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Can you have neat handwriting if you have Dyspraxia?

(20 Posts)
Jerbil Fri 29-Jul-11 08:42:05

Apologies for yet another question!

I am a little confused. My DS has been referred to Occupational Therapist (long waiting list apparently) for perceptual and fine motor skills problems by the Pediatrician. However, his teacher has said she doesn't believe he has fine motor skill problems, and that it will all come right with age.
One of the things the Pediatrician observed was that he has an immature pencil grip (fist). He is 5&1/2. He was almost engraving the table with the pressure he puts on the paper when drawing. Again, teacher said she thinks its related to the grip and because hes left handed he needs time to establish a comfy grip. he has triangular pencils.

Another, was the fact that he has been known to bump into things. Teacher told me once she was trying to shout him but he carried on walking and went straight into a wall. He knocked himself out last year and ended up with glue in a wound over his eye. He ran into a bin recenty. Asked me why I didn't tell him it was there. He can hop quite well. Doesn't seem to have gross motor problems. Recently he came back from school and said I bumped into 2 children today Mummy. I'm going to have to slow down faster!
His artistic side is amazing! He has beautiful handwriting at times for a 5 year old, in fact I think he draws rather than writes. He struggles with literacy, a little better at numbers but still not acheiving average results at school (on special needs register).

i respect both the teacher and the pediatrician, but who am i meant to believe? the teacher who sees him more, but has been qualified for 4 years? or the pediatrician who presumably has over 30 years experience as she's just retired? I suggested to Pediatrician that he may not get himself dressed cos he doesn't want to i.e. can do won't do but she was insistent that that's not true. yet teachers say opposite!

Any help/comments appreciated. Thanks

He could well have visual perceptual problems so he doesn't realise how close he is to things.

My DS is y1 and has dyspraxia and suspected ASD and has got better hand writing than some of his class who are y2. His hand writing is not great at all but not dreadful. He tends to rush though. The pressure with the pencil thing could be dyspraxia. DS can get dressed better when he wants to or the school tells him to. He is very very slow with dressing and can't do buttons, struggles with zips, can't do laces and never manages to get his own socks on.

siblingrivalry Fri 29-Jul-11 10:07:09

DD1 is 10 and has dyspraxia. Her hand writing is beautiful -it's always fascinated me how this happened, when she can't fasten buttons/poppers etc, or dress herself without help.

She definitely has gross motor problems, but there doesn't seem to be a strict 'pattern' to her dyspraxic issues.

janetsplanet Fri 29-Jul-11 10:48:45

my 2 girls have dyspraxia and have lovely handwriting

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 29-Jul-11 11:57:42

The Dyspraxic and ASD boy age 10 that I support has quite nice writing but he doesn't apply enough pressure! I think a lot of sensory stuff comes into play, too much too little of everything. This boy can correctly identify shapes and knows their facts, like triangles have 3 sides, but he can't draw a triangle, he struggles joining dots in dot to dot. He can't rotate a shape in his head and redraw it as necessary for his maths SATS, he can't trace a shape using tracing paper. I'm not sure how much is due to the dyspraxia and how much to the ASD, TBH. With ASD you can be undersensitive or oversensitive to touch and movement which contributes, I'm sure.

auntevil Fri 29-Jul-11 16:00:18

My DS (8) is dyspraxic, but has just had further clarification of the exact problems by an experienced OT. The SENco at school listed some of the areas that DS had problems with and asked for OT advice. SENco advised that the formation of DS letters was correct. OT disagrees with this, partly due to poor planning and sequencing skills.
So I suppose what I'm saying is that the appearance of the writing from a teacher's perspective might be fine, but it's methodology might be flawed?

ouryve Fri 29-Jul-11 17:13:42

I'm dyspraxic (self diagnosed - they didn't really flag these things up in the stone age when i was a kid) and have lovely ornate (but illegible!) handwriting, draw well and do lots of fine needlework, knitting etc. Ask me to put one foot in front of another without going head over heels or crashing into a door frame, or even successfully do anything with Wii sports and then you've got me flummoxed!

tabulahrasa Fri 29-Jul-11 19:08:12

DS and my friend's DD both have AS - and all the co-ordination stuff that's in common with dyspraxia.

DS can't write legibly, at all (he's 15) if he has to write more than a sentence even he can't read it back afterwards, and can't draw, but he's not massively clumsy (spacial awareness is a bit of a problem though) and can ride a bike.

Friend's DD has beautiful, and I mean beautiful handwriting, is really artistic and has always doen massively detailed pictures, but she can't ride a bike and I've seen her fall of the floor while sitting on it, lol.

They both struggle to get dressed, but with different things.

So the same issue can show itself really differently.

Jerbil Fri 29-Jul-11 20:28:36

Thanks everyone. I am not, going mad then, well maybe a little. It's so good to hear these thing when I even have the professionals disagreeing. I must admit I was siding with the teacher due to his handwriting and now I'm confident in the Pediatrician again. Thanks :-)

SparkleRainbow Sun 31-Jul-11 08:18:24

With no disrespect intended towards the class teacher, or for my own profession as a whole, I have taught for over 18 years on and off, and I have only taught one dyspraxic child in that time, lots of other sn including autism and aspergers, downs and cp, and other non specific learning difficulties. I have also been a senco and an advisory teacher working with special schools. I would never consider myself knowedgeable enough to dispute a dx given by a paediatrician, esp about dyspraxia which can be so varied in how children are affected. I would say trust the paed, they will have much much more dx experience and knowledge of child development and goals than the class teacher, who needs to listen to what the paed is saying and adapt her practice accordingly. Sorry if that sounds a little harsh towards the teacher, but if she were one of my line reports I would have spoken very forcefully with her about disputing medical dx, however politely she did it.

IndigoBell Sun 31-Jul-11 10:35:19

A teacher is an educational professional - not a medical professional. They know no more about dyspraxia than the general public......

SparkleRainbow Mon 01-Aug-11 18:14:26

I am afraid theat indigobell is right sad

Jerbil Thu 04-Aug-11 02:47:54

Thnx again guys. Sometimes they just mess with your head. hmm

halcyondays Thu 04-Aug-11 11:51:11

I think I have dyspraxia, I've always struggled with coordination, but I have lovely heat handwriting, I won a prize for it at primary school, but I have always had an unusual pencil grip, I could never hold my pencil the way you are "supposed" to. But I was hopeless with knitting and failed my cycling proficiency as I couldn't take one hand off the handlebars to signal. And it took me a very long time to be able to use a computer in any way as I couldn't use the mouse. I remembering struggling to do things like peeling potatoes and chopping veg in HE when everyone else seemed to find it easy. I've always been quite clumsy too.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Thu 04-Aug-11 12:03:44

Halcyon, it's possible to be DX as an adult, but unlikely. If it explains a lot of your problems, I hope it gives you some comfort that there actually was a reason for it. Dyspraxia is often thought to be on the autistic spectrum these days, on the edge of it. I had a long and slightly bad tempered argument blush with someone yesterday about self diagnosing with dyspraxia. I couldn't see the harm in it if you know your facts. Here if you can be bothered It's the bit in the middle with thetasigma.

Em3978 Thu 04-Aug-11 12:04:09

I have dyspraxia (diagnosed at age 25!) and most of the time my handwriting is really neat, though I have about 5 different handwriting styles! Sometimes its round, sometimes sloping forwards, sometimes backwards etc. I also vary how i hold my pen.

Ouryve: you sound just like me, complicated things I can do, walk in a stright line... impossible!! grin

Shannaratiger Fri 05-Aug-11 15:38:42

I'm dyspraxic my writing is very neat IF I'm totaly concentrating on it and doing it slowly. If I'm writing a quick shopping list it's terrible. Likewise if I'm just walking around the flat not concentrating I'm always walking into door frames, catching my feet on the edges of the chairs, steping onto toys rather than over them. If I'm properly concentrating though I can walk around fine, stepping over toys can still sometimes be a problem though so I tend to have to just pick them up first!

Shannaratiger Fri 05-Aug-11 15:40:31

Em3978 I have loads of different writing styles as well, at least 5! It got me in so much trouble at school with course work, I've never met anyone else with this!!

Jerbil Tue 16-Aug-11 23:17:18

Just had a private OT assessment for DS1 today. Amazing insights into everything DCD, the new Dyspraxia and a little bit more from what I can make out) and loads of sensory issues. still waiting for second half of assessment and no doubt then the final report, but at least something at last!

I'm really pleased you are getting some answers Jerbil smile

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