Thursday, April 29, 2010

The "Assessment"

*Long Post*

We've received a preliminary assessment for Tim. In my previous post about the challenges that we've been facing dealing with Tim - being a concerned parent (read: kiasu), I was quick to jump into trying to pinpoint what was wrong and be given a label that describe my child's problem, so I could find a solution to resolve this problem quickly (task oriented parent).
I was getting anxious due to his teachers' complaints, friend's concerned word of caution, and my imagination of the worst about my child's future due to what I have learned about the situation. I couldn't be very objective about the steps I should take to help my child overcome all these challenges. I was just too caught up with all the signs and symptoms I've picked out of Tim's behaviour and matching them to that of a special need child. For one moment, I imagined him to be ADHD, and in another occasion, I thought he has stronger signs of being down with Asperger and the last I jumped into was ASD, after the preliminary assessment by the OT.

In the process of running around trying to put my finger to a problem, and seeking for a solution, I've overlooked the fact that my child is afterall a preschooler who is at an age of being curious, exploration, adventure... just as God has made us all different, each child has a different learning style, grows at a pace of their own and progress with a different cognitive level... I should embrace the uniqueness of Tim and recognize that this challenging period is God's way of reminding me how much I needed Him in my process of parenting Tim (and Little Missy), and if I should sought for any form of help it is He whom I should look up to.

I've had the assurance from hubby, and many close friends (who have encountered special needs children) who feedback that they don't see Tim as a special need child... all he needed was to be properly guided in different social setting as well as classroom rules... granted that he may be disruptive in class and caused his teachers much heartaches and headaches, he still desires to please the adults around him (especially us, his parents).

Over the past weekend, I've made a point to observe Tim's behaviour more intently. When playing with his sister I noticed he was indeed playing WITH and not parallel playing. He was also seen playing quite well with his friend in the Sunday School. He has taken my instructions and followed them accordingly without much fuss. I noticed much of his behaviour was a reaction of how I behave as a parent towards him. When I was calm in instructing him, he was calm as well... when I started yelling, he has a tendency to act up. Just as the adults dislike being interrupted when we are focused on a task, it is likewise with Tim. So the meltdown that occur in class often was due to his focused attention on an activity being disrupted; I am aware though, the teachers have a time table to observe in school and cannot allow every child to do everything as they like. This is something I am willing to work together with the teachers to help Tim by reinforcing the message that he has to follow the class rules and time table.

With Tim, I know I have to work a lot harder and put in more patience in guiding him properly. I've seen improvements in Tim lately ie. lesser tantrums and quicker to quieten down after a tantrum as I've taken a more active step in setting boundaries, more importantly, I've taken a more conscious effort to yell less at him and to guide him by reasoning instead of reprimanding. I've also made a point to give him more positive attention rather than negative.

Given the time I know Tim will grow to become better... he might take a slightly longer time but I know, by the grace of God, it's not impossible for us to overcome all these challenges together.


stardust said...

Is Tim just in N2? I am sure he will get better and children will mature more once they reach K1 like my Vince.

I am remind myself to TRY to be more patient, patient, patient!

Eileen said...

I'm happy to learn that you are making a positive change in your approach towards Tim :) Keep up your great parenting!

MamaJ said...

It really must be challenging, and its really encouraging to see how patient you are with your son! Hang in there, and keep trusting in God for wisdom! Take care...

CE said...

Hi, I've a difficult time with my boy too. I can't yell or scold him else he might throw tamtrum for an 1hr! Have you tried montessori? I heard they teach the kid at his own pace and let him have space and time to do his activities and hence satisfaction.
For now I try to identify area that causes tamtrum/tension. And I try to correct them one at a time. Eg. teach him that it's a must to hold hand when crossing the road. Previously he could cried for an hour when out just because he's angry we try to hold his hand when crossing the road. Pray that God gives us patience as a mum :)

Jayne said...

It must be hard on you! But it's great that you are taking this so positively, and I suspect it's really a phase they all have to go through, some harder than the rest. Take care and all the best!

Jayne said...

It must be hard on you! But it's great that you are taking this so positively, and I suspect it's really a phase they all have to go through, some harder than the rest. Take care and all the best!

Daphne said...

It's going to get better.

I read your other post as well, and I must admit I got a little concerned as we have also decided to not go with caning, which is like a big deal, Singaporean culture frowns on the perceived lack of discipline.

I think at the end of the day it's love that will win through- i know, easier said then done. But we just have to keep on at it and do the right thing and not overreact.

I'm sure you're a great mommy and the best mother for Tim that God has given. Chin up!

allthingspurple said...

Happy Tuesday, Pauline. Just getting your blog address for my friend Jasmine who just returned from Australia is is homeschooling her kids. I told her about your wonderful blog and your wonderful home schooling practice!!