Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Story Continues

Why it was delayed

Well, it was not my intention to drag my story on the dyslexia thingy into another year. I should have updated that before we greeted 2010, but somehow, I got carried away with other stuffs.

Meeting the Consultant Psychiatrist
Ok, so we went to see a Consultant Psychiatrist (CP) in GMC. She took down SY's birth history (emergency C-sec, and other details), and also asked us about our concerns. We told her why we're there in the first place, to address the concern brought up by her principal. Anyway, we also mentioned that we're not so worried about the dyslexia thingy, compared to her hyper-activeness and her speech articulation. So she spent some time observing her playing – oh yes, her room was full of toys! We took SJ along since we couldn’t leave her alone, and it’s a good thing too because the CP got to observe how SY played with her sister.

The Tests Begin
She gave her some short tests on her writings, the alphabets, etc. The CP also observed the way SY did her counting and writing, as well as how she answered her questions. We're also asked to go out for awhile so that she could have a 1:1 session with SY (SY requested not to have the door closed when we left, and the CP agreed).

The CP played with her for awhile, before asking us in to update us on her findings.

The Diagnosis
So, after about a 2-hours session, here's her diagnosis:

On Dyslexia
It's still too early to label our child as dyslexic (as we had anticipated), so she asked us not to worry about it. On another side note, she observed that SY’s brain worked faster than her hands, from the activities that she did with her. She also agreed that SY got very good memory. She did advise us to correct her whenever she wrote in mirror, and also suggested the use of the alphabets magnet as a learning aid. 

Something New
However, the CP noticed that SY's attention span was quite short, as compared to a 4-year old (btw, that time she's not even 4 yet), and told us about ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). She suspected that our child might have ADD – as she’s quite rough when playing with her little sister and couldn’t sit still to complete an activity. For this, she recommended us to give her Efalax fish oil for 3 months. It’s not a medication, but according to her, this could help with her concentration. And since it’s a very good supplement, there’s no harm taking it.

When I asked her what could cause ADD, whether it was inherited, she told me that there were many possibilities. One could be lack of oxygen during her birth (well, she’s an emergency C-section baby, so I was a little worried). However, since her Apgar score was rather high – 9, so it shouldn’t be due to that. And since none of us had any family history on ADD, there could be the environmental factor too, such as taking too much fast food, MSG-based or high calories stuffs. Well, I wouldn’t deny that SY ate quite a lot KFCs, McDs, and even gassy drinks like 100-plus, etc. So she advised us to cut down on those. Apart from that, she also suggested a more structured environment for her, like a separate play area from the study area, because her mind might be difficult to distinguish these clearly.

As for her speech articulation, she advised us to bring her to see a speech therapist, so as to correct her from young. She recommended one from the Island Hospital and wrote a referral letter for us.

Does it ring a bell?
Well so it seemed that our direction was steered to a different one this time, from dyslexia to ADD. That made me wonder... is that why we had such a difficult time with her? Well, she’s certainly more difficult to handle compared to her little sister, but I always thought that was due to their characters. When she’s smaller, that was before she started full day school, her normal bedtime was around 2am, and she could never play alone. She needed our full attention all the time, and she’s so hyper active. We’re all worn out most of the time (3 of us, mine you -1 little girl with 3 caretakers!) and kept wondering why our child was so hard to handle.

Could it be due to her being a firstborn and only child then, and taken care by her grandmother some more, so she’s practically spoilt to the brim? And then now – after hearing this side of the story, I started to wonder – ah, could this be the symptoms of ADD?

I was more worried after I sought out the Psychiatrist’s advice… Hmm… and do you know how much we paid for this new anxiety? RM300! No wonder the service was so good. Well, but my story’s not ended yet. We had to see a Speech Therapist, remember? Ya, next post, hopefully.


HuiHui said...

thanks for your sharing. that get me a bit worry for my son too. :( you see, i always think he's pretty difficult to handle when i "compare notes" with other mommies and daddies. he's clinging , doesn't play alone at all, doesn't seems to sleep/nap as much as others, doesn't play with any of his toys for more than 2 min, can't sit still for reading and at 16 months, he only has 2 or 3 vocabs.

ablogaway said...

Hui Hui, I was told that as long as this restlessness does not affect the child's learning ability, it's still considered ok and nothing to worry. If he's 2 year old already, you can give him the Efalex fish oil to help him with his concentration, coordination and learning ability. More info here:

Btw, at 16 months it's still too early to judge, and it's normal that boys pick up their vocabs slower initially. Also, boys are more active :)

Pet said...

How's everything? My son too not talking that much but like you said, boy slower to talk. Ya, still too early to judge. Some boys only start talking after 3+.

ablogaway said...

Ooh sorry, I overlooked this comment. Things are getting better now, and I was supposed to update more about this in another post, but I kept procrastinating :)


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