Friday, August 03, 2012

My Aspie Boy

Been meaning to write about my boy. But every time I started writing, hatiku mula sebak. Don't know why exactly, just pilu and mellowed. But I need to write this down. Who knows it might be of some use to others out there. This is just our own experience with dealing and recognizing that our kid has Asperger's syndrome. (the 'g' is pronounced as in get)

There's nothing physically wrong with him, he looks just like any ordinary 8 year old. Strikingly handsome, if I may add so myself. A completely able bodied, perfectly healthy 8 year old and for that I am truly grateful. Alhamdulillah.

Khaleeq developed his speech a little later than his siblings. He still couldn't speak at 3 years old. We took him to the peads one day and was referred to an audiologist to test his hearing. Turned out there was nothing wrong with his middle ear and he started speaking just slightly after that. So we chilled and life went on as usual.

My boy, however, speaks with an American accent. Don't know where he gets it from. But the slang is distinct and sometimes he speaks in a high pitch. He would also repeat himself at times, almost echoing. He is filled with emotions - be it good or bad. He's not able to hide how he feels. He could be extremely upset over something and as soon as you explain the situation he'd be OK about it. Just like that. I don't really know how to explain it - almost turning on and off like a switch.

Overall though, he is a happy child. He has a pure heart. Always thinking about the less fortunate - the orphans, etc. Kelantanese would call him budak yang "jughuh".

We noticed that Khaleeq however did not particularly speak much Malay. Even when he started his primary schooling, he didn't pick up the language like Khadra did when she was at that age. Seeing that his year was when the newly introduced KSSR started, this posed as a challenge for him as Math and also Science was taught in Malay. About four to five months into schooling, we decided on a BM tutor for him. He goes to Miss Mahyuni three times a week, for about an hour at a time. With her, he picked up on his bacaan and some understanding of the language. Mahyuni was also the one who asked me to get Khaleeq diagnosed for autism. That came as a big shock to me.

"He looked perfectly fine. How could he be autistic?" Those were the thoughts that ran through my mind. It was pretty hard to swallow. I remember crying (for I don't know what reason) and calling my husband just trying to understand. Looking back, I am thankful for that initial suggestion of diagnosis as it was my turning point to handle Khaleeq's challenges at school.

After his half year exams, we saw that he was quite behind as compared to his other classmates. Challenges in school were aplenty. He had trouble finishing his work at school. Especially copying from the board. Of course he wasn't very good in reading Malay yet and his English reading was OK but not very fluent. So that contributed. And there's the language barrier to boot. Add to that his lack of concentration, short attention span and distractions. Yeah. A little handful.

He works hard though. When he gets home, he'd go through his work with me. I would have to get pictures of the school work from either the board, a friend's book or from the network of mothers in his class and we would be doing school work after school work. He is also good at marking his activity book on the pages that he needs to complete. So that helped.

However, even with all that he is still behind as compared to his peers. Mainly due to the language. So, at the end of 2011, we decided to get him diagnosed. To know what we are dealing with and to be able to help him better.

His diagnosis forom Gleneagles read : highly functioning autism - Asperger's Syndrome.

That's all for now, I'll continue this later lah. There's a lot of details to share. I'll break it down bit by bit.

-dillz blogging out-


nadia said...

I totally understand what you're going through. At least he's a high functioning autism. My brother on the other hand wasn't so much so. And 20 years ago, autism wasn't publicly known. Like Khaleeq, my brother was slow in speech etc and is still very emotional. He doesn't know how to hide his feelings and sometimes it's hard to control as well. InsyaAllah things will be fine for Khaleeq. He's in my prayers. Take care.

dillazag said...

Nadia, thank you for your kind words. Insya Allah he will be OK. As one of the therapists said, "We can work with that" ;)
I'm hopeful with him - he shows a lot of potential and I am just praying that I could give him all the support that he needs. Insya Allah.

Unknown said...

Breaks my heart to hear this. My 4 yo son, Iman is almost like Khaleeq. Has some of the symptoms of an autistic child, slow in learning, started speaking at 3, and is very emotional. But the psychologist that i went to diagnosed that he isn't autistic, just a little behind. He now needs early intervention and must go for therapy. Hang in there babe. Be strong. Your love ang strength will be most crucial for him.

dillazag said...

Babe, Aspergers get diagnosed a little later as its their social development that is lacking. And that you don't get to observe until they are around 6 or 7. How they react and play with their peers.
In any case, early intervention is key. Even at 8 years old, Occupationsl Therapy helps greatly with his fine motor skills, balance and coordination. I have a lot more to write and share and will make time to get it done.
Hope all is well with your boy. Insya Allah everything will be OK. Muahs.

matasipit said...

Kak dilla, i understand how hard it was for u to write this entry.. ninie doakan that everything works out for khaleeq ya.. be strong mommy.. (((hugs)))

the principal said...

Selalu rasa sebak bila baca psl special needs children. Having 2 speech delayed children & a child wiv dyslexia in our school bnr2 menginsafkan.

Hang in there Dyla, get as much help as you can & pray hard.

ummi said...

coincidently with unknown, my son is Iman jugak. no pain no gain. lots of patience, preseverence.. (as well as heart breaks and what nots) insyaAllah. Iman no longer needs to attend ST these days. he's doing okay at school. can read, write, count and socialize. totally a different person from who he was 2-3 years ago. i understand how taxing the situation is. but InsyaAllah. usaha dan doa banyak2.

Didie said...

Kak Dilla, our challenge might be different but I know how it feels to have 'special' child. I hope your family is coping well with him. Insya Allah Kak Dilla, with the correct therapy and treatment, he will be ok. My husband's friend had austism during his childhood and now he's an engineer in Petronas ;-) Btw, have you watched the movie 'Temple Grandin'? You should watch it. It really lift your semangat up to have special kid like Khaleeq. Take care sis!! *hugs*