Some information from my own experience if you think you have a child with some difficulties
Hi all, In my own experience, if a child is delayed in his developments, he has a delayed mental development. First of all don’t panic! It doesn’t mean your child will not perform normally in life! My first daughter, now 20 was quite delayed as a young child but came on to have 440 points in leaving cert and is now going into second year in art college. The best thing to do right now is to remember, if the child has a delayed mental development, he’s just starting off his life slower than others, so he needs more time to master his early skills others take for granted. His brain is not going to take things in any quicker than his brain will allow. So take all the pressure off and help him learn at his own pace.Don’t rush him into play school nor big school. I started my second daughter in school at age 6 and although she is 11 in 4th class, she would be even better in 2nd class if you know what I mean? But she’s coming along grand.Your child may well be diagnosed with Dyspraxia or and other learning difficulties like both my girls, but still don’t panic. When they are very young it’s very hard to give a proper diagnosis, so you’re better off waiting till they are 5. It won’t be too late for him to come on in life and it won’t be too late for all the help and intervention he might or might not need. I went to Louise Mc Donagh in Dunboyne health centre who at first diagnosed Yasmin with no comprehension of tasks or commands at age 5. That meant that Yasmin didn’t know what was going on around her. So there was no point sending her into the class room, she would have been totally anxious.Most people think that if they force them into early learning that it will work. On the contrary, forcing a child to perform when they are not able to only causes low self esteem in life which may lead to mild or moderate depression. Louise sent me down the road of various assessments until Yasmin was properly diagnosed and had all the help she needed. I had to pay privately for nearly everything and extra support and unfortunately this is the way to go in this country for your childs help. It’s the difference between your child coming on in life and education or struggling with few resources from the HSE system who will pawn you off and not give you a proper diagnosis because then they will have to give your child the proper help you need. What can you do in the do in these first 5 years? Lots. Nutrition is very important for a child with delayed mental development. Reduce sugary cereals, and bad fats and salts. Old fashioned proper dinners are best. Give him omega 3,6,9 vitamins from the health shop. It makes a great difference to the growing brain. And if your child is throwing extreme tantrums from frustrations and confusion, reassure him and cuddle him but if it’s hitting and bold behaviours, start the time out and consequences, this will help a lot. I didn’t know how to cope with Yasmin’s hitting and screaming when she was 3 and 4 and I rang the add helpline, who told me to stop allowing the bad behaviour. To be calm but firm and never take my temper out on the child (which of course I did a couple of times, it just scares them more). Kids with Dyspraxia tend to want to eat all the time but keep in that case, offer them lots of fruit in-between meal times and not crisps of any kind, (bad fats) One more thing, get a trampolene, keep him jumping, very good, also swimming, very good and pony lessons, very good, because these children tend to be more hyper, give them lots of out door activities and less time on electronic devises, especially before bedtime. And a proper night’s sleep. Get him to bed at 7pm in the evening and even if he wakes up at 6, just go with it. they need their sleep and the parents need their rest! xxx jean
PS This is where you need to start saving for your child’s early education. Assessments cost a lot of money!
Ps, start saving now for assessments, they are mostly 500 euros a pop. But worth it. But wait till he’s 5!