Monday, September 19, 2016

Learning Disability: A Mental Disorder

My nephew was said to have a learning disability and can hardly catch up with his academic requirements. This was the feedback made by his teacher and I am quite bothered by it as to how we should address it.  We assumed before that his inability to focus during tutorial was only because of his being playful but having the observation of his teacher seems to make his behavior more alarming.

This case and my close friend's twins are having the same issue as the latter do have developmental delays. The twins are already 4 years old but they can't hardly talk and seem to act like 2 years old only. They were advise to go on therapy for  6 months  as intervention.


So, is learning disability can really be equated to mental illness? According to Larry B. Silver, MD, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, LD is not a mental disease. He further said, " Learning Disability is not a mental illness. Learning Disabilities are neurologically-based. They result from “faulty wiring” in specific areas of the brain. These disabilities will impact on an individual’s ability to process and to use information and, thus, can impact on this individual’s ability to be successful with reading, writing, math, and other learning tasks."

While this seems to be hopeful, I cant help but be more dubious as I happen to read from Learning Disabilities Organization,    between 20 - 40% of  people with learning disability also suffer from mental disorder like autism or emotional and conduct disorder.

So, what  then our warning bells if our kids are having LD and not something else. Learning Disabilities Association of America define Learning Disability as,

A learning disability is a neurological condition that interferes with an individual’s ability to store, process, or produce information.
Learning disabilities can affect one’s ability to read, write, speak, spell, compute math, reason and also affect an individual’s attention, memory, coordination, social skills and emotional maturity.
Specific Leaning Disabilities include:

  • Auditory Processing Disorder - Affects how sound travels unimpeded through the ear is processed and interpreted by the brain.
  • Dyscalculia - A specific learning disability that affects a person's ability to understand numbers and learn math facts.
  • Dysgraphia  - A specific learning disability that affects a person's handwriting abiltiy and fine motor skills.
  • Dylexia - A specific learning disability that affects reading and related language - based processing skills.
  • Language Processing Disorder - A specific type of (APD) that affects attaching meaning to sound groups that form words, sentences and stories.
  • Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities - Has trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expression or body language and may have poor coordination.
  • Visual Perceptual / Visual Motor Deficit - A disorder that affects the understanding of information that a person sees, or ability to copy or draw.  
While experts may have conflicting issues with LD and Mental Disorder, they both agree that if your kid or your loved one is showing deviations from other kids, seek help. Whether the difference in behavior warrants a mental disorder or a learning disability, the best person(s) shall be to see medical doctors and / or psychiatrist and heed their advice. 

Early detection and intervention can  do much in addressing the issue. So, let us take action promptly. 

Learning Disabilities Organization
Learning Disabilities Association of America


Monday, July 25, 2016

Raising a Teenager Son

I am no expert in parenting; in fact, I am as lost as you are. So, perhaps you may wonder, why are you actually wasting your time reading this; I guess sharing a tip or two will be enough, so, as not to drive your insanity away as you raise your own kid.

my 14-year old kid who has grown taller in a snap.

I have a 14 years old boy but what I quite adore and sometimes would want him strangled (oops!) are the things that make adolescents cool but can be a reason for anxiety.

On discipline:

Glad that I am that we raised our kid who didnt throw tantrums at all when he was younger. I think having a firm say on some things can be quite good especially if your kids would know that they can hold you hostage with all those sobbings. My kid had learned that regardless of how loud he could cry, he wont get what he wants when we, his parents, would say no. And, now that he is older, I seem to appreciate how we raised him that way as I see other parents struggle when their kids throw tantrums.

On emotional maturity:

My siblings and I were never showy with affection  as our parents weren't that expressive as well to us. But, I am glad that my husband and his family shared a more open warmth and care to their loved ones that I envied them and wished that I could have my kid grow that way.

So, we make it habit to say how we feel and demonstrate this to our loved ones. So, my kid grew up hearing "I Love You" as often as possible.

Being honest to the kid may have its drawback. When my husband and I were having marital issues, we never showed these to our son, but somehow the physical tension was evident to our kid that when I asked him how his thoughts are on divorce / separation / death, he is quite open and mature.  I guess education from school, and how his classmates' own family profile made him more perceptive about family's dysfunctionalities.

my kiddo on his 1st triathlon
On peers and hobbies:

Gone are the days when your kid would cry knowing that you are off to work or would want to be by your sides at all times. These days, my son would rather spend more time at home with his gadgets, or would rather go out with his peers. Well, of course, if we drag him to join us to go out, then, he has no choice at all ( hmnnn, talking about good parenting eh).

Good thing though that we share a passion for sports - running, biking, swimming among others that these become our playtime.

Teenagers may be hard to understand, but, I guess with openness and guidance from the wise ones (say your elders and parents with older children), I think we can just do well.

We never really know how we fare as parents, so, we will just have to wait until we see our own kids in better life, happy and grateful for his family and for other non - material things.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Practical Tips in Choosing Your New Home

Whether you are a newbie or a repeat home buyer, the tips for buying a new place boils down to core issues. And since you want to spend and build good memories with your new home which you aim to live in for several years, you want to be smart in choosing your next place.

So, what do experts say about having your next home?

  • LOCATION. In choosing the right location, consider everyone in your family who shall live with you in picking the right place. Will you new home means being accessible to work, school, hospital, playgrounds, shopping marts and all. All these may mean extra bucks on your house mortgage but if it will mean accessibility, then, the extra cost is worth it. 
  • PRICE. Money experts suggest that you shouldn't go for paying mortgages beyond 30% of your net monthly income. So, consider your budget, you cant compromise the rest of the departments, so, you can have  your dream house.
  • AMENITIES/DESIGN. Of course, you need to check the functional structure and aesthetic worth of your new place. Does it enough space for kitchen? Enough rooms for everyone? How about your outside space? Can your landscape artist put on your favorite plants or paver patios out in your garden or house decors of your taste?
  • SECURITY. Before you get excited of your new pick, consider security issues.  Is there enough fire exit? Is the structure solid and strong? How about the crime rate in the community? Is there access to security support?
  • NEIGHBORHOOD. Is your neighborhood friendly? Can you visualize living longer with the kind of people within the premises? Who would love to live amidst guns, drugs or something else?
Buying a new place is never easy; it may help you a lot to ask real estate agents, friends or referrals from others before you dig into your pocket and sign the deal. Try to visualize how you and your family will live anew in your chosen place? Will they be ecstatic and love the place? So, it's smart to get the opinions of everyone and next thing you know it, your new home can be your perfect home.