Parents evening for dyspraxic son

(10 Posts)
scragga1000 Thu 17-Oct-13 22:27:34

Sorry about how this sound but I have come back from parents evening with the year 3 teacher tonight and am feeling very down and afraid for the future. I have always known my son struggles and after lots of assessments this year he was diagnosed with dyspraxia and probable specific learning difficulties what ever that means. I suspect he is also on autistic spectrum mildly as has some sensory issues. In year 2 sats he did ok apart from writing but tonight I have been told his baseline asst for year 3 is lower. He has been given the same poor score 1b in writing but now 2b not 2a in reading and 2c not 2b in maths. The teacher said he will not get to expected minimum level by end of year of 2a/3c. This follows a review with senior and teacher three weeks ago at our request due to groups he had been put in that seemed a lot lower than last year at which I was told no reason could not get to 4b by end of key stage 2. I just feel completely confused?The teacher seemed most bothered about giving him something to chew with as he is always chewing pencils and not so interested in the fact he can't stay sitting for long. He seems unable to produce any work on his own that you can read. It's always hard to look at his books as I can't read a thing. I asked for him to use a computer this year and we at least now get spaces in the words but I now realise how bad his spelling and sentence construction is. Though still getting maybe two sentences. I am really worried for his future I feel people see him as a disabled child now Lacking intelligence Rather than the average child I saw him as. I don't want to see him like that. Not because I can't embrace different abilities but because working with adults with learning disabilities has made me realise how hard life is and how peoples aspirations just get quashed. I don't want that for him. I just don't know what I should focus on to help is it writing, computer, maths, his Ot exercises, homework, spellings, out of school stuff, friends. I just can't do it all. I know to there are issues with his visual tracking. I just feel so helpless and as though I am failing him.

merrymouse Thu 17-Oct-13 22:34:41

What is his work like away from writing? When children find writing significantly difficult I think you have to treat the act of writing and the act of learning and communicating what has been learnt separately. Writing is so difficult when you have to think about forming every single letter. As a comparison, try mirror writing in your non dominant hand while having a conversation about something unrelated.

scragga1000 Thu 17-Oct-13 22:43:30

Good point ! He is better when he is asked something verbally if he is chatting about history or the world or stuff is very enthusiastic and remembers things. He gets very confused at numbers sometimes even verbally though and sentence construction is a bit hit and miss even if I write it for him. I just feel as though I am now being told he is not average ( which if he isn't fine ) but am not sure if that is because intellectually he can't do it or if the process of getting stuff out is the problem. I have always thought school were good at this but this year it suddenly feels different.

merrymouse Thu 17-Oct-13 22:56:06

Don't have much practical advice - DS has some similar problems and it is tough, particularly that overwhelming feeling that you should be doing everything. Many people home ed their children with this kind of problem (dyslexia/dyscalcula/dysgraphia/dyspraxia) so that they can go at their child's idiosyncratic pace. However, that doesn't suit everyone.

Some things that I have picked up from the home ed world are:

Copy work - improves sentence style without composition.
Memory work - eg poetry memorisation
Taking dictation from your child - dont correct just record their words.

scragga1000 Thu 17-Oct-13 23:07:29

Thanks for tips and replying it feels very isolating sometimes wondering what to do for the best and now wondering am I just not seeing what school see. I just don't believe he can't achieve things. I can see why people home ed. At the moment I think he would kill me if he did not see his friends at school. As the one despite his quirks he has managed is being fairly popular. He is much more sociable than me ! Bt as he gets older maybe we will have to consider it.

vor Fri 18-Oct-13 00:49:49

Hello, I have a dyspraxic son in Year 4 at a state school. I do think the attitude of the teacher / school makes a difference.

My son was assessed by the local occupational therapy service. They made a written recommendation that he use a computer for large pieces of work and ultimately for all work. The view was that he will never be able to write at speed and should rather pick up ICT skills earlier. This has helped - although he has a long way to go with typing! Perhaps the team that assessed your son can make a similar recommendation?

Last year there was a man in the school on work placement and the school assigned him to my son as a scribe. He loved this, for the first time he managed to get a great story completed (he is a very imaginative)

There are lots of simple things that his teachers have done - fiddle toys, independent work at a separate desk, buddy, watching out for situations that unsettle him. They are all part of a plan prepared with the SENCO and by all accounts do not take up too much extra class time - the key is to have a plan and tools. Does your son have an individual education plan?

My son can struggle with what I call 'inclusion'. He has good friendships, but when there are group activities, he sometimes can't work out how to be included, involved, or co-operate. Because it becomes too hard to be included, he acts out, becomes disruptive and negative. He has to be told off when he misbehaves. The other children think he is 'stupid', 'speak babyish' to him - his words. This is one aspect of his dyspraxia experience that makes me sad, that I wish could be better for him sad

I can only imagine how stressful it must be for our children being required to deliver work and behave at a level sometimes beyond their physical / developmental level.

Your school needs to do a better job of planning for your son's needs.

scragga1000 Fri 18-Oct-13 04:38:11

Hi Vor thanks he does have an IEP and he had some group OT sessions last year that recommended a computer for written work. He has used this is very slow and the spelling is awful but you can now make out some of what he wants to say as finger spaces are there. School have generally been good about including him and he is very much one of the class and as a result he does have some friends and is invited to parties etc. He is immature compared to his friends and the level of this seems to go up and down I am guessing as to how tired or stressed he is. I just don't get where he is at educationally I suspect that his teachers asst this year is probably right which makes me question why he got different sats levels last year. Do you know anything about how people assesses IQ and learning approaches. I really feel as though I need to know how bright he is underneath the dyspraxia. I know this is pretty selfish as wouldnt help him anymore but would really help me as I am starting to feel people think he is a lot less able and are humouring me and it's starting to tear me in two.

merrymouse Fri 18-Oct-13 11:11:56

Can't give advice on tests. However, I don't think levels assigned at school are designed to take into account children who have 'spiky' abilities (good at some things, terrible at others). The most important thing is to treat him as an individual who has his own path to follow. It's always going to be tricky to compare children with dyspraxia etc. to children following a standard developmental path. Therefore testss and assessments are of use (particularly when obtaining extra help) but limited use and you have to take some of it with a grain of salt.

scragga1000 Fri 18-Oct-13 12:08:22

Thanks I am just thinking to much and tests are for me not him. He is a fantastic person and I just want him to have a happy independent life with people he wants in it not one with lots of professionals making decisions in his 'best interests'. But I know really only time will tell how it goes. Me Getting a grip springs to mind and focussing on his path.

Moominmammacat Wed 20-Nov-13 12:17:45

I recognise so much of what you say because one of my four sons was exactly as you describe in primary school. If it gives you hope for the future ... he's now 21, at a Russell Group uni, with a lot of support for dyspraxia. It has not been easy but it can be done. And more important than the academic side, is that he feels loved and wanted because dyspraxia can make kids feel just awful about themselves.

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