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Ballet Talk for Dancers

what to do with an impatient learner...


Gracey

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I am ever so grateful for all the advice - a neuropsyche test is a definite must (maybe one on myself while I'm at it!) as I agree that will provide me with alot of insight.

 

LRS - yes she is absolutely desperate to go to YAGP. I had never heard of it and actually found this board while searching for info online about it.

 

Maybe that is a sign??

 

I was not too concerned about the competition until I read that they had to do the exact dance a professional would - totally unrealistic. She is not in a competive school but will have to think of changing in the next year or so as the program in this one is ending.

 

As a visual learner I suspect that she is very clear on what is expected of her in ballet and that gives her confidence, but it also lets her know when something doesn't look as it should thus her frustration. It is the same in math - it has a concrete answer at the end of the equation.

 

Other subjects are not so obvious and that is where her teachers feel that she is not living up to their expectation.

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Gracey, that makes perfect sense to me, then, that she would be feeling frustration. I'm so glad you're going to follow through on a neuropsyche eval. I always feel very badly for kids like yours because they ARE so motivated and they put such a burden on themselves. It ends up looking like a moral issue ("tsk, tsk, SUCH behavior!") but it's not. When a child can't figure out why she's having trouble with something, it's demoralizing. These kids usually have significant strengths far above those of most other kids but they get a reputation for either being a "hothead" or, perhaps worse, because they're doing so well in one area but not another, people decide they're lazy or unmotivated.

 

Our scientific research has given insights far beyond what our educational leaders generally understand. So, often it's up to a parent to take the first step and get that neuropsyche evaluation done. Then the school will have to start to implement the strategies recommended. The recommendations also include advice to parents. Most especially, if everyone, including your daughter, can learn that she is acting out of frustration because of a learning glitch, people are more willing to be compassionate. That shifts their attitude, which shifts their tone of voice with the child, which shifts the child's reaction. It's amazing to see what this kind of education can do to help a child. Knowledge IS power.

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Gracey-

You said that she is not in a competitive school now and the program that she is at is ending in the next year. She is at an excellent age to move to a professional school. Do you live near any of the larger ballet schools ?

I would not recommend moving her to a school that does competitions or has a competitive atmosphere. A professional school can offer her proper, slow, age appropriate training with students her own age. There are many great posts on how to find a good school. Looking for a training environment that will nurture your child is so important. Our kids spend more time with these professionals and students than they do at home most of the time.

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Thanks LRS - you are right. The only large professional school near us is NBS and my husband is not a fan of the Ontario curriculum for academics, so going there ( assuming they would want her of course!) is not an option for us. She will do the SI with them this year.

 

We have attended our first appointment, and really it was spent just explaining our take on her. The next will be more informative as she will go with us.

 

Vagansmom - Knowledge is power. The psychologist is suggesting that perhaps she is not being challenged in school and doesn't feel the need to rise to the challenges presented by her teachers as she does in ballet. I am not so sure of that, but she can find out for herself next week.

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Wow! You moved quickly on that! :thumbsup: Gracey, is the psychologist a neuropsyche? Usually they don't offer an opinion till after the tests are completed. That's because signs of a learning difficulty can be identical to boredom, lack of motivation, and frustration in some areas. So they usually reserve offering an opinion or suggestion about the cause of the behavior till after the testing is completed and they've formally assessed the results. It usually takes at least two visits of pure testing, sometimes more, depending on the tests the neuropsyche uses.

 

However, I do hope he's right!

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yes I had to as it has been driving me crazy. This psychologist specialises in clinical and educational psychology. The school suggested her and that is why I was able to get in to see her more quickly. I did not ask if she was a neuro or not. I will have to check that out.

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Gracey, my thoughts were just the same as vagansmom's -- how cool that you moved so quickly, but is this the right person to help you. She may be -- but do realize that you can "shop" for psychologists, if this one doesn't resonate with you.

 

When our daughter was about 10 (such a watershed year for realizing that assistance might be needed!) we finally realized we needed to consult someone. We met with three different psychologists (actually, some were social workers). All were fine, but we picked the one we did precisely because she did not offer any opinions about our daughter right away. She just asked lots of questions, and listened to our descriptions.

 

After a couple of months of visits, we asked about a neuropsych evaluation, and the therapist agreed that was a good idea. We then spent about six months on the neuropsych's waiting list. It was torture, as I'm not a patient person and I wanted some answers. However, in the end he did a very thorough workup (one parent meeting, three visits with daughter for testing, then separate debriefing meetings with parents, child, and teachers). The testing, by the way, did uncover some mild learning disabilities that interact with her emotional makeup.

 

My overall message to you is to realize that this could be a multistep process. You've taken the first step, which is just to start the ball rolling. You are SO right that knowledge is power, and so is action. You will find that knowledge is power for your daughter, too. So many parents are afraid of getting their kids labeled. However, it gives the kids a great sense of relief to put a name to whatever is difficult for them. More than that, it helps tremendously for them to know that their parents recognize their difficulties and support them.

 

Keep us posted.

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