Friday, May 25, 2012

Learning - Older Adopted Children - Part 2

Note: I will be driving for the better part of today as we near our road trip destination.  As a result, I probably won't be able to respond to comments until tonight or tomorrow.  But please don't let this stop you...I welcome, crave even, your continued thoughts/insights/encouragement.


A couple of days ago, I shared a post I'd written on a yahoo forum for parents of older adopted children, detailing a few of Seth's learning challenges.  This post is a follow-up to Part 1 on learning as it concerns older children of adoption, and there will be (at least) one more post coming on this subject as soon as I can finish putting it together.  Forgive my partially-thought-out words here...they are inadequate to convey the stuff swirling and whirling through my brain these days...why else would I be awake past 2am trying to put a few last commas and periods into place?

I'd like to break this post into three or four parts, and I'm afraid it will be a long one as I work these things through in my mind.  Obviously, skip this post if it's just too much!

Part 1:  The responses of parents to my yahoo forum post.
Part 2:  The different response of one parent and my reaction to her suggestion.
Part 3:  An additional response by another parent and the wheels that start clicking into place.
Part 4:  Final thoughts.

I have obtained permission from each person I quote here, whether I quote him/her directly or indirectly.

Part 1: The responses of parents to my yahoo forum post.

I have posted about Seth's learning challenges on two different yahoo forums, though the one I shared with you the other day was more detailed.  On both occasions, it seemed as if the topic was a very  welcome one and one that has not had a lot of air time.  It also seemed as if the issue was one that greatly perplexed many parents.  And on both occasions of posting, I received many responses from parents who have adopted older children...responses that were strikingly similar to what I experience at home.

I believe that all who talked about ongoing/lasting issues spoke of children who had been adopted at age 5+.  Again, this is consistent with our experience with Seth and Lizzie; although Lizzie manifested identical issues for many months, something changed early this year and she is now flourishing in her learning...even at age 4.

Frankly, it was a relief to read people's responses...I felt less alone.  Most of the parents gave examples of situations that seemed eerily familiar.  Many parents talked about their child's attempts to learn the names/sounds of letters; and many expressed the odd 'gaps' in their child's vocabulary and memory, etc.  Many (not all) of the responders also talked about their children's level of malnutrition upon coming home and many (not all) parents said that they had concluded that malnutrition or stress or recovery from trauma or some combination of these things were what influenced their children's learning.  We all shared a frustration that makes us feel like we're banging our heads against a wall.  Did I tell you that my hair stylist asked me a couple of weeks ago where all of my new grey hairs had come from?  Now you know the answer.

Snippets of parents' responses included these:
  • "I spent two years completely perplexed as to why she could not learn her ABC's."
  • "...called numerous neuropsychologist about testing (they all said it was too soon)."
  • "Everyone says she is so smart (which she is) but in my opinion difficulty learning is a learning disability."
  • "It took her 1 1/2 years to learn the alphabet!  But quick as a whip with other things."
  • "I HAVE experienced this with my son who was also malnourished...he came home at 5.5....I totally understand your frustration."
  • "I could have written your post."
  • "Just yesterday the lead math tutor pulled me aside and explained how he seemed to grasp something in Math, did 3 more examples of it, then on the 4th problem seemed to be completely confused, almost like he'd never seen it before."
  • "I, too, have lots of frustration linked to language and comprehension! One minute they sound like Einstein and the other, well, just plain DIM!"
  • "I have decided that it is a combination of malnourishment, lack of exposure to certain stimuli, and lack of exposure to early academic learning."
  • "I went to a....conference last weekend, and they mentioned the brain and higher level thinking being very affected by stress hormones."

These brief points give a good example of the kinds of responses.  I have received (many) other comments and emails and other anecdotal feedback that is entirely consistent with what I have posted here.

Part 2:  The different response of one parent and my reaction to her suggestion.

One parent responded entirely differently than the others before her; her words caught my attention and has held it for the past couple of weeks.

She said that malnutrition could not be the issue given that how people described the issues was common from one child to another.  She said that if different children, who experienced varying degrees of malnutrition (from extreme, as in our case, to not notable, in other cases) manifest the same issues, it's not an individual issue but rather an issue of how a particular language transfers to another.

Ahh, of course, was my first thought when reading that.  I had been troubled about this exact issue, given that the parents responding had reported such difference in their child's experience of malnutrition.

The same person suggested that, instead of malnutrition being the issue, what was being described sounded much more like a language acquisition issue.  She went on to say that it wasn't about memory as much as it was about application, that the ABC issue that parents described in common had more to do with a difficulty hearing the language differences rather than an inability to memorize a sound.  Huh.

Also, with regard to issues such as referring to jam as ketchup or toothpaste, she said that naming things is the lowest level of learning.  What would be a concern, she said, is if a child called something "jam" (the right name) but then tried to brush his teeth with it as though confusing the meaning of jam and toothpaste.  She said confusing the meaning of words would be an issue of real concern from a learning standpoint...but that if a child knows what to do with jam or ketchup that this is not a malnutrition or a memory issue; understanding that jam gets put on bread and toothpaste gets put onto a toothbrush is a higher order learning skill than simply memorizing the name of it.

I'll pause here to insert a couple of paragraphs from an article I came across just last week that, for me, gets at just how complicated it must be for a young child who has lost his first two languages to suddenly be faced with the prospect of learning a third language just in order to be able to survive...

The Acquisition of Language by Children
by Jenny R. Saffran, Ann Senghas, and John C. Trueswell

Imagine that you are faced with the following challenges. You must discover the internal structure of a system that contains tens of thousands of units, all generated from a small set of materials.  These units, in turn, can be assembled into an infinite number of combinations.  Although only a subset of those combinations is correct, the subset itself is for all practical purposes infinite.  Somehow you must converge on the structure of this system to use it to communicate. And you are a very young child.

The system is human language. The units are words, the materials are the small sets of sounds from which they are constructed, and the combinations are the sentences into which they can be assembled. Given the complexity of this system, it seems improbably that mere children could discover its underlying structure and use it to communicate. Yet most do so with eagerness and ease, all within the first few years of life.

A whole bunch of thoughts have been swirling through my head since that back-and-forth dialogue on the yahoo forum:
  • It makes such sense to me that this is a language issue rather than a (mostly) malnutrition issue.  Seth knows exactly what to do with jam and that he wants ketchup on his pasta - he never confuses what to do with the things he has a hard time naming.  This is not a kid who is easily confused or side-tracked when it comes to knowing how to make use of things - he's a kid who wants to know everything and how it all works.  He's the kid who knows where everything is in the house (even if it's in my underwear drawer); he can't always name it but he describes it by how it's used.  "I need to put on dose tings we used last week when went to gym class," he might say in reference to needing to find his shoes before we leave for gym class.  His curiosity to know things is overwhelming at times.  In some ways he's such an old soul, given his life experiences.  In other ways, he's like a teeny little toddler who is just starting to learn about the world and who has to learn things that Matthew would have simply known from the age of a year onwards.
  • It also makes sense, then, that kids who are older will tend to have these issues in common and to a greater degree...because they have been exposed to a different language(s) for much longer than the language of their adopted family and because it's the former language that retains a firm hold on the way sounds are made, even if the child can no longer speak it.  I see this difference in Seth and Lizzie.  Lizzie's acquisition of language is now considerably faster than Seth (in comprehension and speaking ability, as well as in use of grammar and in sentence structure), particularly when it comes to its finer points and nuances.  Seth understands things readily but appears to forget them very quickly when trying to speak or repeat them, and I see him struggling to put words to what is in his head.  That is a language issue.  I see it more and more now that I'm looking at it a bit differently.
  • Dare I hope that, just maybe then, it's not a malnutrition issue??  If the poster is right that so many kids have the same issue despite a wide range of malnutrition exposure (from extreme, in our case, to hardly at all in other cases), malnutrition simply cannot be the cause.
  • I am flooded with relief and skepticism and uncertainty.  Relief that this might (mostly) not be malnutrition.  Skepticism because I don't know if I dare believe it or if what the issue might actually be is better or worse than what I thought it was. Uncertainty because, even if it's not malnutrition, I don't know exactly what we're dealing with yet.
  • If this is a language issue, then I have a different kind of work ahead of me in order to help Seth. In addition to giving him lots of time and ongoing exposure to language, I'm thinking that there are going to be very specific language acquisition and application methods that I'll need to teach him.  I have no idea what this might look like yet, but you can be sure I'll be learning whatever I can.

Part 3:  An additional response by another parent and the wheels that start clicking into place.

A different person responded afterwards with a post that was also very meaningful to me.  She said this:

"I am bilingual and sometimes automatically think in Spanish, but [the children who have been adopted] have had a link 'erased' [because they have lost their first languages] and do not have the outlet they used to have to make connections.  Basically starting from scratch at a later age, is hard.  They do not speak their home language anymore and even that was limiting, because there were many things that they did not have a word for anyway, things were just plain new.  They do not have years of connecting objects with a word, in just one language."

If I apply this wisdom, here is what I observe:
  • Seth spoke first the language of his birth region - though not with mastery because he was so young.  He would have been limited in his use/comprehension of his first language just like kids born anywhere else are limited in vocabulary and comprehension when they're so young.  Then, being in an Amharic-only-speaking orphanage for ten months, he quickly picked up little bits of that language - but only enough to survive in an orphanage where many children arrived with different language origins and where caregivers undoubtedly used limited and repetitive words with small children who are learning a new language.  In those months in the orphanage he lost his first language almost entirely, so that he was no longer able to communicate with his birth father before we brought him to Canada.  How sad is that?
  • He was virtually six by the time he came to Canada and was inundated with yet another new language.  He had no choice but to start here from scratch.  And it really would be learning  language (not just a language, but any language) from scratch because within a few short weeks of arriving in Canada he no longer had either of his first two languages.
  • What I said before about him being like a teeny little toddler just starting to learn about the world is really true in this line of thinking - because he's like an eleven-month old (being eleven months home) learning how to connect objects with names. The challenge is that he's in a six-almost-seven-year-old body and the expectations that come with looking at a child of this age are radically different than if he were an eleven-month old looking at board books 20x in a row before he solidly connects the word "jam" with the jar of sticky red stuff sitting next to a piece of toast on the page...after which his parent can then run to the fridge and show him that we have that same sticky red stuff in our fridge and it's called jam just like in the book we've been reading over and over.  I would have done this kind of thing a thousand times with Matthew at eleven months of age.
  • Because of his exposure to three different language in less than six years (and the absolute need for him to learn them in order to survive in a given context), Seth might like to think in Wolaytan or Amharic and that would have helped his transition to English, but that link has been 'erased.'  He simply does not have the ability to make connections.  As far as language is concerned, Seth is a six-year-old in a zero-year-old brain.
  • He has had only eleven months (not almost seven years) of connecting objects with a word in just one language.

Part 4:  Final thoughts.

Even as I write these bullet points, things fall into place in my head.  It makes me want to sit with my head in my hands and just cry.  Cry for the little boy who works so hard at life and who is trying to desperately to survive in this third language of his life which is really like his first language.  Cry for the little boy whose mother has so often been impatient with his inability to remember the word jam because he's six and has lived eleven months in Canada and must surely know the word jam and a thousand others by now; for the little boy whose mother is so scared that if he can't remember the word jam or that a giraffe is not a cat, what does that mean about her son's ability to learn ten thousand other words?  I want to cry for the little boy whose little sister is catching on to things faster than he is for no reasons other than age differences and the fact that she's been exposed to much less conscious confusion (including language confusion) in her life; the irony of this is so profound to me, knowing how he has cared for his little sister in the most unimaginably difficult circumstances only to now be taken over by her when it comes to adapting and surviving in another new language.  I want to cry because of my relief that Seth's challenges may not be (entirely) malnutrition related and because I'm so unfair to be relieved about this when so many other children in the world are affected by such things or other so-much-worse things.

And, if I'm really honest, I want to cry because I still don't know what to do if this is a language acquisition issue.

Well, I do know what to do in one area.

If this is a language issue, and frankly even if it's not, then I need to do some evolution as a parent (see, even if I'm a creationist, I can still believe in evolution!).  Because, as someone said who emailed me yesterday on the subject of her child, I am not nearly as patient with Seth as I need to be.  Like the emailer of yesterday, I'm someone who has always found learning to be relatively easy, and I just can't get how he can't remember that the word backpack, which we've said repeatedly for many months because he loves his so much and which we've said about forty times in the twenty-four hours of getting ready for our road trip, isn't pronounced "pack-a-pack"...assuming that he can even remember the word at all and not call it a "suitcase" or "dat ting we use on airplane to go on trip" or something else.  I really can't comprehend how he can't equate the word jam with the sticky red stuff that he eats so often.  I hand-made 68 jars of that sticky red stuff last summer just so that boy could have it as much as he wants to.  So why can't he just remember the word?

Can you hear my annoyance, feel my tears, as I write those words?  Because I hear it, I feel it, just writing about it...and these are just two of a hundred everyday examples that drive me nuts.  I know that when we wake up in our hotel room tomorrow, another day will start of encountering that blank look when confronted with a word that he knew two minutes ago but doesn't any more.  And I get mad.

I know that this is not Seth's fault.  I do.  Or do I??  Maybe I think, deep down, that if he tried hard enough he just might be able to remember.  In my head I know this isn't true because mine is a boy who works hard at everything - everything warrants his intensity.  But why can't my knowledge seep down down down from my head clear through to my heart, from which gentleness and compassion and understanding come?

I look at this boy sleeping peacefully a few feet from where I sit and I love him.  This frustration of mine is not his fault and I need both of us to believe that.  He needs for me to believe that, for my belief to conform itself to my love for him.

As I sit and watch, Seth is moving about in his sleep.  His hands are gesturing and he occasionally mumbles noises.  He does this often.

What I am left thinking is this: how can he dream without a language? What words are he mumbling? Does he have gaps in his dreams?  How do I help him put words to his dreams, both these ones and the ones he will grow into as he gets older?

The only thing I know for sure is this:  I am the mother that he is glad is keeping him forever.  I will figure this out.


  1. I'm so glad that you've written about your own emotions surrounding this issue. I have felt exactly, exactly the same way -- both the frustration, the grief and the fear for the future.

    I particularly understand your feelings about the fact that Lizzie learns so much faster than Seth. My daughter Z.'s math skills are far ahead of her brother's -- despite the fact that he is about 2.5 years older than her. Her vocabulary is FAR superior to his -- although his grammar and pronunciation are miles ahead of hers. She just "gets" everything faster and more completely than him, in so many areas. And this makes me just ache for him, because (like you said) he played the role of her protector and father for nearly a year. The orphanage staff told us that he refused to eat unless he saw Z. with a plateful of food... otherwise, he would give her his own plate.

    I will say, though, that my son has incredible, adult-level perception of peoples' motivations, feelings and thoughts. It's like he can see right through people... he can look into a situation and assess it instantly. Of course... this makes it even more vital that I don't betray my frustration and fear about his learning struggles! :)

    I am so, SO interested in these posts... please do post links if you have them; I know that my son's teacher would be very interested in learning more about this as well!

  2. Reading your post, what struck me most is how much you care. Never forget that. Having said THAT, I think that what you will need to do in this situation is to take the emotion out of very matter-of-fact. You WILL work through love too much NOT to.

    The other part, at least for me, would be to go to God, and pray my way through it, trusting Him to transform me & my reactions & responses. God made you who you are, He knows what's hard, and He's walking you through this. Just the responses you received to your post prove that. Take heart. You are not alone.

  3. It sounds like you are learning a lot Ruth!

    The one thing I will add into this line of thinking is that language is not a discrete skill, but an outside representation of cognitive development/ability and, like anything cognitive, it can be broken down into a zillion components. In other words, one is unlikely to just have a "language issue". Instead, one could have a language acquisition issue, a language learning issue, a language usage issue, a language formulation issue, a language memory issue, a language storage issue etc. And, ALL of these can be impacted by malnutrition, because they are ALL cognitive. As well, they can all be caused by other factors . . . way to many to mention. The good (?) thing is, you can usually determine the specific problem by looking at the specific symptoms and go from there.

    However, I do agree with whomever told you to be patient! Seth might have some "language issues" that would benefit from attention, but I'd give him at least another year before coming to any conclusions on his language acquisition. It's hard work!

    (Perhaps that was more than one thing I added!).

  4. I suspect you've been pointed in a very good new direction. We are very fortunately not having any learning challenges with our boys, but language acquisition has been clearly easier for our younger son (H - home at 2.5 yrs) compared to our older son (N - home at 4.5 yrs). We've just been home 1 year and it's been months now that a stranger wouldn't know H wasn't born here, but N is definitely not yet where an otherwise 5-year-old would be. When he talks you can tell his words don't keep up with his thoughts.

    I suspect there is great truth in the language acquisition theory and in that case exploring some speech and language support (if you aren't already) could prove very fruitful.

    Definitely thinking about you lots... A

  5. I've been away for a bit and just read these learning posts. I just tried to write all my thoughts in a comment but it was too much. I think it is a language issue. I have seen kids in my classes through the years with the same issues you described. I don't know if malnutrition can cause it. It's possible. The kids I taught did not have that history. A really good program used is Orton-Gillingham. I took training to use the first part. If you look it up I think the part about the limbic system will be interesting to you. I was humbled by it and it changed my classroom persona ever after. Enjoy the trip. You are making such wonderful memories.

  6. Hi Ruth,
    I have been following your posts. We are just beginning our adoption journey and we are considering adopting older children. I had commented the other day and asked about the possibility of learning disabilities. We talked about how this would hard to discertain because of the second language-learning that is occurring. I am glad that people are giving you lots of factors to consider. I think in some cases, it is not one exact factor that can be pin-pointed. I am a speech-language pathologist in a public school system and there are many factors that can lead to learning difficulties/disabilities. I have to disagree with the woman who said the naming objects is the lowest level of learning. That is an expressive task which is more difficult than identifying objects and their names ( a receptive task). I am also not sure that malnutrition can be ruled out completely. If lack of nutrition caused changes in brain development and function, then ultimately it could be a factor. I am wondering if his difficulties could be due to a myriad of factors. Learning a second language actually occurs rather naturally in children with typical language-learning abilities. This is why I was wondering about the presence of underlying learning difficulties. I work with a child whose primary language is not English. He receives speech-language support because he has language-learning difficulties. His sister is fluent in English and their primary language. She has no difficulty learning language, therefore, she was able to acquire English rather easily. His skills in both languages are not as strong. Because he had difficulty acquiring his primary language, he also has difficulty acquiring English. This student received services through the ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher and made great progress, but there is still a language disorder and that is why he sees me and gets other special education support in reading and writing. I have also seen skill gaps in which child. Sometimes he surprises me with his knowledge and other times I am surprised with his responses.

    I think the most important thing is that you are seeking information to help your child. It is important to reach out to people and get their input and ideas. I would continue to seek out professional resources. I am not sure where you live and what may be available. I live in MA and here in Boston we have hospitals that have programs that follow internationally adopted children. I think at some point a team assessment might be something to consider- doctors, psychologist, learning specialists, speech-language pathologists, etc. Together they may be able to give you some answers. More importantly, they would be able to give you recommendations.

    Good luck!

  7. Hi Ruth,

    I sent you a longer e-mail privately, but I just wanted to post a book recommendation here aswell:

    "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge.

    There is a terrific chapter in it about language and how neural pathways are shaped and changed, and there are references to very successful Canadian based learning programs for children with all manner of learning delays.

    I hope it is helpful to you. I tell everyone and their dog about this book :-)

  8. Oh, you and I are going to have so much to talk about later this week!!!

    I just wanted to comment here briefly in case it will help someone else on here reading the comments. We found that Elijah was much slower at language acquisition than Sedaya, but that now (at almost 3 years home), he is leaps and bounds ahead of her. Seeing him struggle so much in the beginning was so hard so I am glad that you are sharing your feelings and frustrations about that because I know that other moms will be able to relate.

    Here's where we are now...Elijah's speech is pretty darned amazing. His vocabulary is vast and though he occasionally forgets words, his language is pretty impressive EXCEPT that he CANNOT learn the alphabet and therefore is not reading at age 9. His math skills are at least on par for his age and he loves math. He loves looking through books, but the alphabet is like another foreign language for him. We are searching for ways to help him and so I will be following your search closely.

    With Sedaya, her speech stalled about 8 months home and she is now diagnosed as severely delayed in both receptive and expressive language skills. We hope that this issue is due to trauma and that her brain is functioning in fight or flight mode, therefore just base functioning, but we suspect it may be that in conjunction with the effects of malnutrition on brain development and even possibly brain damage due to fluoride poisoning (both our kids have fluoride poisoning from the village they were from). We of course hope trauma factors into things in a big way because that is something that can improve with therapy.

    With both, we spent one to three weeks on each letter of the alphabet complete with many hands-on activities and a variety of opportunities to practise and they barely know the letters we have done the in-depth studies on and do not know the other letters (we have gotten to "R"). The ones they know, they only know the name of, not what sound the letter makes and Sedaya doesn't even know most of the names. Ugh! Struggling with frustration over here too.

  9. Thank you all so very much for your thoughtful and helpful and encouraging responses. I'm a little overwhelmed by the thought of trying to respond to each person individually, and don't have a lot of time right now to do so. But I have read your comments over and over and and over again, and am finding them so helpful. I will be looking into every thing that has been suggested...and if you have more ideas, keep 'em coming.
    Mrs. Changstein, I think you're totally right that I need to spend more time praying about my responses to Seth, etc. Thank you for the reminder.

    OK, more to come folks! Thank you thank you.


  10. Ruth - this is a comment on your learning #2 post:
    I listened to a CBC program once on language acquisition in babies. They interviewed the scientists who've been doing experiments on babies younger than 6 months (how they figure stuff out at that age, I don't know). Anyway, these scientists concluded that babies are already laying down neurological paths of language within a few weeks after birth. Those paths consist of familiarity with the sounds of "their" language--Korean babies hear Korean sounds, Chinese, English, etc. etc. This was interesting to me at the time because in music some cultures don't have the 12 semi-tones in a scale as we do in western music. They have 1/8 and 1/4 tones that most of us in the west have trouble even identifying, not to mention duplicating with our own vocal chords! It made sense to me then, that a language as tonally complex as Chinese (I don't know whether it's Mandarin or Cantonese) becomes slowly laid down from infancy. By the time a baby is 1 s/he is saying 10 words - 12 months to acquire the foundation of the sound of language!!!

    In Seth's case, then, if the above holds true (and of course real life is always more complex than a science experiment), his cognitive structures for language were laid down in infancy as with us all. Because of his difficult early childhood, he's now in the position of learning a whole other language. In some ways, he has to start with the infancy steps of becoming familiar with the sounds of english (even divorced from meaning or labels). In other ways, he can bring all the other coping skills and cognitive abilities of a 7-year-old to the task of learning this new language. I.e. in some ways he's 'behind' and in other ways he's 'ahead.'

    One of my cousins, as a precocious toddler, talked about "nailp" (nailpolish). Over time it became "nailpop", and eventually "nailpolish." Perhaps this is part of what's happening when Seth talks around something, like, "dat ting we used last week at gymnastics" or your "pack-a-pack" eg. (which is actually very descriptive, isn't it?!!).

    My guess is, barring any diagnosable learning disorder, that Seth will catch up in his use of language and ability to identify the written forms of language, like letters, words, etc.

    Sounds like your trip is going very well so far. I'm jealous of all the time you're getting to spend with a bunch of friends--wishing it was me! (That's the kind of jealousy that's happy for you, and wishing I could have the same.)

  11. Ruth,
    This is just amazing. I really think this is it! It makes me want to cry too...

    Thank you so much for writing and researching. I'm so, so excited about this. I linked your blog up to our adoption board, I think this is so vital.

  12. I am the lady who said the naming something is the lowest level of learning. That was not my opinion but comes from educational research. I teach others to develop learning that will increase the speed of how things are learned. There is a taxonomy of how information is acquired and learned that starts at the bottom and moves up the chain.

    1. Knowledge - remembering
    2. Comprehension - understanding
    3. Application - applying
    4. Analysis - reflecting
    5. Synthesis - evaluating
    6. Evaluation - LEARNING

    When a child says give me the ketchup meaning jam.

    They (2) understand what they want and why.

    They (3) know what to do with it in comparison to what to do with something else.

    They (4) have decided if they like the blue (grape) better than the red (strawberry).

    That is a discriminative skill.

    They probably even know the word for it, they simply know the word or what it is called in another language. What they are now trying to do is REMEMBER what that new word is called which is know different than we try to remember a new persons name that we see once a month. We understand that people have names but the fact that we don't remember every name on site doesn't mean that we have a learning problem. It means that in the order of importance of all the things that we NEED to remember that is not at the top.

    When we rub our fingers together or tap our lips trying to remember the name of street we visited or someones phone number we don't have a learning problem. We KNOW that streets have names and we have to do is find it. We KNOW that people have numbers and we just know where to look up the information.

    NAMING something is the LOWEST level of learning and does not denote understanding or true learning.

  13. Thank you all so much, again. Valarie, I'm sooo grateful for your comments and for your teaching of me some of this stuff. I find it overwhelming at times, and you have a straightforward way of helping me to understand some of this stuff. Thank you so much for contributing to this question - it's huge for me!

    BLessings, and keep the comments coming!!!