Saturday, May 28, 2011

Training Reese

So, it's been a few weeks now that we had been teaching Reese to be more independent as recommended by the pediatrician. We have some success but with a lot of stress and scolding poor Reese.

Poor fella has no idea why suddenly he has to wear his own clothes and brush his own teeth. So the initial 2 weeks, parents and child got mad at each other, a lot of scolding and shouting involved and all the unnecessary stress!!! Ahhhh... we all hated it.

Well, it's over now. Sort of. Reese has accepted that he needs to brush his own teeth and wear his own clothes. He can now brush his own teeth but at the end of it, I still need to brush the inside of his teeth properly. It's fine at least he can put his own tooth paste, brush, gaggle and wash/wipe his own face. He can also rinse off the toothpaste from the brush and cup.

As for removing his own clothing it's harder. He can't take off his own t-shirts. I myself do it by crossing my hands and pull up the t-shirt from the front. Tried teaching Reese that and it's too difficult. So asked the school teacher and then realized that you can do it by bending down and pulling your t-shirt from the back. Well, it's slightly easier but he still needs help. :) Plus his clothes are fitting doesn't help much.

Wearing his own clothes is easier and he is getting better at them. I just need to adjust his pants after he wears it.

Oh.... the past two weeks, Reese was good at school. Why? hehehe... been using the reward system and also a little threat of 'No Ipad' if misbehave. So far so good but now we have two weeks break from school. :(

Been tired of shouting at Reese. So instead of scolding and shouting, I just warn him and let him do whatever he wants and also tell him the consequences of his actions and guess what? He threw less tantrum and will actually do the right thing. Will definitely work on this method.

We are also removing his formula milk from his diet. We are down to our last tin and Reese only takes his milk in a bottle (Yes, he still drinks from milk bottle) before his afternoon nap.

Next on the list to train would be pee standing. He still sits and pee. Next February we will take Reese with us to Tuscany and Paris and him being able to pee standing helps a lot.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Art at 4 Years 7 Months

Reese's drawings are more elaborate and now he likes drawing different objects. He is into Landmarks.

Penang Bridge

A city on hills

Noah's Ark

Statue of Liberty

City hit by a water spout or cumulonimbus cloud (Can't remember which one!)

Cinderella's carriage going to the ball.

Sydney Opera House

Kung Fu Panda - Prison where Tai Long was held and parts of the mountain collapsing

Eifel Tower and sky scrapers

Pirate ship hits a light house

Mapping Activities

Recently I started mapping activities as part of our schooling. I wasn't sure whether Reese will show any interest in it. When we read the bible and doing geography and history, there were many mapping activities which I omitted thinking it unnecessary and meaningless for a young child. Well, kinda wrong. :)

Reese liked it. So in one sitting, we mapped out Egypt (Ancient Egypt), Italy (Ancient Rome), Sweden, Denmark, Norway (Vikings), China (Ancient China), Russia (Little Eistein Cartoon), England (Medieval Period). We also labeled the 7 continents and the 5 oceans.

Honestly, I don't know the exact location of most of these places. So I am learning myself. Hahaha...

Ipad Addiction

Traveling in the car

Father and Son busy playing the same game

At my teaching place, while I teach he plays

Ever since we got the Ipads, they literary took away some of our quality time spent as a family. Initial weeks, Reese played with one, daddy with the other and me on my Macbook. All of us sitting in the sitting room busy away with our gadgets without a word for hours! It's so unhealthy isn't it?

Then Reese got addicted, day and night glued to the Ipad. No longer spend time building blocks or playing with his toy, reading or drawing. It's scary. Just recently he got banned for 3 days from using the Ipad because he didn't want to do other things when asked to but just glued himself to the Ipad.

Enough is enough. There must be a limit. So Reese is only allowed to play with the Ipad when we go out for meals, traveling in the car and when I am teaching at my teaching place (only after homeschooling work all done and good behaviour). On weekends, he will be allowed to play for an hour or two, maybe more... :)

Everything must have a balance. Very important. Even now I try not to use the Macbook or Ipad while Reese is around. Try to spend more quality time together. Need to get hubby to do the same.

Ever since implementing the new rules, Reese is back to his old self. Phew....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Assessment Results is Out

Reese did the Griffiths Mental Development Assessment 2 weeks back and we now have the full report. We are a little disappointed over some of the scores and comments by the Pedi because they were inaccurate (rigid and miss out observation). Nevertheless, we now know his weaknesses and have started to work on it.

Reese's overall GQ (Global Score) was at 55th percentile. It's a very low score and mostly due to one area of testing that he got less than 1 percentile. Yup!

The six area that was tested on include:

Sub-scale A: Locomotor: Gross motor skills including the ability to balance and to co-ordinate and control movements.

He was tested on his ability to jump off steps, kangaroo jump over a number of foam blocks, catching and throwing a tennis ball, skipping rope, hopping and etc.

Scoring: Raw score: 60, percentile score: 24 = Age equivalent 50 months (Time of testing 55 months 7 days)

Needs to improve on this.

Sub-scale B: Personal-Social: Proficiency in the activities of daily living, level of independence and interaction with other children.

Test involved the ability of the child to dress/undress independently, brushing and washing up on his own, putting on socks/shoes independently, his ability to share with others, social interaction.

Scoring: Raw score: 60, percentile score: <1 = Age equivalent 34.5 months (Time of testing 55 months 7 days)

Reese scored the lowest in this area. We pampered him too much I guess, he needs help with dressing up including wearing his shorts/pants. He can't wear his own pants. Well, I guess it's my fault. I did not train him to do this. :) Every time after he goes to the toilet, he will come to me with his pants/shorts and expect me to wear it for him.

Doctor asked whether he can wear his own socks or fasten a shoe buckle and I said no because he never wears socks or have shoes with buckles! Again, it's more for our convenience here. Reese wears Croc shoes or shoes that he can easily slip into (he wears his own shoes).

In the doctor's report, her conclusion on this was he wasn't able to put on his socks and shoes unaided! (Is this a fair conclusion? I certainly don't think so or am I bias?)

Then the doctor asked Reese for his age, family name and date of birth. Reese was playful and claimed that he was only 1 year old. He was clearly playing with the doctor... and after some prompting on my side, he blurted out he was going to be 5 but the doctor was busy writing notes and didn't catch it! As for family name, he couldn't answer because we never taught him what FAMILY NAME is. We taught him his full name... hahaha... date of birth, well... again he knows...but didn't want to answer and was fooling around with the things on the doctor's table.

Doctor concluded in her report that he was unable to give his age, family name or date of birth. Fair enough... he did not answer her but these are things Reese knows. :(

Another contributing factor to such a low score according to the doctor was his unwillingness to share.

Well, Reese do share but he wants you to play his way. If you ask him to share his toys... he will. He just gets very upset when you disturb his creation or whatever he is playing. His outburst of tantrum is great and he will express his unhappiness verbally. He will say things like, "Owen! I am upset with you. Why did you take my thing! I am sooooo angry now. Give it back to me. Don't disturb me!" (shouts and stamp his foot and at times cry)

Sub-scale C: Language: Receptive and expressive language.

Scoring: Raw score: 76, percentile score: 71 = Age equivalent 58.5 months (Time of testing 55 months 7 days)

Here Reese was given a big picture with things and people. He was asked to describe certain things, what he sees and etc. She observed his speech. Asked some questions about things, similarity and opposites.

All questions asked was from the assessment guide.

Reese was asked what he would do if he is going somewhere and he missed the BUS (He has never taken a bus). Reese said wait for it. (Doctor commented that this is not an acceptable answer)

Doctor said: A lion is fierce, lamb is? Reese answered "light". Reese was thinking of LAMP! (Answer was obviously wrong but hey.... if it's LAMP... it does give light right?)

What is the similarities between a window and a door? (She should have use "the same" instead of "similarities" ? How many 4.5 year old kid understand the word similarities?) Reese answered "The door is made of wood and the window is made of glass" :)

There were some other questions and Reese was not in the mood anymore and was either not answering or give inappropriate answers.

Sub-scale D: Eye and Hand Co-ordination: Fine motor skills, manual dexterity and visual monitoring skills.

Scoring: Raw score: 72, percentile score: 83 = Age equivalent 60 months (Time of testing 55 months 7 days)

He was tested on drawing- drawing some predefined lines and shapes, asked to draw a house (Reese refuse to do so but instead drew a school under construction! - he did not score well according to doctor because he did not draw any additional features such as landscaping or skies!????), writing alphabets (He did not score on this either because he did not copy some of them according to the letters given above the line. He was playing... he was required to write A to Z following each alphabets but instead, he left 'A' blank and started to write A in the 'B' column and so on and laughing cheekily as he did this), folding paper, threading beads.

Sub-scale E: Performance: Visuospatial skills including speed of working and precision.

Scoring: Raw score: 60, percentile score: 45 = Age equivalent 54 months (Time of testing 55 months 7 days)

He was tested on time based activities. Doctor concluded that he has problem with time based activities. This is true. He didn't want to follow instruction and timing him was impossible. So much coaxing to get him to do things within a time limit.

Sub-scale F: Practical Reasoning: ability to solve practical problems, understanding of basic mathematical concepts and understanding of moral issues.

Scoring: Raw score: 90, percentile score: 99 = Age equivalent 70.5 months (Time of testing 55 months 7 days)

He did very well in this subscale. There are certain things that the doctor missed out and he was not very co-operative as well. He was tired and moody. Didn't want to answer some questions or simply being his cheeky self and gave the wrong answers and laugh about it! :) He definitely could have done better.

So in conclusion, Reese's main problems involve gross motor, personal and social awareness. Remedial actions would be to allow Reese to do more things for himself and enhance his social skills with the help of a psychologist/therapist.

Now, honestly... this assessment is not entirely accurate (or maybe I am bias) but at least it does give us an idea why Reese is the way he is. He is simply not mature for his age! I wonder what the developmental pediatrician is going to say when we see her in August. Oh well, at least Reese doesn't display sighs of dyslexia or AD/HD.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Griffiths Developmental Assessment

While waiting to see the developmental pediatrician, we did the Griffiths developmental assessment with our current pediatrician who happen to be a good friend with the developmental pediatrician. This assessment was suppose to take about 2 and half hour. It assesses the child's development in a few areas whether they are on par, delayed or advance based on their age.

Today hubby, myself and Reese went for the assessment. I was a little worried whether my son will be up to it! It was tough! Half way through, he threw a major tantrum that caused my hubby to lose it and eventually he walked out of the room! I was left to console the crying boy and it took me and the pediatrician a good half hour to calm Reese down and get him to co-operate!! Reese was not very co-operative and after the major tantrum, it got worst but eventually we got through it. It took us about 3 and half hours.

He was given little tasks to perform, sorting patterns, building blocks, counting, some analogies, writing, drawing, reasoning, hopping, jumping and etc. It's not easy to get Reese to do things that he is not willing. It took a lot of coaxing and clowning around.

I am a little skeptical of the assessment. It's very British. There are many things that may not be appropriate for us that are not British. Like certain objects and its function that the child is expected to be familiar with. I also find the assessment some what rigid. The assessment result depends heavily on the child's performance when it was conducted. Can you imagine if a child is not in the mood? They will definitely score poorly. I felt Reese could have done better in the verbal reasoning section but he was tired and totally not in the mood.

Anyhow, initial tabulation of the score shows that Reese's critical reasoning skills is equivalent to a 6+ year old child, 2 years ahead (I believe it could be more if he was more co-operative) and other areas are either on par or slightly ahead of his age. As I have suspected all along, his social emotional skill is only equivalent to a 2.5 years old. That is 2 years behind. That could explain a lot of his behaviour I think. So you can see he has the intelligence of a 6 year old but a behaviour of a 2.5 years old! That is Asynchronous development.

Asynchronous development refers to uneven intellectual, physical, and emotional development. In average children, intellectual, physical, and emotional development progresses at about the same rate. That is, the development is in "sync." An average four-year-old has the intellectual and physical abilities as well as the emotional maturity most other four-year-olds have. However, in gifted children, the development of those areas is out of "sync." They do not progress at the same rate.

Next week we will have the full report and in August we will be able to get more answers when we see the developmental pediatrician.

**After the assessment, we were all tired and didn't have the appetite to eat. My poor boy had a little stomach discomfort too.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

1st class at Fusion Academy

Last Saturday was Reese's first class at the Fusion Academy. He was very excited. So much so he was twice more hyper than his usual self. He was running from one end of the drama room to the other end non stop! When we left him, we saw that he just run about doing his own thing. At one point, he ran up the stage and claimed to be Jesus and when they asked him to come down, he claimed that he is now in heaven!! When he was asked to hold hands with the others to sing... he preferred to sleep on the floor or just kept running from one end of the drama room to the other end. Both hubby and I didn't want to see anymore. We left shaking our heads.

He had fun and wanted to go again. He was singing the new song he learned throughout the day. We left for Penang that afternoon. That night, I got a call from one of the directors of Fusion and was told that they need to keep Reese on a trial basis as the teacher is having a difficult time controlling Reese and thus causing the other children to follow his actions. She said that he was very very intelligent and able to imagine certain things that are way beyond his age. He also enjoys his drawing session but was too hyper. She even asked me about his diet (he was extremely hyper)! Hai... I am really worried. Reese is a very individualistic person. I think it's going to be difficult for him to join activities that involved other children! Thank God his school teachers are patient enough to deal with him. I believe, if he goes to other Kindy, they would probably have rejected Reese.

We can't wait to see the developmental pediatrician(Appointment 3rd August). We really need guidance. It is really not easy to raise a gifted child.