Children

What is wrong with my child?

My daughter hasn't started speaking yet; is she autistic?

How can I help build my daughter's self esteem?

Why is my child becoming a fussy eater?

How should I handle a child with low IQ?

My son urinates in the bedroom or closet, what should I do?

How can I make my son sleep in a separate room?

Why does my son keep questioning about private parts?

Why doesn't my daughter mingle with her classmates?

Why does my son get very excited when guests are over?

Why does my child not share with others?

Speech disorder

Stammering

Emotions depression

Why is my granddaughter not responding to us?


Shy and reserved

Language problem

Should I force my child to use his right hand?

Why has my son lost his concentration in studies?

Does my nephew have autism?

Is my adopted daughter autistic?

Will sitting in W position affect the child's hip joints?

 

What is wrong with my child?

Q. My 3.5 years old son (only child) is very sensitive to noises. Most noise is not a problem but if another child screams (with joy) or a baby cries, he will become very upset and start screaming and crying himself. Often it takes a long while to calm him down and now he plugs up his ears with his fingers and continues crying. I have tried to get him to talk about what is happening and recently have been trying to get him to understand that he needs to handle these situations but I am at a loss on what to do. He goes to a daycare twice a week and is doing fine. The beginning, however, was not easy. He acts better away from me sometimes. He has a liking for routine and likes to understand how everything works in advance. He is very verbal and smart. I worry that something might be wrong with him. Do I need to get him evaluated or should I just have more patience and help him through these situations?


A. Your child does seem to have some mild signs of Autism. This can be treated, but the treatment requires some special knowledge. If you tell me the name of the city you live in, I can try and locate someone to whom you can go for help. So do write again if you need to. When your son is disturbed by another baby's crying, shift him out to a quieter room. Some children find a certain kind of sound physically painful. There are methods for sensory integration, but you will need to find a Specialist who can guide you. The neighbourhood doctor will not have the knowledge or tools for a detailed evaluation. So finding the right person is important.
Patience, affection and firmness will always help of course. He is too young to understand explanations. But since he likes his daycare you are at an advantage. Keep his routines, just as he likes them. It is best that noise levels in the home are low. Have no TV or at least minimize its viewing in the home.

 

 


My daughter hasn't started speaking yet; is she autistic?

Q. My daughter is 2 years and 4 months old. She has not started speaking yet. We have been confused by speech therapists and doctors about autism, ADHD and speech problem, etc. She is a happy child and generally likes to play around. She does make a lot of noise and says a lot of words like dadi, mama, etc. If I try to snatch away things from her or scold her she starts yelling. She flaps her hands when she is happy. She is not very attentive and we are not able to teach her new things. It seems she is not able to understand things and she sometimes phases out also like she is thinking of something. Yet she is able to do a lot of things like, she tries to pull me to the door to take her to the park, she shakes hands and hugs me. She does not respond to her name often but sometimes she does look back. She maintains eye contact with strangers. If I play with her she giggles. She is fond of playing with water. She cries when we remove her from there. She eats well. She tries to eat with her hands. She obeys commands like bring your shoes etc. While dressing her up she raises her hand to pull out her frock and even puts her legs in the shorts properly. She plays with all kind of toys. She might not be very interested but if we try she puts blocks, shapes etc. and I feel she is good at her age. One of the speech therapists told us to go for some lovaas technique for improving her understanding. We are extremely confused. Should we go for further evaluation of our child? We want to know whether she is autistic or not? If she is not, then how to help her and if she is then what is the cure? Are there any specialists in Delhi whom we can contact for evaluation and helping her?


A. Your daughter seems a happy, lovable and bright child. Where did you get the idea that she is autistic? She is definitely not autistic. It seems to be a word that people are pulling out of the net and using it to label a child who varies even a little, from their perception of the normal.
From your account of her, it seems that only her speech is a little bit delayed. She hears well and understands everything, is affectionate, likes her food and her baths! What could be better?
I am not clear what you are trying to teach her. She is only 2 years old. Please do not treat her like a six year old. A child of two learns through play. There is no need to have her play only with blocks and identify shapes and so on. Time enough for all that. Children of this age will play happily with a spoon and a katori or even with cardboard cartons, putting things in and taking them out, or rolling a ball on the floor.
Since you seem worried about the childs speech, let me say that children vary a great deal in when they will start speaking. If they hear more than one language at home, they are likely to take a little longer to sort out the sounds and to speak. I have collected many case studies of delayed speech. One is of a boy who started to speak at age three, and now six months later, he chatters away. Another is of a boy who did not speak till he was four and then spoke all the three languages that he heard at home. Now, 25 years later, I hear that he is a brilliant scientist.
Some of the activities that can be done by parents and other relatives at home: reading out stories, having her look at picture books in which she can identify animals and birds and everyday objects, singing songs to her and with her, playing a cassette of children's songs etc. You could make her ask for another biscuit or banana, instead of anticipating every need, but please don't starve her if she doesn't! Even playing hide and seek in one room, with the parent hiding in an obviously easy place, can be quite enjoyable for the child and she is likely to exclaim with joy when she finds you.
I really do not think that you need to see any more specialists. Let your daughter's speech develop gradually. Give yourselves a 6-month holiday from doctors. If at the end of that period, she has still not started to talk, I will refer you to a Childrens Clinic in
Delhi. Meanwhile, enjoy your parenting experiences!


How can I help build my daughter's self esteem?

Q. My daughter is 14 years old. I am a single parent, her father died when she was a month old. She is a brilliant and beautiful girl. She is very good in studies, awesome in singing and graceful in dancing. Offlate she is losing confidence in herself. She often says that she is a boring communicator, she cannot make friends, which is true because some girls in her class avoid her. Talking about this to the school counsellor is useless because they don't keep the matters within themselves and make the issue bigger by spreading it. As a parent, I am letting her grow as she is. I give her the independence to take her own decisions. It hurts, when I come to know that she is being avoided. I tell her to be good no matter what, but this doesn't really help. I often arrange get together for her classmates. I am a working parent and have my own ups and downs sometimes. But I feel that she is in a tender age. She needs to build confidence in herself. Her weaknesses are that she can't accept failure and likes to be a winner all the time. She likes to be appreciated and can't accept criticism. She doesn't have a best friend. I guess she is longing for a reliable best friend.

A. Your daughter is going through typical adolescent problems in peer interaction, and this is causing her to lose self-esteem. It is clear that she is superior in looks, studies and extra-curricular activities. This can lead to feelings of jealousy in peers, and it could be one of the reasons for their reactions.
Your daughter should try to ensure that she communicates with them without any airs, does not show off, and accepts any drawbacks or criticisms gracefully. She should try to talk to some of them openly in an objective manner, expressing a desire to be part of the group, asking for reasons for their reluctance in accepting her, and then try to work upon those areas.
At this age, kids may move in a group and not have one best friend. They often have to change sections due to selection of subjects and she may soon be able to be part of a group.
It is possible that you may be over-concerned as a single parent. It is also possible that she may be over-sensitive being an only child of a single parent. Try to be relaxed yourself and encourage her to be more accepting of herself and others.

 

Why is my child becoming a fussy eater?


Q. My daughter is 4 years and 4 months old. Although she is not a fussy eater at home and used to finish her tiffin at school till last week, from this week, she brings back her tiffin without eating. Also, at home she wants to hear stories from her father every time (with breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinking milk or going to sleep). She says if no story, then no milk or food. What should I do?

A. Mealtimes often become a battle-ground and parents try their best to make the child eat, not realising that more the fuss made, more the chances of the child getting into the habit of manipulating them. The best way to deal with this situation is to be firm, make a variety of foods available, and simply allow the child to eat herself. Let her eat at the table with you, and do not make a fuss.
She has to be told in clear terms that you love her and want her to eat herself, but you cannot tell a story each meal-time. A story will be told only when daddy has time. Meanwhile reward her for good eating habits but not through stories and not every time.

How should I handle a child with low IQ?

Q. My son is 8 years old and is categorised as a slow learner. He is smart looking, healthy, active, mischievous, likes to mix with people and wants to take the lead in various activities even though he doesn't know them. He has a lazy eye and the other one has a power of -9. He wears spectacles. He is epileptic and on treatment, but hasn't had an attack in the last two years. He has a very good memory but poor comprehension. His handwriting is bad and cannot read properly. His grip is not good while writing. He can think and gives proper reasoning. He adjusts well in the given circumstances. Currently he is studying in vernacular medium, but I am worried about his future, as he is not coping with his classmates. His IQ test score is 70. What should be his line of treatment?

A. Even though your sons IQ has been formally assessed at 70 which is below average against standard norms, it is important to remember that each child has unique strengths and weaknesses. As a parent, you should try to encourage the strengths and not focus only on the weaknesses. Try to praise him for his superior memory, reasoning skills and leadership skills.
Depending on where you live, try to find a special educator who can help by giving him special attention in reading and writing, so that he is able to cope with regular school work.
You will need to keep up with the medication for epilepsy, and get corrective measures and exercise for his eye problem.

My son urinates in the bedroom or closet, what should I do?

Q. My 5-year-old son has many times got up at night and urinated either in the bedroom, closet or hallway. Is this common or unusual? Several family members think this is rather odd. Do I have to worry about this?


A. Children are usually completely toilet-trained by the age of 5 years. But there are individual differences. Try to identify the reason for this behaviour, as it could be due to a variety of reasons.

Is the problem happening because he is not able to reach the toilet on time? As parents are you ensuring that he relives himself before going to bed? Is he trying to show some kind of rebellion through this behaviour? Is there any insecurity in his mind? Is he subjected to severe scolding or criticism regarding toilet habits or any other matter? Is there any change in the household, such as a new sibling?If you are able to identify any such psychological reason, you can then take steps to rectify the situation.

The best way to deal with this problem is to get him checked by a paediatrician to rule out any medical problem. In any case, be patient and do not criticize or belittle him. Explain to him that it is not desirable and needs to be stopped. Encourage him and praise him when the episode does not happen. Show him that he is loved unconditionally even though this problem needs to be rectified.

How can I make my son sleep in a separate room?

Q. My 13-year-old son is a student of class 8th. He is not ready to sleep in a separate room. Even in the same room, he is not ready to sleep with any one other than his mother. If we force him, he starts weeping. He is very introvert and has several fears like he cannot see blood, serials etc. He is afraid of insects as well. What should we do?

A. It is certainly not desirable for a 13 year old to insist on sleeping with his mother. You must try to identify reasons for his fears and anxieties. Instead of scolding or criticizing him, try to make him take small steps towards independence. Reward even his small efforts towards confidence. It would be advisable to consult a psychologist or counsellor to assess the extent of his problems and suggest interventions.

Why does my son keep questioning about private parts?

Q. My son is 5 years old. He doesn't feel shy in roaming without his briefs at home. I have tried telling him several times that it doesn't look nice & is not right. But nothing makes any difference to him. He still takes my help in wearing his clothes. One day he asked me pointing towards my breast that are you a fat lady & I said no, as I am average in weight & height. He then asked me that why do you and dadi have this? Why do papa and dadu don't have it? I replied that boys & girls are different. What should be my reply to him?


A. Children do not feel shame regarding physical features, and they are naturally as curious about private parts of the body as any other object. With socialisation, they acquire socially and culturally accepted norms of behaving. Their questions provide a good opportunity of telling them basic facts of life in a language, which they can understand.

Instead of feeling embarrassed about your child's questioning and instilling a sense of shame or guilt about his private parts, you can show him pictures and tell him how some males and females are different physically. You can also tell him gently that some parts of the body have to be kept covered. You can also gradually teach the child about desirable and undesirable touch. If you give reasonable answers now, your child will start trusting you and definitely turn to you in future for resolving further queries regarding sex and other issues.

Why doesn't my daughter mingle with her classmates?

Q. My daughter is 4 years and 8 months old. She is being promoted to UKG. She has been performing well in LKG, but her teacher complains that she does not mingle with her classmates. She is very quiet in the class. According to her teacher, she is very responsive to all the questions. What should be done to make her mingle with her classmates?

A. Many children are shy in the beginning but open up gradually. Since your daughter is responsive in class, there should be no cause for worry. If your daughter is an only child at home surrounded by adults, she may not be used to interacting or sharing with peers. Try talking to her to find out what keeps her from talking to her classmates. You can also try inviting some of her classmates to your home, maybe for her birthday party. That may break the ice. Above all, do not label her in any way, and do not force her to change. Any change must come gradually.

Why does my son get very excited when guests are over?

Q. My son is nearly 3 and a half years old. He cries a lot during evening and speaks a lot at nights. He always wants to watch pogo channel and it is impossible for us to watch another channel. I have also noticed that, in the absence of his father, he never asks for him at all. Is this normal? When I beat him sometimes, he says that he'll complain to his father. He started speaking very late and can speak 2 languages now. He hates studying, but otherwise he is a very affectionate and normal. Do children normally get excited when a guest comes home? He loves playing with other children of his age. He has a wheezing problem and refuses to take ice cream or chocolate and says that says that mummy I will get a cold. Is this quite normal?

A. Children are sensitive to family interactions. Is the father absent for long periods? Has there been bonding between father and son? Are there arguments or conflicts between you and your husband, especially in the evenings, which make him feel insecure? Speaking a lot at night could be due to anxiety dreams.

It is normal to be excited when guests come. Guests may be a signal for him that he will not be forced or scolded so he may be relieved and happy! It is also normal not to want to study. He seems to be an intelligent child who is careful about what he eats so that he doesn't fall ill.

From details provided by you, it seems that you are rather pushy and force him to do things. Perhaps you were critical of him when he spoke late. Beating him or forcing him to study or watch a certain channel will only lead to resentment in him. Instead it would be better to praise him for his positive efforts and provide a calm, loving and secure environment at home.

Why does my child not share with others?

Q. My son is going to turn three in 2 months. His problem is that he always cries. Whatever he wants he expresses it in tears. He won't give his things to his own uncle's sons and daughters. Both of us are quite irritated on this. I am sometimes harsh on him. So please help me out on how to tackle this situation?


A. Your son is too young to understand the concept of sharing easily .Getting irritated with him would not be of any help. The best option is to explain to him the benefits of sharing through stories, and praise him whenever he makes an effort to share.

Speech disorder

Q. My daughter is 9 years old and studying in third standard in Mumbai. Her speech has yet not developed fully and she talks in small sentances. Since language is not fully developed she cannot express herself fully and that is creating a complex in her. Now she does not want to play with the children of her age. She is reasonably good in writing and reading. She has been assessed average in her IQ and has been suggested occupational therapy. Please suggest.

A. Since your daughter is assessed as having an average IQ, and is able to read and write, it is clear that the problem is only in verbal fluency. I hope you have got medical check-ups done to rule out any structural defects. Speech therapy is definately required by a qualified therapist.
As a parent you should ensure certain points -

1. You and other family members must provide good examples by speaking correctly.
2. Encourage her to speak through praise and other rewards - do not do what she wants unless she speaks it out correctly and then don't forget to praise her.
3. Avoid criticizing her speech, or interupting her repeatedly or making fun of her.
4. Take further psychological help if the problem persists despite these measures.

Stammering

Q. I have a stammering problem since I was five year old. Is it possible to reduce my stammer? If yes, then how?

A. Your problem is definitely related to stress and nervousness.

1. Learn stress management techniques such as Yoga, Pranayam and Deep Breathing.
2. Try to organize your time schedules well in advance to avoid feeling hurried.
3. Practice speaking slowly - read aloud in front of a mirror, or use a tape-recorder or take the help of a friend.
4. Consult a speech therapist if the problem persists.

Emotions depression

Q. I am great at my job and keep a rough attitude when leading a team and at the same time I am soft and emphatetic. However, whenever there is a situation where I am condemned by jealous collegues or just say anything bad, I feel sad (at office they are not aware I act brave) but at home I am very depressed and worry about almost everything at home. This is breaking up my marriage. Please help.

A. You are carrying over emotions from your workplace to your home. Since you realize the negative impact of this on your married life, you can try to ease this impact.
First of all, learn to be yourself instead of trying to live up to a false image. These days it is acceptable to be soft and humane instead of a cruel, objective, ruthless worker. You say yourself that you act brave. This acting obviously puts a strain on you, which gets displaced into your home life. You may be surprised to find yourself not just a more popular colleague but also a happier and more productive worker.
Secondly, learn assertiveness, which means expressing yourself without being aggressive or rude.

Thirdly, learn stress management techniques such as deep breathing, yoga and meditation. Bring some humour and recreation into your life. Lastly, share your concerns with your spouse. Ask for help and use it as an opportunity to come closer to each other.

 

Why is my granddaughter not responding to us?

Q. My 38 months old granddaughter chews food and then spits it out - just lets it fall out of her mouth onto the table. She spits out any kind of food when she appears to be full. She has been diagnosed with delayed speech and goes to a disabled daycare run by the local school district. She is bright and knows more than many other four year olds, but does not communicate what she knows. I hear her talking to herself and naming shapes, colours, objects in books. I hear her talking to her dolls and having them interact, but she will not look us in the eyes, or answer questions except those that begin with what is, where is, etc. She always chooses the last item when you give her a choice. Other than the day school, she has no opportunities to interact with children or other people because her father is the day care provider and rarely takes her anywhere. My daughter-in-law is a loving person, but she is the sole provider (that was their choice) and works many hours and is frustrated. I have spoken to my son many at times, but he gets irritated. He says she will grow out of her problems. She is not even toilet trained. I cannot interfere for all the reasons familiar to you, but I am going to have her for a week at the end of the month and at least I can work on toilet training and her food habits. My questions to you are why does she chew and then spit out food, and what can we do to help change this behaviour?


A. From your description of your granddaughter, it seems that she might be an autistic child. Perhaps you could find out about autism from many websites, including www.doctorndtv.com As a first step, you could avoid the kind of foods that she spits out. There are good nutritional substitutes for them. Also do not overfeed her. When she says she has had enough, stop feeding her.
If you can locate an expert in handling autistic children, you could get specific advice on handling the problems.

Make a simple tool out of cardboard, with little squares of different textures and colours stuck on them. Let her indicate that she needs to use the toilet by pressing the specific square. For other things like hunger and thirst, specific squares should work. While teaching her and working with her, do not force her to look at you while talking to her. She may be more comfortable picking up the messages by merely glancing in your direction. All the best.

 

Shy and reserved

Q. My only daughter who is 6 years old is very shy and reserved type.She doesnt mix up with other children though she loves to play with them.But at home her nature is very opposite.Thinking that after some time she will adjust we never forced her also.She is free with our relatives kids.She is very good at her studies and other activities.If other children bullies her she will not react .Her this nature worries us a lot.Please help us.

A. Many children are very shy outside home.Try to find out from her teachers if she is unusually shy or if it is only your perception.If there is a real problem,telling her directly will not help.Instead,try to -*help her gain confidence at home by letting her take decisions and involving her in conversations*talking about school and classmates to her in order to find out what the root of the problem is*helping her understand how to be assertive and not be taken advantage of through your own example and also by role playing*not labelling her as shy and not belittling her or mocking her about it.The more you speak about it ,the more the problem may increase.Children often outgrow this shyness with time,through small successes,and by gradually making friends.Remember that some shyness is not really undesirable.

 

Language problem

Q. Hi, I am having a child who is 4 years old he is in junior KG. Recently the teacher complained that he does not talk in English nor does he understand it. In our house we talk in Hindi and English both. Since then we are trying to talk more in English as much as possible but at the same time I would like to know that are there any such classes or activity clubs where they teach English and how to behave, basically where they teach children to talk in English and also to learn manners so that he can be a better person in society. Please help.


A. However, you must understand that every child is different and so is their capacity and inclination to learn a new language.
What you must keep in mind at this juncture is not to pressurise your child into learning English so much that he starts to resent it and thus purposely chooses not to learn it. School is the best environment for a child to learn a foreign language and he will gradually pick it up when he sees children around him doing the same. In addition, at this age, your child is also learning many other skills that he will need to function in the society and thus language learning might have taken a back seat for now. Give your child time and encourage him whenever he tries to speak in English, even if it is grammatically wrong. Gently, correct him but do not scold or pester him to learn everything at the same time.
It would not be prudent to enrol your child in any personality building or manner teaching classes at this time since he is too young for that. A nurturing home and school environment is enough for him to be able to function well. In fact, teaching manners is usually the prerogative of the immediate family since the child learns whatever he sees around him. Be sure to act courteous and behave in a manner that you would want your son to behave. Remember, being proficient in English alone does not make your child a well adjusted individual within the society. Give the child time to grow and be patient and encouraging in the meanwhile.
In case the child has a problem with language in general, a speech therapist or a child psychologist may be consulted.

Should I force my child to use his right hand?

Q. My son is 6 years old in class II. He is left-handed and uses his right hand only when he eats. He is a slow child but he listens to what is taught in the class. The problem is with his handwriting which is very bad. Moreover, sometimes he reverses the words. This worries me a lot. My husband and some of the teachers in class force him to use his right hand. And I was blamed that I made him to use his left hand. Is it because of this problem that my child is not able to write the words properly? Please help me. I find it difficult to take a child of 6 years to the child consultant.

A. Ensure that your child is not forced to work with any hand. Let him have the freedom to choose. Handedness depends on brain functioning and forcing would simply frustrate the child. If his handwriting problems continue, you should consult a child psychologist to rule out any learning disability

Why has my son lost his concentration in studies?

Q. My 4 and a half years old son is studying in lower primary. He has completed his pre-primary and first term of lower KG in Tamil Nadu. There the school was very strict and he was considered an outstanding student. Then we got transferred to our native state, where he joined a reputed school, which is not very strict in the primary levels. For the first few weeks he was a very good student. He became very active as compared to his earlier school. Now his teacher complains that he is not at all attentive in the class and keeps talking and playing all the time. This causes disturbance to other students also. His teacher says that he is a very talented boy with a very good grasping power. But nowadays he is very playful and not at all concentrating to what his teacher says. How can I handle this problem?


A. Your child is obviously not finding class work challenging enough and is therefore getting distracted. This can be a serious problem for not only the teachers and parents but also for the child himself. This happens in cases of children who are more intelligent than their peer group kids.
You should try to keep in constant touch with his teacher. She needs to make special efforts at making him interested. She may need to be firm in discipline too. If possible you may consider shifting his section to get him into one where kids are of his mental level. A shift of school may also be considered.
In the meanwhile, try to talk to him and find out what exactly is the problem. He is an intelligent child and may give you clues on whether he finds studies very easy or whether the teacher does not give enough attention. You could even reason with him. Make him understand the value of serious studying and of discipline in class.

Does my nephew have autism?

Q. Does my nephew have autism? He is in first grade and is 6 years old. He is an only child. He seems to have obsessive behaviours like if a child touches one of his toys or he is asked to share his toys, he will stand right next to that toy until he gets the chance to snatch it back. While he is waiting he also looks very nervous and groans and sometimes flaps his hands. He speaks well and understands well, he is in a special help class because he does have a hard time understanding his schoolwork. He has only one friend. He takes his special toys everywhere he goes and is very obsessed with snowmen. He has a blow up one for his front lawn and blows it up to watch it go back down.

A. Your nephew does seem to be autistic. However having the label alone is not enough. There are several kinds of behaviours classified under the label of autism. Each child must have his own routines and treatment.
As long as the child's preferences do not harm him or anyone else, there is no reason to force him to discontinue an activity. Your letter ended abruptly or the last part of it has been lost in transmission. I am not very clear what your question is. The family will have to use the child's strengths and interests for further progress, rather than worry about his being different from other children. All the best.

Is my adopted daughter autistic?

Q. My daughter is 1 year and 8 months old. She is an adopted child. She hasn't started speaking as yet. She says "amma" and "appa". We adopted her when she was 7 months old. The problem is that we speak Tamil at home. Our neighbours speak Telugu & Hindi. She was hearing Marathi when we adopted her. She is a happy child and likes to play around. But, she is not very attentive and we are not able to teach her new things. Now, she is able to understand Tamil very well. We are worried that she is not repeating what we say. The doctor says her vocabulary is very low. We do not find any problem in her hearing. Should we go for further evaluation of our child? Is she autistic?

A. Your daughter may seem to be a little slow in language development, but then all kids are different. Children who speak later than usual, sometimes pick up very fast during the latter half of the second year. If she is a happy child, why do you suspect autism? Parents tend to be hyper-sensitive sometimes, especially if the baby is adopted. In case you find problems continuing e.g. in attention, or in language development, it would be advisable to consult a child or clinical psychologist at any major hospital in your city.

Will sitting in W position affect the child's hip joints?

Q. Does sitting in W position for children bad for their hip joints? My child has been diagnosed with autism. He is able to run and climb like normal children. He tends to sit in W position while on the floor and I need to remind him not to do so. Please advise.

A. Children who sit in W position have inward rotation of the thigh bone (femoral anteversion) which in turn promotes inward rotation of the hips joints. This is not good for the normal hip development. It should therefore be discouraged and the child be encouraged to sit cross legged. If the child has an abnormal gait or cannot sit cross legged, he/she should be examined by a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon.