Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Money was tight. My son was in his senior year in high school. His tuition fees alone was 150,000 Php per year. Daughter #1 was in post grad internship in medicine. Daughter # 4 was in her second year in college. Her tuition per year was about 150,000 Php too. Daughter #3 just passed her board exams while #2 was already teaching. It was the year my husband had a heart attack. The angioplasty done to unblock his arteries cost us nearly a million pesos. Ethan was 3.5 years old and needed to be in school. I can't just enroll him in any school. However good schools have stiff tuition fees and that I can't afford. My family and I were in a big financial jam! Daughter #2 and I conferred and decided to enroll Ethan at Kumon just so he can learn phonics and eventually read. Ethan was enrolled to a twice-a-week-thirty-minute-one-on-one session at Kumon.

Kids as young as 3 years old were learning to read at Kumon. After 2 months at Kumon, Ethan was still winging his alphabet. I was quite worried. Ethan can't even remember what letter A is! Is my very smart grandson not smart at all? Is the Kumon method not right for him? After 7 months of twice weekly lessons, I pulled Ethan out. I decided to teach him myself. I bought workbooks and other educational aids and materials to teach Ethan. I taught my three eldest girls how to read phonetically at age 3-4 and surely I could teach Ethan. I was wrong. It was so hard to teach him. His eyes were not focused on the work sheet and he kept on fidgeting. I used multi-sensory aids to teach him. I was progressing a bit but he still cannot consistently write or sound the letters of the alphabet at age 4.5. There were times that I was ready to explode and Ethan sensed these moments. He usually says, "I'm sorry mom. I don't know what's wrong with my mind." That breaks my heart - everytime. Something is definitely wrong. Is my grandson retarded? It can't be! I enrolled him in a summer enrichment program. He was alright except in reading and language.

I and his mommy decided to enroll Ethan in a regular school that academic year. The school was small but the teachers highly skilled and competent. Student-teacher ratio was 5 is to 1. After a month or so, the teacher talked to me regarding Ethan's progress. He was in a class younger than his chronological age but he still can't cope with the lessons. I was silently dying inside. I've long ago noticed his delay in speech but I cast that aside. Daughter #1, his mommy, was not worried because I was doing all the worrying. I told her that it's time to see a developmental pediatrician. Denial time was over.

Ethan's initial consult was short and quick. The developmental pediatrician showed him some letters. At age 5 Ethan still cannot name the letters of the alphabet consistently. The doctor set an appointment for the actual testing, a month and half after the first consult. That was almost a year ago. The initial diagnosis was Ethan seems to have a learning disability. He needed further tests to determine the kind of disability he has. In the Philippines, there is no insurance coverage for this type of "aliment". The bill has now amounted to more than 10,000 Php. Further testing means more bills to pay. We were referred to EdLink, a sort of a special school that offers learning therapy for children with LDs. The test date was set. The test done. The results in. Dyslexia.
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/28/2008 07:58:00 AM 7 comments


  1. You're brave to have shared this! Can't wait to read the part2!

  2. Hi..glad to hear about Ethan's favorite song...

    sorry to have heard about his disability. He's still lucky to have a family like you who are dying to help him develop his potential. I'll watch out on the part2 of the story.thanks for dropping by...TC!

  3. With you on/by his side, Ethan will and can overcome anything...dyslexia included. Inggit nga ako kasi he has a grandma like...well, he has a grandma, period. Itong amin eh walang grandparents so she's missing a lot on that aspect.

    Btw, I was looking at the Halloween pics of Ethan and saw you on the last pic. Natawa namana ako kasi yung little piglet sa ulo mo eh nakatingin sa kung saan....nosy piglet...hahaha.


  4. Wow! You are an inspiration to all mothers. I have 2 girls and feel busy all the time. Can't wait to read part 2.

  5. renz: part two coming up

    nancy: thanks for dropping by too.

    huling: i thought your in-laws live nearby as they were there at your daughter's bday party.

    i love your daughter's costume last year. jojo circus is one of ethan's fave too.

    health nut wannabee mom: thank you for the undeserved compliments.

  6. waahhh, te lena, i feel for you. you know, i am undergoing the same predicament. I have yet to consult a dev pedia kasi wala ganyan here in our place, but I have registered my son already for a therapy, initial assessmenet kasi ng OT sa kanya is ADHD!

    My son is already 4 years old and he can hardly recite the alphabet and numbers! And we can't write, although he knows how to hold the pencil.

    will be looking forward for your part 2.

  7. naomi: it's a good idea to have your son assessed immediately. most dyslexics have ADHD too. if you have no access to a dev ped, try to get hold of a clinical psychologist for the battery of tests.


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