Wed, 25 Sep 2002

Pick a preschool that suits your child

Dear Dr. Donya,

I noticed a lump on the back of my 19-month-old's head after he fell off the couch and hit his head on the coffee table. I figured it was just your typical egg that kids get but today it seems larger and softer. Since he has a full head of hair, I have to feel with my hands. He doesn't seem abnormal, but as you can imagine, I am worried. Could the fall have caused this or could it be a coincidence? Should I take him to the ER? I would appreciate any advice.

-- Shawn

Dear Shawn,

I would recommend to take him to see the doctor. You told me the lump is larger and softer, it is possible there is a bleeding spot. If it is just a bruise the lump should not be getting bigger. There are other possible causes, the lump could have even been there before the fall but nobody noticed. See a doctor and have it checked.

-- Dr. Donya

Dear Dr. Donya,

Hi! I hope you still remember me. All your advice has really helped me with my daughter and I hope you can advise me again on some problems I'm facing currently.

My two and a half year old daughter started preschool in July and is adjusting nicely despite the normal initial apprehensions. I've had some complaints from her teacher that she doesn't like to pay attention in class collectively but does so on an individual, on a one-to-one basis.

At home, I've also noticed that she gets distracted by small things when she's sitting with me, doing her colorings or lessons. Strangely enough if I question her on things I taught her, she's able to answer me. I have taken her to a 45-minute play and music classes since she was 18-months old and from that time she has shown very little interest during lessons when she becomes restless unlike the other children. She is very active during play time and really enjoys it.

Now I am aware that children in that age group get distracted quite easily as they are curious about everything they see. But according to her teacher, all kids in her class have a better attention span now compared to when they first joined except for my daughter. Her teacher reports that she does not like to hug her friends, and when the teacher urges her to, so as to break barriers and be more sociable. But she has always done so at home with us.

In class at times, she seems lost in her own world and does not respond when her teacher calls out to her. She responds only after being called two to three times. I would be very grateful if you could help me analyze what the problem could be and advise effective measures to correct it as I'm extremely worried about it.

I've considered the possibility of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). But if it is so, she wouldn't be attentive on an individual basis or be able to respond to the things that I have taught her. For your additional info, she's the only child and we're a small family.

-- Vindhiya

Dear Vindhiya,

Girls at age two and a half years old still have a short attention span and each has an individual character. If your daughter is able to sit with you or stay in a class of 45 minutes you are lucky. With younger children like your daughter, you can start out by doing a very informal type of preschool. You could go on lots of nature walks, looking for bugs, or circles or colors. Toddlers still love doing taste tests, singing songs, reading stories and doing some of the other activities, as long as they are kept simple.

This is the best part of preschooling your own children. If your child seems ready, you can dive right in. If it doesn't work, try again later. And if you do a very informal preschool, you can make it flexible so it fits the personality and interests of your own child. I don't think she has ADHD but if you suspect the best thing to do is take her to see her pediatrician and let the doctor evaluate her.

-- Dr. Donya