Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fake Poo

It took me several days to get around to doing the dough activity in the park that I mentioned before. My husband ended up being home and willing, so the three of us took the bag of flour, a jug of water, and a large plastic tub to a grassy area close to our house. When I mixed the water and brown flour, it took on the consistency and coloring of doggy poo. Raccoon of course was thrilled. We made balls out of it and threw them at each other or at the ground. I hate to say it, but it looked like a dozen dogs had stopped by the park with a bad case of indigestion! We picked most of it up and threw it over the fence into a wooded area, but we left a few, just to make the neighbors wonder. It was good to laugh as a family, and dear hubby was great, letting Raccoon get him all dirty. Good times.

Friday, January 27, 2012

ADHD and Giftedness

I just thought I'd put this out here, like a public service announcement. In case your young child seems to have ADHD, don't forget to consider the possibility of giftedness too (or maybe instead). The excerpt below is from a news release by SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted).

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a new guideline discussed in “ADHD: Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity in Children and Adolescents”(Pediatrics, 2011, Vol 128 [5], November, pp. 1-17.). The new AAP-directed guideline extends the range of ADHD diagnosis from ages 6-12 to ages 4-18, and fails to include the critical possibility that a child’s intellectual giftedness may contribute to symptoms similar to ADHD. Thus, precocious preschoolers may be at even greater risk for misdiagnosis.

James T. Webb, who also co-authored the book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults and is highly published in the gifted field, believes that while ADHD can and does occur in gifted children, many traits and behaviors characteristic of giftedness are frequently misinterpreted as ADHD, particularly in the very young.

“Some of these traits include being strong-willed, impulsive, impatient with the relative slowness of others, and having the tendency towards heightened sensitivity, perfectionism, and intense focus on personal interests and experiences,” Webb says."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Craving Some Novelty

I bought some material from Scholastic (pdf books were on sale for $1) to get ideas for new things to do. I think Raccoon and I have both been bored lately and driving each other a little crazy. This morning, a little boy came over to jump on the trampoline. He was scared of it, so we ended up playing with Raccoon's collection of plastic animals and cars. After he went home, we made a paper bag puppet. I also hope to make some "dough" in the park this afternoon with some old flour that I found in my cupboard, as long as it doesn't rain. Raccoon and I are having fun even though our new activities don't really take much time. Just a little bit of novelty and life is good.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Museum of the Month

Today we went to a dinosaur museum in one of our local parks (thanks to dear hubby who saw an ad on TV). It had some life-sized statues, along with some mechanical dinosaurs that roared, sprayed water, and lunged. It was pretty intense for a two year old, but Raccoon loved it. There were around 10 exhibits in all, the last one a huge, moving Spinosaurus. It was a little confusing because they also had some Ice Age animals mixed in (saber-tooth cat and mammoth), but who knows, maybe they did all live together. The highlight for Raccoon was getting sprayed by the huge mammoth as it reared back on its hind legs.

Afterwards, Raccoon jumped on a trampoline while attached to big rubber bands and a harness (we call it bungee jumping, not sure what the official name is), then did a pony ride, then climbed inside an old airplane turned into a children's play area.

It was such a fun day. This evening, my husband remarked how calmly and quietly Raccoon was playing, almost by himself. I think we finally reached Raccoon's preferred level of stimulation, but both of us are exhausted!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I know there is a lot of controversy around early learning. Most of the negativity seems to originate from the perspective that the parent is forcing the child to learn by withholding something necessary (love, affection, food) or the "drill and kill" idea. I found the term hothousing on a parent forum, where some of the parents shared that they felt like their insatiable, intense child was hothousing them!

I was reading a blog about a mom who did a full Glen Doman home program from birth (I think), only to find out when he was 9.5 months that her son (born premature) had a brain-injury. She wrote, "The good news is that T was a lot worse and the program we've been doing so far has brought him from severe to mild brain injury. Usually, when a child's behind in this category, he's also behind in this category. It wasn't that way for us, and she said the only way that happens is if parents have already been working on healing it." Good for them!

Personally, I think so much depends on the child's interests and the parent's motivation. Someone observing my house might wonder why I support early learning. For Raccoon and me, it's all about enjoyment and fun. My son is not nearly compliant enough to be forced!