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Dyspraxia and support at school(5 Posts)
DS is starting reception next week - he will not have a statement as his case is not very severe. His dyspraxia is affecting mainly his speech (school has a good plan for helping him with that) but he also has other problems with some basic stuff - opening lunch box, changing his clothes, going to the loo on his own, and he is very very slow at eating. What sort of help should I be expecting - if any? He is waiting for an appointment with occupational therapist - will this help? Many thanks!
Has the SENco gone through all the other areas that your DS needs help with and put a plan together for those? If not, that needs to be done day 1.
There are tons of things that the Teacher and TAs can do - but sometimes they need to be alerted to the fact of which areas DS has difficulties with.
They also need to know that this is an issue that is being assessed as you would probably be surprised at how many children who are NT go into reception with all the above that you mentioned who just haven't got around to being independent. But then some are just 4 and will pick it up soon and you don't want the teachers to take a 'wait and see' approach if there is a physical issue - you want them to be pro-active in developing his skills.
My DS is now 8 - but he has had daily sessions of activities to improve his fine and gross motor skills from the start of this school. School don't need a dx to put some of these activities in place now while you are waiting for an assessment.
Senco has been through what will the strategy in the classroom - mostly because of his speech disorder but not really because of the physical side of things. They will provide a chair for him for the carpet time as it is hard for him to sit crossed-legs. They will do a personal education plan within the first weeks of his start, but I wondered if the other bits he needs help with will be included. For example, he really struggles with unzipping his lunch bag, and opening his sandwich box, which we have been practicing a lot last week. He still asks for a bib if he eats anything creamy like baked beans as he can't eat very well and is very messy. I'm just wondering if that kind of help will be available for him outside the classroom. Does that make sense? In your experience, is it all included in one document ie personal education plan? Many thanks!!
In honesty, i've found that some of the smaller personal help issues are often best dealt with by the staff that are with them at those times.
Each school runs differently, so speak to the teacher about each of the issues. It maybe that lucnchtime supervisors are made aware of any help issues re unzipping bags/ opening boxes etc, so they know to keep an eye on him.
I doubt if much will be done about messy eating. My DS (8) still comes home with so much food on his face and clothes. But then some NT DCs come out with mess and pen and paint and ripped clothes etc. I've resorted to a clean uniform a day!
The teacher or TA will make sure everyone is changed into and out of uniform for PE. Make sure they are aware though as they will want to develop independent skills - by letting your DS do as much as possible. It will just help if they know so they don't assume he's just lazy/slow/non-co-operative.
I think primarily you need to make sure he is willing and able to ask for help and that the relevant staff know that if he does to give it as he isn't just being lazy, difficult or chatting. Can you get him a lunchbag with a zip or velcro or box with a catch he can open easily and limit the number of buttons etc he has to use to change (buy a size up shirt so he can slip it over his head and elasticated trousers, velcro shoes) . If he needs specific, regular help with toileting etc (bearing in mind normally staff have to be fairly hands off and can't leave 29 other kids unattended) then you should flag this up to the SENCO.
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