Monthly Archives October 2010

Professional Nerdy Girl
Follow Me

My Daughter, the Savant

By M Davies   /     Oct 13, 2010  /     Mommyhood  /     1 Comment

In a span of about 3 years, my daughter has gone from being diagnosed as slightly ADHD with signs of Autism to Gifted.  

Zah?

Let me back up by saying, that I've switched daycare centers twice.  The first time was due to being laid off and moving, but the second time was purely out of hatred for the Center Director.  She and I did not see eye-to-eye on why my daughter behaved the way that she did.  Gabby was "different" and didn't fit into their cookie cutter education styles.

Yes, Gabby is different.  She is extremely smart and independent.  She beats to her own drum, if you will.  Apparently, in the early childhood education world this translates to ADHD.  A few examples of some of her *disruptive* behavior:  Gabby leaving the line to go out to the playground to pick a flower, refusal to take naps during a FORCED naptime, wanting to do something else during circle time, getting upset with a teacher and licking a carpet defiantly, and the list goes on and on.  Gabby was immediately labeled as possibly having autism when she walked on her tippy toes.  It amazes me that some of the daycare workers who have only an early childhood education degree suddenly morph into a doctor or a psychologist and diagnose a child with a disorder.  Leave the diagnosis up to the professionals, folks.  I went as far as to take Gabrielle to a neurologist and put her through extensive testing to disprove that she was autistic.  This "Sensory Center" wanted to change her diet all around to eliminate dairy and glutens.  After seeing this piece on GMA, I immediately stopped taking her to this center as all it appeared to be hokey and was a means to sell highly expensive vitamin supplements.  Maybe Jenny McCarthy had luck with altering her sons diet, but Gabby DID NOT NEED THIS.  McCarthy's son was not able to communicate or speak.  The first word that Gabby ever spoke at daycare was "Madeline" (a girl in her classroom) when she was 11 months old.  She was speaking very well all by herself.  She even could say her ABCs and count to 10 by the time she was 2 and started saying words in spanish and chinese with the help of shows on Nickelodian.  

I received a letter in the mail at the end of last month that Gabby was selected for the school's gifted program.  She just started Kindergarten at the end of August.  She had to wait a year because of the age limits of Kindergarten…the child has to be 5 by the time school starts, and since her birthday is in December, she missed the cut off last year.  Her teacher nominated her after realizing her reading abilities and comprehension skills were at a much higher level than Kindergarten.  After speaking with the guidance counselor, she estimated Gabby to be reading at a 3rd grade level.  I was beaming from ear to ear after I got off of that phone call.  I almost had the same radiant glow as when I was pregnant with her.  That's MY GIRL!  And I am a proud Momma!  I almost want to go back to the daycare she was at and shove the letter right in their faces (and also tell them where to shove their opinions), but I think I will refrain.  Instead, I decided that maybe I should blog about it as many parents out there might be facing the same plight.  Gabby's evaluation is in progress as of right now, and we should know more in about a month.

If you suspect your child may be gifted, here is a great place to start:  http://www.giftedpage.org/ — PA Association for Gifted Education

Gabrielle fits into several of the characteristics of a gifted learner.  I read them aloud to my husband and mother and time after time again we said "that's GABBY!"

An aside to teachers and daycare workers alike:  Just because a child is "different", do not label them until they see a professional!

Continue Reading Quick Read

Life after Death

By M Davies   /     Oct 10, 2010  /     Into the Void  /     3 Comments

In recent months, two people in real life that I am connected with in my social media universe have died.  One to cancer, and the other as a result of suicide.  It got me thinking (which is dangerous), what happens to a person’s online presence after their life ceases to exist?

 

In both instances that I mentioned above, the Facebook walls of these people were transformed into a memorial page.  Many friends posted videos, pictures or short memories in tribute to the deceased.  Even weeks after the person passed on, people still visit the page and post about how much they miss the person, and how they would make a great angel.  I personally think it is a beautiful way to memorialize the person forever.

 

When my dear friend, Jeff Lamana, died of cancer Facebook, Twitter and Myspace did not exist in the way that they did today.  Back in 2006, social media was just starting to build momentum.  Jeff was a big Philadelphia sports fan, and had a website – Philaphans.com, which he shared his commentary and opinions with several contributors.  After he had passed on, he was forever memorialized underneath the logo of the home page:  “Founded by Jeff Lamana” it reads.  Jeff’s fight with cancer and passion for sports had also caught the attention of several bloggers (which, again was more popular than social media at the time).  One of those post can be found here.

 

Should usernames and passwords be included in your will?  If you suffer from computer-related alzheimers, like my mother and grandmother do, and you write all of your usernames and passwords down in a book next to your computer, it won’t be needed.  However, if you keep all of your personal information private, relatives may still not be able to get into your accounts by using the “forgot password” feature.  I found this article from Time Magazine, and there is a website that has a system for releasing usernames and passwords after their subscribers have passed on.

 

Deathswitch, which is based in Houston, has a different system for releasing the funeral instructions, love notes and “unspeakable secrets” it suggests you store with your passwords and account info. The company will regularly send you e‑mail prompts to verify that you’re still alive, at a frequency of your choosing. (Once a day? Once a year?) After a series of unanswered prompts, it will assume you’re dead and release your messages to intended recipients. One message is free; for more, the company charges members $19.95 a year.

 

My blogger friend Harold once suggested that Bloggers create a “buddy system” of sorts.  Setup contact through email or offline.  That way if the blog posts, or social media updates stop suddenly, you can contact the designated buddy and let them know what’s going on.  Many of you will probably remember my blogging hiatus around October of 2006.  As it would turn out, I was nearly “dooced” for something that I had blogged by the company I was employed for at the time.  Because Harold and I both had contact through AIM and MSN Messenger, I was able to communicate to him what was going on, and he was able to relay the message along to my fellow readers.  I recommend finding a blogging/social media buddy that you can communicate these feelings/issues to.  Maybe if my friend George had confided in more people his suicide could have been prevented.

 

RIP GEORGE GUMPERT

09-11-10

 

Update 2/16/13:  Mashable published an interesting article regarding how Facebook profiles and digital identities are handled after death that is worth a read.  Find the article here.

Continue Reading Quick Read