Dyspraxia - can i ask some questions?(14 Posts)
Suspect we might have this issue with DS(11) - either that or just plain laziness ...
What made you considr your DS might have Dysgraphia?
When did you consider this as a problem?
How did it present itself?
What did you do to help him?
Did school take your concerns seriously?
Any words of wisdom youd like to pass on to me?
Can you clarify, do you want info on dyspraxia or dysgraphia, or both?
DD1 diagnosed with dyspraxia in year 11. As well as poor motor skills, she is disorganised, poor working memory, some sensitivity to taste and texture. I should have pushed for a diagnosis years earlier as I first raised concerns in primary year 6.
Hi i think dysgraphia
Not sure how to approach this
Lots of boys have really messy handwriting. I suspect its not cool for boys to have neat handwriting. My ds class had extra hand writing practice near the end of primary school because there were several who were messy.
For my messy handwriting a fountain pen helped. I think its harder nowadays because they tend to type more than write.
I found it really difficult to tell with DS. It also didn't help that I didn't fully realise what dyslexia is: I thought that it was 'clumsy child syndrome' but it can be more complex than that.
I knew he was bright from IQ tests but his exam results didn't match up. It was difficult to help him because he was such an awkward soul who thought he knew better than everyone else and didn't like being told what to do. He exhausted his teachers' sympathies and almost exhausted mine.
School didn't take my concerns seriously so in the end I paid to have him assessed. It turned out that he was about 95th centile for intelligence (so he does know better than most) but only 5th centile for processing. Imagine having to cope with that level of mismatch. No wonder he was such an awkward soul.
It was annoying to learn about his problems and then go back and re-read his school reports - with hindsight they screamed dyslexia but the teachers never joined the dots. The main thing that sticks in my mind was how they all said he might brilliant, insightful oral contributions in class but couldn't/wouldn't translate it to written work.
Once he had an assessment, and therefore extra time in exams, he soared. Instead of relying on his appalling handwriting he could have asked for a computer in exams if that was his 'normal way of working' but he was assessed too late in the day for that.
From our experience I would recommend an assessment so you can get impartial information to give the school on what, exactly, is wrong and advice on how to overcome it.
If you can afford it get him assessed by an OT then you'll know what you're dealing with.
And so will school. Without a professional report they don't know any more than you do.......
If there is a problem should be fairly easy to get him to use a laptop at school instead of writing.
Ds wasn't picked up until sixth form when one of his teachers mentioned she thought he had it. I just thought he was a clumsy oaf who couldn't do PE. And he does in fact come from a long line of clumsy oafs who can't do PE!
However, ds's handwriting is terrible , he can't ride a bike, throw or catch a ball, can't find his way anywhere at all, can't tie his shoelaces etc etc. He is the original owner of two left feet.
He was assessed and ticked every single box.
DS1 has dysgraphia. He sometimes struggles to read back his own handwriting and his spelling is variable. He has fine motor skills issues but his gross motor skills are fine. He is Yr 8 and increasingly uses a laptop for work and is learning to touch type. A fountain pen helps especially one like a Lamy which has a structured grip section which means they hold the pen properly. I bought a wider nib for the pen which also helped (the nibs are interchangable).
School actually raised it with us when DS was in Year 4 (following 2 falls in the playground with suspected head injuries on 2 consecutive days). There was a check list that I found online - symptoms which may indicate the condition. For us, he only ticked a few of the boxes so I spoke to a number of people who knew him well - class teacher, football coach etc. Agreed with school he would be monitored for 3 months and if necessary, at the end of that, we'd seek a referral to the OT.
It wasn't necessary for us, but school was more than helpful.
For dyspraxia we started with an OT when the English teacher refused to try to read DS's writing (not as harsh as it sounds -sometimes he couldn't read it either) and then went on to an ed psych and a paediatrician. The ed psych report really helped to get the school to focus on different teaching methods in class as well as telling the Senco what to work on. It was also helpful at home. I know now there is no point getting cross when he spills milk, the thing to do is to train him to wipe up quickly; and his auditory memory is phenomenal, so if he says something we now all tend to believe him. The council has someone who will help you learn to ride a bike (personal lesson for £20) which was really good for his confidence.
I would ask around a lot before paying for an ed psych as the reports vary.
Interestingly it was the head at my other child's school, who hearing me describe DS Suggested he might be dyspraxic. The Senco at his own school, who he was getting support for spelling from, and who was his form teacher, did not spot it at all.
I have two Dyspraxic sons, one of whom has inattentive ADD also. Primary school was useless for the eldest, but high school was fantastic in helping him, he now has a lot of support at uni available to him also in terms of helping with organisation and a study buddy for up to 15 hours a week to keep him focused when he needs it (luckily he is doing an Engineering degree (at at Russell Group) with lots of practical elements to it and only uses 3 hours support but it is good to know it is there if he needs it). He had scores of 140 in IQ but 63 in Visual Processing (average range is 88-115) with 140 being the highest score. The primary school has moved on hugely in its SEN provision since DS1 left, and younger DS uses laptop (although remembering to print out work is a problem), he still gets told off for messy ties, shirt falling out, cannot do shoe laces - so we have those elasticated toggle laces which he can manage) and has only just learned to ride a bike at age 11. But I know from experience from DS1 he will be fine. He is more academic and now that he uses a laptop his work can be read easily.
I always knew my DD was dyslexic, it runs in the family, I am too. From an early stage I could spot the typical problems with working memory and processing eg found it hard to memorise the names of the colours - though no problem with pink! And her slowness and clumsiness ( two broken arms by 7) were I was told by the Ed Psych also a feature of Dyslexia. She had extensive intervention but whilst her reading and spelling achieved average levels her speed of writing (messily) stayed at the tenth percentile I.e slowest 10% of the population.
so I wasn't sensitive to the fact that strong smells could make her physically sick, singing in the choir gave her migraines, that she hated being touched by peers and that she generally found keeping up with peer banter and norms hard. Nor did I stand up for her when the PE teacher complained about the time it took her to change or understand that when she said she was too tired to do anything after a day at school she wasn't being lazy. I will always regret that. Her primary Head even described her as an over enthusiastic puppy tripping over herself all the time. It was a subsequent Ed Psych who asked the relevant questions and diagnosed that she had Specific Learning Difficulties that encompassed issues that could be labelled Dyslexic and Dyspraxic.
She is at uni now.
@IDK: "School didn't take my concerns seriously so in the end I paid to have him assessed. It turned out that he was about 95th centile for intelligence (so he does know better than mostwink) but only 5th centile for processing. Imagine having to cope with that level of mismatch. No wonder he was such an awkward soul."
That describes my DS perfectly. He was really struggling at school as the teacher was just getting frustrated with him. The school said not to bother seeing an Ed Psyc but it was money well spent - the report said he is extremely bright (top 0.1% in some areas) but has problems with his "executive capacity" so couldn't organise his thoughts on paper.
We now know what's going on and can focus on how to support him with the issues. The school is grudgingly accepting this, but we've decided to move him anyway to a school which can take a more individual approach to his learning style.
Hang on in there Zigster. DS didn't like school and the education system. So much so that I wasn't sure that University was the right thing for him but he has really come into his own there. The University has been great about his dyspraxia, too, they are streets ahead of school provision.
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