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DS with a vague diagnosis of Dyspraxia

(10 Posts)
MustTidyPlayroom Thu 20-Dec-12 13:16:54

I have felt for a long time that DS (7) has mild dyspraxia. We had him assessed privately my an OT in the summer who looked mainly at his fine motor control. She found problems with -
- Hypermobility
- Low muscle tone
- Assessed his fine motor control at age 5.6

I then asked our GP for a full assessment witch was done in September at a movement and development clinic. The OT there said that he was not bad enough for a diagnosis of dyspraxia, but they would send an OT into school as a one-off to set exercises for DS.
Her reasons for him not being bad enough were -
- He can catch a ball (we have invested a lot of time in this and his tennis teacher spent many hours helping too)
- He can ride a bike (again this took a lot of time, but he was able to ride by 5.6)
- He could thread beads quickly after an initial practice
- Walked at 14 months

This was backed up by the community Paediatrician, although she did have concerns over some birth marks DS had and sent us to a neurologist.

The neurologist was pretty certain that DS does not have a genetic condition, however she did disagree to an extent over the dyspraxia diagnosis and said - "His gait was normal on walking and running, however when I did do walking on the heels, on inverted and enervated feet, one could see reflective posturing in the upper limbs, which by now DS should have grown out of and would be in keeping with the dyspraxic phenotype"

So we are now in a position where we have been discharged by the community Paediatrician, the OT (who said DS must learn to type) and the neurologist and I'm feeling rather lost.

DS is getting very emotional and is having major tantrums over very minor things such as "put your shoes and coats on" "please brush your teeth" etc

I really want to help DS, but he is wearing me down as we have had at least 30 minutes every morning before school this week. He is also being particularly horrible with his younger brothers.

Any advice on how to deal with this aspect would be really appreciated. (Also do any of you know of a good "learn to type" package).

ilovemountains Thu 20-Dec-12 13:26:03

Perhaps he is just tired in the run up to Christmas? The list of things he has achieved is normal, not particularly late. What are you hoping to achieve with a diagnosis?

ilovemountains Thu 20-Dec-12 13:26:49

Perhaps he is just tired in the run up to Christmas? The list of things he has achieved is normal, not particularly late. What are you hoping to achieve with a diagnosis?

MustTidyPlayroom Thu 20-Dec-12 13:30:59

I'm not really after a diagnosis, but I am unclear if the emotional outburst (and believe me they are far from normal) are a part of him being dyspraxic or just general tiredness for the time of year. And if they are a part of him being dyspraxic how to deal with this in the longer term for all our sanity.

laozi Thu 20-Dec-12 22:21:48

My DS1 got a definite dx in June, but it sounds like if he'd met your OT he wouldn't have got it. He was walking by 1, can ride a bike and, well, can sometimes catch a ball, if it's big and you throw it gently! Crucially though, our paed took the fact that he failed the Fogg test (the walking on heels, mirroring with hands thing) very seriously, also that the school have to scribe for him on assessments as no-one can read his handwriting.

So anyway, yes tantrums do go with the territory. I've had quite a few from DS1 over the last couple of weeks as he is knackered. School is much, much harder work for a child with dyspraxia. I've found that when he melts down there's nothing I can do except stay calm, let him ride it out and take his time to calm down, give lots of hugs and kisses and wait. Don't forget that 'simple' things like brushing teeth and getting shoes on are far from simple for a child with dyspraxia. Especially when tired. Like now in the run-up to Christmas after a long term. I get my DS to dress etc in the morning by out-and-out bribery. If he's dressed and ready to go before time, then he can watch tv/play wii until it's time to go. Works a treat! I think though in general, acknowledgement and acceptance that he finds these things tricky is the way to go. Even offer to give him a hand if it helps, remember he's not being lazy, it's genuinely hard for him. Frustrating, I know.

We've just started DS with touch typing this term, as his new teacher was willing to let him type instead of write. I bought Nessie Fingers, which he really likes. There are trophies to win, and a few fun games to play. I again use rampant bribery to keep him motivated. I set him fairly short-term targets for accuracy and words per minute, then reward him for each one he meets. He's typing at about 25wpm now, though, so I guess it works!

BTW, I found my local Dyspraxia support group really helpful to discuss the issues and find out what to expect. Have a look at the dypsraxia foundation website to see if there's one in your area.

porridgelover Thu 20-Dec-12 22:25:59

MustTidy I saw your post over on SN board.
I'm not clear if the neurologist agreed or not that it's possible dyspraxia.

However, with dyspraxia it would not be unusual for children to learn 'splinter skills' such as throw and catch/riding a bike. The problem for them is that these skills dont translate to general ability.

Without saying that he is or isn't, try this which you should be able to get in your local library.
It discusses the features of dyspraxia, the associated emotional/social issues, and tips on management.

You might find visual schedules help with things like dressing, getting ready for school, how to have a shower, what to pack for school. Make things ridiculously clear e.g. '1. get out of bed. 2 go to the bathroom 3. take off pjs and put under pillow 4. put used underwear in basket' etc etc

Re the typing this is highly recommended though I havent used it myself.

Hope that helps.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 21-Dec-12 11:45:15

"His gait was normal on walking and running, however when I did do walking on the heels, on inverted and enervated feet, one could see reflective posturing in the upper limbs, which by now DS should have grown out of and would be in keeping with the dyspraxic phenotype"

This is a test for retained Moro reflex. Google primative reflexes. Newborn babies have a number of reflexes that are 'naturally' suppressed as the child grows - most should be gone by age 2-3 I think. Some children retain primitive reflexes and these can have behavioural manifestations. The Moro reflex can be understood as a reflex that is triggered by position of the head - when the head goes back, the reflex is triggered. The arms go out to the side (in a crucifix position) and then come forward in a grabbing motion. This is accompanied by flooding with chemicals and hormones related to 'fight' or 'flight'. Imagine a baby monkey on it's mother's back - she responds to threat by moving immediately without being able to 'warn' the baby on her back - reflexes allow the baby to quickly cling on for dear life.

DS1 had a retained Moro reflex and this can manifest in increased anxiety as the reflex is frequently and uncomforatably triggered in a number of 'normal' situations plus a kind of hyper-awareness and desire to control the environment to try and limit this.

MustTidyPlayroom Tue 25-Dec-12 21:31:43

Thank you KeepOn - I'll read a bit more about this.

When you say triggered by normal situations - have you any examples.

DS's behaviour has got gradually worse since starting juniors in September, and we are now at the point of several tantrums a day (some minor - with a bit of screaming and foot stamping and some more serious - he's hit and kicked me a few times recently). At other times he seems to be becoming more immature - wanting lots more hugs, taking his bear out with him etc

The pressure at school has certainly increased a lot and one of his friends has just moved abroad (although he does have lots of other friends). School have no problems with him other than his handwriting problems and the issue with spellings - his teacher assures me he is one of the best behaved in the class - so I don't think school is the issue.

I think my main problem is not knowing what is normal 7 (nearly 8) behaviour and what isn't - and how to deal with him regardless.

Sorry I didn't reply sooner - Merry Christmas!

Ani123 Mon 31-Dec-12 15:39:30

Dyspraxia can be helped with daily exercises to coordinate mind and body together. They are good to do early in the morning before school. Amazon should have a good book entitled Brain Gym Teacher's Edition - I would recommend this one as it explains the exercises really well.
I have used this book for many years - I am a SpLD teacher.
Good luck

Teahouse Mon 31-Dec-12 15:47:31

I paid for 18 months of brushing therapy with my dyspraxic was a miracle. I was told he would never ride a bike and that he would struggle with school; he's in his last year at Uni.
He still has some problems especially with his dyslexia an short term memory and over the summer started driving lessons which he really struggled with. But we have decided he should try an automatic car and he will learn next summer I hope.
Brushing therapy started in the UK and isn't cheap, plus it doesn't work for every child but wow, it was amazing for mine. Just google brushing therapy and something will come up. I got a set of exercises to do twice a day on my son for 6-8 weeks, then another set after that and so on.
Good luck and do PM me if you want more information.
Omega 6 tablets helped too by the way

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