Sunday, 3 May 2015

Finding Out Sofea: Part One.

I've left the blog for a long time since there was nothing real to write about. But for the last 3 days, my mind is full of past memories. Every one of them haunts me of all the signs that I chose to ignore, some of them are out of total ignorance but some others, although there was a bit of finding out, there was no definite conclusion.

However, on 30th April 2015, after taking a nearly-2-hour assessment at Persatuan Dyslexia Malaysia, it was confirmed that my daughter is dyslexic.

She is 9. 

When she was 7, every time she had homework to do, she would normally cry out of 2 reasons. First, she cried because she could not understand whatever she read because her letters and numbers were 'moving'. Oblivious that a dyslexic kid sees the way she described, I asked her to stop making up stories. She would become defensive of that very idea, and I would become very furious. That led to the second reason of her cry, the angry mom who constantly scolded her and her idea of moving graphics. In the end, after many months struggling with this 'moving' idea, she had finally stopped telling me that.

Nonetheless, her performance at school deteriorated slowly but surely.

Another haunting memory I have was when she came back from school. It was the same year. She came back crying and telling me that she could not tolerate the noise other students were making at school. She could not bear the loud ringing of the school bell too. She found it horrifying to listen to the constant yells of the teachers using microphone. She cried describing the noise. 

I hugged her tight. I remember telling her if she managed to turn off the switch in her ears, she would succeed in ignoring the noise. She cried even louder that night, not knowing how to follow my instructions. I kept telling her to try harder and I held her tight that night until I was sure she went asleep.

Later I found out, to adjust herself in the noisy surrounding, up to this day, she herself became extremely quiet at school. She locked herself in her invisible bubble so to avoid the noise. No matter how many times I asked her to mingle around or to talk to others, she would refuse so as not to make noise. 

And then, there were many times that she failed to copy work given by the teachers on the board. Her handwriting would go horribly ugly with all the words combined into one and went out of lines. There was once that she went so fidgety and scared for not completing her Malay Language task. She was so scared, she asked me to write a letter to her teacher asking for forgiveness. I did. 

Apart from the academic struggles, she struggles a lot in her speech. I saw her many times thinking hard, as if planning things first before she speaks about anything. Oh. She only started talking monosyllabic words when she was 4. So, to justify my ignorance and stupidity, I thought it was okay that she speaks slowly, considering how late it was for her to start talking. 

There were so many signs ignored actually.

There were left-right confusions (up to today, she still found it hard to tell which one is left and right shoes or hands), the name of the day (she could tell you the name of the days in a week but finds it hard to apply to real context) the time of the day and all related concepts. She moves non-stop and always needs to find things to do. Even the way she watches the television is different.

Nevertheless, if you talk to her in English, she could actually amaze you with her vocabulary. She excels in English and Arabic, by scoring these two subjects very highly and almost effortlessly. That actually brought me wonders. And her memory is superb. She remembers things that she loves, no matter how old the memory is. But try asking her to memorize the things she hates, even if the thing is only a simple times table, she would definitely fail to do so.

Three days after the discovery.

Although actually I always knew that she is somehow special, this is a new notion to live with. The whole concept to learn to adapt, however late this is, it is better late than never.

What the discovery has so far taught me?
Maybe, with God's will, I can be a better mother.
I don't know how just yet, exactly, but I think I am at peace knowing the real state of her problem.

I am at peace knowing where to send her for help.

For my darling daughter?
She will go for classes and therapies starting mid-May.
Whatever the outcome of the classes will have on her, I might want to come back writing about it again next time.

After that tiring assessment day, I told my daughter that she would go for special classes at the center. Only during weekends.

                    "Why do I have to come here?"
                    "Because they know that you are special. You have to go to special classes."
                    "Do they know I have special powers?"
                    "Yes... sort of."
                    "What special powers do I have?"
                    "Oh... That's why they want to find out. Do you want to find that out too?"
                    "Oh yesss... can I use the powers then?"
                    "Definitely! But first, you have to go to the classes, ok?"

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