Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Cry For Help...

It's not a matter to be laughed at. It's not even funny. I felt really bad but I couldn't do anything to help at all. Two months back, I have a mother calling me endlessly to arrange for his son's class as he will be studying in the remove class instead of going straight to form one. He flunk his Malay Language subject in UPSR, easy as that. The only thing that came into my mind when I was just having a conversation with the parent was that the boy did not handle languages very well as he flunk his English Language, too. I was quite reluctant, not quite but extremely reluctant to accept him, not because I'm choosy but because I do not have any extra breathing time at all, and he wouldn't be able to fit into the form one classes. I would have to scrape my free time together, whatever I have left, to give him the special attention and guidance that he would need. My first class with him, before he even started... I couldn't continue, I just couldn't continue... he's a special child... I'm not special, I can't handle one... not train to handle a special child... and I wish Donk is here in Penang, but he's not... I don't understand his mother. Didn't the mother see the difference in his own child? She cares so much for him that she insisted that I teach him from square one. I relented. I don't even know how to tell the mother that her boy has learning disabilities and he will need extra special attention given by professionals. The mom is worried that he will fall out of the mainstream education seeing that he is not able to cope with the syllabus. I almost get a nervous breakdown when I realized that he has no words in his head at all. I can never help him to improve. I don't even know how to help him write an essay, not to mention that I can't even make him write a proper sentence that befits a secondary school student. I hate parents who give me pressure when the exam is around the corner... hate it to the max~! I dislike parents who always push and shove the children and at the same time breathe down my neck, not knowing that the child is struggling very very hard and I'm trying very hard not to push the child too far until there's no more corners to send the child to. It's not right to treat a child this way but because I'm constantly being pressured by parents, I have no choice but to push the child harder until they almost suffocate. It is better to suffer in my hands than to suffer in their parents verbal and mental torture.

Three days ago, I gave the boy a very simple task. Write a few sentences about a dog in Malay Language. He was able to write down a few sentences but in the process of thinking, he almost yanked his hair out and he was very frustrated. So frustrated that he couldn't spell correctly, couldn't remember any of the words that he had learnt in primary school and couldn't think of anything. The head was empty, void of any vocabularies. Simple words that I have taught him didn't stick at all. After an hour and half of mental torture to him, he made a statement that freeze me in my tracks. I didn't know how to respond to him when he said in a matter of fact way,"I better go and commit suicide." The only thing that I could mutter from my mouth was, "Why?" And he answered in frustration,"I don't know anything. Don't even know a simple word." His mother heard it, standing at the door, saying that he has always been frustrated with himself. Lady, don't you see it? Please help him because I can't help him.


That night itself, I did something very cruel. I washed my hands clean off the boy. I asked hubby to talk to the mother as I refused to speak to her. I didn't have the heart to tell her that she should send her boy to be evaluated by a child specialist or people like Donk Donk who conducts schools for children with learning difficulties. The mother was begging with my hubby to let me teach him but I couldn't, not that I don't want to. I'm sorry. I'm very sorry but after going through a few classes with the boy, I have made up my mind. I don't want a child. I know that if I have a child like him, I will never come to terms with myself and I will be exactly like the mother, pushing the child to excel in studies when he can barely cope with anything at all.


Right now, I have a lot to think about and it's really depressing. I know I sound like a snob but if you were there when you heard the boy loud and clear, that was a cry for help, a cry to be understood, a cry that was brushed under the carpet by his own mother, a cry that would go unheard. Is this how it happens? A teenager commits suicide and the parents deny that the child show any signs of depression or any signals that they need help. I guess some parents practice selective listening. You listen to what pleases you. Again, I'm sorry I couldn't help.

2 comments:

Himani said...

you right abt selective listening. more so i feel the parents are not mature enough to understand the problem or rather don't ant to accept it. Though i think it is really hard to accept such a problem but then the child deserves a treatment. y are people so ignorant despite being educated n why they all want their kids to b scholars?

urs is a truly touchy post, glad you wrote about this on the web.

seahorse27 said...

I just have to write it to release tension... I hope the mother will come to terms with her own boy and seek help for him...