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Advice from parents of children with dyspraxia please!

(23 Posts)
MammyG Fri 07-Oct-11 22:59:21

For those of you who have children with dyspraxia when did you first start to notice or have concerns and what were they?

I have a niggling doubt about DS2 who is very nearly 4. I have had them for a while. I would really appreciate to hear some of your experiences as they might give me some insight. Thanks

BoysAreLikeDogs Sat 08-Oct-11 08:31:04

have a read

dyspraxia isn't just about being 'clumsy' or 'unco-ordinated'

(I have cared for a school age child with dyspraxia)

MadameSin Sat 08-Oct-11 13:41:58

Try posting this over on the 'Special Needs Children secton', you'll probably get more feedback. Good luck smile

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 08-Oct-11 13:44:01

A friend first raised her doubts about DD when she was 3. What are your concerns ?

lec0rnsillk Sat 08-Oct-11 13:45:00

I was thinking dyspraxia at about age 7

minsmum Sat 08-Oct-11 13:47:36

Reception teacher raised the possibility at age 4

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 08-Oct-11 13:51:38

I should add that DD was referred for an assessment during her reception year. DS is just 8 and about to be referred. DD's dyspraxia affected many aspects of her life. DS, if he does turn out to have it, is much less affected and it is only in year 3 that anything had become an issue, which was a bit of a surprise to us.

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Sat 08-Oct-11 13:52:20

School raised concerns at 5. There were issues from birth, I just didn't attribute them to anything other than having a very difficult child blush

MammyG Sat 08-Oct-11 21:07:01

I guess it has been hard to pin it down really as he is quite a laid back little man and everyone (preshcool etc) all put it down to his attitude. He was later than his brother at walking etc but not worryingly late. I also have to point out that his brother is very agile and co-ordinated so for ages I kept tell myself that I was being silly and shouldnt compare him to DS1 as he is particularly agile. But DS2 is awkward for want of a better term. He runs like his lower body isnt attached to his upper body, goes around corners and objects with his eyes closed as if he cant control whats about to happen and hoping for the best! He is the one that will spill things and put his trousers on back to front etc He is very slow at doing anything and takes absolutely ages! He seems to get distracted very easily too. He seems quite sharp at times in the things he says but can be really immature at times. Toilet training has been a nightmare - then other things he will readily grasp. Socially its hard to say - he and his brother play well together and when another joins the mix he seems to get on fine again immaturity more than anything would be the issue.

missismac Sat 08-Oct-11 21:27:27

First realised something was different at about age 2 or 2 1/2. I could see that he was clumsier than his peers, and he did seem socially much more immature than his peers too - he still does really and now he's 14! Toilet training was awful, he wasn't really properly clean until he was about 6 - he really didn't seem that fussed!

I really empathise with the odd running thing too, as he got older his movements became more & more awkward. It seemed to peak at about age 10 or 11, and has gradually got better. I don't know if this is common with Dyspraxics, but he also had quite a lot of nervous tics in various forms over the years, these have also got better over the last few years. Also my DS was a constant fidget & had to have a special seat pad at school or he would drive his teachers mad with his fidgeting - one of the health professionals we saw at the time told me that this was common with Dyspraxics.

We still 'manage' it; he's clever enough, but he can't organise his way out of a paper bag so I have to make doubly sure that he knows what he's doing & where he's going. I have hopes that he/we'll find techniques to enable him to work around it as he grows older, but we'll see . . . .

MammyG Sat 08-Oct-11 22:07:56

Thanks for that Missismac
DS2 is a very laid back character too which makes it harder. He will let DS1 do a lot of the organising for him! But then he can be single minded in other things and if you rush him he will just have a total strop. I have asked his playschool to keep a more 'formal' eye on him and now that his brother has moved on to 'big school' see how he copes on his own. He has been very immature the past few weeks but he has found the attention DS1 has gotten going to school annoying and has been reacting.

alana39 Sun 09-Oct-11 16:36:38

Reception teachers noticed DS2 couldn't skip. At first I thought they were crazy - he's a boy, why would he? kind of thing - but when he was assessed I realised he really was very uncoordinated.

Interestingly he had always avoided stuff like Lego that would have shown up a lack if ability. He's also quite bright and the OT said it's quite typical fir dyspraxic children to find ways round their problems so they are less noticeable.

Seeing an OT was fantastic, and she set up school doing 10 mins one-to-one help every day which has made a huge difference.

If you're worried I would ask for a referral.

MammyG Sun 09-Oct-11 20:24:06

Thanks alana. I think all of this is just making me realise I need to start the ball rolling and have him assessed as I probably wont be at ease til I know for sure.
thanks everyone for your advice and insight - its appreciated!

Ixia Sun 09-Oct-11 22:29:51

DD was referred by school and her speech therapist at age 5, they queried dyspraxic tendencies. I had never had worries about her co-ordination, although she struggled with holding a pencil and using a knife and fork. Also wriggles constantly. We waited a year for assessment and it turned out she is hypermobile not dyspraxic, although she possibly has oral dyspraxia.

But it's worth getting a referral, as you may have to wait for an assessment, your DS might grow out of any issues in that time, but if he gets worse then at least you are already on the waiting list.

MammyG Sun 09-Oct-11 22:43:24

Ixia thats what I was thinking regarding waiting lists. Im in Irelenad and unfortunately a lot of these services have been cut etc I think it might be best to get going as there could be way too much of a delay once he goes to school.

mrsbaffled Mon 10-Oct-11 10:49:09

Ixia that's really interesting about it being hypermobility and not dyspraxia. I am currently waiting on a referral to a paed through our GP for DS (7). He struggles with pencil, knife and fork and constantly wiggles too. We have asked for a dyspraxia assessment, but I have noticed that his elbow are very hypermobile, and so I wonder if all his problems could be down to hypemobility (the GP agrees his pain on writing could well be because of his elbows)....?

Does your DD have emotional issues too? DS overreacts to everything so I think he has an element of SPD too.

OP I didn't think anything was amiss with DS until 6 when school called me in to talk about his poor handwriting and spelling. They have referred him on for a dyslexia assessment, but DH and I think it's more likely dyspraxia (or possibly hypermobility). We just thought he was a little difficult up til then. It was only at that age when we realised he wasn't growing out of things like falling over and falling off his chair (which are normal-ish up to a certain age).

BlueberryPancake Mon 10-Oct-11 13:21:28

I knew something wasn't right from quite young, although the issues were so not obvious that I felt a bit silly. First, DS never shut his mouth as if he couldn't control his lips properly. He always had his mouth slightly open with his tongue sticking out. He dribbled a lot. He really struggled with breastfeeding as he couldn't latch on properly - he would latch on, off, on off, etc. He was a bit late with all his milestones (but just by a few months, nothing major). He was ever so quiet, didn't make much babbling sounds at all, he would just grunt. He started babbling at over 2 yo, and said his first word at 2.5. He was diagnosed with Development Verbal Dyspraxia and has some physical issues in line with dyspraxia at the age of 4, but he can ride a bike (he is 4.5 now), scooter, has good balance, can jump and hop on one foot, has OK coordination, can write letters and is OK with holding a pen, and is not 'clumsy', he is not a messy eater. But he has low muscle tone especially in his legs, and has poor reflexes. He takes a long time to respond and can't follow complex instructions. He is quite advanced in terms of reading and understanding numbers. His speech is poor but everything else looks OK, just a bit off and a bit late.

BlueberryPancake Mon 10-Oct-11 13:25:08

Oh yes and potty training was a nightmare. Very slow and late. I remember (TMO) when he was 2.5, I'd let him go in the garden without any pants on, and if he'd done a poo he'd turn around all surprised that something just fell on the grass. He couldn't feel it at all. He didn't even realised that he was having a poo. It was all very strange and odd. He was out of nappies daytime at just over 3 but still unreliable until 4 yo.

MammyG Mon 10-Oct-11 20:38:29

Blueberry very interesting! DS2 is 4 in a few weeks and is still not steadily dry or clean. If he is distracted etc he will wet himself and he only ever notices when he is literally about to go. We had a disaster with poo and like that it was as if he couldnt feel it coming. He would sit on the toilet and swear there was nothing after about 3 mins he would be upset saying there was nothing and he wanted to get off then he wout dirty his pants in under 5mins after getting off! He can suffer constipation too so that doesnt help.

Ixia Mon 10-Oct-11 21:50:34

mrsbaffled DD doesn't really have emotional issues, she does overreact a bit, but I think that's just 6 yr old girlness.
We were surprised at how many things were attributa le to the hypermobility. Daft stuff, like she will never sit. Properly, always wedges herself with a leg under her bum, sits on the back of the sofa with her feet burird down the back of the cushions. Even as a baby she had to have blankets rolled up supporting her in bed, still has bedrails at 6. She constantly moves, when stood or sitting. OT said this is because her hypermobility means she has poor core stability and low muscle tone. Apparently she over compensates and is physically v. adept, the OT expected more tantrums amd tiredness as DD will be working so much harder than the ave rr age child to acheive the same aim.
Apologies for poor grammar, typing on phone.

MammyG Mon 10-Oct-11 21:58:14

Ixia DS is very similar. Drives his brother potty when watching telly etc as he cannot stay still and likes to be up the back of the couch or hanging off it in a weird way. He is constantly falling off the chair during meals as he is squirming and putting his legs under him etc
DS would be very reactive, can be extremely whiney at times but I had put it down to immaturity really. DD is only 1 and he reverted a little when she came along. When he is tired or off form he goes right back to 'me want ...' and would even demand a baby spoon etc

Ixia Mon 10-Oct-11 22:02:21

mrsbaffled also meant to say - if your DS has pain when writing, make sure he is holding the pencil correctly, use a pencil grip if not. Also check he.s not gripping the pencil too tightly (dd's knuckles were white). Exercises to strengthen hands hands can help. Ask Mrz on the mumsnet primary school forum for her fab list of exercises, I've blown my hardrive, so can't post u a copy.

Ixia Mon 10-Oct-11 22:08:58

mammyg DD has a wedge shaped cushion for her school chair, provided by her OT, to keep her still on her seat. Your DS might find one helpful? Also she had a dycem (sp) mat to keep her plate steady at meal times.

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