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All about Aidan..

Those who knows me personally or who have been following my blog regularly would have always hear me describing Aidan as someone who is extremely hyper and active. He has boundless energy and would often be tearing through the house like a tornado..He always have a need to be constantly on the move. With the exception of the tv and his console games and while he is eating (his 3 major ♥), it is usually quite hard to hold his interest for long and he would often dart off without warning, especially when we are outdoors...which had caused me (and some of my friends) heart attacks. He also has 'shifty eyes' where he tends not to look directly into our eyes and his own eyes will be wandering elsewhere. As he grew older, I also realised that he had other traits like having trouble focusing, paying attention to details and following instructions. All his teachers have fedback to me that the boy has a problem paying attention in class and is easily distracted. He also tends to space out and start day-dreaming in class. In fact, he is now seated in the first row, middle row so that the teachers will be able to monitor him . He was almost kicked out of his Golf CCA class because he was deemed a hazard to the other students (he was too boisterous lah). I had to beg the golf teacher to give him another chance. The boy also realised the implication of his behavior and has promised to be more attentive and not to jump around so much during his golf class. But at least for the moment, he's still faring okay in school..I guess mostly because we have been pretty on the ball with his school homework and drilling him on his weekly spelling. So far, he's been scoring either full marks or 9/10. Interestingly though..he seems to enjoy school with math has his fave subject (just behind Recess and PE :P) and he still detest chinese.

Of course..I've been wondering for quite a while whether he could have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It's not that I want to have him labelled but more to have a better understanding of what's he's going through so I may be able to better manage him and my own expectations and to learn how to cope accordingly. I know some of my friends (especially those closer to me) have also suspected too as his behavior does seemed to indicate so.. Adhd traits are as follows :-

1. an inattentive type, with signs that include:

  • inability to pay attention to dails or a tendency to make careless errors in schoolwork or other activities
  • difficulty with sustained attention in tasks or play activities
  • apparent listening problems
  • difficulty following instructions
  • problems with organization
  • avoidance or dislike of tasks that require mental effort
  • tendency to lose things like toys, notebooks, or homework
  • distractibility
  • forgetfulness in daily activities

2. a hyperactive-impulsive type, with signs that include:

  • fidgeting or squirming
  • difficulty remaining seated
  • excessive running or climbing
  • difficulty playing quietly
  • always seeming to be "on the go"
  • excessive talking
  • blurting out answers before hearing the full question
  • difficulty waiting for a turn or in line
  • problems with interrupting or intruding

3. a combined type, which involves a combination of 1 & 2.

I brought him to Bridge Learning and he underwent a 2 hour session* with the school's pyschologist. Aidan's dad came along too for the post-analysis discussion. In brief, the doctor did say that Aidan did seem to show signs of mid-mild ADHD. She didn't think that medication is required but she did recommend some therapy programmes that he could undergo (she wasn't pushy at all). Also, she said that through the series of test he went through, he has an aptitude for maths & so she said that we should also try to reinforce his interest in it.

Something interesting occurred during his review time with her too. He was asked to draw a picture of his family. He drew the 3 of us (me, my-ex and himself) and...Gabriel, jinsiew's son. Gabriel is his best friend who often stays over at our place (Aidan bunks over at Jin's place too). We kinda have an exchange programme :) I believe he thinks of Gabriel as the older brother he'd always wanted to have. In fact, Gabe even asked Aidan to call him brother and the boy was so happy when he heard that :) Anyway, during our session, the doctor actually asked us whether we were still 'together'. When I mentioned that we were living separately, she indicated that she'd suspected it to be so through the picture he drew and she showed us what he drew. His drawing looked something like this...

But she also said that Aidan is generally a happy boy who seemed to have accepted the situation..I guess the big smiles on our faces were pretty telling.

We will most likely be signing Aidan on to some of the programmes. In fact, I had spoken to some parents whose kids are in the school and they all have said that their kids have benefitted from the programmes showing marked improvement in their behavior and faring much better in school. Just as well too as Aidan is in the morning session and his afternoons are usually spent at home with Nenita or my dad-in-law who visits very often. Spending some of his afternoons at the Bridge may be good for him too.

*Aidan proudly told me that the lady doctor had told him after his review session that he has very lovely eyes and is very handsome :P

Aidan has been clamouring for a pet for the last few months. I have no idea why actually since most of our friends do not have any. Usually during bedtime, he'll make his request for either a cat or a dog. I'm actually quite hesitant to do so because having a pet is a huge responsibility and I'm not sure whether both of us are up to it.

So instead of an animal, I brought home a Pleo..which I'd gotten at an SPH discounted price. The Pleo is cute li' robotic dinosaur toy who is engineered and enhanced to mimic life and relate to its owner on a personal level..It is almost like a real pet except that it has an on-off button and works on battery. Pleo is equipped with senses for sight, sound, and touch..so it is actually capable of recognising faces (through a tiny camera embedded at its forehead), it will have moods - it purrs when it is contended, it growls when abused and once in a while, it will even hum a happy tune! (very very cute when he does that). It will also fall asleep when tired and even snores while he's at it. Apparently,it's interaction with its environment will help shape his behavior and every Pleo will eventually exhibits a unique personality.

Aidan has named his pet Pleo Deeno and when so far, he's been taking good care of it..although he's been trying to force feed Pleo (it needs to be fed via an electronic leaf)! Aidan thinks Deeno has as much of an appetite as him. The boy has also been bringing Deeno to bed with him every night. It is nice to see Aidan treat the toy with care but of course when it is time to play his console games, he will totally ignore Deeno :P

Here's some videos of us with Pleo Deeno when he just hatched which is why he is still quite lethargic and also one of Aidan feeding him :)

Aidan feeding Deeno :)

moonberryIrene, whose place I'd stayed in when I was in New York is in town so I've been joining her for some makan and karaoke sessions. Might as well post some pics here since the next time I update could probably be in a month's time :P

Before and During our ko session@Partyworld in Orchard..

Irene & I all dolled up before our dinner at Mimolette..

Grp pic :) I very lightbulb leh :P

The 3 chiobus *buaypaiseh*

Irene with one of my fave couple, mengchooMong and her ahlau, Edward :)

At Irene's friend BBQ somewhere in the east..

A visit to squarenailsPei Fen's place to beo Kristy..

Aidan attaching himself to Pei Fen's ahbang, Edwin.

Another k-o session, this time at Kbox Cineleisure with
triciaseowTrish,mfluderEugene, Khai, moonberryIrene and wwenzzWendy

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( 72 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 22nd, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
You call it adhd, I call it being a kid... that description was me to a T for most of my childhood. (Some parts of it still, actually.) The programs and/or therapy sessions will probably be quite fun for him! And as long as you're not medicating, probably whatever you do won't hurt him, right?

(I have often wondered -- I think even out loud on my LJ -- just HOW much I would get done with a Ritalin or two. ;-) )
Mar. 22nd, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I think I was similar too when I was a kid..I remember being a really hyper kid too and I was constantly sent to the principal's office for being out of control :P I too wonder how I would be like if I'd been medicated heh..

The reason why it is of a concern to me is coz his school teachers have been asking me to do something about his lack of focus. Yes, the programmes are the fun sort..with stuff like Art therapy and some to improve his motor skills and learning capabilities. It definitely ain't the torturous sort!

(no subject) - cario - Mar. 23rd, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Mar. 24th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - evonnetay - Mar. 22nd, 2009 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 22nd, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Re: pet
errr..i will be bringing Aidan to HK on 9 April. Will u be back by then?
Re: pet - alisonrae - Mar. 22nd, 2009 09:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: pet - angeliatay - Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: pet - alisonrae - Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: pet - angeliatay - Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - evonnetay - Mar. 23rd, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 22nd, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
I find that boys do generally have shorter attention span at most things. =) I know mine does.

The bridge programs sound really interesting and engaging and I think it'll be fun for Aidan too! (most important in my books)

BTW I think I saw u guys at Paragon on CNY eve, if I'm remember correctly.=)
Mar. 22nd, 2009 04:15 am (UTC)
yeah..i agree. the description of the programmes seemed interesting enough but the one aidan will have will be customised for him so it will be a mixture of some of the programmes. i think aidan will enjoy it too.

hah..CNY was so long ago. I really can't remember whether we were in Paragon but most likely lah 'cause that's one of my regular haunts with Aidan (since Toys R Us and the playground is there + that the mall has my favourite boutiques there)
Mar. 22nd, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
I think discipline and attentiveness can be worked through focus programs..I hate to term them as 'therapy'. Usually for hyperactive kids parents put them through sports, or some endurance activity which trains focus. That's what books say lah, but I think these workshops should be good for Aidan :) keep us updated!
Mar. 22nd, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
yeah..i'm quite sure it will be beneficial to the boy too. hopefully, it will help him cope better in his schoolwork. :)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 22nd, 2009 04:54 am (UTC)
Sophia, to be honest..this is his third assessment. The other 2 were done when he was much younger and one had even recommended him to be on medication. I was kinda in denial then. The pyschologists/teachers at Bridge actually specialises in ADHD kids and their aim isn't to label the kids but to provide early learning support so that the children are able to work on their weaknesses and to reinforce the strengths they have.

The kids that you are comparing Aidan with are probably those with more serious ADHD. Aidan's ADHD is considered on the mild side..(it ranges from serious to moderate to mild).

(no subject) - angeliatay - Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:20 am (UTC)
i just saw the advert for the dino!! very expensive!!
Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
was there an advert? where?
Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
Right so is Deeno coming for the birthday party? :P I can bring a pet carrier for him :P
Mar. 22nd, 2009 09:38 am (UTC)
hahaha dont need pet carrier lah! *bish*
Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
Don't be too worried about his ADHD... I think most kids to some extent will have this, but will grow out of it with time. Just keep a close watch on him; I think with a zai mummy like you, he should be fine.
Mar. 22nd, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)
no no..i'm not worried at all. Aidan's been hyper all this while and it doesn't actually bother me but more that I don't want him to 'suffer' in school as a result of it.
Mar. 22nd, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
My SIL has 2 boys who have ADD. One of my hubby's very young male cousin has it too. I've always wondered, is it more kids having it these days or just more being diagnosed.

I'm not sure how bad their ADD problem is but both were exempted from taking Chinese.
Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
i guess more kids are diagnosed nowadays because parents are more aware of adhd and there's more education on it, esp on the net.
Mar. 22nd, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
Part of it, I would say it is normal for a boy. Dominic gets constant scolding from teachers for not paying attention in class too. If you are talking about sitting straight, listening to teacher with eyes looking straight ahead, then yes, he is more likely to be looking at some other interesting stuff, e.g a mechanical pencil, and also doing something else with his hands, e.g. dismantling the mechanical pencil. So guilty as charged. But i would take teachers' complaints with slight pinch of salt also because they require all kids to be gwai gwai so they can get their jobs done, but really, some kids just don't fit into that model.

My SIL's son was also very active when he was young. Really like energiser bunny, non-stop moving and also kena lots of complaints. Even *I* suspected ADHD. Of course, the teachers dropped hints about it all the time. But he is 13 now, and he is perfectly fine. My SIL is not the 'enlightened' mother like you. So the boy did not go for formal assessment, much less therapy. But he turned out ok. Very normal now. Very bright also. Not saying all the therapy is BS. Just hope that this example give you some encouragement. : )
Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
heh..i do know when im writing this post that some may think that im over-reacting and eager to label aidan. actually, i have been trying my best not to do so. but my key intention is to ensure that he'll cope well in school and if some of the programmes he undergoes is able to aid him, why not? the classes aren't the 'tuition' sort..in fact, i think he will enjoy them..for example, they have art therapy and since i have stopped his art classes, he kinda misses them (he colors a lot at home).
(no subject) - parentingjoy - Mar. 23rd, 2009 02:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Mar. 23rd, 2009 02:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 22nd, 2009 09:26 am (UTC)
I won't see it as a problem. B.T was like that as a kid. Very naughty. Turns out that he was also more advanced than kids his age so he was put in the upper class and his parents moved towns so that he could be allowed to stay in the upper class. I dont think you need to worry. Let him engage in many activities as he likes. I think sports is good for kids - helps them to use up their energy and in his personal development too :)
Btw, you are looking really good these days (not that you didn't before) but hot mama!
Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
i'm not that optimistic to think that aidan is more advanced than the other kids..in fact, he is slightly behind because of his age (he is the youngest in class being a dec baby) but i'm perfectly fine with that. don't worry..im not overly worried but i just wanna ensure that he doesnt fall too badly behind especially with his inability to concentrate..
(no subject) - am_klutz - Mar. 23rd, 2009 07:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 22nd, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
As an educator myself, I'm quite hesitant to label my pupils as ADD/ ADHD. Many a times, it might be more of an excuse or consolation as to why our class management seems ineffective. The effects of labelling is quite sad actually.
But I applaud your active approach in helping Aidan. One thing i would like to mention is many children are visual learners. Listening to instructions, decoding the instructions and then following instructions is tough, sometimes even for adults. If instructions are reinforced with visual aids like pictures or words, it would make life much easier for children. The manner and language in which instructions are given plays a huge role.
Shifty eyes might sometimes signal autism. or it might be a simple case of being attracted by something which aidan deems more attractive than the issue at hand..
If he has trouble even concentrating or playing a computer game for extended hours... maybe that's adhd.. but if this trouble in concentrating only surfaces during school work, you might need to consider if the work is too simple or not challenging for his tastes..
Also, sugary food has been linked to hyperactive behaviour... so reducing his intake of sugary food is one way to help.. especially 100plus... glucose.. immediate sugar rush
Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
if only most educators were as enlightened as you...can you imagine, the first time someone had suggested that aidan could be adhd was when he was only 18 months old..when i took him for a trial at a pre-school class.

yes, it had been pointed out that Aidan is an extremely visual person. in fact, he scores above average for those tests that required strong visual skills. unfortunately, the education system in school tend to be more of an auditory nature which is why i do fear that he may not be able to catch up. as for aidan's shifty eyes..this had been a problem we faced when he was young. even with nothing to attract him, he is just unable to look us in the eyes for long..i usually will hold him gently by the shoulder when i talk to him and try to engage him and remind him often to look us in the eyes when we are conversing.
hmm..aidan doesn't eat too much sweet stuff actually..he loves mainly carbo. and he doesn't like soft drinks at all!
thanks so much for giving your input..i do appreciate it and i hope that pple do understand that it isn't that i'm eager to have him labelled but to try ways to help him cope better in school and not be ostracised as a result.
(no subject) - toscaong - Mar. 23rd, 2009 02:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 22nd, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
Don't worry Angela, your active and supportive role in helping Aidan will definitely yield results... I guess it's still too early to confirm if Aidan's ADHD...

Oh, and Aidan has a flair for the mathematics so like what the pyschologist mentioned, try to reinforce his interest in it. Who knows, you might have with you a little Math Genius!
Anyway, I love love love to see your pictures of Aidan.. he's really adorable and cute! =)
Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
yes..one of the programmes in the school is on mathematics and i may sign him up for it. he has indicated too he wants to join it too :)
(no subject) - zarkzark - Mar. 23rd, 2009 05:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 22nd, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know a thing about kids or ADHD so I best not say anything :p

But, I will comment on the Pleo! It's so adorable! I wanted to get one for myself for the heck of it, but I fainted at the price!!!
Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
yeah..it is quite expensive. thankfully, i got it at a discounted price..but still ex lah :P
Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
i'm surprised that Aidan included gabe in his drawing :) will he like a little sister as well for the stayover next time? :p kidding lah...

gabe's highlight for this holiday has to be the stayover at your place and playing with Aidan...thanks again for taking him :) our turn next time, ya!
Mar. 22nd, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
yes, i was very surprised too when I saw gabriel in the pic. The psychologist actually thought gabe was his real brother form the way aidan was talking about him.

haha..aidan was mentioning abt his turn already. but pls don't feel shy to mention when you think the stayover isn't too timely especially when gabe have tests or work to complete. i don't want aidan to be taking too much of gabe's studying time too.
(no subject) - jinsiew - Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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