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Dyspraxia and Sport - please help(11 Posts)
DS (8) has dyspraxia, it's mild, but he still struggles in some areas with fine motor control being the biggest issue.
He loves sports, but many aren't suitable especially those that require a degree of co-ordination, up to now we've encouraged him up do lots of different things and through shear determination and persistence he's fairly competent at things like riding a bike, catching a ball and swimming.
Our problem is that he loves football and being part of a team. He's been at a club for around 18 months and had up to now had a great time, but in the last few months his coach has started to exclude him from matches or in my opinion deliberately humiliate him by putting him in unsuitable positions on match days. To cut a long story short I have had a big falling out with the coach, and to be fair to him we hadn't discussed the dyspraxia with him (diagnosis is fairly recent and it's taken until two weeks ago for my husband to acknowledge that there is a problem), however it doesn't take a doctor to realise that DS has problems.
I now find myself in a position of not knowing what to do and I can't face another night of lying awake worrying about it - my opinion is that football is not the best sport for DS and that the problem between me a and his coach will never be resolved (we picked a club that is supposed to give every child a chance regardless of ability). DS still wants to go, but before any permanent damage is done I need to get him away.
I've tried talking to him about it, but he is insistent he wants to go - I would really appreciate any advice on dealing with this and any alternative sports that would be more suitable.
Oh this is hard - DS is 8 also has dyspraxia, plus didn't grow up here so not had years to get his head around it. Fortunately he goes to a school where everyone gets into a team - and although he is the only one in his team with dyspraxia he doesn't stand out - matches are very entertaining.
Could you look around for a different club ? As although the philosophy of club , maybe one thing it is not being implemented by the coach.
There is also a book about how to teach dyspraxics different sports "can't play, won't play" maybe this may help him with it - but would be a lot of work on either your husband or your part.
We have tied to focus DS on individual sports outside school - this hasn't been hard - he horse rides - his choice and has just started doing karate - which I can see why it's recommended - its learning a sequence of moves, so lots of repetition ..... Could you distract your DS from football with a martial art?
DH tried to make DS a goaley - thought this was the way around the problem - but he never gets put on goal, so that didn't work.
Thank you MrsL - It has been a difficult few months for us and although I have always known that DS had some co-ordination problems having it confirmed has hit me harder than I imagined it would.
I have really tried to persuade DS to forget about football, but he loves it, loves his club and even loves his coach! He also swims well (with a style of his own) and plays tennis (fairly well, but we have paid a small fortune in private lessons to get him to the level of a child with normal development).
I will get the book, we have done lots with DS in the past without any real guidance and school are concentrating on fine motor issues and terrible spellings at the moment. Fortunately he saves his temper tantrums for home and has some lovely friends at school and a very dedicated teacher and TA.
I have thought of martial arts and we did try something when he was 5 or so, but he wasn't that interested - I suppose our main problem is that he wants to be part of a team and that will be more difficult as he gets older.
Check out retained reflex therapy - it helped ds a lot.
Hi, StayAwayFromTheEdge. Is it really necessary to put your ds off the football club you say he still loves, with a coach he still loves? I know it may be hard, but I don't think you should stop a child doing something he still enjoys because you can see the writing on the wall before him, particularly when that something is football and the child is a boy. It's not as if there aren't plenty of men who are hopeless at football who will still give it a go, because they enjoy it and have thick enough skins not to care they're not much good, so long as they find someone who'll play a game with them - I've seen them! You don't have to be good at a sport to enjoy it and at the moment it appears to be you feeling humiliated by the coach's behaviour, not your ds.
My ds not only has atrociously bad gross motor co-ordination, he also has extreme hypermobility and low muscle tone. He's been learning to swim for years (he actually swims pretty well, if you don't count the fact he still reverts to doggy paddle when he needs to breathe), can ride a bike but tires quickly, and enjoys playing tennis, but is unbelievably awful at it. At least he's doing it, though, and apparently getting pleasure from it! So I do understand your concerns... although in ds's case, he's had such problems with his gross motor development (had to have lots of physio and had to be taught how to roll over, crawl, pull to stand, cruise and walk, let alone anything else), rather than having a growing realisation of being bad at physical things, it's a growing realisation that if he puts in a lot of effort, he can actually achieve quite a lot and is quite capable of getting to the point where he can join in with his peers and have fun. I'm very proud of him and would never dream of putting him off anything he wants to try, even if I secretly think it's not a great idea.
Thank you Badvoc I'll have a look.
RabbitStew - I can see your point, but at the moment for a variety of reasons I am too angry to speak to his coach - maybe a break over Easter will help?
Also check out the tinsley house support thread. Good luck x
Had similar. When I discussed with a coach at the local team about DS1s dyspraxia, he was moved down a level and constant sub from the very next week.
FA Skills has been a huge bonus. The emphasis is on learning skills rather than playing full games. everybody gets to play in all positions, teams constantly changed around, games last 5/10 minutes each way max (so if you get hammered in 1 game, you could win the next). They have excellent games such as when a goal is only allowed when all players have passed to another.
From what I am led to believe the FA do not think that the best way for DCs to learn football is through playing in little league type teams.
I digress! Have a look on their website and see if there are any sessions near you. They do free sessions over holidays and cheap (£2 for an hour and a half) sessions during school term. It keeps their skills up meaning that when it comes to school teams and knock abouts, they can hold their own,
If everything near you is booked, find from their website the name of the instructor and e-mail them. Tell them your DS history and ask for him to be put on a waiting list.
Thank you again everyone, I am feeling incredibly sad about it at the moment and it's good to put it down rather than drive my husband slowly mad.
AuntEvil - The nearest FA skills is around 20 miles from us on a Friday at 4pm, so there is no way we could make it on time. The club we joined has this wonderful all inclusive ethos, which doesn't seem to translate into the actual game. DS has played no more than 5 minutes per match since September and over the last few weeks has been completely excluded from all matches - Pity the coach didn't speak to me about his plans; instead it was whispers on training nights to check who was available - it was another parent who had the decency to tell me what was going on.
We may have to stick with what we have for now, DS wants to play, but his coach told my husband that he will not speak to me until I have apologised for the text I sent - Believe me I am a reasonable person and well aware of DS's limitations, my text was to the point (which is me) and factual, I did not throw insults or swear, in fact I think I was rather measured compared to what was going through my head at the time.
Badvoc - The book has arrived and I planning some stuff to do over the holidays - Thank you.
I have no wi fi atm so am on phone and can't post much but should hopefully have access by tomorrow night! Good luck x
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