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dyspraxia info please

(7 Posts)
HarlotOTara Mon 04-Jul-11 20:14:01

I am looking for some info regarding dyspraxia please. I work in schools with students that are at risk of not achieving or being excluded. I have just started working with a student of 15 who has a statement for dyspraxia. Lovely boy and he has told me some of the things that he has had difficulty with in the past and a bit about how having dyspraxia has affected him emotionally. I don't know a huge amount about it but am doing some research so that I can support him as best I can. One of the things he is having difficulty with is behaviour in the classroom and storming out of lessons. Is managing anger and difficult feelings something that is typical of dyspraxia? I am wondering about this so that I can support him in dealing with his angry feelings but some background info. from parents with experience would be very helpful.

Also, I have another student with a disgnosis of ADHD who takes medication. He also struggles with behaviour in school although I really think that has improved with support. However, from what he has said and what the new student has also told me, I am sadly coming to the conclusion that there is not joined up thinking between teaching staff when dealing with special needs issues. Has anyone found this to be the case at secondary schools?

They are both lovely boys who could be helped more if the teachers (not all) were more on the ball regarding special needs. For example the student with ADHD had a worry ball to fiddle with in class and this was confiscated by a teacher, if he can fiddle with something he calms down. Anxiety about not knowing what is happening and sudden changes can make his behaviour deteriorate and it seems this can be easily rectified with a bit of thought. This is really just from my observation but am interested in what any other views are.

Jellykat Mon 04-Jul-11 22:37:36

What a lovely post to read, my 13 yr old DS is diagnosed Dyspraxic, and i have found that all the help and support we had in Primary school, went out of the window once we hit Secondary.. So it's lovely to see someone within the system who cares! smile

The problem as i see it is that not only do teachers forget who has what, but ultimately do they understand what Dyspraxia is? Generally speaking i would answer no at my sons school.
The amount of 'lacks concentration' and 'tends to fidgets' comments i have had is unbelievable. Despite the SENCO repeatedly putting up my DSs profile up in the staff room, i still have reactions of 'Oh, i'm sorry i didnt know he had Dyspraxia' at every parents evening, but do they know what the characteristics are anyway? or how to deal with them positively?

After a year of 'fighting' i think i may have finally got messages through, simple things like gently calling DS back into the class once his mind has wondered off, checking that he writes his homework down in his diary etc.. all totally obvious!

Yes, DS has been internally excluded, and put on report 3x this year, but it could have been avoided - its the constant lack of understanding by the teachers that make DS angry, and theres not enough TA assistance in his classes (sometimes none). He gets confused/ frustrated if things go wrong and he's questioned - sometimes even admitting to things he didnt do, because he 'just wants it to stop'. Bad behaviour is not typically a part of dyspraxia, reacting a certain way to certain external situations can be. Last week he started 'anger management' which is more like one to one counselling, on the school premises, (my instigation) and he has a specific mentor in the SENCO dept. to go to when things go wrong (again my instigation).

There is a book called 'Developmental Dyspraxia' - A manual for Parents and Professionals, by Madeleine Portwood, which helped me understand a lot. Also a Dyspraxia Foundation that have leaflets, advice etc.

Your pupil is very lucky to have someone like you!

HarlotOTara Fri 08-Jul-11 15:44:47

Hi, Sorry I missed this as I noticed there isn't much traffic in the teens section so also posted in the children bit. What you are describing regarding your ds sounds so like the experiences of the two boys I see. I am fortunate that I can spend an hour a week with them on their own and we can discuss what bothers them etc. I am employed by a charity and offer counselling in the school. I didn't have a great deal of knowledge of either ADHD or dyspraxia when I started - hence the post - but I do need to understand if I am going to give them the best support I can. Thanks for the recommendation and I have been looking on the internet. However, the students are probably the best source of information, at least about themselves. The two boys I am seeing are lovely kids and are absolutely fine with me but then I am able to let them be themselves.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Mon 11-Jul-11 17:45:37

Hi HarlotoTara

"Is managing anger and difficult feelings something that is typical of dyspraxia? I am wondering about this so that I can support him in dealing with his angry feelings but some background info. from parents with experience would be very helpful".

I have a son who is dyspraxic, I would say that years of schooling without teachers being aware of or sensitive to his needs led to a reduction in his self esteem. This in turn led him to believe that he couldn't do things and made him feel very low. He's a lovely young man too but at times his behaviour is out of charachter, possibly not because of his dyspraxia but perhaps as a result of diminshed self esteem.

In my son's case it wouldn't be great to simply let him be himself, he needs motivating and encouragement (without too much pressure) otherwise he will continue to underacheive. He does have some self awareness but this is hampered by his disability and interpretation of the world. I think building up a picture of a child drawing information from as many sources as possible and analysing that informaiton is the best route to understanding why any child presents as they do.

pooches Tue 17-Jan-12 12:48:08

My 8 year old son is dyspraxic and it is hard work. I have a great article for teachers which I'll post up in a minute for you to print off or forward to them. It's the best description I have ever seen.

I understand that the other thing dyspraxics suffer from is the absence of monitoring/tempering of emotions and sensory stimulations (cerebral cortex? Can't remember). Anyway basically, their emotions (or over sensitivities such as the common one to sound) hit them as a flood when other kids would get a trickle. Add that to the fact that many of them can't triangulate geographical position and have little sense of time (so they really don't know where or when they are at any given time) and the frustration of having to do things you are bad at (like write) constantly...no wonder they get emotional.

adelejane Sat 28-Jan-12 12:47:13

Hi, I am a mum and and grandma, but also a speech pathologist. I have a website with information about dyspraxia that I find useful for my families, clients, carers, etc. www.dyspraxia.info is the site. I often add to the blogs in answer to parents' questions. Feel free to use the information and pass on to teachers. I find that teachers are more understanding if they understand what dyspraxia is and isn't. If your children with dyspraxia are being seen by a speech pathologist, or have been in the past, they are most likely to be able to give your teachers specific info about your child's strengths and weaknesses, what helps and what doesn't.

madhatmum Fri 29-Jun-12 22:53:54

I am a single mother with reasonably supportive ex! I have a 14 yr old DS and he has in the past been very violent towards me but never in public .. he was diagnosed with dysgraphia and mild dyspraxia .. I am wondering if the dyspraxia is actually quite dominant at the moment as his anger and feelings of low self esteem are very strong and yesterday he smashed lots of things and tried to strangle me.I am very worried, is there anyone I can go to to get help to diagnose him correctly and find a way of helping him .. he is at a school which would be able to give him SEN help but he has never been officially diagnosed as dyspraxic as the Dysgraphia diagnosis was private .. may be the wrong route to have taken but at the time was a solution to his handwriting problems .. he is very intelligent and reads voraciously but does not have a huge ability to make friends of his own age. He spills lot of things and is accident prone but has fairly good co ordination.After his angry "attacks" he is absolutely exhausted and remorseful with massive feelings of self hatred. Is there anyone with any information as to where I should go for help to get him diagnosed professionally and what sort of help I can give him?
thank you

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