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My DS8 can’t run

(36 Posts)
Doggodogington Tue 14-Jul-20 16:27:53

So how has he got to this age before I realised he can’t run/jog?
In lock down we’ve all put a bit of padding on and so we have started the couch to 5k programme. We do it mostly out doors but sometimes on a treadmill when it’s rainy.
What I have noticed is that my DS8 nearly 9 doesn’t know how to run properly and I don’t know how to advise him. His feet barely leave the floor so sometimes he trips or scuffs his feet, his arms don’t go in time with his legs and quite often flail around instead of him bending them at the elbow. When he’s on the treadmill he often bumps into the side.
He’s never been sporty, he did rugby for a while but mainly he pootled around the pitch looking at his boots. If I let him he’d be sat on the settee all day so I’m thinking it’s part laziness on his behalf. I just assumed running (at least the posture part) comes naturally, if not the fitness part. He doesn’t moan about it as he knows it’s good to be healthy but if I didn’t encourage him he’d be quite happy to do no exercise at all. Has anyone noticed this type of uncoordination in a child? My DD just gets it and runs better then me.

OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Tue 14-Jul-20 16:31:39

I’m in shock that you haven’t noticed this before now! Doesn’t he play outside? Didn’t he ever run as a smaller child? Can he ride a bike?

PragmaticWench Tue 14-Jul-20 16:35:48

Can he balance on one leg?

FelicityPike Tue 14-Jul-20 16:38:42

That’s some age to reach without you noticing this.
Has school never said anything?

TheSmallClangerWhistlesAgain Tue 14-Jul-20 16:40:26

I am 46 and can't run either. It normally ends with me tripping over or otherwise injuring myself so I don't do it.

Does he enjoy other non-running activities like cycling or swimming? Bouncing on a trampoline? Throwing and catching a ball? Roller skating?

Couch to 5k would still be hell for me and I would have found it insurmountably difficult and demoralising at 8.

NC4Now Tue 14-Jul-20 16:41:22

I’m thinking dyspraxia maybe but it does seem strange you haven’t noticed this before. Did he run as a toddler? They tend to!

GrannyBags Tue 14-Jul-20 16:42:42

My son is similar in terms of his running ability. He runs like Phoebe on Friends - arms and legs all over the place. He is too uncoordinated for football and has never mastered riding a bike. He’s now 12. He manages a scooter and learned to swim thanks to a superb teacher and he certainly isn’t lazy.
Is your son fond of any sport?

AuntyPasta Tue 14-Jul-20 16:43:42

I’m an uncoordinated person who doesn’t have great balance either. I found that using the cross trainer at the gym helped improve my coordination generally - it forces you to move your arms and legs in sync. The knee to elbow exercise you see footballers do might help with coordination and picking his feet up.

SqidgeBum Tue 14-Jul-20 16:47:53

Try think back to when he was in a playground as a 3 year old. Did he run then? Or a time he ran because he was excited like if there was cake at a party, or if you got caught out in the rain? Could he run then? Could be he really isnt enthusiastic doing your 5k and is just literally dragging his feet?

Doggodogington Tue 14-Jul-20 17:00:30

He has run and played as a child but in little bits. Like in sports day I haven’t noticed as I’ve often been in work or when he was little it was the egg and spoon or beanbag on head so really not a good indicator.
He rides a bike but is very wobbly, and moans about his legs aching. He can swim, but again he took a while to learn and his fingers would be open like a rake rather than closed like a shovel. The more I list things you must think I’m terrible for not noticing, I just thought it’s the way he is, maybe it is normal for him or maybe it isn’t normal.

OP’s posts: |
Doggodogington Tue 14-Jul-20 17:01:39

He was pretty nippy as a toddler actually, all downhill since then.

OP’s posts: |
picklemewalnuts Tue 14-Jul-20 17:05:45

I think you'd better ask for a physio referral. Ring GP and say you suspect some coordination problem.

How's his fine motor skills? Zips? Writing? Buttons?

Can he catch?

Instead of the C25k try some simpler more varied things.
Just mess about and play games like simon says.
Check out what he can do and then increase it abit, but make it fun!

Hop 5 times
Do a star jump.
Bounce a ball
Balance a beanbag on your head.
Jump up and down

Etc etc.

picklemewalnuts Tue 14-Jul-20 17:05:54

I think you'd better ask for a physio referral. Ring GP and say you suspect some coordination problem.

How's his fine motor skills? Zips? Writing? Buttons?

Can he catch?

Instead of the C25k try some simpler more varied things.
Just mess about and play games like simon says.
Check out what he can do and then increase it abit, but make it fun!

Hop 5 times
Do a star jump.
Bounce a ball
Balance a beanbag on your head.
Jump up and down

Etc etc.

Doggodogington Tue 14-Jul-20 17:07:52

Dyspraxia crossed my mind a while ago with him as his fine motor skills are pretty poor but he didn’t quite tick all the boxes for it and his teacher said that he wasn’t concerned.

OP’s posts: |
BogRollBOGOF Tue 14-Jul-20 17:08:18

Running is not necessarily natural. It is to some, and others have to learn it.

What is he like at walking? Is that co-ordinated?
Throwing? Catchjng?
Are movements symmetrical?
Can he cross the mid-,zone e.g. opposite arms/ legs?

How is his fine motor control? Writing/ drawing?

What is his organisation and working memory like?

These are all areas that can be impacted by dyspraxia.

Alternatively, it could be that he's never really built up the muscle and co-ordination. Have a go at PE with Joe Wickes and think about what he can/ can't do.

It could be fitness.
It could be co-ordination
It could be something physical like low muscle tone.

A GP would need a bigger picture to go down the right route of referral if there is more to it than fitness.

Doggodogington Tue 14-Jul-20 17:10:03

Thanks, maybe the running thing is a bit too much. He seems to enjoy it but doesn’t seem to be improving. I’ll definitely be looking more into it and trying more “fun ways” to get some fitness in.

OP’s posts: |
BogRollBOGOF Tue 14-Jul-20 17:13:08

It's taken me a while to notice some things about DS1, like being very one-sided. That's with a clearly more physical sibling for comparison too!

museumum Tue 14-Jul-20 17:15:08

I don't think the treadmill is a good example as it's just odd to be running not going anywhere.
Can you get him to run outside but not thinking about jogging/running for a length of time (which again is unnatural for a child) - just engineer a situation where he has to run quickly to grab something or chase something?

As a child i remember trying to jog with my mum and it being very hard, I could only sprint or stop, not do endurance running. Scuffing his feet and not lifting them could be an attempt to 'pace himself'.

And i've seen teenagers jogging in rugby/rowing warmups and the majority of them look awkward and gangly too.

ShouldWeChangeTheBulb Tue 14-Jul-20 17:19:54

Could you get him a ring fit for the switch? They are great for motivating kids to get moving.
It does sound like it could be dyspraxia TBH. How is he with organising himself? Does he forget things? Is he messy?

Craftycorvid Tue 14-Jul-20 17:23:04

It took lockdown and learning to run outdoors that finally sorted out my running ‘form’ - I’m 53. I had never realised there’s a technique to it and treadmil running is totally different. As a child (and adult) I was rubbish at catching say a ball. I have never been able to turn cartwheels etc. I’ve got better with age and practice. Your lad could just be saving energy by not picking his feet up or he could generally be struggling with coordination. Request a re-assessment?

D1ngledanglers Tue 14-Jul-20 17:23:15

Please don't get carried away with dyspraxia if the teacher isn't worried.
My DS was labelled dyspraxic at 3. He now plays County level football, was early to ride a bike but his dexterity is still poor - that's him.

It sounds as though he's deconditioned after months of inactivity & wasn't sporty to begin with.
Do lots of different physical stuff with him. Video him regularly practising the same skills & see if he improves - climbing, skipping, jumping, riding a bike.
I very much doubt he'll be seen by a GP / physio any time soon so work on it yourself & video progress - then if there isn't progress you'll have lots of evidence to back you up.
Good luck!

Whatnametomorrow10 Tue 14-Jul-20 17:24:05

My DH 47 can’t run - he isn’t an overly sporty person at all. When gyms where open he can use everything except the treadmill in run mode. We find it bizarre- when he has had to run to chase our toddlers it’s the strangest thing to observe- it was as if his legs didn’t work in sync!

Doggodogington Tue 14-Jul-20 17:27:53

@ShouldWeChangeTheBulb oh he’s so messy and unorganised. When he dressed himself....his pants are rolled, the top of his trousers are rolled inwards, tshirts are half tucked. When he eats it’s all round his face.
My DD has always been ahead of herself, perfect writing from an early age, organised, years ahead in her school test results etc so I tried not to compare them but I’ve maybe “not compared” him too much iykwim.

OP’s posts: |
Doggodogington Tue 14-Jul-20 17:32:31

He’s the youngest in his year so Sometimes I put it down to that. He can’t tie his laces, even though we’ve been over and over it with him. I’m sure he’ll be a 40yo man wearing Velcro 🤦🏽‍♀️

OP’s posts: |
Clymene Tue 14-Jul-20 17:38:02

No one is labelled dyspraxic @D1ngledanglers - it's a diagnosis. But it can't be diagnosed by a teacher.

There are lots of exercises you can do to improve co-ordination - midline crossing is often quite poorly developed in children with limited motor skills and building this can help significantly. Have a google - there are lots of different activities recommended.

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