My Eyes Don’t Match My Ears – Data Out of Sync

So Build a Bridge--Turn Captions / Subtitles ON!

Eyes Dont Match EarsWhen we are overwhelmed, we turn away, don’t we?

So do our kids.

This link to a study by Vanderbilt University shows how the ears and eyes don’t get their information to the brain for processing at the same time—-for those with learning differences:

Explains why our kids can’t look at us when they are processing the audio stream of instructions.  All these words we throw at them, full of our expectation for immediate action, and they have a full-time job of trying to fulfill it.

And we want them to look at us also, as their eyes give their brains out-of-sync data?

So, if you have a heavy cognitive load processing in the best case, and your eyes betray your mission, who would want to look?

The good news is that our brains are able to build new neural pathways with practice.   Not easy, but as long as we are alive, the brain can do its magic.

So, build a bridge!   This season has a lot of watching media.  When I turn on the subtitles / captions, my son pays attention in a completely better way.  His brain can better blend all the streams of data, and figure out what is going on.  He stays glued, not turning away.

So we keep practicing.   So can you, and turning on captions / subtitles may really help.

Peace be with us,




The Angry Room

(and the rest of the house is Happy)

Some days are just hard.  John tests my boundaries all the time.

This morning, instead of “lovely, peaceful, almost-Christmas”, it apparently is

The Angry room


I do my best to turn off my emotions.

Once again, this sign gets marked on the bathroom floor at the doorway.

I hold my ground.

It’s the only way John is going to have a good adult life.

Whatever it takes for him to become a Jedi master of self-awareness and self-control.

The Force has a long, long, long way to go here.

May the Force always be with us.

So, my dear fellow parents, set those boundaries so that you can live with them (for all your reasons).

Hold your ground.  Your child will believe you.


Do it because you love them that much.



Rubbing It In, On The Floor

(but 1 more thing is 1 thing too much, Mom)

Trans-dermal vitamins are rubbed in, absorbed through the skin (here you see 2 white and 1 red trans-dermals).


John gets to do this himself, crossing mid-line (both north/south and east/west).   If Mom rubs them in, John’s mid-line crossover misses out.

There also is no benefit if John rubs them into his clothes, sofa, pillow or rug.

One evening, John flopped down on the floor and refused to budge.

So, I squirted the 3 vitamins onto his tummy, while he was on his back, back-talking.   And I told him to “rub”.

Round and round, up and down, back and forth.  Crossing mid-line as much as possible.

So, now that method is his favorite way.


(There is a second lesson here, for Mom.  When I was trying to get the photo you see here of his tummy, he didn’t want to cooperate.   It took longer than I had expected, and the skillet full of cooking veggies burned.   You see here my plan for a healthy pile of food instead on its way down the drain because Mom just had to fit 1 more thing into a busy morning.   Instead of veggies gently sautéed in coconut oil, John had to eat french fries with his eggs.   No time to start the veggies over.)

Will Mom ever learn?

Peace be with us,



Ugly Work Erased

It's called "Self-Directed Learning", even when it is ugly.

John’s incoming homework, “Weekly Work Study Homework #13” (pr, sh, th, pl) was done badly at first.   Ugly Work Erased 1

I told John it was “ugly”, erased it, and left it for John to re-do. (Also, note the highlighting to help him match pieces together, and I will fade this prompt ASAP——this tip from Alma Liotta, O.T.R.)

I was in the opposite corner of the house, he had willingly turned off the computer (but I did ask him to), worked on the homework by himself, (I did ask him to “make his teacher happy”) and brought it upstairs to show me when he was done.

I then added more demands & more work to it, and John then brought it back up to me after that.

This is John’s first  self-directed homework, and I didn’t hover or micro-manage him.

It still isn’t good, and there is always more to do.

Still, a victory, for what it is.

We have been inching toward this, and so can you.

Motivation is a complex thing, and the magic is when someone triggers self-directed intrinsic motivation:  because they want to, and would do it again when no one is looking (or hovering).  It is a lifelong tool.

So important to anyone still breathing.

Peace be with us,


Power of Peers

(Assuming that is what motivates your child)

Peer modeling is HUGE for and to my son.   IMG_6620

Like this, at basketball. Those are mouth protectors going in.  (John is on the left).   Putting that cold hard chunk of plastic in his mouth is not anything John would be interested in, if it were just he and Mom hanging out.

Like cleaning the car windows with the squeegee at the gas station (it was more like making a big mess, but never mind that) because his friend Zeb did it first.   And John just had to man up.

Try this with your children—give them time to watch their peers, and then ask if “they want to try that”.   Whatever “that” is.

And respect the answer.   Take heart:  if not now, maybe soon.

Peace to us,


Adding More Minutes

3 Years of Misery in the Grocery Store

2015-11-17 19.30.48It was miserable in the grocery store with my son.

I didn’t look anyone in the eye.

I attended to his re-directs, and that’s about it.

I think I got most of the purchases I was aiming for—-very hard to concentrate on my business with him on the warpath.   In a public place.

I even got whacked.

Instead of amping up, I cheerfully (was I really cheerful?) added 10 more reading minutes with each blatant, little-boy-smirking act of rebellion.

I think I kept pretty cool, I am happy to share.

By the time we wheeled out, seemingly three years later, he had “earned” 50 minutes of reading to get through before anything electrical was going down.

I think it made a profound impression—-at least, I surely hope so.   Only time will tell.

We then made it through some cool books, and he was actually proud of his reading.  He even wanted to sit on my lap and doodle.

He has never doodled before.

So, maybe this intervention might work with your adventures.

Peace be to us,


Reading the Dictionary

"I chose a book with no pictures---that makes me a big kid!"

2015-11-02 16.46.12Maybe someday it will be a Harry Potter novel.  But for now, for the required daily reading, John picked his new dictionary, given to him by the school.

(May be he was faking it.  Then I would give him points for cognitive manipulation.) 

There is lots of cool information in there, before and after all the A-Z.  John was reading aloud the presidents’ names.

To encourage you to read daily with your child!

I say, “who is reading?”   (you or me?)

When I am the reader, I pick lyrical, beautiful lines of words and read them aloud.

I hear that (the mere) exposure of all kinds of words feed the brain, and I am banking on that!

So, we read anything at hand:  road signs, cereal boxes, the newspaper, anything.

And so I hope you and yours.

Peace be to us,