So it was determined through a thorough assessment of Ayub that he needed speech therapy. Quick backstory, I noticed his speech was delayed when, at the age of 2 he was still unable to put two words together and his vocabulary consisted of less than 15 words. His go-to words at that time were things like “spider,” “dinodor” (dinosaur) and “pompuder” (computer).
I brought him for a hearing test at Hospital Putrajaya, thinking a hearing problem would explain his funny speech, but his test results showed perfect hearing. So I was referred to a speech therapist. She determined that there was nothing wrong with him and I was overreacting. She was very nice. But in retrospect I would say she was wrong.
He went for assessment again aged 6 because I felt he might be autistic. Again, the child therapists and psychologists at Hospital Putrajaya determined he was not. And instead diagnosed him with dyslexia.
This is not a quick backstory. This is turning out to be the full story. I should really write the full story in full and just link to there in future.
ANYWAAAAAAY… Oasis Place diagnosed him as having mild autism a.k.a. Aspergers and recommended speech therapy.
I found Kidsogenious through a Google search and decided to try them out based on two things:
- Recommendation from Oasis Place
- The fact that they have a branch located directly across the street from where I work
Chapter One: Really Awkward First Impression
We walked in on a Saturday morning to make an appointment for an assessment. The speech therapist who opened the door for us looked stunned. That phrase, a deer caught in headlights, comes to mind.
She scrambled for a bit then came back with a form for us to fill. So we did. The hubby and I. She said our appointment to see the speech therapist for an assessment would be scheduled for the following Saturday at 10am. We said ok. She said someone would call later that week to confirm. We said ok. And that was it.
The place was nice though. It’s on the second floor of a shoplot and has a playground, books, and toys for the kids to entertain themselves with. The walls are decorated with art from the kids and posters about special needs kiddies. Everything is clean and colourful. But their aircons are leaking.
Chapter Two: No Confirmation
So back to work and school as usual. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, still no call. So I gave them a call. They had no idea who I was. They couldn’t locate the form I filled out. They had no record of an appointment for that Saturday at 10am. My son’s name? They keep asking for my son’s name. I give them the name. They reply with another name and ask if this is my son. No, that’s not my son. My son’s name is Ayub. Ayub? Ayub.
No record of Ayub.
No confirmation call because there was no record of Ayub. Or of us being there. Or of the supposedly scheduled appointment.
It’s ok. These things happen. They’re not used to getting walk-ins. I’m not angry. But my face is like -_- But it’s ok. He says he will call back with another appointment because there’s no one working on Saturday at 10am. -_- It’s ok.
He does call back. For an appointment at 11am. So it’s ok. I’m not angry. I tell the hubby. He’s like -_- and I’m like -_- but it’s ok.
Chapter Three: The Assessment… If I Can Call It That?
That’s a bit harsh. It was an assessment, but just a really basic one? Showing Ayub flashcards and asking him what object was on it. But I suppose they have to start somewhere. Some children are non-verbal, others have a very limited vocabulary. Ayub’s delay… well, it’s only after speaking to him for some time that you realize there’s something very odd about the way he expresses himself.
One thing that threw me during the assessment was that she talked about Ayub, and asked about Ayub, and discussed things about Ayub, in front of Ayub.
Now, that just feels rude and inconsiderate right? Is that not belittling to his self-esteem? To have two adults talk about him like he’s not there? And worse, to talk about his weaknesses in such detail?
He may not speak well and his general comprehension of the spoken word may be lower than average, but he’s not stupid. I thought it was kinda… not cool. Distracted him with toys in the room and lowered my voice as I answered that lady.
Another thing that was a little off for me was when she asked Ayub this specific question: “Where be he?”
Where be he?
Where be he?
Where be she?
What the actual fuck?
No, she didn’t ask him that last question, that was me questioning her in my mind. But like, “where be he?” Is that not grammatically incorrect? Shouldn’t it be, “where is he?”
I mean, how do you answer “where be he?” He be in the garden. What the fuck, no? He is in the garden. Right? Right? I know English is really dumb when it comes to grammar but is this a rule I’m not aware of? Is this actual correct English? Where be he.
I will remember that question for the rest of my life.
So the last thing that got to me was after a 30 minute assessment, she said, “Ayub doesn’t need speech therapy.”
Are you fucking kidding me? The kid can’t string words together to make a complete sentence. Yes, he can name the objects on your flashcards but he can’t carry a conversation nor can he explain what’s going on, what went on, how he’s feeling, why he’s feeling that way and so forth.
So. I was disappointed. The assessment cost RM380 (I think?) And the hubby and I were like hmmm…
Are We Looking For A Problem That Doesn’t Exist?
I pushed her to help Ayub with his speech and she said she would take him for a month, that’s four sessions, but that she didn’t think he would need anymore help after that.
So I’m wondering, is Ayub normal? Is he ok? Am I overreacting?
But no, I’m not. I’m really not. I don’t know. I just don’t know!!!
Will update on how his first session went soon.
With all my skepticism of Kidsogenious, you may be wondering why I still wanted to put Ayub in speech therapy there. Well, to be honest, the poor kid has been through a lot this year. Three schools, two government hospitals, regular therapy checkups, private centre assessments right left centre, it’s been a lot. I don’t want to go through another speech assessment at another private centre. It’s too much. So we’re sticking here for now. For now.