Friday, November 20, 2009

Hi Daddy!

Today is a memorable day of my life.  It is Friday weekend, but I went to work this morning to trim down my to-do list.  I returned home at about 1pm.  As I walked up the stairs to the upper floor of my apartment, I flashed a big smile at Shan Le who was sitting on the sofa of the living area with his mother.  Unexpectedly, he said 'Hi Daddy' to me!  This is the first time ever, since his birth three years ago, that he called me Daddy in a spontaneous and directed manner.  My heart was breaming with joy!

Yesterday, we brought Shan Le back to the Learning Resource Centre in Maadi for the development skills assessment.  Unfortunately, as he was still recovering from his cold and taking anti-biotics, Dr Eman decided to perform the assessment next week after he has fully recovered.  Not to make a wasted trip, we sat down with Dr Eman for 1.5 hours to go through the ADOS results in detail.  The outcome of the assessment puts Shan Le on the Autistic Spectrum but Dr Eman said that the results should not be taken as conclusive.  She commented that she observed quite a lot of improvement in Shan Le's language and social abilities as he played with his mother yesterday.  So, Shan Le will be going for the developmental skills assessment and followed by therapy sessions to help him overcome his developmental difficulties, in particular language and speech.  The eventual diagnosis will depend how Shan Le reacts to the intervention programme.  Personally, after doing a fair bit of research and reading on the subject, I think Shan Le is not autistic but he is displaying some symptoms of the condition, which could be due to other developmental issues.  As his father, I will want to give him all the help he can get to overcome his difficulties so that he can grown up well and go to normal schools.

Shan Le is doing well at Urban Toddlers and also attending some activities at Dados in Zamalek.  The teacher said that Shan Le has been good and he was able to sit with others in a group listening to stories and singing songs.  But he has been missing school quite often for the past two weeks as he fell sick with acute tonsillitis and cold, almost consecutively.  His nose is still dripping today and the anti-biotic is giving him loose stools.  I hope he can adjust quickly to the weather here and rejoin school next week.

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