Practising Writing

Raiyan really does not like to write. Ironically he already knew how to write when he was 2 and a half years old at his old school. But I have a feeling that he kinda overdosed on it after having to do writing homeworks at every weekends (!!)

But when he went to ISB and into Reception (Kindy II), we were surprised to discover that the students were not taught writing skills at that stage yet but only just learning to hold the pencil properly. The trouble with Raiyan was he was already accustomed to holding the pencil and to be writing a certain way which unfortunately happened to be the less than correct way to do it.

So the overhaul had to be done by Kerri and Jo in trying to re-teach Raiyan to write that together with the earlier assumed overdose from his old school, has caused him to just dread doing it.

Now that he is in Year 1, as I have said before there is going to be much more writing than last year, (in fact a huge leap from before) so it is our job to constantly get him to practise and practise in writing. As Jo said, just seeing him holding a pencil is good enough!

So I managed to fit in some writing time with Raiyan just now during my lunch break, and Alhamdulillah, he was very receptive (well especially since we were talking about animals! But hey it’s a start)...

Instead of just copying, I made him TRY to write things that we were saying together. He would still often ask what letter comes next but instead of telling him straight I would first ask him what he thinks from the phonetic sound the word makes.

I of course praised him endlessly when he finished writing his whole sentence and he actually looked so proud of himself when he saw the final product and when I took a picture of it. I hope that will encourage more future writings! Amin!

P.S:-The title on top was written by me in order to entice him to come over to the table and start writing in the first place! Oh and of course we had to place the animal figurines at the side just for extra happiness points!:D

School Schmooool


Sigh, I don’t know about you but my memories of my school years are not exactly something I like to ponder over so much. And I’m talking about the time right from primary school through to secondary school (that period awkwardly thrown in with all the teenage angst as well) down to my university years. I can’t pinpoint the reason of my unpleasant stance against the education system that I went through onto one thing but I think more than anything else, it was because earlier on, things taught to me were basically spoon fed or forced upon that when I reached university I was completely lost. It took quite a large part of my adult life so far to start thinking things for myself and believe me, I am still learning to do that as we speak.

But before I thought I can bid adieu to that experience and the system completely, cheng cheng cheng--I have to go through it all over again with Raiyan but only now I anticipate it to be doubly hard because of the way Raiyan is! You know how difficult it is to tell an autistic child what to do!

So Raiyan finally started Year 1 this week. Luckily, Kerri planned for an “easing in” programme that started 3 days before school actually started so we can slowly and gradually introduce Raiyan (and the other LL boys who also go to ISB) to his new class and new environment altogether. It was a real blessing for us to have done that for Adek because on the first day of easing in, Adek had a tantrum for at least half an hour. Of course Sharina and the rest of us employed the “ABA ignoring” method and Alhamdulillah Adek was okay in no time and was happily playing away with Raiyan and Fadhil at the playground. [And reports have it that he has been fantastic in school this week too, Alhamdulillah].

Come Wednesday (the first day of school), we were all understandably anxious to see how Raiyan will be like. We tried to give some tips to the teacher but at the same time was scared that it might actually overwhelm her if we gave too much.

So far so good, except for some social hiccups along the way that we really need to work on with him.

In particular, Raiyan (being his egocentric self again) likes to call out to the teacher out loud during times when he’s not supposed to. This is naturally disruptive for the rest of the class so it’s really important for us to work on this with him constantly. Actually, Jeff and I would LOVE to work on this as even at home he is forever calling out from across the room when Jeff and I are busy talking or busy doing anything really, and he would call out repeatedly until his wants are met.

Another social skill he has to learn about is the fact that he is not going to get what he wants all the time. We have to explain that other people can say NO and in fact in life, people would say NO more than yes (and sadly, I think everyone can confirm this is more so when you are a child).

We also have to remember that there is going to be more academic stuff in the year 1 curriculum like more maths and writing so I have to make more effort to do that together with him at home too. On a good note, we will insyaAllah be officially moving in our new house by next Friday so hopefully Raiyan’s home school/therapy room will be ready by next week which will make it easier for us to do school work in. But in terms of him doing it in class, Jo who supports him in class half the time is confident that Raiyan will be able to manage, but of course with the right support.

Well, it has only been 3 days and already we know what we have to work on more (and they are a lot!), and especially those in the social skills side. I keep reminding myself to not get disheartened by it all because hey, school was never great for me too so there’s nothing new about this now is it? I just hope I can make the experience a million times better for Raiyan than it was for me by giving him the right support and to make the school experience fun, which is something I am surprised to learn is a luxury some lucky people actually got!

Week 31 Progress

Raiyan's therapy programme has been more challenging lately but that's not to say that they haven't been in the past and alhamdulillah, with every challenge that has been put before him, Raiyan has managed to handle and overcome each of them amazingly well. His natural language now is coming along great and he is able to freely communicate how he feels in words that he is familiar with instead of just responding to questions in a way that was rotely taught to him in the past.

Below are some progress stories and also some of what we are concentrating on his programme at the moment:

1) Cause & Effect: Raiyan would be told a situation and then he has to tell us what he thinks will happen next. The difference now from previous occasions is that he is answering the effect part all by himself. Examples would be like "If someone tells you a joke, then?" Raiyan responded "then you laugh!". Another example "If the flowers are droopy, then?" Raiyan responded "you need to water the flowers!"

2) He can arrange a sequence of 8 pictures now and these are pictures of more complex situations than before. Example, there was a sequence of pictures where a mother was sending her son to school but they left his school bag at home and then the mother had to go back and get it. And not only did Raiyan know how to arrange the sequence, he was able to describe them too!

3) He's describing more complex verbs such as "he's hanging a picture" but even for those he doesn't know, he would always say "I don't know" OR "what do you mean?" OR "what do you think it is?" (So cute!). Jo however would still insist that he gives it a try and he's beginning to be more confident in saying out loud what he thinks it is.

4)He's starting to grasp with how to play hide and seek as he is able to close his eyes and count to ten now. But, he still has to work on finding the person hiding as he still easily gives up- which leaves me and Alisha to hide endlessly in a corner of the room waiting to be found!

Outside the therapy session, I think everyone can see how much of Raiyan's natural language has improved. We are also more confident in telling him things thinking he understands them. In fact, we find that if he doesn't understand something, he will keep quiet but when he does, he will always say "okay!" (and this is even when he's not even looking at you).

He's also becoming more attached to both Alisha and Addin that sometimes he would look for them when they're out. The other day we dropped him off at grandma's house and was about to bring Alisha to the clinic and he was so worried that Alisha didn't get down from the car that he kept telling us "I miss Alisha!" :D

Alhamdulillah for everything! Til the next time!


Or in Raiyan's words- Tee-La!

After much deliberations and undergoing many trial and errors, I think I have finally decided on this new layout. Raiyan's fave colour is green so the nuances of green within it is perfect. I couldn't let go of this artwork by celso junior cause it just has such a special sentimental hold on me. And lastly, I love how there are so many sections for me to put in al the side things!

It's still far from complete though. I would go on but it is already 1:30 in the morning and I have to get up in 5 hours time to go to the gym! Hah


Sorry, I've kind of messed up the blog whilst trying to change the layout and am going through some technical problem now in trying to fix it. Hopefully it will all be resolved by the weekend and Raiyan's blog will look brand new insyaAllah!

Feeding the Kangaroos!

After some initial apprehension (naturally! especially since Raiyan is normally sensitive to new things and new touches), we were so proud to see Raiyan bravely feed the kangaroos out of his own hands! Of course, he kept squealing loudly out of nervousness mixed with excitement but in the end you can tell he was soo pleased with himself for having done what he did.

What was so cute was when he kept saying "Haha the kangaroo tickles the hand! haha!"

Well done Raiyan!!

Random updates...

A lot has happened since I last posted. The biggest thing was our family minus Addin going on a 6 day holiday to Singapore. Somehow the planning stages already felt different and better for Jeff and I. For the first time we weren't so worried about bringing an abundance of things with us in case at any point Raiyan may insist on having something, anything- remember items of the week? The thought of introducing Raiyan to new things was also not as intimidating. The idea of changing plans at the last minute was also not as daunting as before. Instead, we really just wanted to focus on having a good time.

And indeed, syukur alhamdulillah, Raiyan had a blast and not a single tantrum surfaced throughout the 6 days! In our very tight schedule we managed to go to Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Botanical Gardens and the Museum (not that that was his interest!). Even when we were at shops, we always managed to give him (and Alisha) a break by letting them run wild at the toy store or the indoor playgrounds many of the shopping malls thankfully have in place. The best part was he was always communicating his feelings and wants properly and appropriately instead of just screaming for what he wants like what he used to do. If he was feeling tired from all the walking, he would tell his babah "Babah, I am tired". And he would always ask us "where are we going?" when we haven't told him yet. And of course he did not stop yapping away at the zoo!!! But funnily, when we ask him if he wants to go to the zoo again, he said "Nooo! We went already... that's too much zoo!"

Raiyan is also much much more social now and he will always approach other children and try to start playing with them. At one of the playgrounds, he was definitely playing together with another girl for almost half an hour! And only after that long did Jeff spill the beans about his condition to the girl's father and he said he really had no idea!

Another big thing happening since my last post was Raiyan's 5 year old check up at the clinic. Luckily he was able to understand our early warnings about the injection so we didn't endure a complete nightmare when he was getting the jab. The great part was that the nurse whilst checking his development thought that he is completely ok but probably just a little shy!

Now the meeting with the doctor was a different story... see, there was this bunch of letter blocks on the doctor's table so unsurprisingly, he was verrrryyyy distracted and engrossed in looking through all the letters on the blocks that he failed to really listen to what the doctor was saying to him. Nonetheless, the doctor said overall, he does seem fine but he DID think Raiyan may be mildly autistic because of the part where Raiyan was ignoring him. (I guess our medical authorities really only start paying attention to a child's development at 5 huh?) Soon before we resorted to being slightly disappointed with the fact that Raiyan didn't talk much with the doctor (stupid blocks!) out of nowhere he just said "Babah! The "C" is missing because I can't spell cat!"
Meaning (which we hope the doctor noticed) he was distracted with the blocks because he wanted to make sure that ALL the alphabet were there!! Some things never change huh!!!

School's starting in 9 days time and Raiyan is going to be in year 1! Will keep everyone updated about that then but in the meantime, we are enjoying the rest of Raiyan's holiday! So sorry I'm not able to blog much this month!
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.

Copyright 2009 Our Peaceful Journey.... All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress Theme by EZwpthemes