Listening and looking... again.. and again...

Time flies so fast these days and I really can't believe I haven't posted about Raiyan for almost a month! This post is definitely long overdue so I thought I'd just sit myself down finally and update all my readers about Raiyan's progress.

Overall, Raiyan has been doing well. In school, he still has Jo support him in some of his classes and though he is coping well with the work, the main problem with him as conveyed to us by his teacher is still his tendency to switch off, tune out and not listen to what she is saying. This, along with him not looking at the person he is talking to so has clearly been a problem for his class teacher to handle. Another difficulty in class is also his need to be prompted to finish his task and how he needs constant remindings to carry on doing his work until he's finished. As usual, what Raiyan tends to do is to start on some, then switch off and start turning to something else he's interested in. I have to stress that this is not a huge problem but it is part of the work in progress that we have to do with him so that he is able to keep up with the rest of the class well.

Outside school, Raiyan is still having ABA sessions with Kerri once every 2 weeks and Jo 3 times a week and the things we are concentrating on are (well apart from constantly making him look and listen):

1. Continuing on with verbalising clues: He is getting much better with this and he is coming up with some very good independent answers. Of course with his special mind, some of the answers that he comes up with can be bizarre but the things is, they are not necessarily wrong! They are just things that doesn't occur to us immediately. And at the same time, things that seem natural to us, Raiyan simply doesn't get! It just shows how deeply analytical his mind can be and he would rather see the more difficult point rather than the straightforward one.

2. Maths: Of course this is to help supplement what he is doing in school. Though Raiyan can do simple sums with his fingers and in his head, we are trying to go further and make him understand the use of the numbers and not just simply count and memorise. For example, we want him to know instantly that 2 + 5 is the same as 5 + 2. Raiyan was also having difficulties with the different descriptions used such as plus, add on, more than, minus, subtract, take away etc etc. He is fairly familiar with them all now but he still gets confused and that delays the instantaneous answers we sometimes seek from him.

3. Money: Hand in hand with maths (or so we think), we are trying to familiarise him with coins (which was something I had tried to start with a while ago but it was just too difficult at that point so we gave it up for a while). We decide to pick it up again since it is something that he is doing in school (who makes it more confusing by making the children learn BRITISH coins on top of Bruneian coins!). So far, we have started with 1 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent to make up 20 cent or 50 cent coins. This was very challenging for Raiyan again at the start because he just couldn't get the concept of a single 5 cent coin making up 5 one cent coins (with him being so visual he needs to SEE the five separate coins for him to think it is 5). There was even a point when he looked at the DATE on the coin and thought THAT was the value of the coin! Of course we were like "nooooo.. don't make it more complicated than it already is!"

4. Emotions: This is another thing that we haven't done in a while, so lately he has gone back to the basic emotions of happy, angry and sad only whenever asked how somebody feels. We need him to learn a much wider range for him to help him with his comprehension and composition work. Kerri gave a box of emotion picture cards for us to work on and I'm also keen to use the "moods" application on my iPhone which has a wide range of smiley faces characters displaying many different types of emotions. Already in the car just now, he reacquainted himself with "annoyed", "irritated" and "disappointed" which are all the types of feelings he feels when Addin takes his toys away!

So these are the work areas that Raiyan is focusing right now along with being constantly reminded to listen and look when someone is talking to him and when he is talking to someone. When I think he wasn't listening, I would ask him "what did I just say?" and make him repeat what I just said. Also, if I know he's not listening, I'll just stop talking abruptly and then there will be an awkward silence and then he will realise that something went wrong and that's why I stopped talking.

To improve on his looking, we also keep playing the "looking game" where he has to look at my "face" (because looking in the eye is difficult for them) for as long as he can. His record at the moment stands at FORTY seconds, with his eyes not leaving my face at all! What he does instead is look at my eye, then move a bit to my nose or my mouth and then look back at my eye and to me that's really good already!

As for independence skills, he can go to the toilet and wash himself already, he can take a shower and change his clothes by himself to, he eats at the dinner table at all times and the best news of all (well for me anyway) is that he has finally stopped stroking my elbow when he is about to go to sleep!!

Syukur alhalmdulillah for all the progress Raiyan has made this past 20 months! Will keep everyone posted, promise!

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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