My ADD Girl

by Chiew Lee
(Perth, Australia)

I have 4 children. My eldest is a girl who is 19 this year. The other is a boy turning 17 end of the year and a pair of twin girls age 13.

The eldest girl was diagnosed as ADD when she was primary 3. When she was in preschool, teacher told me she would be more interested in whatever happened in other class and can't seem to concentrate on her work. She was weak in Maths too.

She was passing her subjects in Primary 1 and 2 but started to fail badly from Primary 3 onwards. I sensed learning disability and tried to get help from school. The school couldn't help much except to ask me to check with Child Guidance Unit in hospital. I set up sessions with CGU but there were many changes of the doctor who work with her. It seemed to me they were more interested in prescribing medication only. After a couple of years, I didn't see any improvement and decided to drop out from the sessions.

My daughter finished her primary education in EM3. She managed to complete secondary schooling in normal technical stream. When she was in secondary school, her inattention had improved slightly but she continued to do very badly especially in Maths and Science subjects. I had hired many tutors including some specialized maths tutor but none worked out. I tried to teach her too but I couldn't get to her brain to make her understand the concepts. We did an IQ test once and the result was below average, the score was about 70. It was confirmed she was not dyslexic.

In 2011 I migrated with my two elders to Australia. She enrolled into Year 12 high school. Some of the subjects were too tough for her, in the end we had to drop further level so as she can graduate from high school. She has always loved being with children and wanted to be preschool teacher. So we try to pursue this dream. She successfully completed Cert 3 in TAFE Children Services. She is doing Diploma this year. However, I recently just received feedback from lecturer that she is not coping well. I had also noticed that from one of the resubmitted assignment she did not comprehend clearly the questions and requirement. There has always been language deficiency and lack in numerical skills. She may not able to pass her diploma but I am determined to support her in achieving whatever level she can reach and do what she is passionate in.

My issues are how we can help our children much earlier on. You see, she was diagnosed at P3, but the school, the hospital and the home were not able to embark on a program(s) that can stimulate her and work on her strength. We have focused too much on what she can't do. So she can only see her failures. She is my first child, and we have these problems for the first time. We are always on a learning journey to seek for better solutions. If possible, would like to see the book or chapter exploring learning disability and how to help such kids.

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