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Dyspraxia and Autism. Is it possible to get both diagnosed?

(19 Posts)
tacal Sat 08-Mar-14 21:29:53

Hello, my 5 year old ds has a dx of autism ( he is high functioning). In his diagnosis report it says he has immature motor skills and should be referred to o/t. He is now on the waiting list.

I think ds's problems with his motor skills, coordination, being able to follow instructions regarding moving his body will really hold him back at school. I feel really worried about it and sad for ds.

School acknowledge that his fine motor skills are not good and they have recently told me he can not do cross body exercises in gym class. His teacher has told me that because he has a dx of autism he is unlikely to get a second dx of dyspraxia .

Is the teacher correct? Do you think it would benefit ds to have a separate dx of dyspraxia (if he is dyspraxic)?

As ds gets older what could cause him problems at school?

I have given him special scissors to take into school. He has caring cutlery which really helps him with eating. For writing, the school have given him a pencil grip. His doctor said that that his pencil grip looks very secure so I should not try to change it. School are saying that as his grip is not correct he should always be encouraged to change it. Not sure which advice to take!

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank you

bjkmummy Sat 08-Mar-14 21:36:13

i have 2 sons with asd and both are also diagnosed with dyspraxia. my daughter is about to be assessed in 2 weeks as well.

re the pen grip - my elder son was just left and now aged 12 they say nothing can be done about it so if you can try and help him I would

Ineedmorepatience Sat 08-Mar-14 21:38:01

Is he hypermobile tacal??

Dd3 has Asd and poor motor skills, they are mainly due to her hypermobility, all her joints are floppy so co ordinating any part of her body is difficult.

bjkmummy Sat 08-Mar-14 21:41:10

yes I forgot about hypermobility - they both have that as well

Ineedmorepatience Sat 08-Mar-14 21:41:23

I meant to say, Dd3 hooks her thumb around her pencil to stabilise it and it does effect her writing.

I would say if you can change it while he is still young it could pay dividends when he is older and has to write more.

Then again if he has found a comfortable way to hold a pencil and you try to force him to change it you might cause more problems than you cure.

Sorry, not very helpful. You know your Ds best, do you think he would cope with changing his grip?

tacal Sat 08-Mar-14 22:02:38

hi, thank you both for your replies. Would it be obvious to me if ds is hypermobile? I have not noticed his joints being very flexible? How do I check?

He cant do sit ups so not at all flexible in the middle of his body.

Will the o/t assess ds for dyspraxia or would it be someone else?

I will keep trying to change his pencil grip, but got a feeling he won't change it.

Thanks again for your advice.

tacal Sat 08-Mar-14 22:07:44

sorry, I meant floppy not flexible. Now I think about it he could be a bit floppy. I will look into this further. Thank you!

bjkmummy Sat 08-Mar-14 22:17:38

an OT could look for hypermobility and dyspraxia - I never picked up on the hypermobility but now thinking about it both boys are very flexible and can get their feet up behind their ears!!! my elder son always used to complain about walking long distances and I put it down to laziness not realising it was the hypermobility - whoops!!!

tacal Sat 08-Mar-14 22:29:04

I googled and after reading a bit about hypermobility I would say that ds is not. I think he does not have much strength which made me think perhaps he was floppy. But he is definitely not very flexible. I would say he is the opposite. He does complain about walking long distances but I have always put it down to sensory issues.

I wish the wait for o/t wasn't so long.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Sat 08-Mar-14 22:54:01

My DS has verbal dyspraxia and ASD diagnoses. He also has hyper mobility. I'm not sure the teacher is right!

PleaseNoMoreMinecraft Mon 10-Mar-14 11:30:36

My DS2 was diagnosed with ASD using the usual routes, and then with dyspraxia by a private OT who was then fantastic at getting him up to speed.

Within six months of seeing her once a week he went from not writing (at age 5) to writing sentences, and from tripping over his feet all the time to only tripping over them occasionally (well - can't have everything!wink)

He's also hypermobile and has poor muscle tone, I think that's very common with dyspraxia?

OddFodd Mon 10-Mar-14 11:38:45

Just to say that even if he does get a dx of dyspraxia, he may not get OT on the NHS - where I live, only children with very severe physical disability get to see the OT on a regular basis. The NHS OT said that she didn't think DS had dyspraxia (although his scores were woeful on many of the tests) but the paed and a private OT disagree.

He has now been discharged from NHS OT but is making very good progress with his private OT.

If that's not an option, worth speaking to the school about what programmes they have to support development of his motor skills?

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Mon 10-Mar-14 17:11:18

DS2 has both ASD and Dyspraxia diagnoses. He was hypermobile as a small child but now (at 16) is the opposite.. tight hip flexors and hamstrings and achilles! I think it's actually quite common for them to go together but getting an NHS dx is hit and miss (usually due to funding)

I echo Ineedmorepatience.. hand writing has been a huge problem. DS2 can't hold a pen properly and at 16 has the hand writing of a 6 or low ability 7 yr old..huge letters, can't join up and can't form them properly. He does have some learning difficulties too, but he is higher functioning in everything but the writing where he finds in very difficult. If you can help him with that now, it will be a lot easier later!

Gorta Mon 10-Mar-14 21:26:07


Both my dd and ds were diagnosed with dyspraxia first and then ASD. They both have made great progress with OT. The Amanda Kirby website gives lots if useful practical advise. It's called I went to one of her talks and I still use her suggestions. Hth

OddFodd Mon 10-Mar-14 21:37:03

Gorta - that's a great website! I have searched and searched the web for dyspraxia but that's never come up. I did come across Amanda Kirby very recently in a book I got out of the library in the SEN series but that's the first time I'd heard of her. Thanks so much (sorry tacal - hope it's useful for you too!)

nostoppingme Tue 11-Mar-14 05:31:14

My son was first diagnosed with dyspraxia and then ASD.

The teacher is incorrect.

Off to look at the website Gorta's given us.

Gorta Wed 12-Mar-14 04:48:43


I'm delighted that website helped. I also came across a video website that's called that shows videos on how to do different excerises with our kids. I like to be able to see the visual demonstration.

The best thing I ever did was to put up a door swing between my hall and kitchen. I made it myself using a bar people use for doing pull ups. I bought it in aldi and then I put a monkey swing on it that I bought in the local toy shop. My kids love being on it and I find it calming for them. I have bought different therapy aids over the years but I would have to encourage and stay with them to get them to use it eg indoor trampoline but they are on this swing all day long.

tacal Sat 15-Mar-14 22:10:57

Hi, sorry I have been away from this thread for a few days. Thank you so much for your replies. The information you have given me has been really helpful.

I am away to look at the website gorta suggested. Thank you!

nostoppingme Fri 21-Mar-14 04:35:57

Gorta - you have a business product there :-)

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