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Is this normal for an almost 5 year old?

(7 Posts)
lisalisa Mon 13-Sep-10 22:55:16

I have been wondering for some time whether this is normal in an almost 5 year old boy or not.

My ds seems to find extreme difficulty with dexterity and anything to do with hands etc. For example he can't do up or undo buttons, puts shoes on wrong feet, can't put socks on at all even when I sit by him and instruct him ( he sort of pulls at the sock with his finger tips and can't seem to work out what to do) , has only just managed to put on trousers and pants himself, can't put onn t shirts or tops over his head himself etc.

I know he's a boy and they are generally slower ( my dd was dressing herself competently way earlier) but this is starting to cause me concern.

He also can't hold a pencil properly and still draws nonsense squiggles rather than anything resembling a picture - even a simple one of a person ( round circle and eyes etc).

He asks great questions and I have no worries about his intellectual ability but he seems way behind in dexterity. He is not clumsy though so would rule out dyspraxia?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated

moajab Mon 13-Sep-10 23:05:51

Children do develop at different rates, but it might be worth talking to his teacher (has he just started school?) or pre-school teacher to see if they have any concerns. Children often do things differently at school.
To help his motor control develop I'd recommend not using a pencil - they're hard for small hands to grip and you have to push down hard as well as move across the paper, which is tricky when they're starting out. Try giving him a chunky felt tip or marker pen or see if he can make shapes in sand or something similar with his fingers.
Putting shoes on the wrong feet and being unable to do up/undo buttons sounds completely normal. I used to teach Reception and found that many children were unable to completely dress themselves.

Kewcumber Mon 13-Sep-10 23:23:21

My son is 5 in Nov so probably much the same age. He can dress himself completely provided the shoes are not too hard to put on (school shoes are proving to be a bit tricky), buttons not too difficult (he can generally manage at least one or two before he askes for help, though not if he is tired.

His drwing are still rather squiggly though he can draw potato type people and can write a "d" for his name and can do "pretend" writing.

However... his teacher at his nursery considered him to be one of teh best prepared of his year for school (practically not in terms of writing etc!) so I would assume that he is slightly ahead of most boys and his fine mototr skills have always been more abreast with his girl friends rather than the boys.

SO I would think that your DS might be slightly towards the lower end of the normal range for fine motor skills but probably not outside of it but I'm no expert.

Have you considered that his drawing/pencil skills are more to do with that fact he may not be that interested in drawing? Mine isn't - we do lots of cutting and sticking and making thinks by gluing lolly sticks to paper and he can then be persuaded to draw faces on them.

Not sure if that helps

ConnorTraceptive Mon 13-Sep-10 23:28:47

HMM with the exception of buttons and getting shoes on the right feet my ds could do those things at that age although I do know a couple of friends 6 year olds who don't dress themselves or put on their own shoes.

Does he try to do these things for himself or is it that he doesn't want to?

Kewcumber Mon 13-Sep-10 23:56:06

my friends 4.5 yr old looked at me like I was deranged when I asked him to put his shoes on to leave the house. He just couldn;t but I have no idea if its lack of trying or inability.

MadameSin Tue 14-Sep-10 16:03:23

What do school say ?? Any other probs there ?

lisalisa Tue 14-Sep-10 17:37:55

Thanks all - haven't spoken to school yet as he's only just started reception. Kewcumber - my ds is 5 in november too !

No problems in school generally and teachers seem to really like ds -he is a likeable child - polite and helpful .

I think I will speak to reception teacher - who luckily is one of those older types and vastly experienced and laid back - and ask whether this falls within the range of normal or if there is cause for concern .

I will let you all know and many thanks for your help so far.

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