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Anyone else with a DC who has Dyspraxia?

(7 Posts)
MoreProseccoNow Sun 21-Jan-18 21:20:26

DS (just turned 9) was diagnosed in the autumn; it mainly affects his fine motor skills, especially his writing. He also struggles with swimming & we may get him some 1:1 lessons.

I'd be interested to hear about what support your DC get in school, if there's any programmes which have helped, perhaps private OT etc.

All thoughts/info appreciated - TIA.

k2p2k2tog Mon 22-Jan-18 23:26:12

Sort of.

I have an S3 boy who has had issues throughout his schooling. He was first assessed in P1 as his fine motor skills were so poor. He had extra handwriting practice and help with things like PE. He was very slow to learn to ride his bike and only learned to tie his shoelaces when he was about 11. Swimming was also very hard for him. We pushed hard for an assessment for dyspraxia when he was in P6 and he was seen by an occupational therapist. We went every week for 2 terms to a special gym class where we did work on things like throwing and catching and coordination and it did help in that it built his confidence and made him feel more comfortable about joining in with basketball or football at school. At the end of the course we were told they couldn't help more - he "didn't tick enough boxes" for a formal dyspraxia diagnosis and because he is a high achiever, well-behaved and no other compounding issues, we were on our own.

Now in S3 it's starting to raise its head again with the handwriting which is shocking. Always has been. At parents evening some teachers raised it as an issue, especially his Maths teacher. Other teachers said they recognised that his writing was poor, but that they could read it so it wasn't a problem. Mixed messages. Had a long chat with his guidance teacher today who is going to speak to all his teachers for more detailed feedback on whether he requires support for his rapidly approaching exams.

It's all hugely frustrating. I have been banging on about his handwriting for almost 10 years. I am not listened to because DS is clever - taught himself to read before he went to school, top marks in many of his subjects, reads voraciously, huge general knowledge. I do totally appreciate that there are a lot of kids whose difficulties are a lot more acute and who require a lot more support but I just want mine to achieve his potential.

The initial OT referral was made through my GP and we waited about 4 months for an assessment I think. We were seen at the West Centre in Glasgow. We found they were great, but overstretched.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay but my advice would be to keep on it. Don't let them think that now he's been diagnosed that's that. You can do a lot to help with confidence and practical skills like tying shoelaces or a school tie, but school has to be on board. We have found secondary a bit better in that they are allowed to do more on computers.

Good luck :-)

Paleblue Sun 11-Feb-18 09:40:47

My ds is 9. He has a motor difficulty. He uses a laptop at school. He gets typing lessons at school. He used to do daily fine motor exercises at school. He benefited from 1to 1 swimming lessons but really made progress when he attended the lessons for disabled children that Glasgow Life run. I decided to try him in mainstream swimming lessons and he did well but is now struggling to keep up because they swim lengths and are pushing him to perfect his breast stroke. So I am going to take him out of the lessons.

At home he was always practising doing up buttons, tying show laces. He can now wear jeans with a button but is not very good at laces. He attends a football lesson once a week since he was very young and recently has really improved. He has also spent hours learning how to climb in local parks and even did some climbing lessons.

He is getting better at eating and using cutlery. He sometimes used the caring cutlery I bought him when he was younger. Also, he writes on a slanted writing board at home. He finds it easier to do his homework.

Paleblue Sun 11-Feb-18 09:44:22

I would say the daily fine motor exercises at school and home helped the most. And learning to type so he does not have to write long pieces of work.

pieceofpurplesky Sun 11-Feb-18 10:03:54

I am dyspraxic. As an adult the worst thing for me is finding my way from a-b! Also spilling food.
I am useless at most sport and run like a duck. I worked hard at my handwriting and eventually cracked it.
As a child my mum tried to teach me to knit and I did it backwards. She found it really funny at the time - I was only diagnosed as an adult. I have had several broken bones as a result of my clumsiness and trip over air! I am now a teacher and sadly dyspraxic children get very little support - apart from using a laptop to complete class work

MoreProsecco Sun 11-Feb-18 10:29:34

Thanks for the replies.

paleblue our sons sound very similar.

DS is mostly using a computer in classes, and has been allocated 15 mins a day of fine motor skills support. It's very slow progress with his handwriting; the main issue seems to be his pencil grip, but we've tried all sorts of different types to get him holding it correctly (he doesn't seem to "take" to them).

That's really interesting about the swimming - I'm not in Glasgow but will see if I can find something similar here.

Paleblue Sun 11-Feb-18 14:08:27

My spoke to Dyslexia Scotland recently and they said I should not worry about my ds and writing because in Secondary Schools pupils can use voice activated programs. There is lots of support, so they say. My ds got his diagnosis of dysgraphia at the Dyslexia Scotland offices. His writing has improved alot this year, he grips the pencil in his own way and can write short pieces ok. Dyslexia Scotland have a helpline number. I do find them very helpful. I think I worry too much about my ds. I can't imagine how he will cope with the school work as he gets older and more is expected of him.

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