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Dyspraxia advice for newly diagnosed 7 1/2 year old girl

(13 Posts)
Lauire Sat 15-Jun-13 15:00:20

My daughter has just been diagnosed with dyspraxia by an educational psychologist and I am not sure where to go for information or what to do next. The report is due to be sent next week and we have been advised by the ed psych to see a private occupational therapist (apparently the waiting can be up to a year where we are) she also advised touch typing lessons.

I have looked on the dyspraxia foundation website and feel a bit overwhelmed. Her condition was picked up because of poor handwriting and she is generally a little behind her class in English and maths but reading is pretty strong. She can't ride a bike and throwing and catching isn't great and her balance is poor but can dress herself and fasten buckles and buttons. She was VERY shy when she was little but is now happy and sociable with plenty of friends.

What I am looking for is what to expect in the long run from her - what is she going to be able to do and what activities are going to be problematic.

Sorry for the ramble but I am a bit hapless at the moment.

Advice very much welcome x

nostress Sat 15-Jun-13 15:36:08

My ds1 has it too. There are lots of things you can do to help without the OT. Theres a book called developmental dyspraxia: identification and intervention. A manual for parents and professionals. By madeline portwood. Get that! Its got great advice in it.
My son had a laptop in school from y5 and now in y10 he uses an ipad.
There are exercises you can do to help..rolling a marble between thumb and fingers in turn, walking toe to heal, practice balancing on one foot or buy a balance board. He finally learnt to ride a bike about age 12.
Hes still very messy though and his handwriting is awful but he can type extremely quickly!
Buy some faber castell grip pencils they are much easier to grip.
Also encourage sport! Every little bit helps.

Can she copy off the board?

Id be happy to answer specific questions!

Startail Sat 15-Jun-13 15:50:21

Encourage actives that avoid balls.
DFs dyspraxic DD loves riding, my dyslexic (but catching phobic) DD1 swims and sings (musical instruments are a disaster, but she sings beautifully).

You need to find something she can do, enjoys and gives her confidence.

Lauire Sat 15-Jun-13 18:09:17

Thank you both - will order the book of amazon now!

My DD swims and loves karate and is a pretty good runner so she is keeping active.

Bought some of the Fabre castell pencils as they do a very think one - this definitely helps has anyone used angled writing desks too - I heard this can help but haven't seen any. Like most kids she loves tech - can't write well yet seems to use a DS pen pretty well though ;) We were already in the process of transferring to a smaller school in September and hopefully they will be up for her typing rather than having to write all the time.

What actually is a balance board and how do they help?

thanks for the answers

laurie x

nostress Sat 15-Jun-13 19:05:44

Yeah my son initially started off with a writing board at home and at school. He found it very embarassing and didn't like having to carry it around between lessons. Much happier with the laptop as the other kids were jealous. He also had a inflatable cushion that looked like a wedge of cheese that the ot suggested- only used that at home.

The balance board looks a planet venus cut in half (you stand on them). They sell them on amazon. It just helps develop the connections in the brain so that they can learn to balance. I worked for my ds!

I found the school initially pushed the handwriting as they thought it was essential. But did give in in y5.

It would be a good idea to chat with the new school's senco asap so that she can liase with your daughter's new teacher/s so they understand the challenges. Ive had a number of incidents with teachers who just dont understand the condition. For example, my ds cant accurately copy from the board. This is written in his reports and it clearly stated on his iep that he should not be expected to copy from the board. So text should be given to him as a photocopy/print etc. also if copying"essential" then he should copy from a print on the desk next to him. One lesson his science teacher made them copy a diagram from the board. He did a crap job and his teacher wrote in his book "this presentation is totally unacceptable this was just a simple copying task. Improve your presentation or you will have to stay in at break". It actually says in his report that he should not be kept in a break as exercise actually helps concentration. Anyhow the teacher felt the full force of my anger that day when i pointed out his failings for not actually reading his reports or iep.... I also told the school that i was unhappy about his reports constantly highlighting poor presentation....would they highlight poor observation skills for a partially sighted child?.. Also in reports they had effort grades. These used to pp me off because he used to put in loads and loads of effort but it would still look poor so he ended up with poor grades despite spending four times longer to do homework.
I have to say although it was tough to begin with but he made massive progress in the first two years and does well at school now. Its good that your daughter is still young so you can help her loads with the intervention techniques.

My son used to do karate too and also rugby and apparently contact sports are good for them! He also plays the guitar.

Good luck!

RufinaTheStressed Sun 16-Jun-13 14:53:44

I'll hold your hand if you'll hold mine, laurie! I'm just in the same boat too and I don't have a clue.

Lauire Sun 16-Jun-13 18:42:07

Will do!

Feel very much more organised - have been shopping for kit ( shopping always helps;)

Your support much appreciated xx

RufinaTheStressed Sun 16-Jun-13 19:23:16

I've ordered the book mentioned above. Yes, shopping counts as action, doesn't it?

LIZS Sun 16-Jun-13 19:34:21

Can I just offer some support, if not advice . Remember your dd is the same child as she was before diagnosis. It won't be an easy road but you sound very proactive, persistent and open minded to offers of help which is a good line to take and impart to your child. Madeleine Portwood's book Developmental Dyspraxia is a good place to start.

We were in the same boat 8 or so years ago. ds learnt to touch type, had learning support much of which initially focussed on handwriting to start with but also used dyslexic approaches to spelling and writing then planning work and study skills. Academically he is a very different child with strengths in humanities and writing and easily got into a selective school. Use of a laptop released his expression of ideas.

Gradually his physical skills have developed although team sports are a big no-no, running awkward and tiring, and ball skills pretty poor. can't ride a bike but can ski well and sail. He had a few NHS OT session and an action plan of exercises but in reality he wasn't bad enough to be of priority. Fortunately we had been living abroad when this was noticed so he had some good input there .Social side also still an issue but he has small group of friends and is well tolerated.

On a practical level , using a writing slope (side of a full A4 level arch file will do to start), checking seating so she is well supported and balanced with feet on floor, experiment with pencil grips /pens (but often a elastic band wound round many times will do as well), diaries and checklists at home and school, asking teachers to give written prompts as well as verbal during lessons to keep her on track, touch typing , keep things simple in terms of clothing and routines etc etc. Hopefully the SENCO will have some ideas which can be tailored to your dd's problem areas.

hth as a start, if you do a search on my posts there are probably more specific exercises, ideas and advice we received at the time.

Lauire Sun 16-Jun-13 20:19:48

Yes she is the same as she was last week - just has a label now! X

aamia Sun 16-Jun-13 20:27:39

Horse riding is amazing therapy. A friend of mine has an 9yo boy who was diagnosed several years ago. He started to ride once a week (private lessons so they go at his pace) when he was about six, and his co-ordination increased so so much. He has special reins to help him hold them. He loves that he can go fast on a pony without tripping or worrying that he will trip. He loves to jump also!

dramaqueen Sun 16-Jun-13 20:30:54

LIZS, funnily enough, my dyspraxic DS can sail and ski. Can't stand still without falling over but can glide down a red run with style!

gordyslovesheep Mon 08-Jul-13 23:18:15

Glad I found this - watching and learning - dd2 is 9 and currently referred for a proper diagnosis - 99.9% sure it is dyspraxia

She rides and plays football (very weel) but can not manage a knife and folk and has broken so many bones in stupid accidents it's un real

My real issue though is with anxiety and repetitive behaviour/speech - she is very social and has lots of mates so she doesn;t tick all 3 boxes of aspergers but presents very like her sister who is currently being assessed for that (aged 11)

I may hang around this board if that's okay x

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