Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TLO Report: For parents going through a special adventure....

image is from this page

If this is your first time in this blog, you may not know yet that TLO (The Little One) has a special condition. She was born with a cleft palate, cleft not lips so you really won't see any signs. You won't know that she went through two cleft palate surgeries - one when she was six months old, next one three months after... This condition led to speech delay. At three years old, she can only makes sounds and uses "gestures" to communicate her needs. She has yet to speak her first word.

TLO goes to occupational therapy twice a week.  She actually needs to go through speech therapy but her disposition and attitude (ehem... problem?) are not YET optimal for learning... she can't sit in place for extended periods of time. She's also not the most cooperative learner we know.

Her developmental pediatrician, Dr. Francis Dimalanta, on our first visit, said that the more affordable solution to making TLO speak is to make her a lifetime companion. A younger brother/sister. Nope, not doing that. Not yet. But we believed that she needed to be around children. The Hubby's officemate also shared a success story about her son... he started talking a couple of weeks after going to playschool. It seems that the "peer pressure" from classmates pushes kids to act/speak the way they do. So we enrolled TLO in playschool.

TLO's summer playschool adventure ended last May. She's not yet talking but we noticed that she loved being in school. She's a lurker. She just loves to watch. She rarely participates. One time though, I caught her doing the action songs steps in the bedroom. That assured me that she's learning... I just don't understand why she won't do it in class. One of the great things that we learned about TLO, in the playschool adventure, is that she's an independent kid. She never cried even after parents were no longer allowed to enter the classroom. She just sits quietly. Looking, looking and looking. 

TLO's Occupational Therapist, Teacher Mark, noted a lot of improvements in TLO's attitude (she started last October 2011). She's more cooperative during her sessions and she's now able to complete table-top activities for extended periods of time. She even survives two-hour sessions without crying or losing focus in all her assigned "tasks." Great news is, and as also recommended by her dev pedia, she can start her speech therapy sessions next week.

On to the subject of continuing in school... this is where we decided to go against doctor's orders. TLO's devped feels that she's not yet ready for school. He said that if we really want to enroll her in school, it should be in SPED (Special Education) classes. Unfortunately, there are no SPED schools in Makati. We'd have to live with travel time (an hour max) if we want to put her to SPED. Aside from travel time, his concern was primarily funds. Given TLO's condition, he felt that we won't be getting our money's worth if we sent her to a regular school. 

In the end, we made the decision. Our priority is not education. We just want TLO to be with children her age. It's social interaction that we want for her... some sense of routine too... more than anything else.

So we enrolled TLO in pre-nursery. Good thing the school agreed to take her in despite K12's age requirement - she should be in senior nursery given her age. 

School started today. Busy days are up for our little girl. She'll be in school from Monday-Friday, 10AM-12PM. She'll be in Occupational Therapy sessions every Friday and Saturday, 1PM. And she'll start with her Speech Therapy next week, Mondays at 1PM.

Please pray for TLO to find her voice. :) 

I lovingly dedicate this entry to all moms and dads out there who are also going through a special adventure with their kids. We just need to be patient, hopeful and... earn as much as we can to support our children's needs. Here's a summary of all the contact info of TLO's schools:

TLO's Occupational Therapist: Teacher Mark Rayos Del Sol

Address: 1655 Pe├▒afrancia St., Brgy. Valenzuela, Makati City 
Phone Number: 896-5195
Google Map: Click here

TLO's Teacher: Teacher Monique Cunanan
Address: 1887 Milagros St., Santiago Village, Makati City
Telephone Numbers: 890-2474 and 895-2389
Google Map: Click here

Development Pedia: Dr. Francis Dimalanta
Medical Arts Building Suite 805, St. Luke's Global City
789-7700 loc 7805

1 comment :

  1. be strong woman, no hurdle is thrown to one who can not bear it. :)