Friday, February 18, 2011

Today, I have hope

After yesterday's break down, today is a welcomed relief.  I have a glimmer of hope today.

I called and left messages with three neuropyschologist.  I didn't have much hope that they would be able to help us, but they can do evaluations for things like Asperger's Syndrome.  What I really need is someone who can also evaluate for giftedness, recognize the difference between the two, and figure out whether we're dealing with one, the other, both, or neither.  Ideally, they'd accept our insurance, which I feel is unlikely.

Then, on a whim (God whim?), I called the Robinson Center at the University of Washington.  They do programs for gifted youth.  One program, called Summer Challenge, is a three week summer class 5th and 6th graders who qualify.  They have have a math program that I think Sam would love.  Unfortunately, Sam is still too young, it requires special expensive testing (but I think his participation in John Hopkin's talent search qualifies), and costs way more money than I can come up with...more than $900 plus traveling to and from UW every day.   Hoping they could point me in some direction, I called, and someone answered.

I told the person who answered, "Hi, my name is JoAnn and I don't know what I want to ask you but I'm calling because I have to start somewhere."  How's that for how to start?  LOL  She decided to send me information on a new Extreme Math class that meets on Saturday, with a new session starting in April.  It looks great, too, but it requires 9 weeks worth of driving all the way to  north Seattle and back and $250 for Sam's level of class.  Why is everything so expensive?  She's also having the director call me back on my other questions.  Yay!

That lead to me looking up the Saturday thing before I received the email.  It looks interesting, but the money issue is still an issue.  But, that listed the math professor who leads it.  It had a short biography along with his website.  His website listed a monthly FREE math salon an hour from here.  The next one is on a Monday but I may be willing to skip my Monday commitment for the opportunity to have Sam meet a real mathematician.  It also talked about math circles, which I tried to find in Tacoma but couldn't get anyone to call me back.  It said, "If you are interested in starting a math circle...."  It gave a phone number!  Yes, I've already called and left a message.  I have no idea how a math circle is run or if I even have the ability to do it, but I'm willing to find out more information.

I think it would be so great if Sam could find other kids who enjoy math and get to know them.

Now, I just need something to motivate and excite Mikaela.  I wonder if it is possible to get ideas from a mathematician?

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