Monday, February 20, 2012

ADHD Vs Autism

There is this girl who was very naughty in che-che's class when she was P1. Over the years, she seems to have tone down on her naughty behaviour. But what brought my interest to this subject : ADHD Vs Autism is that some mummies would say that she is autistic. But in my opinion she wasn't, I told them that she could possibly be ADHD. And mind you, most ADHD people are smart!!

ADHD Vs Autism

Basically, ADHD (completely known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is when a person indulges in too much activity to the point that he can no longer focus his attention to a given object or task under normal circumstances. There is a recurrent feature of being impulsive, aside from the common inattention to other things. Impulsive and inattention are two of the most identifiable characteristics of ADHD.

Because these individuals are unable to focus on one task for a prolonged period of time, you’ll almost always notice them shifting tasks and frequently moving about. They really can’t stay in a single place for a long time or else they will become anxious or get bored. Nevertheless, you need not worry that much because if ever your child has ADHD, there’s still a big probability of him outgrowing the condition most especially when he reach the age of twenty and above.

Autism is when a person has poor or underdeveloped social skills. In this regard, the autistic person is not able to clearly interpret or distinguish body language. He is also unable to emphatize with other people. These characteristics are said to be attributed to the absence of mirror neurons in the central nervous system.

Autism is a more complex developmental disorder that affects many developmental dimensions of the individual. When at 3 years old, the child demonstrates certain significant restrictions in communication, interaction and behavior (repetitive) then most likely he is autistic. Sometimes autism surfaces at one year old and other cases even manifest early at birth (although you can’t conclude directly that it is autistic behavior unless there are several tests done). Because there are many dimensions and other variables to be considered, autism is usually very difficult to diagnose.

Read more: Difference Between ADHD and Autism | Difference Between | ADHD vs Autism

Autistic children have a hard time developing language. Even if they have already learned some new words, there’s still a big chance of losing such knowledge as time passes by. Autistic children practice a sense of ‘social retreat.’ This means that they are mostly introverted and don’t want to interact with other kids even at playtime. Most of them don’t even want to make eye contact at all. They also have sensory issues like when they identify certain stimuli as addictive (e.g. rotating fan blades). They also do repetitive motions like hand flapping.

It is also interesting to note that many autistic kids are found to have high IQs. Although they have this much mental capacity, they actually have built a ‘world’ of their own which is difficult to penetrate from the outside.

All in all, although both conditions are classified as developmental disorders they still differ in the following aspects:
1. Autism is a more complex problem compared to ADHD.
2. Autism has hallmark characteristics of repetitive behavior, language and sensory problems, and social retreat. ADHD is seen when the individual is impulsive, hyperactive, inattentive and easily gets bored.

Read more: Difference Between ADHD and Autism | Difference Between | ADHD vs Autism

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A warm BIG family

I honestly don't remember this song (I remember the Nicolas Barre song though). Made me cry when I heard and read the lyrics to this beautiful song.

I'm so ever proud to be part of this big family. My girl feels happy to be in the school (sans the endless HWs).

As the girls all say , "Once an IJ girl; always an IJ girl@

Hold on to our Dreams
IJ Spirit burning bright
Fill this world with love and light
Light that shines for all to see
Love that sets our spirits free

IJ friendships through the years
Born of simple joys and tears
Something tells us deep inside
IJ friends are friends for life

Hold on to our dream of peace, don't stop believing
Our hearts and hands ever seeking, ever serving
Hold on to the sound of our friends all joyously singing
Our voices raised to the Lord our God above
Hold on to our dream

IJ Spirit burning bright
Fill our hearts with love and light
Light to see ourselves anew
Love begins with me and you

IJ voices ringing true
Reaching out and breaking through
Every heart will hear our call
Share our dream of peace for all

Hold on to our dream of peace, don't stop believing
Our hearts and hands ever seeking, ever serving
Hold on to the sound of our friends all joyously singing
Our voices raised to the Lord our God above
Hold on to our dream (x2)

Hold on to our dream
Hold fast to the IJ dream
Hold on to our dream

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Learning Journey to Kg Glam

The girls went on a Learning Journey to Kampong Glam. I was the Parent Volunteer for her class and I must say I really did enjoy myself too. I've learnt alot in this trip coz' as typical Singaporean I wouldn't venture what's in my country and rather go into the mosques of other countries. *rolls eyes* Don't you think it's rather embarrass as a Singaporean to not know about my own country.

The girls left in the morning. So I went into the school at 8.30am. As a parent volunteer I'm there to help take care of the other children - not solely on my child. It's also the time for me to get to know who che-che's new classmates are. The girls are really an angelic lot - well behaved and polite.

Che-che really likes it when I'm in her school helping out. And she's ahem.... proud that her mother is there. (I'm like her trophy)
Girls gathered around

Glam trees

Friday, February 3, 2012


extracted from :

Positive Parenting In Action: Aggressive Behavior


This is the 3rd post in my Positive Parenting In Action series. The last post was in regard to tantrums. Today, I'm going to address a very common and concerning issue for parents - aggressive behavior - and how to handle this aggression the Positive Parenting way.

First, it is important to understand that children who are aggressive are children who are scared, hurt, or feeling disconnected. Aggression is a cover-up of those more vulnerable feelings. Hand in Hand Parenting has written a wonderful article about this, which you can read here. This article notes:
The child who lashes out feels sad, frightened, or alone. She doesn't look frightened when she is about to bite, push, or hit. But her fears are at the heart of the problem. Fear robs a child of her ability to feel that she cares about others. Children get these feelings of isolation, no matter how loving and close we parents are. Don't blame, shame, or punish. These actions further frighten children, and further isolate them. They add to the load of hurt that makes children aggressive.
I would like to also add that, going back to our brain science, children under the age of 6 don't yet have full access to higher brain functions which allow them to pause and reason. When a young child becomes scared or hurt or is feeling disconnected, they go into that "fight or flight" mode, operating out of their brain stem, and have little control over their actions. It is for this reason that an aggressive child needs help, not punishment.

Dr. Laura Markham of AhaParenting offers this advice to a mom whose toddler is hitting her.
1. Set a limit (“We don’t hit”)
2. Offer empathy and acceptance of her feelings (“You are disappointed”)
3. Let her discharge her feelings by crying with your comfort.
4. Help her explore ways to shift her mood.
You can print this and hang it up if you'd like, because these are the basic steps we'll follow in handling aggression.

Let's get right into the scenarios.

Scenario #1
Your 3 year old has become aggressive toward her baby sister. She tries to hit her and push her over. You're concerned she's really going to hurt the baby.

Reason behind the behavior: Jealousy, probably. It's hard sharing mom and dad, especially when you used to have them all to yourself.

:ACTION: Follow the above list.
1. Set a limit. (“We don’t hit”)
2. Offer empathy and acceptance of her feelings. (“You are disappointed”)
3. Let her discharge her feelings by crying with your comfort.
4. Help her explore ways to shift her mood.

To expand on this a bit, you will take her safely away from the baby, get down eye-level with her, and set the limit - we don't hit (or push, or bite). It is important to acknowledge her feelings of anger or frustration or jealousy that caused her to hit. "You're feeling upset at the baby. Are you upset that I was holding her?" or "She grabbed your toy and that made you angry." Your child is hurting, even though she may look like she isn't. She needs to know it's safe to show her feelings. Tell her it's okay to be angry, and its okay to cry, and that you will keep everyone safe. If she melts down in your arms, she is healing. Let her get her emotions out while you provide comfort. After the incident is over and everyone is calm, address the reason behind the behavior.

1. Spend special one-on-one time with each child. Let her pick the activity. Connect with her. She needs to know that she is still just as loved as before.

2. Teach appropriate ways to handle anger. You can do this by talking it through, modeling it, role-playing, puppet shows, books, or stories.

3. Don't punish her for hitting. At 3, remember she didn't have the cognitive resources to stop and think about her actions logically.
"Punishment is not actually an enforcement of the limits. That's our rationalization for punishing, because we're frustrated that he isn't respecting our limits. Punishment is actually retaliation, and retaliation always sabotages your relationship with your child (or anyone else.)" - Dr. Laura Markham.
Teaching her how to handle her anger will serve her much better than punishing her for handling it wrong.

4. Read books to her about the baby and about being a big sister. For a list of such books, click here.

Scenario #2
Your 19-month-old is a biter. He has just bitten another child at a play date.

Behind the behavior: It depends on what was happening at the play date. It could be frustration, anger, hurt feelings, or fear.

:ACTION: Remember the steps above. Remove your little biter to safety, make sure the child bitten is okay, and then set or reinforce your limit. "We don't bite." Validate his feelings, empathize with his upset. "You got mad because he took your truck. I see you're mad, but we don't bite. Biting hurts." Let your child express his emotion safely, and problem-solve later. The reason I suggest not talking about appropriate alternatives during the time it happens is because children do not take information in well when they are in "fight or flight" mode or are upset. They are much more likely to learn and retain information when they are calm. For more on toddler biting, read this article at TEACH Through Love.

Don't bite him to show him how it feels. You'd be surprised at how many parents would advise you to do this. Remember, you are the model for appropriate behavior!

Scenario #3
You got a call from school. Your 8-year-old son punched another student for calling him a bad name.

Reason behind the behavior: Anger, obviously. Lack of ability to control his actions.

:ACTION: We're not dealing with a toddler or preschooler now. An 8 year old should have access to those higher brain functions. In other words, he should have been able to pause and think about his actions. This is sometimes hard for adults to do, however, so it isn't surprising that a child hasn't mastered this yet. When you pick him up from school, you're going to have to control your own anger. Model! Reserve judgment and ask him what happened. Empathize with his hurt feelings at being called a name. It does hurt! Now, because this is an older child, you may be tempted to punish or give him a consequence, but that isn't going to solve the problem or teach him how to handle a situation like this better the next time. It's time to problem-solve. Remember the problem-solving post? Let him do most of the problem-solving with your guidance as needed. You might ask:

1. How can you fix what you've done, because the student you punched is hurt too? If he doesn't come up with an answer, offer a few alternatives, such as call and apologize or write an apology letter.

2. What can you do the next time you get called a name or there is a confrontation? Let him brainstorm. It's good if he comes up with alternatives on his own. If he draws a blank, help him out. You may suggest he walk away, work it out with words, get help from an adult if the situation requires it.

I'd like to leave you with one more wonderful piece of advice from Laura Markham, Ph.D. She left this response on PPTB for a mother whose 3 year old was acting aggressively, and it is a wonderful connecting game to play with children to get rid of those nasty feelings underneath that cause aggression.
Children who act aggressively are always acting out of fear. Your 3 year old is afraid. Maybe she's afraid that he's loved more? In that case, I would address that fear directly and try to heal it.

For instance, play this game with her every single day for the next week, to let her giggle off her fear and convince her you adore her. Every day, spend 20 minutes playing the bumbler as you chase her, hug, kiss, let her get away and repeat again and again: "I need my 3 year old fix....You can't get away...I have to hug you and cover you with kisses....oh, no, you got away...I'm coming after you....I just have to kiss you more and hug you more....You're too fast for me....But I'll never give up...I love you too much...I got you....Now I'll kiss your toes....Oh, no, you're too strong for me...But I will always want more 3 year old hugs...."

This kind of game accomplishes at least 3 wonderful things:

1. Giggling discharges the same stress hormones as crying or tantrumming and thus makes kids happier and less stressed, thus less likely to "act out" aggressively.

2. Kids are less aggressive and more cooperative when they have a daily chance to vent.

3. This game also deepens your relationship with your daughter and convinces her on a deep level that she is truly loved, dissolving her fears and allowing her to be generous to her brother.

That generosity is what makes your daughter care about the natural consequence of hurting her brother, and gives her the competing impulse of empathy to control her aggression.

Make sense? There are, of course, many ways to address your three year old's big feelings, but I love this game. I have never seen a child who did not respond to it. -- Laura
Aggressive behavior is very common in young children, and peaks from ages 2-6. While this is a common phase kids go through, it is our responsibility to set appropriate limits and teach alternatives. Discipline is always about teaching them right, not punishing the wrong. With empathy and loving guidance, your child will learn appropriate ways to handle her emotions, and this phase will become a distant memory.

Did a month just flew by?

Did a month just flew by? It's only the beginning of the year and I can feel the steam coming from che-che's school. OMG! Can you believe it? Everyday I'm struggling to make sure she finishes her homeworks and then by the day ends she hasn't done any work for me. I'm not joking! If this goes on for the rest of this year, I'll be thankful if she passes her subjects.

I haven't been updating this blog here too. Mainly because I'm busy consolidating a blog specifically for their educational stuffs. It's really fun doing it and TIRING too! I will only do this when they're in Primary school. I think that already takes up alot of hard work from the mummy, who spends that 3 hours in the weekday trying to do as much as possible. Then not accomplishing anything for herself. What a life!

I'm half-hearted in closing down this blog. After paying someone to design my blog? I must be crazy!! Blogging helps me to relax a little but I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd love to on it. So ??

Today's the 3rd day of Feb. In 4 months time I'll be a full time ah-soh. No luxury of having a live-in helper. Ay! Everyone have maid and they have time to go paktor with their spouse. I have maid all these 5-6 years also never go on paktor with hubby. Everyone have helper and they really relax.. yum cha; manicure; meet friends etc... I have helper all these years and I don't have the luxury to enjoy all these. Chauffeuring kids here and there and getting so stressed up with TIME constraints.
I've been wanting to plan my AH-SOH weekly schedule and have some idea running in my mind about how to cope with housework + kids. I can't stand a dirty house! Haven't got the time to think about it. My brain's too busy thinking other stuffs.
The mornings too! All these while, KZ gets the children ready for me while I wake up at 5+ to get myself ready. Without a helper I gotta start thinking what time to get up and prepare their breakfast. You might think I'm thinking way too hard right?
Problem is, I've a problematic kid who nibbles her food. You don't feed her, she'll sit there yakking away. Then I have another kid who is so S-L-O-W. OMG! With KZ, she handles all these part for me so I have lesser things to get myself aggitated. Though there's another worry about helpers abusing or beating their young mistress/master. Haha! I think I end up more furious than KZ and kill the kids. Duh! Things my mom never warn me about. Then I could have reconsidered whether to have any kids or not and still continue jetting around the world. I don't regret having them in my lives. I'm human afterall! When they are good I say they're my darlings; when they make me mad I say they're my devils. Hmm... I wonder who's more devilish