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ed psych possible dyspraxia

(18 Posts)
Philly Wed 12-Jan-05 00:01:38

My ds2 aged 7 has always struggled and I have posted before about his needs, school who are hugely supportive and have done wonders with him are now suggesting that we start to think about getting an ed psych report really because they feel that they need more focus to help him more etc.

The advice we are getting from the school is that too often these reports are done too early and they are more valuable if left until at least 8.5 years,I have also heard this from Ed psychs,however if they diagnose a fairly low grade dyspraxia as I increasingly suspect are we not better to get a diagnosis sooner rather than later.

Any advice would be helpful,he is manging OK at school but with many of the classic symptoms(I think)lack of spatial awareness and fine motor skills,total lack of maths and concentration problems etc

roisin Wed 12-Jan-05 07:35:56

Philly, we recently went to see an EP with my ds1 (7.5) (with similar but related concerns to yours), and for us it has been an unequivocally positive experience. I am absolutely stunned by how much we have benefited from the process, and also from the specific recommendations in the report.

I don't know a lot about dyspraxia - our concerns were more around Aspergers. In the case of AS certainly an EP would not make a diagnosis anyway. The route to a dx is a long and complex one, and involving GPs and clinical psychs, etc. I don't know whether this would be the same or different with dyxpraxia, but either way you do need to be clear about what an EP will or will not do for you.

Good luck!

Philly Wed 12-Jan-05 08:20:39

Thanks Roisin ,I have followed some of your posts with interest,the head odf supporty at his school is meeting with his teacher today so will have to see what he has to say.

In the meantime all comments are useful

LIZS Wed 12-Jan-05 09:09:50

What specific help have they given him so far ? ds is 6 1/2 and has an hour of OT a week but we have n't really pushed for a diagnosis yet, although all the terminology in the OT reports point that way. We have asked for an updated report which we can start to pursue with a paediatrician but this is more so that our insurance will continue to fund her sessions than our need to know or push for more help.

Philly Wed 12-Jan-05 13:29:16

To be honest it is difficult to say exactely what help he has been given,he gets an hour one to one each week at least ,a lot of time in the last 18 months since we moved him to this school has been giving him time ,encouragenment and self esteem which to be honest had been shot to pieces at his last school.He also has support in the classroom for maths,he is in a class of only 10 so that helps a lot.
When he moved school we all felt that we were not going to geta true picture of his abilities until he settled down and came out of himself a bit,he is soo much happier now and settled so it seems like we are now left with the core of his problems.He reads well interacts well with his peers although he is still happier with younger children in a non-structured enviroment,his written work is very untidy and his handwriting is up and down but he is now writing joined up and occaisionally with a pen!Maths is acomplete no no and sport is difficult although his teacher has been very supportive and his confidence growing i could go on.One of the main problems is his concentration span which is very short and the fact that he cannot cope with complex instructions
Up until now I have not been bothered about a diagnosis as such but now I am starting to wonder if it might be better for hime to have some peg to hang things on if you see what I mean,also I think the school feel that they need more infromation.
Sorry this is a bit rambling but as i said before any advice is welcome!

Philly Wed 12-Jan-05 18:04:06


roisin Wed 12-Jan-05 18:34:35

It sounds like your/his experience from his current school is largely positive - that's great! For us going to see an EP felt like a huge step to take, but as I said before I'm really glad we made it. As far as a dx is concerned we are no further on than we were, but the EP has identified loads of areas and loads of specific recommendations for us and for school that will help in his 'problem areas'.

From the class sizes you mention, I presume you are at a private school, and will therefore be paying for an independent ed psych? It is important that you get to see a good one (not all are). There are several on here who have seen EPs for various reasons, and someone could give you a recommendation if you give us an idea of whereabouts you are.

If you ever want to discuss anything further, you are very welcome to CAT me.

Philly Thu 13-Jan-05 09:17:19

Thanks ,we are in a private school,but they have a relatively high proportion of children with a variety of special needs.They have said that they can provide us with a list of possibles and that we can then choose one so I want to do some research before inorder to amke sure we choose the right person for him.

binkie Thu 13-Jan-05 10:33:39

Philly, your ds's school sounds completely wonderful. My ds's school - not quite as embracingly supportive as yours, but getting better I think - also came up with a list of suggestions when asking us to have ds see an EP, and then I phoned round them all saying, this is what ds is like, is he the kind of child your practice is interested in & has lots of experience of ... and then chose the one that sounded most approachable and enthusiastic. Like Roisin, it was a very positive experience, though in our case didn't really offer so many practical suggestions - it was more a way of helping us see ds in context, as he was baffling his teachers.

(Roisin, very sorry haven't replied to your message for so long - it's on my "other" system which I can at last get at tonight.)

Philly Fri 14-Jan-05 08:32:03

The school has been fantastic to us,a haven in a storm ,so to speak,but they are not perfect,what is?Endearingly shambolic is a good description and some people would find it frustrating but what I like is that they focus on the children as long as they are happy and succeeding never mind the organisation!But thatsuits me and ds2 but I am anxious not to let things slip especially as the SEN teacher he has had up until now is off sick for the rest of this term.
Am am interested to know what happens at the EP appointment and also what do you think about leaving it until he is 8.5 to 9 years

binkie Fri 14-Jan-05 09:56:57

I don't really know about leaving the assessment till later, but I think that's because my ds has different sort of issues generally (though v mild dyspraxia (verbal) is in there too) - his are basically to do with being advanced academically while behind socially, and that is the sort of thing people try to get a grip on early (he was assessed just before he was 5). Maybe others can help there?

On what happens at the appointment, ours centred on finding out whether ds's abilities were across the board or high in some areas & low in others ("splintered"). So basically it was an IQ test in the form of lots of puzzles, quizzes, chatting - on his own with the EP. He LOVED it - I could hear his excited chatter all the way down the hall.

But again, it may be a different format for your ds - it's a good question to ask when you're calling round to see who suits, as that way you're likely to get a sense of who's going to be sympathetic.

starlover Fri 14-Jan-05 10:33:33

I don't have any useful advice for you i'm afraid, but just wanted to say, my brother is dyspraxic... he struggled a LOT at school with teachers who just said he was lazy, clumsy and inattentive. He was finally diagnosed at around 8/9 and it was a huge turnaround when he finally got the help he needed.
Anyway, I wanted to say that there is light at the end of the tunnel... my brother is now 26 and successfully completed secondary school and college. He works with computers (which he likes cos his handwriting is still appalling!!!) and he earns megabucks as an analyst programmer!
He says the only way the dyspraxia affects him now is that he can't use a mirror or tie things behind his back! He got through his driving test by pretending to look in the mirror even though he wasn't actually using it! (he has never crashed the car btw!!!)

roisin Fri 14-Jan-05 11:30:03

Philly - will post later, can't post much now as I'm at work, and supposed to be working!

But there is more that I would say in any case that I don't really want to put on an open board. I tried to CAT you, but you're member profile is set up not to accept them. If you would like to CAT me you're welcome to.

HTH - will write more this evening.

roisin Fri 14-Jan-05 13:40:04

Philly - in terms of what might happen at the assessment with the EP, this is what happened for us:

In advance we completed lengthy referral forms - they ended up longer than I anticipated, but in the end I think this was a good thing, as the EP had obviously spent a lot of time assimilating the information, and therefore was able to make the best use of the time available.

He asked ds1 to bring along some pieces of work or books he'd read to discuss with him. We all sat around the table, and he chatted to ds1 for about 20 minutes about his work, his hobbies, what he thinks of school, etc.

Then we left them at the table, and he spent just over 2 hrs 'doing puzzles' (psychometric tests) with ds1. Apparently this was longer than is usual for a 7-yr-old. DS1 enjoyed this immensely.

Then we settled ds1 with his packed lunch and a video, whilst EP scored the tests, then he spent 1.5 hrs with dh and I discussing our concerns.

Subsequently of course we also received the written report.


Pollyanna Sun 13-Mar-05 10:42:45

philly, I have just seen your post (searching through for info on EPs). My son has just been diagnosed with dyspraxia - we saw a paediatrician for this. We got him referred by his gp and the appointment came through very quickly (2 months). I think our next step is to get an ep, but the diagnosis of dyspraxia has, for us, come from the paediatrician. hth.

Philly Mon 14-Mar-05 09:48:52

Thanks ,thats really helpful as we are seeing the GP this afternoon .We haven't gone down the Ed psch route yet as all the advice seems to be to wait until he is a ltlle bit older.I understand what they are saying but this affects mnore than just his education,so maybe the GP route will give us more help.I am not bworried really about a label but i do want to make sure he is getting as much support as we can get for him.
Can i ask how old your son is and what the proceedure for getting a diagnosis was.

Pollyanna Mon 14-Mar-05 10:37:56

He was 6 in January. He was initially diagnosed with oral dyspraxia after we noticed speech problems when he was 2 (diagnosed at 4) - the speech therapist referred him to an oral dyspraxia specialist. From there we have had concerns about his behaviour so I asked his gp to refer him to a paediatrician (the school was being rubbish). We haven't got any further yet - I am desperately trying to get him more help at school, but don't really know how to achieve this. The school are trying to get him occupational therapy but they are having problems getting someone to come in.

I think that it is best to get help asap for dyspraxia before the child gets behind - my son's teacher wants him to get extra help for year 2.
I am planning to get an ep report as I want to apply for a statement (even if we don't have much chance of getting one) - I can't think of any other way at the moment of getting more help at school.

What have you done so far? I am finding it a very confusing minefield.

paulak33ts Sun 01-May-05 08:39:13

My son who will be 9 this month has just been diagnosed with dyspraxia.I have been fighting for years to get him assesed and nobody would listen. We swapped doctors in january and i took along the letter i had written 2yrs ago to the lea(he was seen by pead at hospital who said he showed signs of being slightly autistic but nothing ever came of it)the gp referred us straight away and he was seen by child pysch in april he had 2 app last one being last thursday and she told us he is dyspraxic. We've got to wait for the report but she said she was going to put in it that the school should bring in ed pysch to asses him overall as alot of things overlap. I don't know how long it will take for ed psych to see him i hope it dosen't take to long he goes into yr5 in sept and is so far behind ifeel so sorry for him.

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