Butterfly grew up with food intolerances and was diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger's
Syndrome, and learning difficulties. Now she struggles with OCDs.
This is the story of how we have faced these challenges.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

She's a Writer!

A little recap: Butterfly’s DX included two learning difficulties (as I prefer to call them, as opposed to “disabilities.”). One is dysgraphia. Now, one might assume that the abilities to read and to write come from the same part of the brain. They do not. Butterfly did have to spend extra time learning vowels during the course of her homeschooling ~ time the school system would not have given her. But at home, we spent five weeks on vowel games and rhyming word games that helped her put vowels in their place. Suddenly it clicked and there was no slowing her down. She was reading road and store signs out loud from the back seat of the car when we went out, not just content with the story books I had for her at home.

One day when she was about 8, Hubby brought home the second installment of the Harry Potter series that he’d come across used. Bud and I read it together and we were hooked. After that, we got the first book, then kept up with the series as each book came out. She must have read each one, including those great, thick installments, at least 4 times each. When it was time for something fresh, I started her on The Chronicles of Narnia, The Guardians of Ga’Hoole, the Little House series, Spiderwick Chronicles, the Pendragon series, and she discovered Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and so much more on her own. From Science magazines such as YES Mag, National Geographic, and all those books, Butterfly was very well read, and becoming very well educated.

Alas, she could not write. As mentioned in a previous blog post, not only did she have difficulty with the physical act of writing letters on paper, but also with organizing her great ideas enough to harness them in ink. I tried very hard to give her writing assignments involving subjects that interested her. Still, once she got to the stage of being given the work to do (as opposed to me standing over her as she did it), she handed in not one writing assignment. I simply had to accept that Butterfly could not write. Yes, I admit it, I gave up. It was the right strategy when it came to cursive writing; I couldn’t see much future for nagging her for writing either.

But slowly developing in Butterfly was a consuming interest in music. As she broadened her scope of musical genres and started to examine the different elements of music, she became increasingly articulate about the meanings of lyrics, the overall social message of songs, the lifestyle choices of bands, and more. She even changed her goals with a view to making music production part of her future. I suggested she start a music blog. In fact, I figured the writing part would be too challenging for her, so I suggested we start one together. For months, nothing happened. She was having more issues with diet and reactions. When we changed her diet again, she suddenly decided to start that music blog, on her own. And you know what? She’s a writer! Knowledgeable and impassioned by her musical topic, she churned out those words on her own. The only help she needed was with the theres. You know, there, they’re and their. She doesn’t even need help with those anymore. She even has her punctuation down pat... mostly. Moreover, she is planning another blog. Hope springs eternal that she will fully enjoy the catharsis of the written word, which not only expresses one’s angst in an acceptable manner, but is so satisfying as well.

There are still problems we’re working on. Everything is not all hunky-dory. But I am very proud of her music blog. After all those years of “F” in writing assignments, I am just plain pickled tink!

Butterfly’s music blog, Musical Notes: http://musicalnotesblog.blogspot.com/
(Warning: there is expressive language in some of the song lyrics posted.)


  1. That is awesome. I'm so jealous of her love of reading, but I guess the grass is always greener. What a great idea for her to start a music blog. I will check it out!

  2. I can tell you it sure made my job easier when it came to schooling her. Of course, if I asked her to read something specific, she'd resist, but if I just left stuff lyin' around, sooner or later.... ;o)