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Why Parents Bring Their Children
Parents/guardians sometimes do not know where to turn for help if their child has a problem. Frequently they have been to many other specialists with their child. On occasions parents have been to the doctor and are relieved to hear that nothing has shown up on any of the tests. On the other hand they wished that something minor had shown up to explain why their child is bumping into the furniture or perhaps spilling the milk over himself at breakfast rather than pouring it onto the breakfast cereal.

Many parents/guardians are at the end of their tether by the time they get around to making an appointment and coming to the clinic, for treatment.

Stories from parents/guardians are as varied as the children presenting for treatment. The following are a few samples. The names have been changed to protect the identities of the children.

John - age 9.
John’s mother describes him as being ‘scattered’ even though he is considered by his teacher to be very bright. He did not walk as soon as his older brother and was late with all his developmental milestones. His handwriting is very poor and his drawing is immature for his age. He still forgets to flush the toilet despite frequent reminders. He dislikes washing his hair, as he does not like the feeling of the water flowing over his head. He does not like having his finger or toenails trimmed. He does not enjoy school swimming classes, and has stayed at the same level for the past two years. He still uses stabilisers when cycling. He likes to read facts and is not interested in reading stories. His general knowledge is very good especially when it relates to the Solar System or the different species of sharks. He does not have any one friend in particular and is frequently not invited to children’s parties. He dislikes playing sport. He prefers to play his computer games and is now designing web sites.

Kate - age 10.
Reading is Kate’s worst problem. She skips over words and sometimes loses her place on the page. She can write beautifully when she really tries but it can be messy if she has a lot to do. She has an awkward pencil grip and sometimes her hand can get very tired. She sometimes reverses her letters, especially the ‘b’ and ‘d’, and also some numbers. She gets sick when travelling in a car and therefore does not like to travel very far. She cannot use an analogue clock to tell the time and is not yet sure which is her right or left side. Sometimes her teacher thinks she is being lazy but her parents feel that she is trying her best. She gets frustrated when she cannot do her work as quickly as her friends. This is obvious when she has to copy down some work from the blackboard.

Brian - age 8
Brian’s dad played football for his local club and cannot understand why Brian has difficulty even catching the ball. Brian tends to turn away when the ball is coming towards him and cannot decide which foot to use to kick it. If his friends are left to pick the teams for the playground game Brian is often last to be picked and may end up playing in goals or left on the substitutes’ benches. He is beginning to lose interest and his self-esteem is affected. His mother spends a long time every night helping Brian with his small amount of homework. He will find any excuse to leave the table rather than sticking to his task and finishing it. His concentration is poor and according to his class teacher he daydreams in school. He does not like reading and is behind his peers in everything except math. He still wets the bed on occasions but his mother does not make an issue of this. Brian does not want to go on a sleepover with his friend in case of ‘an accident’.

Susan - age 15
Susan is an intelligent girl but has difficulty following a sequence of instructions. She has a fear of heights and suffers from panic attacks at school exams. She also suffers with migraine headaches and is on medication for this. Maths is her worst school subject as she has great difficulty understanding the concepts. She works hard and gets tired very easily during school time. She is doing her first state examination this summer and already she is working herself into a state of heightened anxiety. Her parents are concerned about her labile emotions.

Seán - aged 6
Seán is in the senior infants class. His teacher cannot understand why he will not play with the other children in school. He will go straight to the swing in the playground and will stay there swinging back and forth as long as he is allowed. Teacher feels that Seán should play with the other children for his social development but he gets upset when she asks him to come off the swing and give someone else a turn. He has difficulty sitting still in class and is inclined to kneel up on the chair or else lie on the desk when writing. Sometimes he will come up beside her and will unconsciously rub her blouse or even stroke her hair while asking her a question.
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