More about Learning Ladders

As I have mentioned before and time and time again, it is imperative that a child who is potentially autistic or has some other developmental delay, be diagnosed as early on as 18 months so as therapy for him or her can be started early. InsyaAllah this will give them a much, much better chance to recover, become independent and ultimately be able to fend for themselves once they are older. I highly doubt that not all parents would ultimately wish this for their children. I mean you do want to have that dream honeymoon once all your children have moved out right?

Well this is basically the essence of why Learning Ladders was set up (well not exactly the honeymoon bit!), because unfortunately in Brunei, no such early diagnosis can be made. Here, it is basically quite common for a child to get diagnosed around 5 years or even much older because it is only by that time that their speech delay has gone on too long or their somewhat different character has raised cause for concerns to the parents that it then "seems obvious" that the child is autistic. The argument put forward by the medical authorities is that any earlier than that can still mean the child is normal but is developing at his own rate (again, lack of awareness!). There are some mega cautious parents who persisted before the child reached that later stage and took them overseas for a formal diagnosis, so that is another way for you worried parents to use.

And even when such a late diagnosis is made, they are usually very simple, not unlike "Diagnosis: Autism" and that's it. A proper diagnosis from a child psychologist gives a very detailed breakdown of the disorder, highlighting at what level they are at on the spectrum and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the child so the strong points can be nurtured and the weak points can be worked on.

This is where the difference lies between Learning Ladders and SMARTER, a long established NGO in Brunei that also provides treatment for autistic children. We have a great deal of respect for SMARTER as they are taking care of many of our autistic children in Brunei and providing a sort of "safe haven" for them to go and learn skills to survive in this world. Unfortunately, many of them are of an advanced age whose chances of a major or even full recovery is lower than autistic children who starts therapy at a younger age.

Therefore with Learning Ladders, we highly advise parents to:
  1. get an assessment done with the visiting child psychologist that we bring in,
  2. get the early diagnosis and
  3. get recommendations on treatment that caters for the individual child.

Parents can then take away those recommendations and choose to:

  1. get a qualified ABA (like the one Raiyan is using now) to start a new therapy programme taking into account the diagnosis and recommendations given by the child psychologist; AND
  2. EITHER get a part time therapist (there are a few that Learning Ladders can get you in touch with) to follow that programme;
  3. OR you follow the programme yourself and teach your child at home (you can get grandparents, siblings, maids involved too).

If you choose option 3, another great thing about Learning Ladders is that we have a large selection of books, toys and equipment to help with the therapy that members of the society can share. (Basically, the membership funds goes into funding these things we share plus the travel arrangements of the child psychologist).

By the way, as of today, there is still one free slot for the child psychologist on next Tuesday afternoon, if anyone is interested....

I hope I have offered enough information on Learning Ladders so that you readers can spread the word on this society and it's worthy cause. Thank you so so much!


PURPOSE:Hoping for more understanding and less judgment from all.

 To show the importances of early intervention and an evidence based treatment to help reach the full potential of the child.

 Offering other parents hope to have faith in the positive progress of their child.

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