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Motor groups? Anyone? Teachers?

(17 Posts)
sunnysunchild Tue 02-Oct-12 14:09:51

Hdoes anyone know anything about Motor groups at all?
Just back from parents evening, and feeling a bit concerned. Im hoping someone can help!
Ds is in P1 (Scotland, just turned 5) He started school in August. This was my first one on one meet the teacher. Basically he seems to be doing ok, but his concentration is pretty bad. He has problems focusing on the task. He is in a large class of 37, but with 2 full time teachers. Seems he struggles in a large group. So teacher has decided to put him in the 'motor group' she thinks this will help his listening and attention skills.
Apparently there are 4 children from each p1 class, taken out of the classroom and given practice throwing and catching (Gross motor skills?) and somehow this helps listening and concentration as well...
DD is p3 and tells me that this group is for kids that struggle a lot in class. And to be honest I do know some of the kids she means, and they do get extra support in classroom,have behavioural issues, etc.
Im worried! should have asked more in parents eve, but felt a bit hurried out... 10 mins isnt long enough...

He is a lovely wee boy, but can be hard work too... Just hate that he's getting a label already...

Thanks!

jennycrofter Tue 02-Oct-12 14:14:57

Don't worry about the label, worry about him getting settled in to school, and getting the most out of it. If that means motor group for a while, then so be it. What you need to do as soon as you can is arrange an after school appointment with the teacher/s.

Good luck, I'm really impressed that they are offering help when he's only been at school a few weeks, the P1's here aren't even full time yet. Many schools really drag their heels over this sort of support. smile

sunnysunchild Tue 02-Oct-12 16:23:29

Thanks jenny you are right but just wondering if anyone else has experience with groups like these and if they make any difference? Thanks

sunnysunchild Tue 02-Oct-12 16:26:54

Im terrible for worrying, but didn't really hit it off with the class teacher last night.. She was a bit off with me about not coming to a curriculum evening. I think she thinks Im not interested or supportive..

auntevil Tue 02-Oct-12 18:05:21

My DS does motor skills at school. IME, it will be a mixed group including some that your DS notices struggle in class, but not all.
The school haven't labelled your DS, just giving him some support that they think will make a difference to him.
Personally I would be glad about the school being proactive.

Chrysanthemum5 Tue 02-Oct-12 21:25:32

DS has been in motor groups since he started and he's now in p4. They are designed to support children who have issues with gross and fine motor skills eg throwing, catching etc as well as holding a pencil or writing. DS is in the top of his class for Reading and maths it's just his writing skillls that need support. So these classes are not for the 'badly behaved' children.

sunnysunchild Tue 02-Oct-12 22:30:34

Thanks all for input, and experience, see call me daft but maybe Im just not understanding the concep and how it works.. How will practicing Gross motor skills help with concentration and attention span?

simpson Tue 02-Oct-12 22:45:10

DD starts her motor group next week I think , she is also in reception.

She is hyper mobile and has problems with fine motor skills and has poor pencil grip etc...

She is getting 20 mins a day in a small group of 3or4 kids (I think) to help her...

EBDTeacher Wed 03-Oct-12 06:57:43

Improving gross motor co-ordination can help a child to develop the stability to sit still and/or arrange themselves at a table which in turn helps them to concentrate. A lot of fidgeters don't actually have the core muscle strength/ co-ordination to sit still.

Paying attention involves the ability to filter out distractions. Learning to pay attention is easier in a small group than a large one as there are less distractions that need to be ignored. Maybe they think some practise in a small group will benefit your DS back in his class.

I don't think it's a negative thing as long as your DS doesn't feel like he's been put in a group for 'nauhty' kids (which will probably be down to you to sell it to him in a positive light).

septemberpie Wed 03-Oct-12 12:15:18

My ds has been doing a motor skills group for 2 years now. He is Yr 4 and I think it has helped his concentration and listening skills a bit. I personally think that his issues are mostly down to maturity but he does genuinely struggle with listening and processing information so any help with that is good.

I was also a bit hmm when they told me he'd be doing this group because his gross motor skills are really good (although his writing isn't great because he is hypermobile in his fingers) but there are kids there for all different reasons so will work on a range of things.

sunnysunchild Wed 03-Oct-12 12:34:37

Great, thanks all, really was looking for some reassurance smile . Think I was just panicking a bit. I haven'mentioned the group to DS at all, and I will just wait and see how it goes... I just never heard of this before.. Fingers crossed it will help!

Moominmammacat Wed 03-Oct-12 15:38:45

My DS was in motor group throughout primary ... wonderful thing, did lots of brain gym, threading buttons, throwing balls ... nothing to do with intelligence, just enjoy the help you're given!

Sabriel Wed 03-Oct-12 16:35:42

I didn't understand what you meant by motor group but having read the thread this is what my DD has been doing since she started school last year. She is fidgeting and wriggly with a whole host of concentration problems so I was really pleased when the SENCO put her into this group.

My DS1 (now aged 9) saw an OT for motor skills issues, no motor group in his school so we organised it ourselves. It helped with things like writing because his hands weren't acting independently of each other i.e. if you asked him to move the fingers on his right hand in a particular way the left hand would copy. It did help his concentration because once his coordination was improved and his core muscle control his brain wasn't having to work so hard trying to battle with his body to get it to do what he wanted so could focus more on other things. e.g. if sitting still requires a huge amount of effort then its hard to focus on complicated information from a teacher at the same time. Additionally, gross and fine motor skills can help with reading because eye control is a motor skill and being able to track smoothly along a row of text makes reading easier.

An added bonus was he trips up less and is better at sport because his legs now do what he wants them too (his expression not mine).

BackforGood Thu 04-Oct-12 00:15:56

What EBD said.
For some years now research has been looking at, the correlation between the dip in children (as a whole cohort)'s ability to sit and concentrate, and do things like crossing the mid line of the body, and the fact that babies don't get the same time on their tummies (therefore pushing up on their arms, balancing on one arm and reaching out with the other, holding their next up, etc.,etc) as we had when we were babies. Partly due to SIDS advice on babies not being put to sleep on tummies, and partly due to babies spedning alot more time in car seats, buggies, and the little sit up chairs everyone has from birth.
Gross motor groups can go a long way to try to put in some of the skills that babies have skipped over in that aspect of their development. So, lots of crawling (the motion of doing one thing with left leg and moving right hand at same time - as you do when climbing too), commando crawling, encouraging children to lie on the floor to play a board game or card game. Also things like carrying things at arms length (moving a chair, or carrying a tray, or pouring water from a jug). As it moves on, we used to do lots of things that extended concentration / following instructions too.

Personally, I'd feel pleased the school were being so pro-active so early on, but I'd also say to the teacher you were taken a bit by surprise at Parents evening, and would like to make an appointment for another chat one day soon when it's convenient, so she can let you know the areas she feels he needs support with, and ask if there are any ideas you can work on at home too (eg - playing on the monkey bars at the park, to 'take the weight' on arms).

Goldenjubilee10 Thu 04-Oct-12 07:11:55

Our school call it a movement group. Ds1 was in it for a year or so. He is very academic so it is no reflection on his potential.

Out of interest did your DS crawl much? DS1 didn't crawl much at all which I only realised when I had DS2 who crawled so much more than DS1. Consequently DS1 wasn't good at crossing the midline of his body and lacked the separation of his left and right sides for movement (e.g. hands copying each other). This can lead to infant reflexes that should be lost being retained which in turn leads to the body being a bit more sensitive to stimulus than it should be e.g. DS1 had a reflex on the side of his foot that was still very sensitive so shoes and socks would irritate it and he would jiggle his feet. Because the body is in a state of higher alert than it should be this can lead to the children being quick to react / sensitive etc. You know how irritating it is if you have a label rubbing the back of your neck all the time, I assume its a bit like that, and that you are probably a bit less calm because of it.

As BackforGood says the movement programmes help the children to catch up with the movements they might have missed earlier and so develop the expected skills.

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