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Dyspraxia and creative writing

(35 Posts)
mrslaughan Tue 20-Nov-12 18:31:47

DS is year 3 and a young year 3.... Interms of maturity - also his birthday is in march. He has a diagnosis of fine motor dyspraxia and SPD (sensory seeking).
I have been playing close attention to his imaginative play, after someone on this board talked about there childs play being derivative. And in hindsight in the past DS's play has been derivative, but since he has started with oT - we have really started to see very creative play and lots and lots of ideas.
Anyway today DS teacher raised about DS lack if imagination in his writing - if asked to write a story he will re-tell a story he knows, either from TV or a book that relates to the subject.
tBH I was not surprised about this, with what we were told at his assessment, about how difficult writing is with the fine motor skill involved, sequencing etc.....and I know they actually talked about anything written will not show his true ability, because it is so hard for him.
But my question is - for those of you with experience of dyspraxia is that what you would expect? And how can we help him...
I had the idea as a family we can make up a story , each doing a line to the story (verbally)
While we are in the car etc..... Any other suggestions?

LIZS Tue 20-Nov-12 18:40:28

Will he do stick men cartoons ? Does he role play with figures such as Playmobil and Lego. Some websites enable the creation of online picture stories/animated books.

ds(now 14) was similar but has verbal skills far in advance of his age (16+ at age 10) and can write for England (mainly on a laptop). However his favourite writing is still based on Dr Who ! tbh I don't think there is anything wrong with retelling favourites at that age. As long as he reads widely his repertoire and vocabulary will expand.

mrslaughan Tue 20-Nov-12 19:26:39

Yep - role plays lots with mostly Lego men these days (but play mobile was a huge favorite for years, with the men) - but he pulls the men apart and creates new characters . Will also put on story's for his little sister in the morning using his soft toys as different characters (using them like puppets) and will tell stories by using his hands to create shadow puppets ( you have to use your imagination about what the shadows are sometimes.....)
His expressive language is behind ( they say due to dyspraxia and SPD) but his vocabulary is on something like the 93rd percentile, so I am sure it will all come together.
He has worked with a tutor and has written stories with a lot of support - really to help him plan and think on steps, to get it in the order that he wants.

auntevil Tue 20-Nov-12 20:39:14

If he's anything like my DS, half of the problem is that even if they have a good idea, they will write down the bare bones so as not to have to write.
Quite often, DS, Y5, will run ideas by me for stories/characters etc that he is going to use in homework. It sounds good - although I know which bits have been plagiarised (most DCs do some - very few are wholly original - they write from what they know, have seen or heard). When I check it, half the content has gone, and sentences are pared down, dropping adjectives, the sentence past the connective etc.
Have you tried apps that write from voice recognition? You could practise the thought processes of story writing - without the writing.

mrslaughan Tue 20-Nov-12 21:27:26

We will definately try that - the voice recognition... It may struggle, as some of his sounds are not great - apparently related to the dyspraxia.
Yes he does pare down what he writes , his teacher last year said in his report that he needed to focus of getting the descriptive language he uses in speech and conversation into his writing.
Thanks for the suggestion of voice recognition apps - let me know if there are any you have found particularly good.

auntevil Tue 20-Nov-12 22:07:20

Will try to find out which app it is. DH uses it for work to make notes as to what he needs to do.
Being technically challenged, DH sorts these things out blush - we just use them after he finds them grin

mrslaughan Wed 21-Nov-12 00:12:01

no need to be embarressed - its the same in our house.

DaftMaul Wed 21-Nov-12 08:31:12

Hi MrsL, my ds has mild dyspraxia that affects his handwriting and the quality of his written work compared to his verbal abilities has really been affected. His writing is slow, effortfull, messy and some of his letters are formed wrong.

His specialist teacher at school recommended he use a laptop in class and, at Christmas, he did a touchtyping course. He has been typing work in lessons and at home since about Easter and is now quite fast (faster than me with three/four fingers!). I wish we had started this a lot earlier than we did. He will use the laptop for his exams in January and he also gets extra time. He can now type homework that looks good and is easy to edit (still encouraging that!) and he does no get nt trouble for messy work.

Once exams are over, we will probably focus back onto his handwriting. We have been recommended that climbing is very good for developping upper body and finger strength and calligraphy also good for finger strength and pen control, so we will be looking into both.

He has also had OT in the past but don't really want to go back down that route - too far away and expensive.

mrslaughan Wed 21-Nov-12 10:17:19

DaftMaul - how old is your DS. We would like him to move to a laptop, but not sure that he is ready yet.
Would also like to know more about the typing course your DS did.....as that is what we would need to get him started. I found a recommendation on here for Alison Townsend typing course, but have googled (and googled) and can't find any details about her courses.

DaftMaul Wed 21-Nov-12 11:00:35

Sorry, I should have said, ds is 11yrs and in Y6 at school. So, he did the touch typing course when in Y5.

Where are you based? We are in West London and there are a few places that run courses around us. Ds did an intensive course, 2hrs every morning or 5 days. There was also a weekly course.

He went to Amanda McLeod in Pimlico. She is a specialist Dyslexia teacher.

You can do courses at home but I don't think ds would have stuck at it. Where he learnt, the keyboards all have covers so they can't 'cheat' wink

DaftMaul Wed 21-Nov-12 11:19:24

I have found number here for Alison Townsend in Clapham but is looks to be from 2005 so may not be current.

www.honeywelljuniorschool.com/sting/sting.pdf see page 19.

Here is the link for Amanda McLeod www.amandamcleod.org/touch-typing-1/. I am sure they would let you know whether your ds was ready to start learning at his age.

I also know Emerson House, Hammersmith and Jane Verity in Isleworth also offer children's touch typing. May not be your area but perhaps useful for anyone searching in the future!

CheeseToasty Wed 21-Nov-12 14:58:59

Not sure how much I can help as my ds is year 2. We recently had a free trial on a computer program called clicker 6. Hopefully some other posters might know more about it. It seems to make writing easier offering predictive text and can also reads back to you.
Also perhaps you could work on telling stories verbally and make a mind map sort of aid to use to write up the story on the computer.

cornykatona Wed 21-Nov-12 15:36:54

my ds2 (y7) finds creative writing difficult as well (but he is very good at roleplay so he can think creatively).
With him we talk it through and model how to plan it - sometimes with cartoons.
He works on the laptop now. He can word process very quickly but really struggles to organise his work.
we have a game called apples to apples which is great for developing descriptive language skills (and ds loves it!)

mrslaughan Wed 21-Nov-12 17:37:31

What's apples to apples? Is it a computer game? I have heard of clicker 6 - but wasn't sure how suitable it would be.

cornykatona Wed 21-Nov-12 19:25:55

it's a board game mrslaughan

mrslaughan Thu 22-Nov-12 17:05:42

great - thank you, I will look into it from Santa!

yuckie Tue 27-Nov-12 21:36:12

My dyslexic/dyspraxic boy has had a very happy and productive time at Emerson House and learnt to touch type beautifully there. Its really helped him enjoy writing his stories on his own .They run good typing courses during the school holidays -two of his friends are doing a Christmas course soon at the suggestion of their schools. they're in Hammersmith if it helps. (Sorry I don't know how to post a link)

swanthingafteranother Tue 27-Nov-12 21:47:57

just to hijack this thread, and noticing reference to Emerson House, I have a possibly dyspraxic 12 year old in Yr 7. Lots of difficulty getting him assessed through state system as apparently now to old to be seen by OT through school referral system (Hounslow). Can anyone recommend an OT or tutor in Hammersmith/Ealing/Chiswick area to help him? Or even an EP specialising in dyspraxia assessments? I've waited since June to be told school can't refer him sad and fed up with being fobbed off/sent round in circles.

We too have problems with creative writing/organisation/sport, although he is very imaginative and loves role play.

mrslaughan Wed 28-Nov-12 00:45:32

I am new to the UK, so don't know geography, but I would highly recommend Dimitrios from hopscotch in London....not a Ed psych but highly specialised OT

DaftMaul Wed 28-Nov-12 09:01:27

Hi Swan, OTs are very difficult to locate in our area and the schools service in Hounslow has always been extremely limited.

A few years ago we had to travel down to New Malden to see Carolyn Cardwell. It was a bit of a trek each week but doable.

Rather than go back to that journey, we are now thinking about climbing at Westway to help ds' upper body and finger strength. They have special OT sessions that are at a reduced rate with a GP referral.

I wonder whether Amanda McLeod may be abe to help you. She is a specialist dyslexia teacher based in Pimlico but may know of another OT and would certainly be able to help with creative writing, I would have thought.

LIZS Wed 28-Nov-12 09:07:54

You may find an OT here

pinkorkid Wed 28-Nov-12 11:34:50

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/ link here to a touch typing course which my 9yr old dd is using successfully. There are 2 versions one with song and dance and one much simpler. Ds 14 who also struggles with handwriting is so much more fluent and willing to try at writing now that he can use a keyboard. He much prefers a proper full-size keyboard than a laptop so bear that in mind - you may want use proper keyboard wireless or plugged in even if you do buy a laptop. One other point to remember is that you can actively teach strategies for structuring your writing. One example is to remind them to write well, you need to PEE. Make a Point, give an Example (eg a quote from the text), then Expand or Explain further.

swanthingafteranother Wed 28-Nov-12 12:49:58

DaftMaul can you expand on your experience of Hounslow? That is interesting. Ds is at school in Hounslow but it is not our LA.

So do OT's diagnose dyspraxia or is it EP's? SO confused. GP won't refer without letter from school, and school has now dithered so long over their own referral (they seem to have no expertise in dyspraxic issues) that I've lost any confidence in any letter they send.

swanthingafteranother Wed 28-Nov-12 12:53:01

Am I justified in taking ds1 out of school for a touchtyping course for three mornings in last few days of term? There is one at Emerson House, and it would make so much difference,(and he might actually do it) but I'm not sure whether it would be considered a justifiable educational absence, especially as he has no diagnosis of dyspraxia yet, although all these difficulties with presentation/organisation etc.

mrslaughan Wed 28-Nov-12 13:27:04

I guess just ask the school?

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