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dyspraxic child playing the piano

(19 Posts)
beaconhouse Tue 12-Jul-11 18:17:22

hello, just wanted to share this in the hope that it might help some others or to hear if anyone else had found the same thing. My eldest son of three is 10 and dyspraxic and prob somewhere on the autistic scale too (witing for formal assesment) he is achieving well at school but is very clumsy and all over the place. His movements are jerky and uncoordinated and it takes him at least twice as long as most children to get dressed, write etc. He also is quite emotionaly under developed and finds certain situations hard which can result in tantrums....it was with a certain amount of fear then that i reacted with when he decided he wanted piano lessons....how could a child who struggles to put his shoes on manage to use two hands on a piano....eventually i gave in and booked some lessons. i admit hat i was scared stiff that he would just find it too hard and his (already low self esteem ) would take a blow.....however it has proved just the oppisite. HE REALLY ENJOYS HIS LESSONS !!! and he is doing really well. i have no dellusions that he is the next mozart however not only is he keeping up with the other children but is in fact progressing faster than them. Having to practice every day helps him as he needs a sense of routine in his life. playing the piano seems to calm him down when upset. Most surprizing though is that his teachers have remarked that in the last 6 months both his handwritting and concentration levels have really improved....i can only put that down to his piano lessons.....i realise this isnt an answer to everyone and its not cheap but i am so glad i let him go for it and didnt let my initial reluctance ge in the way... the changes to him and therefor the changes to the whole family dynamics (i am a single mum of three boys) have been worth every penny...just wondered if anyone else had the same (ish) story. x

drivemecrazy63 Tue 12-Jul-11 18:30:17

thats wonderful, ive a piano my dd plays and acoustic and electric guitar ds (asd,dyspraxic) isnt interested in either but he has been asking for ages for drums confused and im wondering about it as ive heard it helps with co-ordination and calmness (may have to get ear defenders though) so now after reading how helpful the lessons have been im really going to look into it more thanks for posting and good luck to your ds

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 12-Jul-11 19:05:46

That is encouraging. My DS took to the recorder fairly well, (bit cheaper than a piano!) and was good at reading music, but he wouldn't practise, no matter how much we tried. I'm now thinking we should have persevered.

sphil Tue 12-Jul-11 20:19:24

Thats very good news as my dyspraxic 10 year old is showing an interest in learning the piano.

pigletmania Tue 12-Jul-11 20:48:07

That is fantastic beaconhousesmile my dd is only 4 (possible ASD, social communication difficulties, emotionally delayed) and i would really love her to play an instrument but at the moment its far off. This has given me some hope that she can learn in the future.

purplepidjin Tue 12-Jul-11 20:51:28

Driveme, invest in an electric drum kit grin they come with headphones!

I love the power that music has <ponders winning euromillions and finally doing music therapy training>

IndigoBell Tue 12-Jul-11 21:57:29

Very glad for you!

My dyspraxic DS found playing the piano so hard that I took pity on him and let him give up after a couple of months. He just couldn't co-ordinate his fingers, and had no patience for something he found hard.

I know it would be good for him - but he was just so miserable sad

beaconhouse Tue 12-Jul-11 22:24:50

hanks for all your comments. i would really would encourage any child to try to be involved in some kind of music...my middle ds has also started cello lessons and every penny spent on their lessons has been more than payed back by the amount we all get out of it......that said paracetamol sales have increased in my area...my boys may really enjoy their music and its great the effect it has had on my eldest dyspraxic ds but it can be quite hard on the ears!!!!!!! Drums....hmmmm......sure they would be great for coordination etc but ear plugs would be a must.

coff33pot Tue 12-Jul-11 22:42:51

That is lovely to hear beaconhouse!..my ds is poss AS and I have just gone to a second hand shop and bought two acoustic guitars. He loves music and playing the instruments at school. So I am going to teach myself and ds together. We just started two days ago and just doing scales (exercises for hands on guitar) That alone has made him concentrate and has kept him sat still for 20 mins twice a day and that is an improvement for him! I am really pleased for your DS!

kissingfrogs Tue 12-Jul-11 23:58:41

Hello Beaconhouse. My dd2 has also recently started piano lessons. I had a hunch it would help. She's hearing impaired with a language disorder. She wears hearing aids but doesnt wear them for the lessons (her decision) - she can still appear to hear the piano and especially the ultra-loud church organ and she can feel the vibrations. She's doing really well.
For what it's worth: when considering all the listening programmes out there I had a gut feeling that making music was the answer. What better way is there to learn to listen?

oddgirl Wed 13-Jul-11 08:18:04

Thats really heartening Beacon-I took DS (6 ASD/dyspraxia) to see an audiologist recently and amongst all the fab advice she gave me to assist his auditory processing, learning a musical instrument was the single biggest thing she said would help. Aside from the co-ordination it requires, she also said the ability to distinguish even between loud and soft sounds is an excellent way to start training the ear in more effective processing.
Well done to your DS!

coppertop Wed 13-Jul-11 12:39:51

It's fantastic when it all works out, isn't it? smile

I signed ds up for music lessons after the OT suggested it. Ds has ASD and a lot of the difficulties associated with dyspraxia.

He's been having lessons for a couple of years now. It's helped him with his fine motor skills but has done wonders for his self-confidence and his teacher is really pleased with him.

lostinwales Thu 14-Jul-11 08:23:45

I do think that the brain can re wire itself, avoiding the areas that have been problems in the past. DS1 (Dyspraxia/ASD) has grown up being quite comically uncoordinated but didn't enjoy the physical skills 'homework' his OT set him. Where we live there is a thriving surf club and he joined because it's what we do round here to pass the time and it has done miracles for him. For a boy to go from not being able to walk in a straight line without falling over he can now surf like a pro (he's only 11). It was sports day yesterday which is traditionally a time for tears and coming last, he WON the 'long race'! So well done beacon's DS and well done my boy. Now if someone could find me a sport that will magically get him to tie shoelaces....

Triggles Thu 14-Jul-11 08:47:55

We bought a secondhand piano about a month ago, and DS2 has been slowly learning things little by little. He really enjoys it so far, and we're hoping that as he gets older it will be a good outlet for him.

bedheadz Thu 14-Jul-11 09:06:14

my ds is 7 (AS) and has been having piano lessons for two months, he has physio for gross and fine motor skills.

He comes out of his lesson beaming, he didn't ask for lessons and I really had to talk him round, my hope for piano lessons is that he can use this skill to express himself through music.

Well done to your ds smile

LizT123 Thu 14-Jul-11 18:45:06

My DS is 12 and severely dyspraxic. He has been having drum lessons on and off since he was 9 - he's no genius at it and the noise is awful, but the school has always noticed how much better he is at his work after his drum lessons (he has severe learning difficulties as well). He loves drumming. Anything which he enjoys and feels good about comes high on my list!

Have you tried trampolining? It has helped DS's muscle tone a lot and he gets much better messages back from his limbs having started trampolining. The physio has seen a big improvement in the last 3 months since he started going to a trampoline club rather than just bouncing at home. Our local club is great with him - they have a brilliant special needs teacher who does some of the training at the club (as a volunteer) and Nick gets very special attention.

beaconhouse Fri 15-Jul-11 08:45:10

thanks, had no thought about a trampoline club...he loves bouncing so that could be another way forward. will look into it x

sphil Fri 15-Jul-11 20:53:22

Ive just had Ds1's school report and it is sooooo much better than last years, both achievement and effort- wise. This year he has been having 1:1 recorder lessons, swimming lessons and has been following an OT programme for retained reflexes. I really feel that the combination of these activities has helped him hugely. His auditory processing and concentration in particular are much improved.

supermum98 Sat 16-Jul-11 08:10:02

Thanks for this post, it has given me much room for thought as I would have been closed to my ds taking up an instrument.

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