I wrote previously on Uzair’s progress about his Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and developmental paeds . Unfortunately after months of therapy he is not showing progress as how we would expect. He also attends kindergarten and has adapt himself well but still not following the lessons per se. My definition of adapts here is he doesnt cry when i drop him off at school and basically knows his routine at school. We went for his follow up with Dr Rajini and doctor raised issue of his development. The fact that he has been attending therapy session but showing little improvement is an indication he needs more than just weekly therapy.
As i mentioned some would say “takpe nanti cakap lah tu” ” XY ckp masa die 4 years old tp now dah jadi doctor dah” In uzair’s case he was given the extra aid but however not progressing much. We wouldnt want to take the risk of “takpe nanti cakap lah tu” thus Doctor told us about Early Intervention Programme (EIP) . She didnt suggest EIP on our first visit because when she asked me whether uzair is attending school (it was end of last year), i mentioned he will start schooling early of the year (2012) and doctor said it would be good for him to mix with other kids. some children improve a lot when they are with their peers. BUT since not much progress, we are left with no choice but to take a step back, which is to send him for EIP.
I know the existence of EIP before but didnt know the details of the programme. I asked uzair’s Occupational Therapy (OT) and she was rather optimistic and said uzair doesnt need it. And pretty much gave assurance uzair will improve. However it wasnt easy to get slot for his OT on a weekly basis, kadang once in 2 weeks. I would say the contact hours is really important. in fact by looking at uzair’s condition he would need to get slot twive a week.
I decided to pay WQ Park a visit. It’s located in Kelana Jaya. After looking at their programme..husband and i immediately agree to send him there. If only i visited this place earlier…i would definitely enrolled him pronto. I should have send him there instead of normal kindergarten and hopefully after a year he is ready to attend normal mainstream. However we are certainly glad to know this place now rather than later. The EIP will be from Monday – Friday either morning session ( 930-1230pm) or afternoon session (130 – 430pm). Since we have paid his school fees till end of the year, we decided to take the afternoon session, thus he will be attending school in the morning and EIP in the afternoon. Yes it sounds hectic, but hopefully this will make him less active — > more focus –> better progress, insyaAllah
In the EIP, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy is tailored in their daily scheduled. They have 8 contact hours of ST and OT a month. Teachers and therapist will set up a timetable for uzair, for example a week he might have 4 session of 30mins in a week. The therapist will “pull him” out of his class to have one to one session with him of therapy. If they think uzair can focus for 30mins, they might make 20 mins instead but more session…and total will always be 8 hours a month.
**Clarification (Update) : The ST and OT is 4 hours each. Each session will be for 30mins. Thus it will be 2 ST and 2 OT session in a week.
Oh i forget to mention this, initially doctor diagnose him as Sensory Processing Difficulties…on our last follow up doctor said Uzair is showing traits between Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and some over lapping traits of autism. I googled alot on this and came across forums.Quite a number of parents of the same boat started giving Gluten Free and Cassein Free Diets (GFCF) . Parents said their kids with autism improved once on the GFCF diet, they had better eye contact, and more bubbly. But the benefits is anecdotal. Ive started doing this on Uzair bout 2,3 weeks. We have also changed our rice to brown rice about a month. It certainly not easy going GFCF diet on uzair for someone who eats bread as his snacks. Yes while others snack on biscuit, he eats bread..he can have 3 to 4 slices at a go. And he munch on biscuits too. Jacob crackers are among his fav. I bought him few gluten free biscuits but none to his liking. the only thing he eats is the brown rice crackers. I even boiled spaghetti and macaroni (gluten free of coz) and he eats that as snack. I mean for his in between meal food. The thing is im staying with my parents it wont be fair for me to make everyone on GFCF diet, thus the house do have non-gluten free food around. Im having problem hiding it from uzair…but so far we managed to do so rather successfully (happened one, two incident he found the food). Any improvement? I would say he is more attentive.
Im praying all goes well for his EIP . It has been a week since he started EIP. Really hope he enjoys it and doesnt see it as a “punishment” since he will be attending classes morning and afternoon. Initially we were afraid it would be too tiring for him, he leaves house latest by 830am and reaches home around 5 – 515pm, but alhamdulillah he seems okay, still very much energetic. The minute we reach home, he gets off the car and run straight to the garden. The must thing for him to do is, the trampoline and monkey bars,
and all the other rides and swings
All these faces after attending classes morning and afternoon, he definitely doesnt look tired, does he?
My main reason of writing this entry is to share our experience and also to raise awareness among parents. Yes, it is normal to see kids who can’t sit still, has little focus,who never seems to listen or refused to listen to instruction. We the often hear this kids being labled , buas tak reti dok diam, degil. undisciplined and the list goes on. But in actual fact, it is something we should pay attention to, as it could be ADD/ADHD. Or on the other hand, we may have children who doesnt like to interact with others, poor eye contact, lack of respond to people and delayed speech development. These could be symptoms of Autism. Many of the austim traits start appearing between the age 2 to 3, thus i would strongly suggest parents who notice your child’s development to be a lil differ from other kids to seek advised rather than to wait. The purpose is not to be labled “oh my anak autism / ADHD” but to enable us parents to take the preventive measurement early. Yes, some children grow out of it, but should we take the risk? It is said every 1 out of 88 children are autism, thats pretty high percentage I feel.
We are that Uzair shows good improvement so we can get him back to the mainstream schooling.Looking at how difficult the standard 1 syllabus nowadays, i get pretty worried of coz. He will be 5 next year. Next year he will be attending only EIP and hoping by mid year the latest we could enrolled him back to Itqan and get supplement programme from WQ Park. Ideally, it would be better to let him continue both Itqan and EIP, but the fees would be steep for us. It is a tough journey but we are indeed grateful as we have seen others going through tougher. We accept this as a test from AlMighty in a positive manner despite the many many emotional, mental, physical and financial challenges we have to face. We will make the most out of it and do our best in raising this amanah from Allah S.W.T. Uzair has surely teaches me patience and also to tolerate nonsense…hihi. I could not thank the father enough, for putting the kids as his top 1 priority. It means a lot to me seeing him to agree in enrolling uzair for extra classes without hesitations. “O Allah, pinjamkan lah kalam-Mu pada anak ku Uzair” Amin
“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…”( Al-Baqarah : 286)