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learning to learn..

We were considering sending the little munchkin to this one private school coz the senorita got a sizeable discount from her company. tlm's is dyslexic. so he's kinda struggling with stuff at school. the school system doesn't really cater for these kids. more often than not they'll be labeled as slow or not attentive. we figured going to a private school would at least give him the opportunity to learn with teachers that are more skilled and with lesser children per class, will be able to give him more attention. so the gorgeous senorita took him to the school because the principle wanted to gauge tlm's level. siap ade admissions test la kan.

the test was kinda okay. tlm was okay with maths - okay la. English pun was good. but bm dia was struggling a bit. the principal also interviewed the tlm. simple questions aje but knowing tlm ni dia suka jawab sepatah aje. how old are u? 10. what is ur name? tlm. masa the senorita left tu she asked la if it was okay or not. well the school said they'll have to review la the test results and they will call us with the results.

we wanted tlm to start after the school holidays, but the private school ni senyap aje. we wanted to know early sebab nak la make the arrangements and what not. then the school called and said the results were kinda bad. they asked la if we were willing to pay extra to join this one parent who's paying for personal tutelage untuk anak diorang yang dyslexic jugak. we said tak pe. as long as it would be good for tlm. and the school cakap nak call balik. nak confirm.

Tunggu punya tunggu. it was already Thursday. Takde dengar kabar. I was kinda pissed jugak. if they couldn't accept just cakap ajela. tanak jatuh kan standard diorang ke what not. don't la be giving some marketing spiel bagi hopes aje dekat parents.

so we had to find another alternative la.

the senorita found out about tlm's condition when he came back from standard 1 with a bloody nose because he got into a fight with a kid in school.

growing up he was always a bit special. he was sent to a montessori where the senorita was told that tlm was lazy, dreamy and naughty. when he was 6 the senorita switched him to this english speaking tadika islam where tlm showed remarkable signs of improvement. agaknya senang sebab jawi is from right to left. the teachers also were more patient and gave him more attention because kesian kot anak yatim.

anyways back to the fighting incident. it was then that the senorita's mom realised, whilst watching wanita hari ini that tlm is exhibiting many symptoms of ad/hd. so he was brought to this child psychologist - one of the best in the business la at the time. the doctor diagnosed tlm with a high degree of ad/hd with mild dyslexia. at the time it was thought that the dyslexia will probably be okay in time.

he was on medication and therapy for just over a year. during which, he improved significantly. he was doing better at school. i guess the the drugs were having the desired effect. but on the flipside it was causing him to be more subdued.

after weighing the pros and cons of having ur kids hooked on drugs for the rest of his life, the senorita felt that he should come off it. it was kind of a risk jugak i would think but a mom has to do what's best for her kid la.

tlm was improving a lot in terms of his behaviour. the hyperactivity was getting under control. but in other areas a lot more work and patience was required. banyak lagi la yang happen kan but fast forward to 2005 la and i came into the picture.

the senorita told me about tlm. i did a quick google on ad/hd and found out about what the condition was all about. i have to admit that i admired the senorita for what she has gone through. being both mom and dad to tlm. juggling work and also family. at the same time facing the challenge of raising someone with ad/hd. its not easy. orang yang lihat dari luar pun rasa dah susah inikan plak orang yang menanggung. my experience with hyperactive kids pun tak banyak. there was this one time i don't remember which kenduri la but one of my aunties ade anak yang hyper. couldn't sit still for a minute. terjerit-jerit. uncontrollable. but i guess all kids are different.

when i finally met tlm he was like any kid u would meet la. such a sweet boy. u can tell how he's very protective of the mom. biasa la kot. anak mak. u have to sit down and talk to him maybe tell him a really long story to figure out that his attention span is only a few minutes. but he does try. hehe. i love la that boy.

anyways, when we got married i told the senorita that i would really want to be involve in tlm's education. i started to bring him to the volunteering bits that i did with my company. its good to see him interacting with the other kids. he's very good with drawing and the other kids were rightly impressed with his sin chan and spongebob caricatures. i also try to make it a point to sit down with him every night to check on his homework. teach him school stuff. buat a bit of fun learning activities and what not. it was kinda okayla. but lama-lama to realise that the concentration tu still lacking. stuff yang dah ajar and dah paham bila tanya balik tak ingat.

bila tanya ada kerja rumah ke tak? cakap takde. bila check ada pages yang salin from the blackboard tak sempat siap. cikgu dah padam. kadang-kadang tu nak marah jugak. kadang-kadang tu memang marah pun.

but if u really think about it. tak patut kan. if ur in that situation where ur struggling to make sense of the things u see on the board. alphabets nampak macam sama. words. i'd be rightly pissed. and not to mention frustrated.

it was clear that sekolah biasa just wasn't enough. that's why the private school was considered. but now that one pun is a no go. It kinda served as a wake up call la for the both of us.

Browsing the net for brought a few alternatives to the fore. There’s courses that you as a parent can take in order to better equip yourselves in dealing with these kids. But kena very committed la i guess. Browse punye browse, I found this one place that caters for kids that have learning difficulty needs ni. Baru cakap aje dekat the senorita turns out that she also saw the same site and dah email enquiry pun.

Nak dijadikan cerita the lady that runs the center ni has also written a book about learning difficulty. And the senorita already got the book as a gift from her friend la kan. Talk about coincidences. We decided to give it a go.

We went for an assessment at the center. The lady was very pleasant. I’ll throw in boisterous as well. She took a look at the little munchkin’s books and she immediately recognized the signs. She also noticed how tlm constructs his sentences and what he draws and she commented that tlm’s not acting his age. Well not intentionally la kan.

We talked about our options. She suggested that we start on her interventions to support tlm’s learning. Trying to boost his cognitive skills so that he’ll cope much better at school. But then she said that if we really want him to have a real chance, we would have to consider sending him somewhere where his ‘gift’ ni isn’t considered as something trivial – orang cap lazy. Nakal. What nots.

I guess we have to take it one step at a time la. See how he reacts and responds to the lessons and see where we go from there.
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