Friday, December 18, 2009

A Gift in Disguise?

How it was discovered
Last month, we had a parent-teacher evaluation with our daughter’s principal regarding her performance and progress in school. She brought up something that disturbed her, and asked us to go seek medical advice.

A new Discovery
Well, according to her, SY had a tendency to mirror spell, and it’s not just a single alphabet. She could spell the whole word exactly like how we see it in the mirror, with the sequence from right to left too. Furthermore, it happened 80% of the time. However, whenever they corrected her, she would remember and try to do it correctly. The principal was worried that our child had dyslexia, and advised us to bring her to see the doctor.

The Symptoms
Well, we’re a bit shocked to hear this of course, though not too worried. We have noticed that she tends to confuse b with d, and at times she did mirror write ‘s’, ‘z’ or even ‘2’. But we’ve never seen her mirror write for the whole word. Also, when I was doing some revision with her on her spelling tests, I have never seen her write in mirror image. Hubby and I searched the web for info on dyslexia, and we found that she had some of the symptoms mentioned (like cannot tell the time, confuse with what day it is, mirror spelling, sometimes tend to put on shoes on the wrong feet, read "was" for "saw", "no" for "on", tends to trip or bump into things and falling over, etc). However, it’s still too early to tell since the earliest age to professionally diagnose dyslexia would be 5 and a half year old. Also, I have checked with a few friends and even her former principal, and they told me that it's common for a child to have confussion with these letters at such young age.

If you’re interested to know some of the symptoms, here are some of them:

Pre-School Non-language indicators
- May have walked early but did not crawl - was a 'bottom shuffler' or 'tummy wriggler'.
- Persistent difficulties in getting dressed efficiently and putting shoes on the correct feet.
- Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in letters or words.
- Is often accused of not listening or paying attention.
- Excessive tripping, bumping into things and falling over.
- Difficulty with catching, kicking or throwing a ball; with hopping and/or skipping.
- Difficulty with clapping a simple rhythm.

Other quite comprehensive websites:

On the other hand, we also found some contradictions. One source mentioned that a dyslexic child will have an unusual pencil grip, but the principal told us SY has excellent pencil grip and is considered one the few kids in her class who could hold the pencil the correct way without being needed to be reminded constantly to correct her grip. Also, she's able to read books, while a dyslexic child will have difficulty reading.

In the meantime, we also noticed that her speech articulation was not very clear. Could it be related? Or could it be something to do with her hearing that caused all these? Sometimes I wondered if she had any hearing problem...

We have a Genius? Well, in the midst of all these, hubby still able to look on the bright side and send me this info:

Why is dyslexia a gift?
Dyslexic people are visual, multi-dimensional thinkers. They are intuitive and highly creative, and excel at hands-on learning. Because they think in pictures, it is sometimes hard for them to understand letters, numbers, symbols, and written words.
They can learn to read, write and study efficiently when they use methods geared to their unique learning style.

Individuals with Dyslexia More Likely to be Millionaires

- A study by the Tulip Financial Group found that self-made millionaires are more likely to be dyslexic. A significant majority of the 5,000 self-made millionaires in the UK reportedly struggled in school. The results come from a study commissioned by the British Broadcasting Company 2 (BBC2). In an attempt to learn more about the minds of millionaires, a team of psychologists and business experts, spent a day testing a group of entrepreneurial millionaires. They were put through a series of tests. 40% of the 300 millionaires who participated in the more comprehensive study had been diagnosed with dyslexia.

Here is a list of some of the people who seemed to have been dyslexic:

Leonardo DaVinci who had reversals in his manuscripts.

W. Woolworth "who did not have sense".

George Patton who had spelling, writing, reading prblems.

Auguste Rodin who had math, spelling, and language problems.

Winston Churchill.

Harvey Cushing, a brain surgeon, who had spelling, and other language problems

Albert Einstein was not accepted at college, because he failed his EFL entrance exam.

And the list continues….

Hubby was so excited when he discovered even William Hewlett (founder of Hewlett Packard Company) was also dyslexic!

The Truth is out there
Ok, back to reality. I called our paed and asked for advice, but he recommended me to bring SY see a child psychologist. However the child psychologist was on maternity leave and would only be back next year. According to our paed, he had seen some who cannot read, write or even write in mirror. But he’s not sure if spelling in mirror is considered dyslexic or not. So he advised us to see the child psychologist when she’s back next year.

Well, since hubby’s not too worried about this, we let it be and didn’t seek other doctors’ advice from other hospitals. Until a few weeks later, her principal called to check. I was a bit ashamed because it seemed she’s more worried than us. In the end, we got another recommendation from another paed to see a Consultant Psychiatrist. I will update our meeting with her in another post later. Stay tuned…


Swan said...

Oh, I remember my professor telling us 5 years ago that this is normal for kids at a young age (5yrs ago so that's why I don't remember the explanation to this matter anymore). I think it's because their brains are not fully developed yet. When their brain developed more when they get older this writing in mirror image thing will be gone. Only when it still happen to kids 6-7 years old then you need to worry.

Pet said...

I don't think it's anything serious. I don't pressure my daughter in her education, but just wish she will speak a little bit of mandarin even though we knows she understand what we are saying to her. It's nearly a month already but she still refuse to speak Mandarin with us.

Keep us inform after the meet with the Consultant Psychiatrist.


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