Friday, 2 September 2016

I know, something’s wrong!

I knew LD/ADHD is genetic only after my daughter was assessed for it. However, you can catch the signs much earlier if you’re observant. You instinctively know something is ‘off’ by the time the child is two and a half to 3 years old. I never knew anything about Dyslexia, LD, or ADHD. In my case, the revelation did not appear like a bolt from the clear blue sky, but was a gradual affirmation of all I felt and knew was ‘off’ with my daughter. Much of the knowledge I gained is in hindsight, but it is knowledge which empowered me to advocate for my child.

Here’s what my child did:
  • Kicked like crazy and moved constantly in the womb.
  • Remained in the womb even after 9 months.
  •  Just made the minimum birth weight cut off.
  • She spoke very early, by 8-9 months (many children also have delayed speech, beyond 2 years).
  • She did not crawl, instead she waddled on her knees like a penguin on roller skates. And then, one day (11-12 months) she stood up and ran.
  • She couldn’t sit still and neither did she eat well or sleep well.
  • She was constantly on the move.
  • She won’t make eye contact.         
  • When I call her by her name she will answer after the fifth call or more. She can hear, but her attention is on something else.
All these symptoms showed up and became stronger by the time she was 4 years old. Many children with LD/ADHD may not exhibit all the symptoms which showed up in my daughter. But some of the symptoms may be there, in addition to what that particular child has.

Because she missed developmental milestones her gross motor muscles were not strong. She couldn’t stop when she ran; didn’t know how to moderate the speed and direction of her run. And she was fearless – she’d jump down five steps at a go when she ran down the stairs! And far more dangerous - most of the time while playing, she’d fall on her back!

Seek help! Ask your paediatrician. Contact the support groups I’ve cited in this blog.

Most of the time occupational therapy or speech therapy is the earliest intervention your paediatrician will recommend. Much later (around 7 years) when she’s in school learning to read and write, she may be assessed for dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia if she requires it. She may have just one of these conditions or a combination of them. Whatever it may be, you must be prepared for the long haul – her entire school life. Remember, you are the best person to stand beside your child until she finishes school. Eventually, when the time is right for her, she will soar like an eagle, all grace and power on the path of her choosing.

3 comments:

  1. We have/are experiencing the same with our daughter too. BUT we identified her 'problem' when she was 10 and that too by her school..
    Good insight Mrudula..very helpful..

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  2. Your daughter and you are fortunate the school was able to identify your daughter learns differently when she was ten years old. Many schools don't and many parents are clueless. By the time the child is in Class 8 everyone wakes up to the fact the child is not equipped to take her board exams in the 10th. And that, her reading level is at Class 3.

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  3. Yes, so is your daughter Mru - you are her strongest ally, the Wind Beneath her Wings!

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