth laying out the money for, if this could help M achieve her personal optimal functioning. Even if some behavioral tricks are taught to her, I don't care, help her please.

Yes, M may also have nerves. She's not the same, however, as the neuropsychologists daughter who got very very nervous before exams in law school. Nah, M and I have talked quite a bit about her first half of her assessment. M is fine going in to an exam, or in-class essay that'll count as an exam, or starting off a project. She won't get nervous until the 10 and 5 minute bells ring when she realizes that she's been so caught up in searching through her brain for information and ideas, and how to write it all down, properly and hopefully perfectly, that she's only gotten through maybe half of the test........ then, yes, she gets nervous:)

M was the only one of her friends actually excited to take AP World History this year; she enjoys social studies courses and history. My boyfriend, E, asks me how hard can history be, even AP World History with literally several thousands of years worth of information within a few weeks of academic study time. He remembers classes asking when this happened, or who was the Commander / King / President in year x. Nah, in her class, she's asked to compare and contrast two different countries in relation to their, oh, I don't know something appropriate and applicable that has a student think about her answer. Great stuff, can only help them learn and appreciate more, just takes a lot longer.

The class M was worried about taking is her AP Lang class. Lang stands for Language something else, basically her English class for this year. M is learning a lot and I believe actually enjoys it and her teacher. She was worried about the AP exam, and how on earth she'd get her thoughts down, in time.

But, now? Ask about her homework, "Honey, are you having any trouble with any of your classes, do you understand what you're supposed to do?" "It's not that it's hard, there's just a lot." M does have the intellectual capability for the level classes she is taking, and the neuropsychologist even agrees via the ingelligence test. She did, however, gently nudge me to consider M taking less AP classes, or less classes overall, if she's too nervous and feeling overwhelmed. I asked M what she thought of potentially taking lower level classes instead of AP (college level). "No way, I'd be SOOOOOO bored." I knew that. Boring can even bring on the inattention, and potentially poorer grades. I don't see boring as a solution and will let M figure out how many and which AP classes to take next year.

Besides, other than World History where several whole projects were never turned in argh, and a few others turned in the last week of the grading period, and even with getting A's on the portions of tests that she finishes and, um, zeros on the parts she doesn't get to, she has maintained excellent grades. With a few months time to learn her classes, a new planner, and this slightly higher dosage of Vynase, she may even get an excellent grade on the rest of her history, too. (She tends to get A's, some B's, and a glaringly out of place set of E's.) M says this shows that she can handle her three AP courses and other classes. As long as she maintains handling it emotionally as well, great! We both believe that she is. That is worth "teasing" out, as the neuropsychologist terms it, just don't hang a hat on it out of proportion to M's reality.

Apparently these tests didn't challenge M sufficiently to keep her mind truly on task, however, as she'd memorized the majority of the titles of the books on the neuropsychologists bookshelf, and thee exact placement of the various decorations, et al. Gosh, so had I actually, so M and I laughed that we'd both done that.....

Today was the second half of this assessment. M asked if it was really worth it, besides, this time I had to pull her from part of school. She hates to miss any of school, in large part as it's so difficult to make up sometimes. She'd forgotten her medicine at her fathers and I didn't even bother telling the neuropsychologist this time. I may, just haven't.

I knew it could finish early, I knew that there'd be one test on a high school / college level. I hadn't expected a text from M so early. "I just want to leave." Oh. Yikes. Later M told me that she was simply really tired and bored. M was moving her feet and legs around slightly when I arrived. This is common enough, or was a lot more common before she started her medicine, and it doesn't bother me. This time, I figured I'd say something so that I was in essence pointing it out to the neuropsychologist. "So, are you dancing?" "Yes." Talking with the woman, exchanging administrative items. "Is that your [non-traditional] set?" "Yes." She was "hand dancing" a smidgen as well, now that I think about it. SO tired and SO ready to just leave, she was no longer finding the woman and these tests to be a novelty. She even interrupted me a couple times enroute back to her school, and I didn't correct her; she just wishes to get her thoughts across before she forgets. I'm understanding that now.

So, my daughter who "obviously has no learning disability," while taking assessments to theoretically test her ability to stay on task, was also memorizing the details of the room including all the titles of all of the books and their exact placement, practicing her dance steps, and texting me. Uh-huh.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hello, again.

Wow, hi there. Long time no see. You're looking good, from quick glance.

I thought I'd lost you forever. See, I know I have friends who have kept your link; I meant to ask them for it. It's just that I felt it'd be hopeless, you and I again. I don't remember my Google e-mail never mind that password. Actually, maybe it's time I told you that I really have two Google e-mails, and another public blog. Sorry, it wasn't really cheating. Sometimes I wanted to reach a different audience, to focus solely on Irish dancing, and my precious daughters experiences with it. I know, you could offer me that, too, but you met my greater needs. I could be anything with you that I could be anonymously public about. I don't even remember the name of that blog.

I've missed you. Oh, I felt a need for a break. There were things going on and I never forgot you; I kept meaning to come back to you. I discovered Facebook. Sorry, please don't feel mad or jealous. Sometimes people need to explore other alternatives. My online friends I've met through you, I can keep in touch with there, too. I admit it, I do like Facebook. It's just, well, not you. My friends and I can share more via you, and via their blogs, be more open and hence more intimate. Facebook is like a quick blog status update, yet mine at least is way too public and includes so many of my "in real life" (IRL) friends and family, that I can't always share what I'd really like to. Facebook is almost a false intimacy.

I haven't been on my daughter's laptop for a long time. I saw your link there in my bookmarks. I hesitated, but I clicked on it, tried to log in. I hope that's okay with you. Maybe we can try this again some? I have to relearn you. :)

p.s. -- friends who are also Facebook friends -- I don't publicize this blog to my IRL friends and family. My beloved, E, knows of it, and a few of my IRL friends and family know, but if you happen to mention it DON'T give out this screenname (Ceilisundancer) nor the link or blog name. Please:)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

and I just don't care. I want her happy.

M seemed sullen to go with Si's friends older sister yesterday, into the pool (and also with Sh, who is Si's mother and M's dad's long-term girlfriend). She likes pool time, brought her favorite suit, has nothing against this girl but they're several years apart in age and don't really relate; this is really Si's playdate time.

As I say in the Irish dance world when people ask if I know this adorable "she looks like she's no more than 5 years old" girl, I just say she's my daughter's sister. (It was fun to enjoy Celtic Fling Feis and watch Si's first preliminary championship level competition, even if her barely 7 year old self competed w/ dancers up to 10 years old.) M was happy to be supportive when she was there watching, and I'm proud of how M did act. Even if she was a bit reluctant at first but I told her she had to. Gorgeous weather, teacher FT was there watching and encouraging, asking me, "Which hip of M's is hurting her?," right when M continued to not have her slap kicks very high. Ends up, she IS injured, and danced better at the Old Dominion Feis (the week previous; now M has a hip point contusion or something). Both girls ended up with similar placements at this feis, albeit a much higher percentage were "placed" (awarded) for Si's competition. M pointed this out just to me, then stayed silent about it, not wishing to diminish Si's moment that could have also been M's. She understands this.

It's harder to understand when M's own parent, her father C, won't watch her dance even when he shows up (the last two feiseanna he attended, he watched only Si's competitions, and never once watched a single one of M's competitions). M notices this, other parents notice this, but for M, mostly, it just plain hurts. Again.

I had agreed to drive M back from the hip hop / Irish dance rehearsal yesterday in part as it meant I had some extra time with her and could watch her rehearsal which I like to do. I get to interact w/ other parents, and know what M's thinking and feeling about the piece and how it's going for her. It's funny to hear the dancers descriptions, this is a vulture and this move like a monkey, and we have prairie dogs and........ other animals. It helps them laugh at this difficult complicated piece, that actually is looking like it'll be real good. Her dad, C, and the girlfriend, Sh, refused to have M have any activities during "their" time w/ M this summer, yet she won a spot on this piece via audition. She was excited about this, and it's part of what is keeping her in the performance dance company this year. If they're insisting she can only do this with switched time yet again (cue eyeroll), I will be supportive of M and share in this with her to an extent.

Enroute to the pool handoff ("I hate feeling like a piece of luggage,") she'd had a call with Al and a mutual girlfriend J from their former school. He's been in town visiting his dad for a lot of the summer, at first hanging with M yet now technically dating J's friend, who is now also a friend of M's, but eh something's not letting me know the full story. It's okay that I don't, I think. Even if she and Al are still close, talk a lot, go to movies and dinner he has started paying for. Also, he can get unintentionally pushy for their interpersonal styles differ. She deserves better but who am I to say; I'm "just" mom :) so I just remind her that she has a right to have a voice and be respected.

Me's also enjoyed more time with a best friend. This girl's also 15 (M will be within the week). Best friend who I've heard several times when no one remembered I could overhear or happen to see w/out trying to pry, is considering lesbianism, trying it out for herself with at least one relationship that's ended w/ her crushed. I see M and best friend hug each other, share secrets like close friends do, anyway. And I know M either will be a lesbian or won't be, or will be bisexual (she's too into guys, though, I think, to ever not have a continued interest in them, and I think in overhearing things that M and best friend are not romantic), and I just don't care. I want M happy, and their relationship is useful and helpful for both girls. They really benefit from each other.

And, with all the teenage angst she has, with all else I'm going through (serious work crisis; E and I are doing great), with the effect her relationships and a sickness had on her final grades and her emotional breakdown when she DID tell her dad and Sh that she didn't want to go there one last minute day and they, well, did get very mad about it, gosh.

Isn't that, ultimately, really, what everyone wants for his or her child, for said growing teenager into young adult "child," to simply feel loved, have at least one close friend to share secrets and angst, and to be HAPPY? I don't want her sullen; I want her to feel good about herself, I want her to stay loving her dance or whatever else she wishes to pursue that fits in, I want her respected and loved, to be healthy, and there is just too daggone much else going on in this world to be concerned about what gender a potential mate is; push comes to shove, and I just don't care. I want her HAPPY.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Do you really want the answer?

You keep asking my daughter if she even wants to be [visiting] there with her dad, and you, and your child with her dad, i.e., my daughter's half sister 8 years younger.
You're not happy when she doesn't answer.
She's trying to be polite; she doesn't really wish to hurt your feelings (and is also a scared to speak it out loud to you).
Every time you ask her, she's that much closer to giving you the answer.
Please don't be mad at her when she does.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

THIS explains Twitter.

I knew I needed to learn more when E asked me what Twitter is. I've had some of you "gentle readers" tell me that they, too, Twitter, and invite me to follow them.

So, intrigued, I had figured out part of it. I knew that people can write short status reports and send them off to fans who sign up to receive them. I wasn't sure where I, as a potential fan, would go to in order to receive them (do them come to my e-mail, my Facebook, my blog, the poster's blog?). I think some people "Twitter" from their cell phones, but hey, I've yet to download music onto my combination cell phone/MP3 player, never mind access the internet and e-mail like my daughter can, and does. I like the short status comments on Facebook, hmmm, this has appeal. Maybe.

Then, yeah, this woman wrote fairly clear and detailed information on what Twitter is, and how to sign up. Wow. Even if, yes, its intention is for people who wish to follow Worlds. The World-level competition for Irish stepdancing will be held this April 5-12, 2009, in Philadelphia. Hey, you can now sign up for Twitter alerts:)

I just, maybe, gosh do I need something else, might, too.


http://iheartthatdance.blogspot.com/2009/03/extra-extra.html

So, stop on by, congratulate her on her pregnancy, and check it out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend: Part 1: Big Show, et al

Summary: It was thee best "Big Show" show, ever, and I've seen them all. It DID rain on Sunday's parade, but it didn't dampen the enthusiasm.

Friday night:

Rush hour traffic TO the theatre for tech rehearsal wasn't good, but wasn't horrible. Such a beautiful, historical theatre; it even has a balcony. The girls checked out the small dressing rooms, yet with lighted mirrors, and a sturdy rod that went the length of the room which was great for hanging costumes. It was exciting to see their Irish Dance school name on the marquee, and M's photo on the wall-sized poster as advertisement. Visited a local Irish establishment with a dance dad (DAID) while waiting, who took a smaller poster to put in their window. C's office is nearby, so he'd stopped over and told me to pick up a town newspaper, as M's photo and a write up on "Big Show" and TCRG Ma was in it. Got texts from E's daughter about the "smaller town" parade Saturday morning. Seeing the dancers onstage still gives me such pride in them all. I picked up the tickets I'd ordered last December, put two back on hold in my mother's name, and worried that our 3rd row seats would be too close, oh well. Tech rehearsal ran a little over, but it'd run well. The 100 extra lightbulbs that'd been rented, were needed.

I took M home so she could prepare for Saturday and get some rest, then I joined E at a ceili in progress. This is our main Irish ceili and set dance groups annual St. Patrick's Day ceili. It's beginner and family-friendly, and the one M enjoys the most, where people "know her name," and have watched her grow up. She'd started her Irish dancing with this group. M's stepdance school often performs a short bit during break, but the owners of the small town venue complained of the hardshoes on their wooden floor, and the dancers had their tech rehearsal as a conflict, anyway. (Another of their school's performing group performed at the annual "big country club" gig, so yeah, one less stressor.) I was tired, but it was fun to get in the time there that I could, even the last dance of Haymaker's Jig. M enjoys that dance, and had planned to attend, originally. Even TCRG Ma exclaimed regret, "I love that ceili!" I got a call confirming the new time for dancers to meet up at the theatre tomorrow, and I texted with M to make sure she was getting to bed.

After I was home and walked Daisy, I pulled M's black jazz pants and yet another pair of black tights out of the wash, which M'd forgotten to do, in hopes they'd dry by morning.

Saturday:

Threw black jazz pants and black socks into the dryer for just a short bit. Called Mom about the tickets being in her name, which relieved her. I reminded her that my stepfather's seat has no one sitting in front of him, which should be great for his legs. I figured I'd tell Mom at the threatre that C's mother had asked ME, not him who lives in this town, to pick up a ticket for her. Ultimately, E would sit w/ his parents, and C's mother would sit with Mom, stepfather, and me.

M went to pack up her gold tiara for SO's daughter, and realized it can't work any longer for her old green velvet with gold sleeves solo dress. Previously, L's mom lovingly sewed a pink backing to M's gold tiara to match M's current solo dress, of pink, gold, and black. SO's daughter had borrowed M's green and gold dress to dance at Shamrockfest at RFK stadium, as she's between dresses. SO said the girl could wear her silver tiara and wig, instead. M's "Big Show" will use natural hair. Some girls were curling their hair, but apparently the latest thing is straightening hair. M was up early straightening hers, and going over her costumes again just in case. I left to pick up E and drop him off at the "town" parade; he's in charge of our main groups parades. His daughter brought her two boys, all decked out and excited. I hated missing it; I never miss this one. At least I didn't have to also find SO in the gatherings to pass off the tiara. All reports are that this one was fun and went well, like usual.

Helped M pack her basket and things into the car, and off to the theatre! This was dress rehearsal morning, with full colored lights and costumes and hair and makeup. One adult in the group had asked the newer girls how to apply makeup; they all needed assistance from the more veteran performers. Two girls just received their new, new-styled velvet dresses; one arrived that morning. It's interesting how each unique dress looks so wonderful on its owner when planned well. How beautiful, and how differently they'd look if on another dancer. I talked some with TCRG/Figures Teacher about the solo dresses, upcoming spring recital, and the figures choreography. The figures choreography piece is in "Big Show," and looks really great with their new school dresses. I waited until their opening number, which took a while as details were being set up and worked out first. Wow. All the time, all the driving, all the rehearsals and lessons, all their hard work and dedication, and us parents money. When these dancers come out in their fanciest competition costumes, i.e., the solo dresses for girls and vests and tie outfits for boys, and perform that opening hardshoe piece, it just takes your breath away. They looked great, and obviously love dancing it. It's just so worth it. I'm so proud of them all.

E was calling to see when I'd be back, as the town parade had ended. I hated leaving the dress rehearsal, yet, my day was only beginning. The parade after party, with our main dance group, was about to start. While I skipped the several versions of corned beef, I love the carrots and potatos and cabbage boiled along with the corned beef. And soda bread. And, specially made Irish coffee (rather weak this year but that's just fine). Some music, some hanging out, then off again. E's parents were driving up from northern Virginia, to his home. They're getting a little older, and were meeting us at E's home. (My mother and stepfather live in the older town where "Big Show" was being held.) The parking garage was PACKED as was the theatre, and we'd even arrived in plenty of time. My stepfather wasn't feeling well, unfortunately, but a friend of my mom's was able to use the ticket.

It was thee best show ever. I told TCRG Ma that, and she said, "The kids were on fire." Yes, they all were, just on top of it and into it, and THERE. No rainsticks breaking and b-b's all over the floor (that happened at their 1st run 2 weeks previous, but none of us in the audience could tell). My mother cracked up at the scene held in the Catholic school, Class Act, which was the intended response. Kitchen Jam is also a fun piece, and so full of details,

MORE TO COME

Monday, February 2, 2009

Within 6 words.

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn." Ernest Hemingway's sentence is the example used by The Washington Post. It says everything necessary.

My favorite chapter is Frank McCourt's final chapter to his book, Angela's Ashes. I quote it in its entirety: "Tis."

Again, it says everything necessary.

The Washington Post is hosting a contest for St. Valentine's Day, in which people are supposed to summarize their lives (or, more specifically, their love lives), in 6 words or less. That got me thinking, how do I summarize beyond the forced brevity of a facebook status?

To help my daughter understand the assignment, I created this for her:

"He moved. I have internet." Or, "He moved. She has internet." Even if, primarily, they communicate via cell phone possibilities. Perhaps I'll tweak it.

For my late cousin:

"Singles dance. Husband waits, with gun."

For my beau:

"Waited, 6 years. I'm yours."


If you wish to play along, please add a note in my comments (either your 6 or less words, or a link to your blog), and send them to dating@washingtonpost.com
I'm curious:)