Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Trip to Jurong Bird Park

Today was Kai's first trip out of school to the Jurong Bird Park, together with his classmates and teachers. It was also the first time he looked at his watch, making sure he made it on time to school. Otherwise, on normal school days, he was always that nonchalant, and always the last one to reach school.

Before he set off, he was sprayed with OFF and plastered with mosquito patches... I was really paranoid. We've been to the Bird Park and I knew how vicious the mosquitoes there were! Coupled with the dengue pandemic, we just couldn't let our guard down this time. I hope he comes home later  safe and sound, without a single bite.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kai's school drama

I promised to tell about Kai's school drama, here goes...

His P1 academic journey has been mentally challenging and emotionally draining for me (and the hb as well). The past few months since the start of school has been tough, the road was hard and bumpy.

It was at first a happy start to Primary One until the turn of events on 14 January 2013. His Form teacher Mdm Ho greeted me personally at the school gate during dismissal. The first thing she asked was, "Does Jun Kai know his hanyu pinyin?"

I was like "Hello!?? Isn't that your job to teach him? He is supposed to start learning hanyu pinyin in P1!!!" But of course I didn't say that. Being the Kaisu me, I have already fully prepared Kai on his hanyu pinyin when he was in K2. So I was surpirsed when she asked me that first question.

Next, she went on to elaborate on how Kai would stare blankly at her when she asked him questions.
"He seemed lost..."
"He didn't follow instructions... have to repeat instructions many times, eg. taking out textbook, copying words etc from the white board..."
"Have to ask his friends to remind him to do..."
"He is lost in his own world."
"He is very slow."

I was baffled by all she said.
Mdm Ho looked worried.
Then she hit me hard with "I suspect he might have ADHD."
"Err..." I stammered. "But he can concentrate on his drawing, fixing puzzles, etc ... on things he enjoyed... isn't ADHD not able to concentrate on anything???" I defended, refusing to accept her suspicion that Kai is 'special'. I mean, he was perfectly normal at home although I had a hard time getting him to do his work. He didn't dash around the whole house all day long like a non-stop machine. He is just 'normal'.

But Mdm Ho gestured that Kai may belong to the 'inattentive' subtype. I told her that Kai may still be adapting to school life. She agreed and we decided that Kai will be closed observed.

But back at home, ADHD became an emergency.
I searched the web for all possible information on ADHD, checking if Kai really fell into the classification. We made an appointment to see a child psychologist at the Child Guidance Clinic. We even brought Kai to see a Chinese physician at Beijing Tong Ren Tang at IMH.

Kai did a concentration test at the Child Guidance Clinic and the result was inconclusive. The doctor said that his concentration was not that bad to be classified as ADHD, but also not very good. It was at the borderline. So she started Kai on fish oil.

Then, on 30th January, Kai reportedly scratched a classmate's hand.
"He pushes his table in class, ran out of class without seeking permission..." Mdm Ho fedback again.

One week later, on 7 February, Kai's English teacher called me. We had a long chat over the phone.
"How is Jun Kai doing at home?" Mrs Chng asked in her first question.
"What has happened again?" I asked, I was so paranoid.
As expected, she fedback about how Kai had been digging his nose in class, not concentrating, very restless, put up his legs, very messy with his worksheets, fidgety...

I was so overwhelmed by all these negative feedback. I was at the point of breaking down when she said "He is a smart boy. Don't worry, he will improve."
I hope so, I really hope so.
I have been praying for Kai to be well, to improve on his concentration, everyday since 14th January.
Who wouldn't be worried when you received bad news from teachers every now and then?

I was badly affected by the Kai's performance in school. He didn't hand in his school work when instructed to, he got a BIG ZERO for a Chinese mock test, he made loads of careless mistakes in his school worksheets, he left pages blank....

His Pupil Handbook was filled with teachers' notes to me and my replies to them. I couldn't take it. I broke down and cried. Cried really hard. I was silly. I thought how we could send Kai to pursue his interest in Art if he failed academically. I thought how he was blessed to be borned able-bodied compared to unfortunate kids. He was not intellectually challenged, he just had some problems concentrating and perhaps all he needed was time adjusting to new school life and routine.

The hb took more time off work to coach Kai. We reminded him of little things which he had taken for granted everyday. I reiterated the 3 Golden 'NO' Rules "No digging of nose, No legs up, No messy table" everyday before he went to school. We put all his homework to be handed in, in a separate special file, so that he remembered to do it. We reminded him a millionth time, to put his hand on the table when he writes... all the little things. And we realised that they all boiled down to "HABITS". He needed to change his habits.

Indeed, time passed and improvements showed. Daddy's and my effort have paid off. His teachers began to give positive feedback, saying that Kai is improving everyday! That was the happiest news we could ever get.

But I am not letting my guard down.
I am still keeping my fingers tightly crossed that he continues to improve...

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

I'm 38 today

Happy birthday to me.
I am glad to have lived.
May my family be well and happy, safe and strong.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Celebrating with Mum

First time over a decade, I'm celebrating my birthday with my beloved Mum. I once read,
生日是母难日
我们应该每一年都跟母亲一起庆祝
因为没有妈妈就没有今天的我
感恩。。。
妈妈每年都传简讯给我献上生日祝福,要不然就是打电话来为我唱生日歌!
很不孝,竟然等到十年后才能跟妈妈庆祝!
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Friday, April 12, 2013

My Chinese birthday

Today is my Chinese birthday. I told Kai about it. He made a card 'secretly' for me. It was heart warming to see his effort put into drawing the card of a botak queen (he explained that her hair is in the Crown), knowing that he draws cars best. I gave him a big hug and he said,  "this card is so precious to you ah? (Pause) but I'm more precious than the card right???"

Yes, ofcourse, my darling!

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