Any Success Stories out there?
I guess I just need some 'pie in the sky' hope for my son. He is nine and has been with us for almost a year. He has been diagnosed as borderline MR with an IQ of 70. He has a horrible abuse/neglect past with some possible sexual abuse as well. He's been diagnosed with PTSD and ADHD. (Also has a RAD dx but I disagree there) He has bonded wonderfully with our family. The thing I'd like to know is are there stories out there of kids that had been diagnosed learning disabled, low IQ, etc and 'caught' back up so to say with there grade level/improved IQ or the like. What I see is a really smart boy but I've been working with him with reading and we can't seem to make much gains. In day to day functioning he is at or above normal. He is a great kid, makes friends well, plays well, does chores around the house with minimal instruction. I just feel like there is a big 'block' there for learning reading/math and once we can get past that I think he'll improve leaps and bounds. I'd love to hear any stories of similar cases that went on to prove everyone wrong...
I am not sure if this is what you are looking for but here it goes. We have a adult son age 25 who is very much like your son. He faced many challenges growing up. But I am happy to say he is doing great! He lives independantly in his own apartment and other than us managing his money he does very well on his own. He does recieve SSI disablity because of his mental limitations. His independance was very gradual. First he lived in a small apartment in our back yard. Then he moved to a apartment about 1/4 of a mile away. Then we heard about a apartment for older persons and people with similar situations to our son. He was approved and pays VERY little rent. It is perfect for him. He loves the people where he lives and he is the youngest one there. I was always worried about someone taking advantage of him as he is very gulliable but he has done fine. He just learned to text and loves that! We were told he would NEVER learn to read, but he did. We were told he would NEVER live on his own but he does. He will never drive a car or manage his own money but he does very good even with all his diabilites. I hope this gives you some hope. Just keep working with your son and do not give up. He will accomplish alot more than anyone thinks!
My son also came from a horrific background and multiple diagnosis. I had him retested after less than a year and his IQ went up 19 points. So don't get too hung up on the IQ part, anxiety and stress have a hugely negative effect on learning. And testing is its own set of issues.

Just keep working with your son and you'll help him to become the best he can be ... and nobody knows what that is yet.

Best of luck.
I think my niece counts as a success story. She came into our family at 17 months old as a foster child and my sister adopted her at age 3. She had no diagnosis and seemed to be a fairly "normal" child; however, once she started school she had a terrible time. She couldn't seem to learn her abc's or simple phonetics like other children. Even counting and learning simple addition/subtraction gave her a hard time. She was held back in kindergarten, but the extra year didn't seem to help. My sister worked with her endlessly at home, but that didn't seem to help either. By the time she was in 2nd grade, the school had all but given up on her. They told my sister they thought she was MR and would be lucky to ever advance past 3rd or 4th grade. Back then, the public schools were not allowed to do IQ tests on African American children (I'm not sure if that's changed). They could test white children, but not black children. Something to do with discrimination in the past. It seems like discrimination now to me. Since they didn't have a number, all they could do is guess, and they chose to guess she was MR. My sister didn't believe it. I didn't believe it. I don't think anyone who ever spent more than a few hours with this kid would believe she was MR! All her problems centered around school work. At home, she was a normal kid and, if anything, seemed to have an above average memory, common sense, and reasoning ability.

Finally, after wearing herself out arguing with the school over the MR diagnosis, she had her independently evaluated. The evaluator did all kinds of tests (still no IQ test) and came up with that she was dyslexic. After reading about dyslexia, it all fit so perfectly! She seemed so smart in everyday life, but when it came to learning reading and math, it was like hitting a brick wall. After getting the diagnosis, my sister began working with her on specialized learning programs designed for dyslexics and it was like the wall started to crumble!

Fast forward 8 years to the 10th grade. My niece is now an A/B and sometimes C student who frequently makes the honor roll. She takes only one special ed class a day (which is useless to her but necessary to keep her IEP). Her other classes are all regular high school classes with just a few accommodations (i.e. more time on tests, use of spell checker and calculator, etc.) and she is on track to graduate on time.

I'm not going to say it's been easy for them. My sister and niece spend many hours every single day working on her schoolwork (including summer break and school holidays). She does and always will read at a very low level (currently about 4th grade level), so they have to find other ways for her to get the information. Her spelling is atrocious and always will be, but you would never know it thanks to the invention of spell checkers (massive fight to get spell checkers into the IEP). Like many dyslexics, she is very good at understanding mathematical concepts (algebra, geometry, etc.), but has a very difficult time with simple math like addition and subtraction. The times table really throws her for a loop! This is remedied through the use of a calculator (another massive fight for the IEP). If it were up to the school, she would still be drilling in the times tables, rather than having successfully passed algebra and now getting an A in geometry (both classes necessary for high school graduation in our district). If it were up to the school, she would also never graduate from high school. Their plan at the end of 8th grade was for her to take all remedial special ed classes which would lead to a "certificate of participation" instead of a real high school diploma. My sister fought them on it and won.

To this day, the school still refuses to believe the dyslexia diagnosis even though she meets all the criteria of a textbook case. In her IEP, they have listed only an "unidentified learning disability". I think its because if they ever admitted she had dyslexia, then they would have had to put some effort into trying one of the many proven methods of teaching dyslexics. By keeping it "unidentified", they can continue to do nothing just as they've always done.

My niece plans on going to a community college after high school and then slowly transitioning to a 4 year university. I have no doubt that she can get a college degree and become whatever she wants to be; she will just have to work 5 times harder than anyone else to do it. But she has already proven that she is willing and able to put in the extra time and effort, so I know she will succeed.

Sorry this is so long. I am just so very proud of both my niece and my sister for never giving up and proving everyone wrong. I love to tell their story in the hopes that it will encourage others who have children that are suffering from learning challenges.

ETA: I wouldn't be too discouraged by the MR diagnosis or 70 IQ if it's not matching what you are seeing in his everyday life. My niece has never been IQ tested and I now realize that is a good thing. One thing I've learned through my niece is that many learning disabled children have problems performing on standardized tests. My niece has "failed" every standardized test she has ever taken, I think due to a combination of the reading disability and the built-up test anxiety caused by being constantly labeled a "failure". From my everyday interactions with her, I have no doubt that she has a normal IQ (actually I would guess it to be above average); however, I also have no doubt that an IQ test would not reflect favorably on her.
Here is my story.
We adopted a sibling group four years ago. They are now 17 and 18 years old.
Our ds is the older of the two. He had no diagnosis when he came to us at almost 14 years old nor did he have an IEP. I knew something was going on after a few months of school and did some research and it turned out he was diagnosed with FASD. He was tested and his IQ turned out to be a 71. Finally got him an IEP and into appropriate classes.
Fast forward to today. He is now a junior in high school. Through a lot of hard work (he is completely unmotivated :rolleyes: ) he now attends a vocational school for mechanics for half the day and then our local high school for the other half for his courses. He has a 3.0 GPA, has held down a part time job for the last six months in a grocery store, plays sports and is looking to trying to get into the Army upon graduation in 2013. Hopefully, he will be able to do well enough on his ASVAB testing to get in. He would like to work with diesel engines. He will be one month shy of his 20th birthday by the time he graduates high school and I think the structure of the armed forces is exactly what he needs and I really hope he does well with it. He was retested again this year and his IQ was said to be at 77. I don't put much stock in IQs, you know your son best and can see his potential.
My dd who is a year younger was just tested this year because I felt she had a learning disability. Long story, had to fight for that, but I do believe she is dyslexic (her results showed she has a significant reading disability). However, I do see her going to college and hopefully doing well.
It's a lot of hard work with kids like this and some days you wonder if all you do is making a difference. I've learned to lower my expectations a lot and work with their strengths and try to guide them towards them.
Thanks everyone soooo much for your support and stories. That was exactly what I was hoping to hear! I think he has soooo much potential and I know that he has already improved leaps and bounds, so I am really hopeful.
MR diagnosis and no help
My ex and I adopted 6 children, all 6 had a minimum of ADHD. My ex left me with all of them when my youngest one was 1 and oldest ones at home were 7- a total of 6 at home. My 2 older daughters were 19 then. Fast forward to 2010 when my 13 year old twins decided to make allegations against me and destroy my house. Meanwhile my ex did not participate in their lives and still doesn't.
I have lost my job ( I worked as a Paraeducator in the school system), my house and all 6 kids. I became severely depressed in dealing with the loss. I got 4 of the children back with all kinds of therapy and remedial services, workers stopping in whenever they want, etc. I have tried to get help for my son who was finally diagnosed with MR and now DHS wants to move him to a residential home, he is only 10 and very attached to me, it seems that the staff think I spend all my time with him and not enough with my other 3 kids. Although I have one Biological child who is 14 and 3 of the children told staff he is treated like a "prince". I have been trying to figure out where he "fits" in school and the community in order to get services. We haven't even had community based services that were for him and they want to move him. I am grieving and cannot imagine my daily life without him. We have all gone through so much. Then the county attorney asks for me to relinquish my 3 younger kids to DHS, which blew me away. I haven't given up on our family, but it seems that others have incorrect info about what has been going on. Everything is turned back on me about me blaming others for my lack of being able to care for my children.
Has anyone else gone through this? And are there residential homes close to Iowa City and not way across the state past Des Moines or by Omaha? I don't know where to turn anymore. Please help me, some may think that maybe I should lose the kids, but if you are a parent trying to figure out the system it gets overwhelming. Any help would be appreciated!
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