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DS's MDT assessment didn't go very well.

(12 Posts)
deemented Mon 08-Aug-11 14:19:42

<copied and pasted from a SN education topic as theres more traffic in here>

Am not long back, and i'm feeling a bit... raw.. right now. The Pead couldn't make it, so it was just the physio and the OT. The physio was pleased with him, he could do everything she asked him to, albeit in his own unique way, but he got there.

The OT though was somewhat different. I hadn't realised just how much DS is struggling. He was assessed but the OT originally in 2008, just before he started nursery as he was prem and had had a moderate developmental delay. The OT today had his notes from the previous assessment and asked DS to do several tasks, write his name, coppy basic shapes and patterns... and DS didn't do very well at all. He has not moved on at all with his writing ability whatsoever, and it is still that of a three year old. When he writes he writes from his shoulder and is extremely heavy handed. The OT said that at the moment, his writing is about as good as it will ever realisticly get, and that the school needs to put in for I.T. support for him as he will need a keyboard to write with. I feel so sad for him - i knew his handwriting was very bad, but i never thought it wasn't anything that couldn't get better with practice. Stupid i know, but i feel so shocked and upset by this. The OT said that you can see him stuggling with what he understands and what he writes or tries to write down on paper. He struggled copying basic shapes and figures, and although he knew that they were wrong he couldn't grasp how to put them right.

So the upshot is that the OT will be going into school come September for a meeting with the SENCO and will be reccomending that DS has IT support ASAP. He'll also check that the school is doing a DCD course with him, and will also push forward the case for DS to be seen by the Ed Psych and be statemented.

I just feel so sad for DS and feel like somehow it's my fault, even though i know thats not the case. I feel like i've let him down.

Vinniesbisqwits Mon 08-Aug-11 14:36:28

of course you have not let him down you did seek help and their was no way of altering how its gone , how do they know for definate his handwriting wont improve keep that in mind because what "they" say and what actually happens is often different no he may not get better in this area but with support he will lead a full life, he will now get the support he desperately needs and YOU did that you helped your dc, nothing stops you carrying on trying and practicing, My dc is ASD and Dyspraxic and quite good on computer im hoping they will do the same with him its early days at his new school and hes only just really started accessing the curriculum so who knows where the path will take us, but please hold your head up high and be proud of yourself and your dc because no matter how bad it seems atm things can and will change and improve and you WILL look back and think one day what was i worried about hes a happy well rounded adult and that is what counts not accademics (although we all wish for this too) but its just frosting as they say .

alison222 Mon 08-Aug-11 15:35:15

Don't give up. He may need to mature a little first, but there are things that may help.

I want to tell you our story.
My DS is ASD and his handwriting was always appalling. School wanted to teach him to type so he could use a keyboard. - No objection to that BUT I also wanted them to help with his handwriting too. Managed to see a sympathetic OT and they started him on a writing slope. I started him with a Stabilo pencil with a built in grip as he didn't get on with the grips they had at school. We had OT exercises to strengthen his grip, and help his shoulder and arm muscles and this year after several years of pestering they started handwriting lessons with him and a group of others. He hated the handwriting lessons so much that he tried really hard to improve as we told him this was the only way he could get out of them. At his end of term review all the teachers agreed that he no longer needed the handwriting lessons - but the OT will continue to keep the hand strength. We have been using thera-putty and hiding beads in it for him to find, using stress balls to squeeze and doing things like wall press ups and wheel barrow races down the hallway and round the ground floor of the house.

It was slow at first and there was little improvement but this year ( he is now 10 ) it all suddenly seemed to work.

alison222 Mon 08-Aug-11 16:44:23

Also just seen this thread which has a post by mrz about all sorts of things you can do to help with upper body strength and control. - Maybe there is something in there that can help.

IndigoBell Mon 08-Aug-11 16:49:20

I second wall press-ups to strengthen his shoulders, and theraputty to strengthen his fingers.

In order to write he needs:
* Shoulder strength to control his arm
* Core strength to sit up
* Fine motor skills to move the pencil.
* Reasonable visual perception (Any indication there's a problem with this?)

So just work daily on those 3 areas.......

I also second starting writing on a vertical surface with a big chunky whiteboard pen which is easier to hold then a normal sized pen.....

deemented Mon 08-Aug-11 17:00:35

Thank you all for your input and ideas smile

Where would i get theraputty from?

We'll certainly start work on strengthening his hands and arms - i feel less useless now, knowing that theres something tangible i can do, iyswim? He has regular yearly eyetests which have always been normal, but perhaps i should book him in again soon?

IndigoBell Mon 08-Aug-11 17:07:50

you can buy theraputty from amazon.

An optician doesn't check for visual perception problems. You need to go to a behaviour optometrist for that......

deemented Mon 08-Aug-11 17:15:40

A what?? OMG... i can see i've still got so very much to learn!!

IndigoBell Mon 08-Aug-11 17:33:02

A Behaviour Optomoterist.

You've got a lot to learn - but you're in the right place now smile

madwomanintheattic Tue 09-Aug-11 00:18:12

so ds is only yr r or yr1?

i'm not sure how the ot can be saying that his functional ability with a pencil can't be improved - particularly given that they haven't really tried anything?

dd2 has cp and her fine motor is a bit pants tbh, but she's nearly 8 and they are still improving it slowly. she's had pretty intensive ot along the way, and although it's probably a given that she'll be a keyboard user eventually, they have done intensive writing courses and all sorts over the last year or two (that's in additiona to the usual ot exercises and therapy).

there's loads to be done for poor fine motor. that ot sounds as though they just can't be bothered to add another child to the waiting list for therapy.

interestingly, we have had similar guidance from slt re speech clarity. dd2 knows how to improve her clarity (and she has had intensive slt for nearly 8 years since birth), and recently the slt has basically said that with her neuro issue, her speech is pretty much as good as it's going to get. i respect that, because she's had 8 years of slt input (and we've learnt what works and what doesn't).

it support is a good start in the interim, but the ot should be working bloody hard to catch up on the therapy he should have been having over the last two or three years. (fwiw dd2 has 'keyboard user' written into her statement - but in fact the consistent writing courses from ot means she is still a pencil user at the moment)

deemented Tue 09-Aug-11 09:35:16

DS is 6, will be 7 next month and just about to go into Yr2.

madwomanintheattic Tue 09-Aug-11 16:26:03

you def need to get some intensive ot input then. most kids with dyspraxic type tendencies are only really looked at in school, so ot type stuff doesn't often start until yr 1 anyway. (not saying dyspraxia is particularly relevant except from a fine motor and therapy. ot pov grin)

did they come up with any convincing reason why more intensive therapy wouldn't be productive? (dd2 is going into yr3 - and ot are continuing to work with her to improve what skills she has)

how are his self-help skills? dressing (buttons and zips), cutlery etc? often the two issues go hand in hand - ot should be working on these too...

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