When it’s not what you thought it was

So, Girly decided FIRMLY that she wanted to learn violin this year.  I’ve seen her do this before:  when she was 4 years old she decided FIRMLY that she wanted to learn piano and learned the letters A-G so that she could do so (although she insisted “that’s letters, not piano!”)

So… the violin… which is not even close to what she thought it would be.  And it’s definitely highlighting a lot of challenges we have not seen before…

Long ago and far away, the Medical Powers That Be assumed that my then-infant baby girl would have learning problems.  Honestly, at the time it was so absurd to hear about this tiny baby who had no known drug exposure or abuse that I didn’t even think to ask what made them think such a thing.  I was already five years into dealing with stupid, misinformed and inaccurate statements by the medical community and pretty much blew the statements off.

That MIGHT have been a mistake.

Fast forward to today.  My sweet girl ABSOLUTELY follows a different star.  She is definitely an artist and vomits her feelings onto paper with unmistakable clarity about what she’s trying to say.  She has an uncanny understanding of humans.  She can’t always predict where something is going but she makes some incredibly insightful observations after-the-fact.  She is an OLD. SOUL.

When she was 8 years old, she balked at NOT being given a standardized test.  It was May of what would have been her 2nd grade year and she wanted to be tested like her brother.  I ordered the reading and math assessments from Let’s Go Learn.  The results showed her to be about where I thought she would be for most things, and way above what I imagined for a few.  It was eye-opening.

At the moment, it’s becoming clear that her emotions affect her cognitive function.  She’s been reading for four years.  She’s known the letters A-G for at least six years.  But if her violin teacher asks her what comes after B, she takes almost a FULL. MINUTE to answer and sounds like she’s guessing.  Sometimes, she gets it wrong.  And although she has done plenty of addition, subtraction and even multiplication on-demand as life requires (or gives her opportunity), when she is trying to add in her math book, 1 + 8 is suddenly 18 (putting the 1 and 8 next to each other) rather than 9.  No matter how many times we go through it.

She wants NO PART of practicing her violin and gets frustrated VERY easily–even moreso than with math.  Thankfully, she has an incredibly kind instructor that I feel is a wonderful fit temperament-wise for my girl.

In this case, the issue is less a learning disability and more an anxiety issue affecting her learning.  We are having a lot of talks about how her experience as an adoptee has rewired her brain.  She is receptive to this–which is HUGE.

And really, she’s doing remarkably well with the violin all things considered.




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