Gar’s Toilet Training

I had met up with my children’s teachers last week, and Gar’s teacher said that he should be ready to go without diapers. I was a little doubtful, because he had not told us he needed to pee all the time, but I thought we would give it a try.

We wanted to try earlier, but he complained that the underwear was making him feel itchy. We left it as that. On Saturday, I tried again, and then he said the same thing. I decided the tag was the offending item, and not the seams. I snipped it off. After a short while, he came back to me and said it was still itchy. The remnants of the tag were still there, so I had to remove the whole thing. I hope the pants will not spoil.

tag

This was the same pair of underwear that El refused to wear because it “says ‘Wednesday’, but today is Tuesday”. In a way, I am glad Gar is not able to read yet, so he cannot pull that on me. However, he refused to wear the yellow one because he wanted the blue one instead. Hey, I thought yellow was his favourite colour?

strong wednesday

I told him to let us know if he wanted to pee. Unfortunately, he shouted ‘wet’.

“Do you still need to pee?” I asked.

“No,” he replied.

I wanted to change him, but had to cut out the tag from the next pair.

Ten minutes later, he peed again.

The process repeated a few times. We went through lots of colours within two hours. I had to be careful not to make him feel discouraged at any stage.

It was only in the afternoon he managed to let us know. We also made him use the potty or go to the bathroom every half an hour to an hour. Sometimes he would say no, and sometimes he would say yes.

We were running out of underwear and tried to dry them in the hot sun and then in the air-con.

In the meantime, I was also cleaning my bedroom, and vacuumed lots of dust. The bed was smelly with Gar’s urine, because he somehow managed to wet the bed a few times through diaper leaks at night. I used Febreeze and also use my Raycop anti-dust mite vacuum cleaner. I had tested positive for allergy to one of the three major dust mite types, so this helps a lot in preventing rhinitis.

In the late afternoon, Gar said he was sleepy and he wanted to sleep. I was not sure whether he was tired out by the excitement. After that, we put him back on diapers.

We will try again the next day.

 

Dressing Up and Buying Clothes

I was watching Asia’s Next Top Models last week, and they had a challenge on posing for catalogues. When the models went in, a senior executive from Zalora, gave them some pointers and added some accessories to them. I liked how she changed their looks almost instantaneously, and I was attracted to some of the clothes they have.

In their challenge, they were told to dress up in certain themes, and they had a short few minutes to do so. I quite like some of the styles. Later on, they were given 15 minutes to get their shots taken. Some of them made me really want to buy the clothes. Immediately, I went to the site and saw some nice clothes. The Great Singapore Sale is coming up, and I am sure there would be a lot of sales going on.

Since I usually shop once or twice a year, and usually I will buy anything from 6 to 15 quality but affordable pieces at one go, I have enough clothes to last before I start to repeat them more frequently.  If only I am what this app says about my age, then it would be the time where I could wear almost anything I want.

sarahtan20

My son soon brought me back to earth, with his ego bruising guesses of my age, which he guessed was between 46 to 59!

It is difficult to shop for clothes, because I have a few criteria.The tops or dresses should preferably be sleeveless, or with short sleeves, because the classrooms are extremely hot! The skirt or dresses should reach the knees. It is very hard to find suitable dresses, because they are all so short!

In the past, I would buy clothes that did not require ironing, but after I have my children and had hired helpers, I would buy whatever I liked. Unfortunately, now that I am currently in between helpers, I really wish the clothes do not require any ironing!

I probably should get some accessories to jazz up those clothes (that do not require ironing) I am going to repeat for the time being.

The Danger of Twice Exceptional Students Undiagnosed

There are various streams in schools here in Singapore, each catering to students who progress at different pace. The first stream (Express) allows students to complete their secondary education in four years. The middle stream (Normal (Academic)) allows students to complete their secondary education in five years. The final stream (Normal (Technical)) prepares them for technical education. You might probably think that those who are considered brighter would be found only in the first stream, but sometimes there are anomalies.

twice exceptional students undiagnosed danger2

I had encountered a few students in the middle stream with divergent thinking, and while speaking to them, I realised that they were very bright. They thought deeply about their favourite topics. Some could tell me about hot global issues while others had creative ideas either nihilistic or environmentally friendly.

Perhaps these students did not do well in their primary school education, because of certain subjects. Out of these students, some had various learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, ADHD or autism. However, I am inclined to think that they could be twice exceptional. The level of maturity in their discussions was far beyond many students in the first stream. They found lessons extremely boring, because due to the general weaknesses in the language of their classmates, they were forced to sit through hours and hours of lessons in skills they had mastered long ago.

It is a common misconception that gifted students in Singapore could only be found in top schools, or sieved out by a national screening test at 10 years old for giftedness. While most of them would be found in top schools, there are many more that are languishing in average classes in less challenging streams. They go through life not knowing how intelligent they are, and are only constantly told they are lazy, misbehaving, rude or stupid. If their parents know how intelligent they are, perhaps they could focus on their strengths. Perhaps they are acting up in classes because they are bored stiff. Dyslexia, ADHD/ADD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and many other issues affect how they behave and learn.

Some could be gifted, but never discovered by their parents, and with other learning disorders, they may be branded troublemakers in school. The danger comes when they overstep certain boundaries. One Singaporean sixteen-year-old, Amos Yee (https://amosyee.wordpress.com/), is currently having a brush with the law, after his outspoken rants on video offended many people. Based on his writings (with expletives included), he is definitely gifted as many of his thoughts (though not all) made sense. He had very few friends, because most of his schoolmates, while in a pretty high achieving school, could not reach his intellectual level. He probably has a sensory disorder that made him want to wear pyjamas to court, because they are comfortable. In the end, he compromised and wore a t-shirt and a pair of pants, which was still not formal enough, and resulted in his estranged father resorting to violence to get him do his way.

amosyee

Image taken off a video rant by Amos Yee on Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Perhaps the boy might have Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), which makes him want to argue with adults or people in authority. He had breached his bail terms, by deliberately posting on his blog despite being told not to do so. His parents refused to bail him out. He refused to comply with the terms. What this boy needs is counselling, and not a jail term. Why should he be put in remand, together with thieves and molesters, before his sentencing? He is a minor! Of course, should he continue what he is doing, he is going to get into more serious trouble. Since I am not a psychologist, I cannot diagnose him, but I suppose the court would order a psychological report.

What is ironic is that this twice exceptional teenager had chosen to rant about Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore who had just passed away, who was also twice exceptional. No matter what political views we may have about him about his methods and certain policies, he had definitely transformed Singapore. This gifted man had dyslexia. He was probably one of the few twice exceptional people who found success.

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It is sad that many more undiagnosed twice exceptional children go under the radar. Some of them get diagnosed only for learning disabilities, and receive intervention measures to cope with those. Some do not get diagnosed for anything, because their giftedness had compensated for other learning disabilities, but they suffer from low self-esteem and other issues such as existentialism and never quite fitting in. Parents and teachers should be more aware of these issues and not just think these children are difficult. Should these children ever get into trouble, people should not straight away jump to conclusions and think that they have poor upbringing, or deserve to be jailed or slapped, or even killed, like what some netizens are clamouring for in the Amos Yee case.

This is part of Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page’s blog hop on twice exceptional kids. Click on the image below to read other blogs in May’s blog hop.

2ebloghop

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