Monday, January 30, 2012

Gifted? ADHD? or Both? A SENG Public Awareness Effort

In addition to the recent regrouping of the autism spectrum, definitions of other diagnoses seem to be challenged as well.  Very bright individuals run the risk of being diagnosed with ADHD or misdiagnosed.
The nonprofit organizationSupporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)recently sent a letter of concern to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in response to the AAP’s 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.) because the new guidelines fail to direct physicians to take into account intellectual giftedness.

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.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another Day of Vision Therapy -- Jan 24

Don't know what's gotten into me, but I have been quite late again for Vision Therapy.  Fortunately, they are pretty nice about it.  It's not very nice to people, and, I am on an organization and time management kick, so I am trying to stick to schedules and so forth.

At any rate, we made sure the left eye was up and running.  Becky had me wear red and green glasses and walk to and from a light source.  She didn't want me to see either red or green; just a nice clear picture and my left eye obliged.

She put on roughly an equivalent amount of prism in some lenses and set a snake in front of me.  Not a real one, just a plastic twisty thing that I could play with.  Boy, did it look like a real sculpture!  It just popped out.  There was a chart with eccentric circles and different pictures and they just bugged right out at me!

I looked at a secretary's curly hair and it looked like a mane!  No. She doesn't have one of those beehive or bouffant hairstyles.  Her hair is tastefully done.  Just curly, that's all.

I had to wear another set of prisms and red/green lenses while I matched words to a grid.  That was hard.  I could barely see the words.

We worked with the apperture rule again.  I try and make two pictures become one by either converging or diverging my eyes.

Then went to pick up my husband in Trenton.  That was a long drive.  I was pooped.

I am having my accountant check to see if mileage to and from a doctor's office is tax deductible. According to Liberty Tax Service, it is.  My trip to Trenton isn't deductible but back and forth to my house is. 

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kicking My Left Eye

English: Looking northeast across Little Neck ...
Long Island Rail Road
Image via Wikipedia
Went out to Long Island, New York City to get evaluated for a new vision program, Revital Vision aka Neurovision,  which is supposed to help a variety of vision problems including Amblyopia.  I don't have a diagnosis of Amblyopia, per se,  but I do have a lot of symptoms relating to the fact that my Left Eye just isn't feeding all the visual information in the world back to my brain.  My left eye suppresses.

I am not sure whether it is the chicken or the egg.  I have intermittent divergent strabismus.  Which means that my eyes don't converge on and off.  Whether my brain said the heck with this foolishness and I am just going to tilt my head and ignore the left eye so that I can have a coherent view of the world.  Many people with my problem might have diplopia -- seeing double vision.  But my brain said no.  Or maybe the other way around. Maybe the left eye just sat on its duff.

At any rate, it was an interesting ride out to Great Neck.  Went past the Chinatown of Flushing, New York and the marshlands of Little Neck and  then landed in Great Neck.  Very ritzy place.  Lots of Mercedes and Lexus.   The doctor's office on  Great Neck is right on Long Island Sound so it had a lovely view of the water and sailboats.

This doctor is a lot more high tech.  Used Optivision to take a picture of the eye and assess its general health and then another computerized program to assess ambylopia.  He didn't think that I had amblyopia either but that I had enough similar symptoms to warrant a trial of RevitalVision.  I had explained to him the symptoms that I had during Cellfield program that I wasn't seeing white on grey back ground or red on red background with my left eye.  I could see fine with my right eye.

Fortunately, RevitalVision is a home based program so I don't have to truck out to Long Island.  I will be doing RevitalVision 3x a week for 10 week and will start it after I get my prism lenses.   I am optimistic that this will help with my left eye.  If my brain isn't annoyed by my misaligned eyes and my left eye wakes up, I should be in good shape. Between doing vision therapy and this program, I feel good about not needing surgery.
Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Occupational Therapy: Time Management Continued

Time management continues.  We have been working on daily planning and scheduling and trying to tailor different schemes to my personal needs.

Online Todolist: Toodledo
Image by yashima via Flickr
We have come up with a task list and have assigned  different to a few days.  This is pretty comfortable for me as I sort of do it kind of on and off in my iPhone with the app, Toodledo.  I
 just go in phases where I follow my Toodledo and phases where I fall off the organizational horse.  Some of my failings are justified as I am too tired from therapy or something important came up.  And some are not.  But, since I am prompted by Wilma, I am trying to pay more attention to planning my days. Calc 3.0.0 on Ubuntu 8.10
Spreadsheet Image via Wikipedia
I have a lot of problems trying to populate a spreadsheet with my day to day activities.  Spreadsheets are the basis for day planners and online calendars.  But, these devices just get way too onerous so we have moved to a list.  The problem with lists is that you don't get the lookahead that yo
u can get with a spreadsheet.  It is hard to track dependencies-- i.e. where you have one task that depends on another before you can complete it. Also, it is hard to track conflicts between multiple tasks that run in parallel.  The funny thing is that I can notice at work that some managers who plan using task lists often fail to account for dependencies and conflicts leading to project delays.  Funny how it is that it is easier to spot you own faults in other peoples!

Microsoft Project 2007 showing a simple Gantt ...
 Microsoft Project
 Image via Wikipedia
The funny thing is that I can do this at work on complicated projects using Microsoft Project but not with simple day to day to tasks.

Wilma is proposing that maybe I try putting a piece of shelf paper on the wall and color coding different tasks with their deadlines and  using the color Red to designate urgent tasks.   That way I can see what is coming up for a given week and a given month.

This might be one way to handle it.  But we are going to look at other things.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One of the major changes being review by a panel is the definition of autism. The definition is under review by an expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association, which is completing work on the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The study results, presented on Thursday at a meeting of the Icelandic Medical Association, are still preliminary, but they offer the latest and most dramatic estimate of how tightening the criteria for autism could affect the rate of diagnosis. 

English: People with Asperger's Syndrome are o...
Image via Wikipedia

 The "vagueness" of the DSM-IV criteria have, it is thought, led to too many being dignosed with autism. In the new analysis, Dr., along with Brian Reichow and James McPartland, both at Yale, used data from a large 1993 study that served as the basis for the current criteria. They focused on 372 children and adults who were among the highest-functioning and found that over all, only 45 percent of them would qualify for the proposed autism spectrum diagnosis now under review. Proposed changes to the definition would eliminate the diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome and what's known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified. They would be combined with autism into one diagnosis, Autism Spectrum Disorder. "When we looked at individuals with cognitive abilities in the average range, it looks like half of them will continue to meet and half wouldn't meet criteria," McPartland said. Some have speculated that various environmental causes were the reason while others have pointed to the expanded diagnostic criteria

The DSM-IV (1994) and DSM-IVR (2000) specified that a person had to present with six out of twelve criteria in such areas. The new proposed criteria in the DSM-V introduce a new diagnosis, autism spectrum disorder, that will encompass a number of current diagnoses, Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Under the changes, the manual would eliminate Asperger's and a disorder known as PDD-NOS and instead group everyone under autism spectrum disorder. It also would tighten the criteria for those who get diagnosed. In one analysis based on a 1993 study, 55% of those diagnosed would not qualify under the new definition--though the authors say the percentage could be high because they focused on high-functioning patients.

 New Autism Rule Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests from New York Times
 Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vision: I'm Coming Around the Bend

Was a bit late to my last vision therapy appointment, unfortunately.  Did back to back doctors' appointments and my day's schedule slipped.  So, I didn't do as much as what I wanted which was unfortunate.

When I walked in,  I had skipped lunch and was as hungry as all get out.  I remarked to Becky that if she had any children who were misbehaving that I would be glad to take them off her hands and eat them up.  She said that she could have used me on Monday.  Lucy, our receptionist, ran off and very kindly rustled up some soup and salad out of the office kitchen.  I was ever so grateful.

Visual System
Image via Wikipedia
I was working with Becky, the head therapist, and I always do get a lot out of working with her so I hated cutting short my time.   She did a quick rough check of my vertical alignment with some prisms and found out that I only needed two diopters base up.  This is great news as I read that correcting vertical alignment with vision therapy and a prescription for prism lenses can be done up to eight diopters.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vision Checkup 1/12/11

Had a vision checkup yesterday and have documented a big jump in vision.

Did the Worth 4 Dot test.  Got the 30% dots nicely converged without effort.   Couldn't get the other dots so nicely lined up.  They all lined up nicely in the middle of the screen but they couldn't get the two white dots to line up properly.

Did the stereogram with the clown and that went nicely.  Stereogram with clown up to the letter H and all the way on the other side.

Did a computerized test of Base In and Out and two other measures. Did a computerized stereogram test. Passed everything except Base Out.

Saw the Doctor and he checked my vision and had me look at a chart with letters  lined up and asked me when they doubled.  He moved the letters around both horizontally and vertically.

At the end of the exam, he said that he thinks I might need vertical prisms of about 10 diopters.

After the exam, I had a short vision therapy session.  I am wearing prisms in my glasses and playing games lining up words that I see on the screen.  Also, we started working both the accommodative and ciliary muscles with different lenses.  I looked at a ball and arranged my lenses in the order that made the ball seem smaller to seeming larger.

Then I drove to Philadelphia and went to my collage class at the Fleischer.  As if I didn't have enough to do with exercising my visual system.  Today we made patterns to use during our collages.
Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The Alexander Technique places a great emphasis on releasing any unnecessary neck tension in order that the head balance lightly and freely on top of the spine. F. Matthias Alexander, the originator of the Alexander Technique, coined the phrase "primary control" to describe the relationship between the head and the neck. When there is no interference with the proper functioning of this relationship, he said that "... an influence is constantly operating in (one's) favor, tending always to raise the standard of functioning with the self, both in outside activity and during sleep." In this article, Nicholas Brockbank explores some ways to learn about the state of your head/neck relationship - and how to change it for the better.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lady Gaga Is Not Doing Vision Therapy

Out here in Lancaster County, there has been a bit of a todo as to whether Lady Gaga would move out this way.   I trek out to Leola in Lancaster County for vision therapy so I am hearing the scoop first hand from my locals 

She does have a boyfriend, Taylor Kinney (star of "Vampire Diaries -- not Vampire Dairies), who is from Lancaster. 

Gaga has been spotted at a Lancaster County Shooting Range and at Jack's Family Tavern in Millersville and Trio Restaurant off Marietta Avenue.  She also has been at the Lilith Giant. She has been pretty low-key, a no glitz, no 'look at me I'm important' kind of way. 

There was a rumor that she would be buying a mansion in a gated community, "Brent Creek" but that is not true.

It is also not true that vision therapists are going to adopt Lady Gaga glasses.

They are not trading in prism lenses, yoked or not, for this:


Occlusion or patching will not be done like this:

There are no paparazzi following vision therapists or their patients, so these glasses are unnecessary:

Vision therapists won't have their patients do Groffman diagrams in their lenses like this:

Vision Therapists won't have their patients wear this:

Lady Gaga will not be doing vision therapy.

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tempurpedic Mattress and Sensory Integration

Some of us with Sensory Integration problems find that we like Deep Pressure.  Temple Gandin, in fact, likes deep pressure so much that she crawled into a cattle press and started giving herself a full body squeeze.  Did you ever think that a mattress could do something like this for you?

Recently, my husband and I had finally become so disgusted with our mattress that we decided to do something about it.  You know,  a lot of people just don't like going out and shopping for the mundane.  There's nothing that exciting about mattresses.  You don't go into work and brag about a mattress purchase the same way that you do about a hybrid car, a BMW, a great meal, the latest electronic gadget, a new dress or whatever.  No one wants to hear about it.

However, our old mattress was just hurting us.  Our backs, necks and legs were hurting.  Hubby would get out of bed all doubled over.  We had taken care of the mattress according to the manufacturer's instructions but after 5 years we had huge ditches in our mattress.  I tried complaining to the store and they would only replace the mattress if there was a 1 1/2" inch depression.  They sent a technician out and he measured the depth of the depression and found that it was only 1" and that we were stuck in the depression until it deepened to 1 1/2" regardless of our discomfort.  Well, so much for customer service and standing behind your product and the notion that "The Customer Is Always Right".   I mean that this mattress was touted for hand tied box springs and a 10-15 year guarantee.  We thought we bought had bought quality.

So hubby and I crawled in and out of our ditches and started to feel lousier and lousier.  Finally, I said this is it and we are buying a new mattress.

We got snookered into an end of year sale and tried a number of mattresses.  At first, we didn't like the memory molded mattress but as we journeyed through Mattress Land, we found we actually got used to  it.  Told the salesman about our woes with our current mattress.  I just said that it was promised to last for 10 years and by year 3 we were not comfortable.  Maybe the old store was right on a technicality in terms of replacing the mattress but we weren't happy customers.  So the salesman ruled out a bunch of mattresses right then and there.  So we tried the Tempurpedic and we liked it.  We also bought memory foam pillows.

Hubby has been very happy in the Tempurpedic and a lot of the aches and pains in his backs and legs that he had in the morning.  I find that the memory pillow really ends a lot of the neck ache that was associated with my osteoarthritis in the neck.

Most interestingly, I find that sleeping in memory foam mattress is actually calming and soothing.  The bed molds to me and I find that it is soothing.  I get a nice feeling of security.   It provides gentle pressure from below.  I get gentle, pressured sensation in my back, arms, neck, legs and head.  I am actually thinking about getting a weighted blanket for my top side.  If I have a weighted blanket and get a gentle smush from above and I have a mattress that gives me a bit of a smush from below,  I could be very comfortable.  I'd have a very gentle cattle press.

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Tinnitus: Cheap Substitute for Neuronomics?

Tinnitus Image via Wikipedia
As my gentle readers know,  among my multiple maladies, I have tinnitus.  When I went looking for relief, the Neromonics was recommended to me by an eminent ENT who also suffers from tinnitus.  I dutifully went off to seek an audiologist for an assessment.  She also recommended Neuromonics.

Unfortunately, Neuromonics is quite expensive and is not covered by insurance.   Scientists have found the mechanism underlying tinnitus so there goes one objection by the insurance companies.  But they have their ways of slow walking treatment so I am not hopeful.

 Well, I guess we are all going to wait for a pill to be discovered and the insurance company will be paying lots of people well in excess of the $5000 cost of Neuromonics as the first pill will not be a generic.  I guess at that time, the insurance companies will not think that Neuromonics will be quite so experimental.

At any rate, what to do until then?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Knowing Your Left From Right

 I used to have a lot of problems knowing when something was on my left or right or going to my left or my right. I haven't had a problem in quite some time.  Just thought I'd let my Gentle Reader know.

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex