Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ARVs=Brain Freeze?

Academics in our home has been a very strange phenomenon. Since English is my daughter's second language and due to the fact that she did not benefit from any schooling in her home country, I try to spend time doing supplemental work with her (outside reading and math, educational computer games, etc) to enhance her learning abilities. She actually does quite well in school, but at home I have noticed that though she picks up things very quickly, when items are revisited at a later date, she has some difficulty with retention and with application of learned material. I think it is less evident in school because in the younger grades they appear to introduce a concept, master it, and move on?, but since I'm working with her one on one, I see it more easily, and I foresee it causing problems later on in her schooling as the work will progressively become more advanced. It's hard to know exactly what to attribute it to, and I've never parented a child of this age. For all I know it could be a learning disability of some sort, it could be the language barrier, it could be learning style, or it could be just the way kids are at this age. I haven't brought it up to her school for two reasons: 1) she's doing well in terms of grades, (she is an honor roll student), so it may seem silly to them that I have these concerns, and 2) unfortunately, the school district we are in is notorious for a disproportionate percentage of minority students in its special ed population, and I don't completely trust their motives (more special ed students means extra funding from the state, after all). But I do think HIV plays a role. When I am on different HIV related websites, poz adults sometimes talk about how some of the side effects from their meds are affecting them physically and cognitively; certainly this must also apply to youth despite the limited research on pediatric HIV in comparison to adult. Has anyone experienced any academic issues with their child/children, and what has helped (homeschooling? mnemonic techniques? books? tutoring? switching meds? vitamins?) Specifically, my daughter is on Sustiva and Truvada if that makes any difference.

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