My Elbert: Neurodivergency & Overexcitabilities

When it comes to learning, some learners show or all of the following emotions, acute/somatic responses, and challenges: anger, frustration, shame, and sadness; chronic headaches, stomach aches, hives; appears to have low-self esteem; squints when reading; feels behind or “different” than the other kids; has behavioral and learning challenges; emotionally intense or desensitized; complains; thrives for constant attention; labeled emotionally intense, gifted and talented or twice- exceptional; has trouble focusing or paying attention; destroys their pencil, eraser, and crumples up their paper after working very hard; problems with organization or being on time; poor eye-contact, body-space awareness; sleep and/or digestive problems; has problems spelling or with handwriting; complete interest-based learner; grips pencil very hard; has glasses but still complains about not seeing the letters or words, ultra-sensitive, problems with authority; doodles on paper or anything else; problems understanding verbal directions; picks and scratches at their skin and nails; can be needy, clingy, and “whinny”; known to “complain” a lot; described as dramatic, creative and very imaginative by others; been or going to be held back in school; has trouble connecting to others; tired all the time; great with verbal comprehension and large lexicon, shows anxiety, anxiousness, or depression; overactive-reads, writes, moves, and thinks extremely fast or slow; sensory- processing or working memory problems or issues; constantly moving hands/feet or fidgeting; overly kind or pleasing others; considerably ‘moody’; known for “daydreaming” or lacking focus; aggressive and violent; gets low grades: yet, highly intelligent; can comprehend well but has trouble with spelling/reading fluency; averse to learning or trying something new (resilience) as well as low in motivation!

 I have observed…

Two Types Of Literacy Intervention Learners, I Observed That Go Most Unrecognized In Their Gifts Due to Literacy (Reading, Writing & Speaking Differences):

  • The Students with the “Engineering Mind”: a student who spends hours taking things apart and putting them back together in an unconventional way for problem-solving and the wonder of “how something works” by creating and “crafting things”, assembling and disassembling ex. Legos, blocks, and other organic materials. They are setting things apart to see how they can fix them, problem-solution thinkers (described above) and can use computations with logical-mathematical reasoning. They are natural engineers. It is inherent in their curious nature. As they grow, almost instinctively, they show great interest in shapes (using evaluation skills described above) and numbers. They tend to be shy and seems to have a different cognitive-visual processing speed:
  • The Students with the “Technical Mind”: which is what I describe as a “technical thinker” (similar to the “engineering minded” with divergent abilities). They can or tend to understand/provide complex information to readers/listeners in a way that they can understand and apply, even if they don’t have prior knowledge of the topic; Yet, they are truly interest-based learners at the same time. “Technical thinkers” can explain, especially verbally with a rather large lexicon of knowledge, how a particular subject works or how and what’s needed to complete a task or project including list-form, divergent, systematic thinking, and somewhat linear way-so they can express the topic that can be structured in the following step-by-step instructions. Also, please notice how they can notice details that most don’t.  Note: sometimes needed to be given the “right tools for analysis” to express/communicate to others. This is my job!
    • Note: I have noticed both of these types of learners are “doers” and need structure along with autonomy (avoid disparagement); They need to be independently doing something to learn and apply their divergent reasoning (opposite of typical scientific method observing (first), then hypothesis-theory and test by moving, touching, following interest, writing something technical, application of skills such as technological, engineering, etc..). They, as well, can have a learning difference (neurodiversity). They are also “strong-willed”(need attunement)  and know technically what they have “in mind” to work on, so again, please let them be autonomous and independent in their work, so they can develop their adaptability.  As well, a possible sensory processing sensitivity (SPS, as measured by the highly sensitive self-test), which corresponds most closely in theory to what we refer to as “hypersensitivity” or “high sensitivity”–check out sensitivity as a personality trait bearing the following characteristics:
    • greater depth of information processing
    • heightened emotional reactivity and empathy (emotional intensity)
    • increased awareness of subtle changes in one’s environment
    • greater propensity for over stimulation
  • The Students w/ the “Total Evaluative Mind” who are good with Oral Linguistic Abilities But Not Written: they can be either of the above but in a divergent way evaluates everything that comes into the senses for learning. They use somewhere between 2-3 type dimensional thinking with strong “mimicking and replication abilities” with “interpersonal intelligence” and possibly “linguistic-verbal intelligence” ; whether, it is also by “musical intelligence” which is chant, rhythm, meter, or pattern and/or “visual-spacial intelligence” which is a color, shape, size, and dimension as of course pattern as well. In the case, think about students all of the above plus with having strong “gross motor abilities” aka “bodily kinesthetic intelligence” and having a nack for music and movement visual-spacially. They become our sports fanatics, with having a strong interest in everything sports related. The trick is to teach them tools to analyze by using prediction and researching their observations, and trusting their own “testing” and “conclusions”. This is again my job! Note: I’ve observed that those students, who are good with Oral Linguistic Abilities But Not Written, can have a strong verbal syntax (vocabulary) but problems with the orthography and semantics (writing, reading, and speaking). They can learn other languages’ vocabulary but hard time with reading, writing, or speaking fluently. Note: Most of these kids are interest-based learners ONLY, others working with them need to facilitate expanding their particular interest (cars, sports, dinosaurs, video-games, etc,) into subsets, in order to expand that interest further and more in-depth, and as well incorporate the content areas (Language Arts, Math, Reading, Science, History) into that specific area of interest. They will take their interest further, faster and better than anyone!!
  • Read here …See My work HERE.  Lastly, I observe these gifts mostly in my Gifted and Talented and/or Twice Exceptional with overexcitabilites!! Does this describe your child? Ask me about “The Steve Jobs” type and the “Engineering Mind”: (strong see overexcitabilies and early dev. in logical-mathemtaical thinking);  “The Richard Branson” type  and the “Technical Mind” (strong see overexcitabilies and early dev. in entrepreneurship/creativity); “Total Evaluative Mind” which would be  “The Tom Cruise” , “Ludwig van Beethoven”, and “Muhammad Ali” type (strong, see overexcitabilies and early dev. in emotions/drama/music and movement);
  • Lastly, all of the above which is “Einstein Mind” which is a combined type (strong see all overexcitabilies and early dev. in science, specially physics) along with more eccentricities of the mind:
  • Read here … #Twice-Exceptional Students | #2e Learners | I #Gifted and Learning DisabilitiesI #MOST MISUNDERSTOOD [Retrieved from].
    Furthermore, they may have a strong purpose in their special interest that could change problems to the world (usually related to people, animals, nature)!!

Do you offer trainings for parents, teachers, tutors or other RSP? As  you know, schools, organization, and families are desperately looking  for an effective, alternative type of affordable multi-sensory,  handshakes-on, and interesting instruction for learning differences.  With my new program My ELBERT, I am searching to tell my story/testimony  of dyslexia also for students to tutor, coaching, training and  consulting opportunities.  I’m interested in connecting with professionals all over the world  with common interests related to alternative and holistic education such as: explicit instruction, neurodiversity awareness, epigenetics,  neuropedagogy, literacy tutoring, learning differences, health & wellness, positive mindset and learning environments. As well as, I would like to share I little about myself and how I can help you by consulting and/or training! What  I’m presenting to you guys with an ‘alternative perspective’ not a  typical one, because I’ve definitely have a divergent mind not atypical  one personally. I’m not your traditional academia type educator (even  though my extensive resume says otherwise- see below) in the least due  to my experiences with growing up neurodifference. So please do not  hesitate to contact me. I’m willing to travel.

Published by Tricia Cook, MEd., Online Dyslexia and Behavioral Interventionist, RSP, AA O-G Tutor & Montessorian

My interest is in helping parents and teachers to understand learning and behavioral challenges and to love learning again. I graduated from Auburn in ECE in 1998. I have been a Montessori teacher here in Birmingham for almost 12 years and have lived in Birmingham for the past 19 years. As an early childhood teacher, I want continue to grow and develop as a constant learner. In 2012, I graduated from Secondary Education with a P-12 Reading Specialist certification the University of Alabama. As a Reading Specialist, I train on diversity and literacy development; I have a specialized knowledge of assessment and diagnosis that is vital for developing, implementing, and evaluating your literacy and neurodiversity behavioral, character development programing. Also, I have varying experiences designing instruction and environments for Montessori and Non-Montessori (OSR-Pre-K) environments. Therefore, I can consult for any environment or setting! In 2013, I attained my highly qualified status in ECE and Reading. In 2013, I also got my Orton-Gillingham AA tutor certification. I currently tutor full-time along with consulting. I have actually been tutoring since 2003. Along with other independent tutoring/interventionist experiences, I have brought dozens of students from an emergent to an advanced reading level! In addition to tutoring, I have provided the reading strengths and needs of my students and share that information to classroom teachers, parents, specialized teachers, and other stakeholders.  Lastly, I have also been a trainer/presenter, since 2008 and really enjoy this aspect of my career. As an experienced trainer, I have trained on many topics including: literacy (the five components), classroom management, positive discipline, diversity character development, Montessori Philosophy, policies and procedures, child development, and Alabama's Pre-k. Take note: Schools and families are desperately looking for an alternative type of affordable multi-sensory, hands-on, and interesting instruction. Currently, I am training and interested in writing on the following topics: A Comparison of Pre-K to Kindergarten; Adolescent Literacy (7th+); Assessment; Developing Readers; Children’s Literature; Classroom Management Techniques; Comprehension; Montessori Philosophy; Environmental Print & Early Writing; Family Attachment; Language and Literacy; Outdoor Classroom; Poetry Writing (7th+); Positive Guidance; Fine-motor Development; Cursive Writing; Creative Writing; Comprehension: Study Skills/Test Taking Strategies; Morphology; Phonics Instruction; Diversity Education; Neurodiversity Education; HandWriting; Reading Strategies; Best Practices P-12. Thank you, Tricia Cook, MEd., RSP, AOG;

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