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Independent Learning/Organizational Skills

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  • Independent Learning/Organizational Skills

    I have a son who has TS+. He was diagnosed when he was six years old. He is currently in grade four and is in an inclusive class environment. He also receives daily ISSP and has an extensive IEP which includes many accommodations.
    The common thread since he has been attending school is his inability to work independently on a consistent basis. Granted his ADHD (combined type), tics, OCD, etc play a huge role. Yet, our daughter who also has TS, has no problems working independently and has a lot of initiative. Have any other parents experienced this with their beautiful TS children? If so, are there any recommendations? Our son receives a lot of support at home and at school. :?:

  • #2
    Independent Learning/Organizational Skills


    Welcome to the TSFC forum and I am glad you found us.

    You are not alone in your experiences with your son and what you are describing is mirrored to our experiences with my son.

    My son has TS+ and his concerns as you have described are directly related to the ADHD part of his +.

    I will share some ideas and approaches that have worked for us tomorrow but wanted to check in and let you know it can get better...

    It has for us, in our case it is the approach that made the difference.

    Take care for now and I am glad you found us. This forum has made a real difference for our own family.


    • #3
      Re: Independent Learning/Organizational Skills

      Originally posted by Kimber
      Have any other parents experienced this with their beautiful TS children? If so, are there any recommendations? Our son receives a lot of support at home and at school. :?:
      It's not the TS per se that's of relevance. It's much more likely to be the Executive Dysfunction that is present in many children and adults who have ADHD.

      I have two young adults with TS+ and a spouse with TS+. The two that have ADHD both have severe organizational problems and problems completing tasks.

      If you go to the Executive Dysfunction part of my web site, you may find some materials to help you.

      Best of luck.

      Find a way or make a way!


      • #4
        Independent Learning/Organizational Skills


        My son is 12 and now in seventh grade. He is also in a 10 grade language skills program. What you are describing is the + part of his condition (ADHD) not really the TS part.

        We found two major factors with my son before making some serious changes.

        1.) He was so disorganized with paper stuffed in his desk and hanging from his book bag. The clutter made him even more frustrated and if someone said something about it or tried to help clean it up that just made it worse.

        2.) We had him tested and found he was bored in school and we knew he could make straight "A"'s and had at one point but his grades dropped and he began not wanting to follow through doing all the work or meeting anyone else's time table.

        He does not have a desk with storage now.

        He carries one binder divided and a pencil case that inserts into the rings with a limited amount of pens and pencils. No more "trapper" that was a disaster and to heavy.

        He has a locker and his books are waiting for him at school now. No more book bag.

        He does most of his work in class and some of his tests are before class and are verbal or on the board. These are done in conversation format.

        He used to zone out when he needed to help bring in the groceries or complete a task. Though we still have some time table issues it has become much better and he is able to stop what he is doing to help voluntarily without asking him now.
        His self esteem is higher now and he is more aware of his surroundings instead of dealing with scattered thoughts or tunnel vision.

        We were warned with his ADHD that it can also create some emotional immaturity and create some problems with making friends. We have been through this stage too and it is getting better. Since he is not frustrated anymore we do not experiences outbursts or "rage" like we did. Melts downs are rare and he no longer punishes himself for his behavior.

        My son also has sensory issues and has TS+. The school had two in service programs for students and then for teachers so that they would understand the complex make up of someone with TS or TS+
        They were ordered though the local chapter and national chapter.

        This has made a major difference in how others treat him. Teachers do not mind if he does not keep both feet flat of the floor when he writes anymore. He had motor skill concerns when he was younger. He sits were he wants in class and not at the front near the teacher's desk too.

        My son was offered an academic "shadow" but he refused this time saying he did not want to feel different from the rest of the students and if he needed help he knew he could ask for it.

        We have also graduated the time he is in school and even rotated to assure he would have all his courses covered. This breaks up the day, though they do provided two meal breaks instead of one lunch break at his school and this gives time to go outside or play ball in the gym to burn off energy.

        Is your son taking medication? You may want to speak to your Doctor about other medications and see what your options are.

        My son has gone through several changes over the years and we have found one that settles him down without causing him to be tired. We also have changed the time he is medicated to avoid insomnia issues and it works so much better then before. Our family Doctor provided some very good direction on those concerns.

        I hope you keep us posted on your progress and continue to post questions and experiences to share with all our readers.


        • #5
          Thank you for the comeback!!

          It truly is a challenge in trying to determine what will work with our unique and wonderful children!! To PJK, thank you for your feedback and it is much appreciated. We are at a crossroads with our son, in that, being nine years old and oppositional, refuses to consider medication for his ADHD. Well, what did kids do thirty years ago or more when I was a kid? He wants autonomy and that's his right. Yet, it is frustrating! The irony is that I volunteer in my kids' school and I have been assisting a special ed teacher for three consecutive years. He has ADHD. Yet, he is an excellent teacher. With respect to our son's current teacher, I don't think he completely understands how hard our son works and how bright he is. But, because of his output dysfuntion, he can never truly show how bright he is!! When I start to critique the way in which a test is constructed and the special ed teacher says I should be a teacher!! What am I supposed to think or feel? So, I carry on and investigate everyone from Duncan to Dr. Levine to Brad Cohen, trying to find the answers!
          Thanks to everyone who has responded. Hope everyone had an enjoyable March Break!!


          • #6
            Independent Learning/Organizational Skills

            HI Kimber
            Your son sounds a lot like mine. Mine is 13 and in Grade 7. If he would try something for his ADHD, he might find out how much it helps. My son is quite anti-medication, but once he realized how much his Dexedrine helps for attention problems, he now remind us to give it to him. He only uses it for school. He was worrying one day if he would get addicted to it. I reassured him that since it is something he obviously needs, he won't get addicted.

            Some of these things do tend to get a little better as they get older and mature a bit, and we parents eventually find out what helps as well.

            On weekends, he does have problems focusing ....especially when he is supposed to clean his room, etc.

            Good Luck with your son, and you aren't alone!



            • #7
              organization etc...

              PJK, Thank you soooooo much for your list of things that you have done to make your 13yr olds schooling easier. My oldest just turned 12 and he is in gd.6 and just dropped back into the English class from French Emmerssion to reduce STRESS. In the class the Teacher has them using about 6 differend duotangs and his desk is all loose paper and junk, he forgets half his Homework everyday because of all the different duotangs and ends up going back to the school to get it. It is very frustrating for everyone. I LOVE the IDEA of ONE BIG BINDER with deviders so it is just one book to bring home and nooooo more forgetting duotangs. He has an IEP but he has a very stricked Teacher this term, it will be hard to get him to follow it. I like the TEST ideas as well.
              Thanx again.