Experiences of secondary school for a child with Dyspraxia

(8 Posts)

I already posted this in the sn section, but no replies.

Ds is nearly 10, and in yr 5. I am currently waiting on an appointment with a community paed and will be pushing for a diagnosis of dyspraxia.
He already has a diagnosis of ODD but gets no, help/treatment for this.

I have more or less given up on getting any help from hs primary school. He is on an iep, but basically because he's not naughty at school, they aren't bothered about helping him.

Anyway, my main concerns are now about how he is going to manage at secondary school. He has zero organisational abilities, and is currently only managing 30 minutes of homework a week (with help). His classwork is always lacking in content as he gets too distracted, and can't write quick enough and basically I feel like he will drown, unless he gets a lot of support.

I have already ruled out the secondary school that his sisters go to, as it is way to academic and high pressured, but there is another local one that it a little more laid back.

Presuming I manage to get his dyspraxia diagnosis, what help would he get at a mainstream secondary school ?? Should i consider an SN school ? I know he would need to be statemented for that though.

eatyourveg Wed 14-Nov-12 18:57:58

If the sn dept at the mainstream is clued up enough they might offer a fizzy programme as well as other sort of brain gym stuff and the senco should be able to organise ICT programmes to help with organising ideas in his work/essays (MindGenuis is brill at this) as well as others that help with handling the timetable. It very much depends on the school. Some sencos are brill, others are useless.

You should make sure there is a good transition programme in place and arrange for the senco to see him at his primary and for him to visit the secondary several times. Have a map of the school, pictures of the staff and a timetable before he leaves year 6 (not always possible if its a big school)

If you think he might qualify for a statutory assessment then go for it. I've never heard of a sn school with a dyspraxia/ODD designation so wonder what sort of sn school you would be looking at. However the dyslexic schools often specialise in dyspraxia but a lot of them are private and its a job and a half to get the LEA to fund the place.

As a first step I would approach your OT and Physiotherapist and ask them to draw up a programme that school cam implement and which you cam follow at home.

Thank you very much, that's really helpful.

It seems like such a minefield.

A friend of mine has a relative who works as a TA at the school i'm looking at, so she is going to find out as much as she can for me too.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 15-Nov-12 07:53:50

My DD was dx'd in reception so very early. She transferred to middle school in year 5 and had to get used to moving round the school to lessons very quickly. She got a lot of help at first school - a scribe, sessions with SENCO, OT and physio. But not much at middle school, she'd come off the SN register by then so they pretty much ignored her.

She was offered the chance of using a keyboard but turned it down and finally in year 8 her writing became pretty legible. Things that were an issue were finding her way round, remembering to write down homework, remembering to hand in homework, friendships. We did a lot at home to smooth the way but her overall experience of middle school wasn't great. However she's just started upper school and is like a different child, the dyspraxia hasn't been an issue.

To be honest I don't think even with a dx of dyspraxia you'll have any option other than mainstream and I would think it very unlikely he'd get a statement. I'd go and talk to the SENCO at the schools you're looking at and see what they say. I think unfortunately a lot will fall onto you. I had a fabulous support network who let me know when MUFTI was, what the homework was etc. but these are all things a good school should do I guess.

alreadytaken Thu 15-Nov-12 08:58:49

without a diagnosis you are unlikely to get any help, even with a diagnosis you may get very little. It's possible you might find some useful ideas in books - I haven't read this one but Amanda Kirby is the parent of a dyspraxic child, it may be useful. http://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Ideas-Supporting-Pupils-Dyspraxia/dp/0826494404/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352969463&sr=1-3

Visit the school as often as possible before they start, checking the website for any social events you can go to. Take a camera and photograph at least the outside of buildings. Consider the use of a laptop. As he's distracted easily make sure his teachers actually think about where he sits in classes.

Sorry I don't have a lot of experience with this but this will bump for someone who may know more.

alreadytaken Thu 15-Nov-12 08:59:11
Takver Thu 15-Nov-12 09:37:42

I'd definitely go and talk to your local schools. DD has problems with written work (no specific dx, but now has support in place at primary following sessions with the ed psych), and we've been told by her current yr 6 teacher that they'll pass on info to secondary, she'll get support with transfer, various options like using a laptop in class etc. ALN dept of secondary were also very helpful at the open day & it sounds like they have lots of options for support in class as needed.

A friend's ds who has very severe dyslexia and dyspraxia (I don't know if he has a statement, but I know special school was an option open to them) goes to the same school and she says the support has been fantastic, she feels that he hasn't been held back at all in achieving everything possible and that for secondary has been all about what he can do, where as primary tended to be much more about what he couldn't, IYSWIM. But, it is a school that has a reputation for being good with pupils with SLD, so I don't know how typical that is.

Thanks for all of the replies. I had a feeling that he'd not get a statement tbh and that's fine so long as he still gets help if he needs it.

His current school are rubbish. At his last iep meeting, they were discussing taking him off it, even though he'd not met his previous targets and quite clearly still has a lot of problems.

The secondary school I am looking at does have a good reputation for supporting pupils with a range of conditions, so I think i'm on the right track with that. There is another school who apparently have a fab senco, but the school it'self is quite rough and i think ds might get eaten alive.

If most of it falls to me then so be it. That is how it's worked up until now anyway.

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