My son, Timothy, was only 1½ year-old at that time. He spoke very few words as compared to his cousin, who was younger than him. He seemed to prefer staying in his own world and was not able to interact well with people around him. Our family doctor had raised his concern and ran some tests when we brought him for vaccination. But nothing conclusive had been established; anyway, the doctor advised us to give him another half a year time to see any changes or improvement on him in the future.
Nonetheless, the thing that worried me the most was not the tiny problem such as spoken words; it was the bad behavior and bad social interaction that sparked my attention. He just knew how to cry all the time and was not able to express himself, for example, what was bothering him or where the pain was (whether he fell down or got bitten by his cousin). He was often very blurred about what was going on and could not understand verbal instruction. He did not know how to play with other kids, how to share with others and when to take turn in social interactions. These basic skills that were required in that kind of environment did not seem to develop well in my son‟s case. He was a rigid boy and had difficulties in accepting new activities. Due to poor verbal expression, the scenario became worse.
I also noticed he always banged on something and hurt himself. He had poor balancing and body coordination skills. He could walk straight into the glass door and fell down most of the time when running or even walking. Poor sense of danger was one of his weaknesses too. His stubbornness and impatience caused everything to become much worse. We as parents, had no idea at all what was wrong with him. We thought he was just being naughty and lazy, so we just disciplined him using a cane. Days passed by and nothing had changed due to our action and this had made his situation became worse. I was in confinement of my 3rd son. It was very heartbroken to see my Timothy at that time. I was wondering why he was not able to defend himself. Say something, son!
When he was 2 years old, nothing changed. The doctor had to run some test again, and this time with a list of questions. All I could say was that the result was not good. He said to give Timothy another half a year time and hopefully there would be some improvements during that period. If the condition did not improve, then he would need to see some specialist in this area. We had no idea what he was talking about. Well, I thought “OK! We shall wait and see.” At that time, I had a friend whose son had similar symptoms. Her son was undergoing some kind of therapy sessions at SI World Cheras centre.
Timothy was 2 ½ years old when he had his first assessment at SI World Cheras centre. Mr Wong explained to me that Timothy had Speech Language Delay. Since then, Timothy has been undergoing sensory integration therapy at SI World. During the early days of his therapy sessions, it was particularly hard for him because he was very stubborn and had discipline problems. He would cry, yell and kick all the way just to get away from doing the therapy. He would use all kind of excuses or made troubles for you and he would not give in easily. At home, “shopping center” is the only name of place that he would not give face. He wanted do things his own way, be it method or time, which made things very difficult for us. He showed some improvements but his discipline was still a problem.
At 4 years old, he attended 3 year-old kindergarten classes. His class teacher labeled him as the trouble maker. Not paying attention in the class, not being able to sit at one place, walking around in the class during lesson time, screaming and throwing himself on the floor when teacher disciplined him were among the comments by the teacher. One day, I sought advised from Mr. Wong regarding enrolling Timothy for speech therapy. Mr. Wong said as long as he can remain seated at one place and able to listen to you, then he is ready for anything. He suggested allocating him under his wife, Jenna at SI World PJ centre. So we did and the drama started again.
The first few months were the most difficult moments for us. He really showed his temper and was against us all the time. We had no choice, because if he continued to be like that then when was he to get better? The thing that worried me the most was that he would be kicked out from school because of his discipline problems. Being illiterate and developmentally delayed will be a label for him for the rest of his life. No! This will not happen to him and I will change it no matter what it takes. The situation had caused tension with my in laws as well. But we managed to get through it.
Slowly good things started to immerse. All our hard work has been paid off. His attitude starts to change little by little. Jenna was able to discipline him and got him to do the therapy. Once he co-operated, the therapy helped him on his speech language delay. He can now say more words and simple sentences and even understand simple instruction. Although his speech is not clear, but somehow he makes an effort to tell me what is the story behind. He will observe and listen on how the game is supposed to be played and more willing to share and play at the same time. He is able to sit for a longer time and complete tasks given by the teachers. His body coordination also has improved a lot; we do not have to worry much when we bring him to playground now. All of these make him a better child and he is ready for learning.
He still has a lot to be improved on either in discipline or in academic. However, SI World has helped him and parents like us in many ways. Thank you very much!