I haven't a clue. I just felt unable to let the opportunity pass me by.
First I'll read up on him a bit more. Then I'll sumarise. Then I'll submit to school and ask them what they think I should ask (as a way of getting them on board with any of his subsequent suggestions).
Thanks for the link and heads up star, have emailed them.
moondog have you started taking on private work yet? DS1 has started singing, (in words we can actually understand rather than just babble). so could do with input from a decent salt and I can't think of one better than you.
Star, like most skills, it is about practice, practice, practice. Having said that, we are very interested in this at present Write from the Start as it looks beautifully simple, and is reinforcing both for the child and the adult (no off putting chunky manual).
I'm doing some joint research projects on Big Six with an OT and some teaching staff at present so this stuff very on my mind.
Dev, thank you. I am not an expert in working with small children with ASD on eliciting speech however. I am more of a PT/OBM person. What about Risca's s/lt colleague?
moondog, I did get in touch with her a few months ago, but I didn't think he was ready for it, now he is ready for it but she is very busy for home visits and too far to travel for a assessment in clinic, over 200 miles.
I have heard a lot about London Children's Practice, has anybody got any experience of them?
Star - Write from the Start sorted my son's (ASD & Hypermobility) pencil grip out. We also find the Stabilo Easy Ergo pencil to be really helpful. We followed the programme when he was in reception - much to the horror of his teacher - and now in Year 2 he is writing & drawing (mainly maps ) quite happily.
We used write from the start for 18 months. It's pretty much the standard way mainstream Romainians learn to write, I discovered as his Gran is a primary teacher over there. All children commence a very similar programme aged 7.
Ds can now write but it's neither legible, nor a reasonable speed, so school still use the alphasmart if they want more than a sentence from him. I think it's a great programme, but not a magic bullet if the dyspraxic issues are deep rooted iykwim. There's no way he'd have made the progress he has without it & suprisingly he was willing to do the 10 mins a day 5x a week needed to keep the flow going. (These things need to be done little & often to have a decent chance of success methinks).
I intend to do it again from scratch once we've finished his current bout of RRT, (can only fit so many interventions into one day what with pesky school interrupting it lol!). It's a very reasonable cost for what it does too, & I haven't found anything comparable that's as accessible for an ordinary parent to implement iykwim.
Indigobell wasn't as impressed with it though - thought I'd point that out in the interests of fairness.
We used London Children's practice for SALT assessment & I was really impressed. An OT assessment is £350 and then with the monthly ongoing costs of therapy it's out of my reach at present, but I live in hope. Deffo worth checking out if you can afford it.
If it helps DS sorted his independent pencil grip via a vertical whiteboard and marker & nowadays it's correct using a writing slope but he loses it if writing/drawing on a horizontal table for long. No issues with hypermoblity or strength or anything like that.
We use these pencils http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002SN9R2E/ref=ox_ya_os_product just cos I think they are more economical to send into school, and easier for DS to sharpen independently than the mechanical pencil. Also they don't stand out as "special" to the other kids iykwim.
Okay, - so the school say it isn't just sensory but they can't address his pencil grip until they have improved his core upper strength.
To try to make him change his grip before this will be hard for him and cause frustration according to them.
I do have write from the start book 1 but it is far too basic. DS' fine motor skills are on the 99th percentile in terms of what he can produce. He can do teeny tiny writing, complex mazes and the fine details of the surface of Jupiter's moons, but it is all done with the thumb wrap grip.
I am concerned about all this practising of the wrong grip and suspect he will get frustrated being told to change it whenever that happens - so imo, the sooner the better.
It is frustrating learning a new way of doing things but with practice broken down in manageable chunks and reinforcement at the end, it shoudl be possible. All that about 'upper core strength' needing to be sorted out sounds very suspicious to me.
I taught my daughter to write, both printing and then cursive by sitting at the kitchen table and practicing non stop. That meant filling in the Organised mum calendar, writing shopping lists and writing every single card we send out (I buy a set of blank cards and the children draw a picture and write a message when one goes out.) Her cursive writing is beautiful now-better than most 11 year olds. I didn't know all the fancy stuff I know now then either.
Dev, it's great to hear he has progressed so much! Hooray! I'm afraid I can't recommend anyone as I know very few people in pribvate practice. All my work and colleagues are public sector.
My lovely colleague (the one you met with me in Birmingham) is a big fan of Sensible Pencil but I note this is not available on Amazon at present.
I also experimented with pencil grips (I bought about 10 different types) but quickly got rid of them all. I'm not one for pathologising or accommodating a difficulty, hence my loathing of weighted vests, wobble cushions, wrist grips, sensory rooms and all of that other creepy 'Special Needs' equipment the Special Needs industry would have you paying through the nose for.