My 4 year old DS has been diagnosed with dyspraxia. I've always been aware that he struggles with tasks that other children his age can manage with ease. His speech is particularly delayed too.
The peadiatrition has explained that this is a life long condition and that is the part I am most worried and upset about. How much will his every day life be affected by this? I think I was hoping that he was just developing at a slower pace and that at some point he would catch up.
He gets so frustrated and upset at times. Should I explain to him the reason why he finds things so hard? How much should I encourage independence and how much should I help him?
Can anyone with experience of dyspraxia help?
my brother was diagnosed with dysparaxia informally as an adult. apart from an odd bounce when he walks and not having the best coordination he has a normal life and is unaffected by it i would say.
there is a dyspraxia charity where you might find more information and they may have a forum.
i suspect my dn has inherited it from his dad although he has not had a diagnosis yet.
Is he getting therapy has he started school yet ? Yes it is a life long condition but you do need to encourage him as much as possible but he will be frustrated at times Try and not over load him give him instructions in smaller chunks so if you say son go get your shoes and jacket they are in the hall. That might be to much info for him so he forgets what you sent him for so it would be son bring me your shoes.
Dd is 19 and has a full life she manages fine mostly
DD has dyspraxia and dyslexia. I would say delayed development is a good way of putting it. DD has managed to learn everything she needed to (except spelling) at her own pace. The only thing we had to take her out of was dancing because she just could not get it. For her these conditions have been a definite positive to her life. From a very young age she has had to learn invaluable organisational strategies, the value of putting in effort to get a reward and many other things. I know if we asked her to take the conditions away she would say absolutely not. Good support makes a huge difference though and she has had excellent support along the way.
Thanks for the replies.
Yes he is school although nothing is in place to help him there as yet as we've only just had the formal diagnosis.
Giving him bite sized instructions makes sense. If I say something like 'brush your teeth and put your uniform on' he is totally lost and often plays up in situations such as that almost as a way to detract from the fact that he doesn't understand what he needs to do - or does understand but just can't do it.
I'm really pleased to hear of adults with the condition leading a full life, I worry that it will really hold him back.
Try the dyspraxia foundation for advice, and also try posting on the special needs board of mumsnet.
There's no cure, so it is lifelong in that sense. However there are a lot of strategies you can use to help. There's also growing research around physical activities that seem to help train the brain, and around vitamin supplements that help. For me, I think essential fatty acids and vitamin D help me function better.
We signed DS up for gymnastics hoping it would help him but he just wonders around looking totally lost. I'm not sure how to manage explaining to him that it's not the right class for him when his brother and sister will still continue to attend.
I hate the thought of him feeling penalised if you know what I mean?
Interestingly he was diagnosed with a Vit D deficiency last year!
Maybe give him time with the gymnastics - 4 is very little, and he might enjoy it once he gets used to it. Alternatively, maybe you could try something like trampolining? It was my DS's favourite part of gymnastics, so we switched to a trampolining class which he loves.
The paediatrician suggested trampolining as well actually.
When asked he says that he would like to continue with the gymnastics so you are right, we should give it time. I did have a chat with the coach so hopefully now they are aware it will help a little.
Genuine thanks for the replies. This is really helping.
I'm dyspraxic. I've got a degree and a masters. My life is completely normal, apart from I'm still pretty clumsy and I can't drive.
It affected me emotionally more than anything else. I always knew I wasn't quite the same as the girls I went to school with. I just thought I wasn't as good as them, until I got informally diagnosed at 16 then formally diagnosed at 18. Your boy is a lucky duck to have a great mum who does research for him.
When I was a kid my problems were mainly losing everything, organisation was just a mystery to me, penmanship and anything to do with P.E. So I would just really try and help him always have a place for everything, get him one of those rubber things that help you hold a pencil right, and let him know that it's ok if sports are hard.
Dd is quite sensitive and emotional but is a drama student so i never know if it is her dyspraxia or dramatic personality 😁 could be a combination of both. Dyspraxia is also known as Developmental co ordination disorder dyspraxia is the umberella term (i think) so it is developmental delay and every child can have different traits iyswim.
If his speech is delayed take a look at Talktools and contact a decent SLT experienced in dyspraxia. I can recommend a couple if you want any recommendations
You need to remember he is 4 so gymnastics might not be his thing
my db was also very emotional. even now it wouldnt take much to set him off. i didnt realise that could be linked.
Ds was diagnosed aged 6 and has just started uni. Ask for a referral to OT. A programme of exercises and recommendations for equipment and adaptations (cushions to support and help with fidgeting for example) can be very helpful. Also it is possible that other issues coexist, such as sensory , processing or hypermobility. A little further down the line you may consider the input of an Educational Psychologist. We found it incredibly useful for ourselves , school and to reassure Ds that he had strengths as well as problems. I won't pretend it has been straightforward , it has been incredibly frustrating at times, saddening at others, but please remember your Ds hasn't changed with this diagnosis and try to be optimistic especially as he has been identified early for intervention and support.
Thanks for sharing your experience Mermaid. On one hand I'm conscious of the reluctance of some to label children etc but hopefully having an understanding as to why he struggles with things that come easily to his peers will help to prevent feelings of inadequacy.
Would you consider it wise to explain to him now or just support him now and more detailed explanations when he is a little older?
We have a SLT so I will ask about her experience with Dyspraxia during our next session.
Personally I think it's best to be as honest as possible with children. If you take the time to explain to him in simple child friendly terms it could make him so much happier to know that there is a reason why he can't do the same as his siblings/peers. I would say make sure he is aware that many people have the condition and it isn't just him and that it won't stop him doing whatever he wants but might make it a bit harder for him to achieve it
I don't have a formal diagnosis but I suspect I am dyspraxic. I only learned what it is when I was 21 and it really fits.
I am very academic but I suffer physically with it, mainly with coordination issues. I am hopeless at sport, I can't do an exercise class where you have to follow an instructor and copy the movements, my brain just does not allow it. Same goes for computer games, musical instruments and I am a slow typer.
Miraculously, I just passed my driving test at age 29 after learning for two years, I find it incredibly difficult but will keep on trying to practice the movements I need to do to be confident on the roads, this may mean me moving to an automatic car, just assessing my options.
Seeing as I got to 21 without even knowing the word dyspraxia I'd say it hasn't affected my life very much.
We had some sensory issues earlier on but he seems to deal with it a lot better now. I know a lot of children dislike hand dryers etc but he really reacted strongly (hands over ears, screaming, crying and stamping feet). He was also terrified of animals, anything from a squirrel to a dog but with lots of hand holding and words of encouragement he can tolerate them now.
He is very emotional and can be absolutely inconsolable over relatively minor things at times. I know this can be the way with 4 year olds but it really is on another level.
The paediatrician said she'll refer him to physio but wasn't sure if they'll take him on at this age. Our next appointment isn't until July 2017 but I'll ask about OT then.
Has he started school yet? You may find things get more evident over the early years/ks 1 as he struggles to make progress especially with pencil work , fine motor skills and pe. Focus on practical skills like dressing, use charts to demonstrate what he can do and if he is reluctant to try to do things like ride a bike or play football don't force it. Dyspraxia Foundation is a great resource , if dreadfully underfunded.
Interestingly my husband and I are now wondering if perhaps he could be undiagnosed dyspraxic! He is very bright but struggles a great deal with organising himself, working to a timetable and carrying out a task in a logical order. He is fine with driving but can't swim, even after having adult lesson.
Anyway, I don't wish to detract from the conversation about DS but something for DH to think about perhaps.
This thread has been a real eye-opener. Thank you.
I've wondered if my DD is dyspraxic for a while. Spoke to GP who dismissed me saying evidence says dance class is the only solution. Definitely not an option for DD, but she has started martial arts which she's enjoying. DD is also has strong emotional reactions and difficulty listening/following instructions for her age. Now wondering if this is all linked.
Yes LIZS he is in reception class now. DD Is a year above him and I do wonder how on earth he will cope with the work that she is now expected to do in class.
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