A similar thread got me thinking...odd student movements

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I have a very, very low student. His 1st and 2nd grade teachers tried to get him retained to no avail. He does not qualify for services.

    I've been noticing that this boy, a 3rd grader, seems to have head and arm movements that seem to be unconscious/involuntary. He jerks his neck smoothly forward or backwards every few seconds. The movement is fluid, almost like if you were jerking your chin forward to someone as if to say, "what's up?" (It's the only way I can think to describe it.) Yesterday the kids were moving manipulatives on my Mimio and I noticed his grip on the pen was very light, and he almost had no control over it. It's almost like his hand is asleep and he couldn't get a good grip on it.

    Here's what's weird...his other teachers noticed it too, and brought it up with Mom. She denied any problems. I was planning to bring it up with Mom at my last conference, but I noticed she had similar neck movements, just not as strong. I didn't have the guts to ask about it, but at his next RtI conference with her I plan to.

    I can't shake the feeling these movements and poor motor control are related to his academic struggles. He cannot follow directions with more than 2 steps, has extremely limited short-term and long-term memory, and his pencil grip is disastrous, making for slow, laborious handwriting.

    Does anyone have thoughts on this? Am I "digging too deep?"

    Please keep posts as positive as possible...I don't want this turning negative...
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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  4. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    As far as the movements go, it sounds like a tic. I did some research into tics last year because my son had some (that have since disappeared.) From what I gathered, it sounds like the movements in and of themselves are probably not a problem (unless they interfere with his being able to read or do his work.) I did see mentioned in a few places that it is not unusual for people with Tourette Syndrome to have co-existing issues (ADHD, OCD, I don't remember what else). But in any case it seems like the real concern is the lack of muscle tone and the problems with memory and following directions. If the mother seems uncomfortable with the subject, I wouldn't focus on the movements as a concern.

    Good luck!

    I'm not
     
  5. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Doesn't sound like Tourette's. His movements are not jerky, as those articles describe. They are fluid.
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Does the student realize they are doing the motion?

    If so, it might be something on the autism spectrum. Repetitive motor movements are a symptom.

    When did they test him for services? What tests were performed?

    If it was over a year ago, refer the student for testing again. Ask the parent to come in and observe their child to see these unusual behaviors.

    How does the student grip the pencil other than hard? Unusual grip on the pencil?

    Are they clumsy? i.e. they bump into things like doors, shelves, desks
     
  7. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I have a child who has several medical diagnosis including, they think, a ganglian cyst on his brain. He doesn't have issues at school yet, but at home he will wave his fingers in front of his face repeatedly. His mom asked him once, what he was feeling and thinking when he did it. He told her that he could feel the need coming and it just built up until he couldn't hold back any more. I've seen a few movements where it looks like he is doing it under his desk, but I'm not sure. It's really strange.
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I do that too. It's like the energy just builds up and then you have to get it out. Probably my ADHD?
     
  9. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    His pencil grip is very weak, he doesn't grip it strongly. He's right handed but holds it like lefties do, with his wrist curved away from him and his fingers facing his body. He is a bit clumsy. Last week he turned his body around in his chair to see something, and flat-out almost knocked himself out. He slipped out of the chair and hit his head on the back of it. The resulting goose-egg was the biggest I've ever seen, so bad they sent him home with strict orders to not let him go to sleep!
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sounds like it could be something on the spectrum, they seem to have difficulty with motor skills from what you describe, along with proprioception issues
     
  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Thanks for responding on that. They are under the impression (the parents) that the movement has to do with the cyst and it's location. I will pass along what you said, though, it might make them feel better about it.
     
  12. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    Well I have a child who is on the spectrum and has Tourettes. Tics can look smooth too, not always jerky.
    The pencil grip sounds similar to my son's who "fists" it, and he sometimes falls out of his chair.

    He needs another educational evaluation that includes Academic, Speech, and OT. Can you tell us why he didn't qualify for services when he is so low?

    LD's can be a co-morbid of Autism, Tourettes or ADHD, but it could also be the Autism, Tourettes or ADHD that is causing the learning problems. The only way to find out is to test again.
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Another way to describe it is sort of an itchy feeling building up in the hands and then I just do an odd little twitch or move my hands or wring them just to get the excess energy out. It's either my ADHD or my epilepsy (But not a seizure, just high levels of electrical activity in my brain at all times)
     

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